According to Deuteronomy 32:35, in due time, the foot of the wicked unbelieving Israelites would slip. It is just a matter of time. Like one constantly walking in slippery places, they would fall by their own weight, and the fall would be sudden, casting them down to ruin (Psalm 73:18-19).
The wicked are not yet in hell only because of God’s mercy and sovereignty. Without our Almighty God, nothing can keep the wicked out of destruction because:
God’s wrath is as much against them, as against those damned in hell. Meanwhile, their sins are constantly increasing, offending God tremendously.
Earthly king can only kill our body (Proverbs 20:2). But the fierceness of God’s wrath can cast us into hell forever (Luke 12:4-5, Isaiah 59:18, Isaiah 66:15, Revelation 19:15).
Now God stands ready to have mercy on us. No matter how seemingly moral, strict, sober, or religious we are, unless we are born again, damnation will come swiftly, with suffering to all eternity in God’s merciless vengeance. Don’t wait till the day when He will only laugh and mock at our great suffering in hell (Proverbs 1:25-26, Isaiah 63:3, Romans 9:22).
Now the salvation door is open. He loves us and can wash us from our sins with His own blood. Our hearts can be filled with love to Him. We can rejoice in the hope of God’s glory.
If we neglect this extraordinary opportunity, we are going to bear the dreadful wrath of God.
Therefore, those not in Christ awake, run away from the coming wrath, and go to God. Do not look back, lest be totally consumed by the fire of hell.
Summarized from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards
按照申命记 32:35, 邪恶不信神的以色列人总会滑倒。只是时间的问题。 就像人们经常在湿滑的地方行走一样，他们会迟早失足而突然跌倒，使他们掉在沉沦之中（诗篇 73:18-19）。
• 魔鬼准备抓住他们当作自己的 (路加福音11:12)。
• 正义要求对他们的罪恶进行无限的惩罚，不得到宽恕 (路加福音13：7, 以西结书8:18)。 每个未悔改的人
都是已被定罪并属于地狱的 (约翰福音3:18, 约翰福音8:23)。
• 他们周祥的计划和能力无法阻止他们突然离世 (传道书 2:16)。
• 地狱的折磨表现出上帝的愤怒。而他们的灵魂在地狱中饱受折磨 (以赛亚书57:20).
地上的国王只能杀死我们的肉体 (箴言20：2)。 但是上帝的愤怒可使我们永远陷入地狱 (路加福音12：4-5, 以赛亚书59:18 & 66:15, 启示录19:15)。
现在上帝准备怜悯我们。无论我们看来是多么道德、严格、清醒或虔诚，除非我们得重生，否则诅咒将迅速到来，我们将遭上帝无情报复, 受永恒的痛苦。不要等到祂只会嘲笑我们在地狱遭受巨大痛苦的那一天 (箴言1：25-26, 以赛亚书63：3, 罗马书9:22)。
现在救赎的门已经打开。祂深爱着我们。 祂用自己的血将我们从罪孽中洗净。我们的心可以充满对祂的爱, 让我们以上帝的荣耀为乐。
Typically, we go to God because we want things. That may be why Satan challenged God over Job: if God took away the lots of possessions He had given to Job, Job would curse God (Job 1:9-11). But after God allowed Satan to take from Job everything other than his wife (Job 1:12-13), Job still praised God because he knew he could not take anything with him when he died, and everything was in God’s hands (Job 1:21).
The Bible teaches us to rejoice in the Lord always—in health, sickness, wealth, or poverty (Philippians 4:4). For example, David glorified God in the desert of Judah and considered God’s love better than life (Psalm 63:3-5). When Habakkuk had nothing, not even food, he still was joyful in God and considered God his Savior (Habakkuk 3:17-18).
Why should we still be joyful in God when externally we are in desperate shape?
First, know that God is the Almighty and He loves us.
God is the Almighty who created the universe, and He loves us. He sent us His beloved Son so we may live. Christ suffered not to bring us wealth or fame; He suffered to bring us back to God.
Hence, we should focus on God, the Creator, not the things He created. All things we enjoy should point us to the Almighty. We should treasure and love God above everything.
If we love Him, we should do what He wants us to do (John 14:15), though we know the essence of loving is not in performing tasks.
If we love God, we should love our neighbors as fellow image-bearers of God. Paul described the Macedonian Christians as being very generous even when they were in severe trial and probably in poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).
Treasuring God over all things means considering Him as the most desirable, giving us the most satisfaction.
When we are most satisfied in God, He is most glorified in us. Glorifying Him is the main reason of our existence (Isaiah 26:8, Philippians 1:20-21). Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you so that God is your ultimate delight and enjoyment.
Summarized from a sermon by John Piper:
Life is full of challenges. Some look at such everyday trials pessimistically. To them, life is just a series of pain and suffering. James had a different perspective (James 1:2-4).
James was Christ’s physical brother. During Christ’s ministry, James didn’t believe in Him, even characterizing Christ being out of His mind (John 7:5; Mark 3:21). Later, James became Christ’s follower. After Christ’s resurrection, He specifically appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:7).
During the time of James, his audience buried half of their children, and many of them were slaves. Relative to their trials, a lot of our problems can be trivial.
James taught us not to be alarmed by unexpected and painful challenging tasks or trials in life. Instead, learn to rejoice in them (James 1:2; and 1 Peter 4:12-13). When bad things happen to us, good things could happen in us.
Whether small or big, evaluate our trials through the lens of faith. Learn to look through them and see God at work in them.
The trials may help us see our weaknesses and correct our mistakes. The process can confirm God caring for us and help us experience His faithfulness and love.
Beware that many of these challenges can take a long time to resolve. Be patient. Ask God to show us the direction we should go and give us the strength to get there. Learn to endure and persist in pursuing what is good, right, noble, beauty and true.
Then the trials can produce perseverance, which will help us develop a mature character, giving us the ability to live with poise and confidence, regardless of our circumstances (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5); and giving us hope for the future glory (Romans 8:18).
Look at Christ. He went through unfair sufferings and torture, but He persevered till death. Then, He experienced the joyful and glorious resurrection.
So, when we face trials, persevere, and do not quit. Don’t let them get the last word. Have faith in God. Learn from the process, and experience God’s presence, comfort, and care. Learn to rejoice in them. Resurrection will come, and we will experience the glory.
Summarized from a John Ortberg’s sermon
We desire and need respect. A good name is more desirable than great wealth (Proverbs 22:1).
One way to earn respect is from handling conflicts appropriately. Let us learn from Nehemiah 5.
First, it lists four causes of conflicts:
Nehemiah chapter 5 lists five ways Nehemiah gained respect by resolving these conflicts:
Though Nehemiah was the governor, out of respect for God, he did not (a) eat or demand the food allotted to the governor; (b) place heavy burdens on the people he was governing; (c) allow his assistants to lord over the people; nor (d) take any land (Nehemiah 5:14-18). Instead, he was generous to the needy, putting the needs of others above his own. Every day, he provided food for 150 people because of their heavy burden (Nehemiah 5:17, Proverbs 29:23, Psalm 112:9).
Furthermore, Nehemiah set good examples. He and his men were devoted to building the wall (Nehemiah 5:16, Proverbs 14:22).
After we are dead, how will people remember us? Consider that and act accordingly (Proverbs 10:7).
To conclude, if you want to earn others’ respect, empathize, think before speaking, appeal to the good sides of others, be humble and generous particularly to those in needs, and set good examples.
Summarized from a sermon by Rick Warren:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMpNGqau09Y starting from 17 minutes
我们渴望并需求尊重。良好的声誉甚至胜过巨富 (箴言 22:1)。
虽然尼希米是省长, 但出于对上帝的尊重，他没有 (一) 吃或要求分配给省长的食物； (二) 给他统治的人民带来沉重的负担；(三) 让他的助手欺压人民 和(四) 获得任何土地 (尼希米记 5:14-18)。 相反地, 尼希米对有需要的人十分慷慨, 将他人的需要置于自己之上。为了减少人民的重担, 尼希米每天提供一百五十人的食物 (尼希米记 5:17, 箴言 29:23, 诗篇 112:9)。
此外，尼希米树立了良好榜样。他和他的手下埋头建造围墙 (尼希米记 5:16, 箴言 14:22)。
我们死后，人们会如何记起我们？ 考虑到这一点然后采取相应的行动 (箴言 10:7)。
总而言之，如果想赢得别人的尊重，要感同身受; 先思考、再说话; 提出他人好的一面; 应谦虚和慷慨，尤其是对那些有需要的人; 并树立良好的榜样。
(A sermon in January 2021)
Politically, we are paralyzed by bitter partisanship. Economically, millions are out of work. Internationally, our reputation is in shambles. Four hundred thousand people have died of COVID already. Our nation is broken and needs healing (Psalms 60:2-5).
God promised Solomon:
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
This promise is also applicable to Christians today.
First, as Christians we must humble ourselves. Our worst problem is often pride; we assume ourselves self-sufficient and fail to recognize our need for God (James 4:6). We should judge ourselves critically, lest we come under God’s judgment (1 Corinthians 11:31, 1 Peter 4:17). Also, we should not judge others because we are also sinful (James 4:12, Romans 2:3).
Second, we must stop complaining, start praying (Hosea 7:14), and not give up (Luke 18:1). Be sincere in our prayer (Colossians 4:2, Ephesians 6:18). Be specific with our requests and keep track of God’s answers, so that our faith might grow.
Third, we should seek God earnestly (Hebrews 11:6). We spend too much time and effort seeking other things than God (Psalms 14:2-3), when He should be our highest priority and our passion. When we seek Him first, everything we need will be given to us (Deuteronomy 4:29-31, Matthew 6:32-33).
Lastly, turn from our mistakes and turn to God completely. We and our culture are loaded down by all sorts of sins (2 Timothy 3:2-5). We often see others’ mistakes as we remain blind to our own (1 John 1:8). We should repent, confess our sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that we may be healed and refreshed (James 5:16, Acts 3:19).
If we do the above, God promises He will hear our prayer, forgive our sins, and heal our nation (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Change starts in us. Be humble. Judge ourselves critically. Keep praying. Seek God earnestly and repent. Place our hope in our only Savior, Jesus Christ.
Summary of the Rick Warren sermon.
在政治上，党派之间苦毒的争斗使我们陷于瘫痪。 在经济上，数百万人加入了失业的大军。 在国际上，我们的声誉变得一团糟糕。此外，已有40万人死于新冠病毒。这个破碎的国家需要医治 (诗篇60：2-5)。
第二，停止抱怨，开始祷告 (何西阿书7:14)。 不断禱告，不可灰心 (路加福音18：1)。祷告要真诚（歌罗西书4：2，以弗所书6:18），要具体，要逐一记下上帝的回答，让信心不断增长。
第三，诚恳地寻求上帝 (希伯来书11：6)。我们花费许多的时间和精力，去寻求其它事物，而不是上帝。祂本应是我们最高的优先，激情的所在 (诗篇14：2-3)。如果先寻求祂，所需的一切都会加给我们 (申命记4：29-31, 马太福音6:32-33)。
最后，完全转离错误, 转向上帝。我们和我们的文化被各种罪恶压倒 (提摩太后书3：2-5)。 我们常常只看到他人的错误，对自己的却视而无睹(约翰壹书1：8)。当悔改，互相认罪，彼此代祷，使我们可以得到医治, 焕然一新 (雅各书5:16, 使徒行传3:19)。
Christians should be God’s witnesses to glorify their Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). But as God’s witnesses to people is much easier than as God’s witnesses to Satan because Satan knows humans well. Day and night, such knowledge enables Satan to accuse them before God (Revelation 12:10).
God was proud of Job and presented Job as His witness to Satan (Job 1:8). But when calamity after calamity struck Job, even he grumbled.
God’s witnesses, particularly God’s witnesses to Satan, need the Holy Spirit.
God’s witnesses need the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to them. When Peter said Christ was the son of God, Christ attributed Peter’s insight to God’s revelation (Matthew 16:16-17).
But the proud does not listen to the Holy Spirit. It is not being clever or knowledgeable then one can understand the mystery of Christ. Some Bible scholars, such as the Pharisees, even considered Christ as the prince of demons (Matthew 12:24). Roman soldiers recognized Christ as the Son of God when numerous rulers didn’t (Matthew 27:54; Acts 13:27). The arrogance of the learned, rich, and powerful leads to their downfall, while the truth was revealed to children (Matthew 11:25, 18:3). This possibly is because children are humble. To be able to learn from the Holy Spirit needs humility.
God’s witnesses to Satan need the power of the Holy Spirit to withstand Satan.
God’s witnesses seek God’s interests, not the empty honor of men, and not their own interests, such as their health, property, and comfort. God provides everything they need. Their prayers are effective (James 5:16). Even their children will not go hungry (Psalms 37:25).
God’s witnesses do not love money but are content with what they have because God will never leave them (Hebrews 13:5).
God’s witnesses do everything without grumbling or arguing (Philippians 2:14). They rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for whatever happens to them is God’s will for them in Christ (1Thessalonians 5:16-18; and Ephesians 5:20).
To be God’s witnesses to Satan is difficult. They must have guidance and help from the Holy Spirit. For God’s glory, Christians, try to be God’s witnesses to Satan.
Summarized from a sermon by Zac Poonen
基督徒应该是上帝的见证，荣耀他们在天上的父（马太福音 5:16）。 但作为上帝在人前的见证，要比作为上帝在撒旦前的见证容易得多，因为撒但很了解人。这知识使撒但能够在上帝前昼夜指责他们 (启示录 12:10)。
上帝对约伯感到骄傲。 祂把约伯作为自己在撒旦前的见证 (约伯记 1：8)。 但当一场又一场的灾难袭击约伯时，连他也都抱怨。
做神的见证, 特别是在撒旦前的见证, 需要圣灵。
神的见证人需要圣灵向他们启示真理。 当彼得说基督是上帝的儿子时，基督将这见解归因于上帝的启示 (马太福音 16:16-17)。
但骄傲的人不听从圣灵。 不是聪明和博学多才便能理解基督的奥秘。诸如法利赛人之类的圣经学者甚至以为基督是魔鬼王子 (马太福音12:24)。 罗马士兵认识基督是上帝的儿子但许多统治者不认识祂 (马太福音 27:54; 使徒行传13:27)。 博学的，有钱的，或是有权力的， 他们的自大可导致他们垮台, 然而真理能向小孩子显示 (马太福音11:25, 18：3)。 这可能是因为小孩子谦虚。 能向圣灵学习需要谦卑。
作为神的见证人, 特别在撒旦前的见证人, 需要依靠圣灵的力量去抵挡撒旦。
神的见证人寻求上帝的意愿, 而不是追求来自人的虚誉, 和自己的利益, 例如健康，财富和舒适等。 神供给他们一切的需要。他们的祈祷是有效的 (雅各书5:16)。 甚至他们的孩子也不会饥饿 (诗篇37:25)。
神的见证人在做一切事情时都没有抱怨 (腓立比书 2:14)。 他们总是喜乐，不断祷告，在任何情况下都感恩, 因为无论发生在他们身上的任何事情都是神在基督里对他们的旨意 (帖撒罗尼迦前书 5：16-18; 以弗所书 5:20)。
成为神对撒但的见证人是困难的。 他们必须要从圣灵处得到指导和帮助。 为了神的荣耀, 基督徒，努力试一试吧。
The Gospel described a chief tax collector who found and followed Jesus. Let’s see what happened to him, particularly his transformation. Luke 19:1-10.
Jesus went to Jericho. Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, was short and couldn’t see Christ over the crowd. What was he hoping to see?
During those days, people hated tax collectors. Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, collected taxes and cheated people along the way. Luke19:8. It wouldn’t be surprising he would see judgment, anger, and hatred in everyone’s eyes.
John 8 described teachers of the law and the Pharisees bringing a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. During those days, such a woman would be stoned to death. Christ asked any of them without sin to throw the first stone. Gradually, they all left. Then Christ told the woman to go and leave her life of sin.
Jesus didn’t lead with accusation, contempt, or self-righteousness. He judges, but He is full of grace and mercy. He accepts us and He sacrifices Himself for us. May be that’s why the worst type of people and those on the fringe of society are attracted to Him and listen to Him.
To see Jesus, Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed up a tree. When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and told Zacchaeus He must stay at his house that day. Zacchaeus gladly welcomed Christ. When the people started muttering about Christ going to a sinner’s house, Zacchaeus at once openly promised he would give half of his possessions to the poor and pay back four times the amount he cheated from anybody. This was Zacchaeus’ transformation.
Christ came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10.
We are sinners. Yet, Christ calls us and invites us to Him. Let’s learn from Him and follow Him. Take on His yoke and His way of life. In Him, we would find rest for our souls. Our life will be transformed, and we really will live.
Summary of sermon by Eugene Lee
福音书描述了一位税吏长发现了耶稣后接着便跟随祂。 让我们看看发生了什么，特别是他的转变 (路加福音 19:1-10)。
为了可以见到耶稣，撒该便跑到前面，然后爬上一棵树。 耶稣到了那里，跟着抬头告诉撒该说那天祂必须留在他家里。 撒该高兴地欢迎基督。 当人们开始嘀咕基督去罪人的家时，撒该便立即公开承诺，将他的一半财产捐给穷人，并偿还他从任何人那里骗取的四倍。 这就是撒该的转变。
All four gospels teach us if we focus on ourselves, we will lose it. But if we forget ourselves for Christ, we will have a real life (Luke 9:24-25).
Our culture encourages generosity up to a certain point. Because of the scarcity mindset, we are inclined to keep things solely for ourselves.
But Christ teaches us not to hoard for ourselves treasures on earth, which include our time, ability, and wealth. For sure, one day we would lose them all (Matthew6:19-21).
As God’s children and as citizens of heaven, our hearts should live above in Christ. Set our hearts and keep our focus on things above, with our feet down on earth (Colossians 3:1-3).
Be generous with our stuffs on earth to the needy. Be generous cheerfully. It is the antidote of anxiety. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Sow generously and we will reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6-7; and Proverbs 11:25).
Our generosity includes spreading our faith, a natural outflow from a grateful heart for what God has given us freely. As ambassadors of Christ on earth, we are Christ’s witnesses. Though we naturally evangelize what we love, we should prepare to give the reason for our hope. And do this gently and respectfully (1 Peter 3:15).
Also, don’t focus on outcomes. We don’t know if God would give us the outcome. In any event, true joy shouldn’t depend on the outcome. It is the path we go, the journey we travel, that counts.
God is rich in mercy and abundant in grace. He accepts and reassures us. He gives us a new citizenship and a new way to live. Keep giving back because He will keep providing for us.
Ask God to help us not hold on too tightly on our earthly treasures. Ask God to help us learn to give back.
Summarized from a sermon by Nicole Unice
四本福音书都教导我们如果我们专注于自己，我们将失去它。 但是，如果我们为基督忘记自己，我们将拥有真实的生命 （路加福音9：24-25）。
在某程度上, 我们的文化鼓励慷慨好施。 但由于畏惧事物不足心态, 我们往往只是为自己保留积聚东西。
但是主耶稣教导我们不要为自己囤积地上的财宝, 包括我们的时间，能力，和财富。我们应该知道总有一天我们会失去它们 （马太福音6：19-21）。
作为神的儿女和天上的公民，我们的心应该在基督里。 虽然我们的脚踏在地上, 我们应专注于上面的事 （歌罗西书3：1-3）。
所以，对于地上的财宝要慷慨大方给于有需要的人。这是焦虑的解药。好施捨的，必得豐裕； 滋潤人的，必得滋潤。少種的少收，多種的多收 （哥林多后书9：6-7；和箴言11:25）。
我们的慷慨包括宣扬我们的信仰，自然地献出上帝免费给我们的, 成为基督在世上的使者，基督的见证。尽管我们自然向人传达我们所爱的，我们仍然应该准备如何表达我们希望的理由。并以轻柔而恭敬的方式做到这一点 （彼得一书3:15）。
Can believing in God as the creator of the universe imply having God’s saving grace?
No. Satan also knows God’s immense power (James 2:19).
Before falling into wickedness, Satan was among the bright angels. He has extensive knowledge of God, heaven, hell, the Bible, and humans. The fall has not reduced his abilities nor eliminated his memory (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; Matthew 13:19, 13:38; 1 John 2:13, 3:12, 5:18; Job 38:4-7; Ephesians 6:12; Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3; and Acts 13:10).
But since Satan also knows God’s holiness, truthfulness, power, and wrath against sin, Satan trembles, anticipating his suffering (Luke 13:28, 29; Romans 9:22; Isaiah 2:10; and Revelation 1:7).
Satan may feel convicted and tormented, with earnest desire to be delivered from misery. Again, such desire does not imply that he can receive God’s saving grace. Such desire is just self-love.
Similarly, a man having such deep desires or biblical knowledge is no proof of salvation. Like Satan, seeing God’s glory or having more knowledge of God may only lead to more hate and fear.
In distinct contrast, when God’s light shines in a person, enlightening the person through the Holy Spirit, the person will see God’s loveliness, beauty, and holiness, and the glory of the divine displayed through Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14, 4:6).
Only God can give to humans what Christ has purchased. The opportunity to behold God’s beauty is God’s blessing to His dear children.
As a result of such wonderful gifts, His children will see their ugly souls and humble themselves, making God bigger and themselves smaller. Then their guilty souls will rest. They will live in love and embrace their loving Savior. With God in them, they will have God’s divine nature. They will have the fruit of the Spirit. They will be joyful in God and have heavenly wisdom (2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 4:16, 17:6-8; Galatians 5:22-25; James 3:17).
They will hate evil, love doing good deeds, and follow God’s command (James 2:20, 1 John 2:3-4). Such attributes are not based on self-love, but on seeing the love and beauty of God. The bearers of such wonderful gifts from God will go to heaven and enjoy eternal life.
Summarized from a Jonathan Edwards’ sermon:
答案是否定的，因为撒旦也有这样的认识 （雅各书 2:19）。
撒旦堕入邪恶之前是光明的天使。他对上帝、天堂、地狱、 圣经和人有广泛的了解。坠落并没有降低他的能力，也没有消除他的记忆 （约翰福音 8:44；约翰壹书 3:8；马太福音 13:19，38；约翰壹书 2:13， 3:12, 5:18；约伯记 38:4-7；以弗所书 6:12；创世记 3:1；哥林多后书 11:3；使徒行传 13:10）。
因为撒但也知道神的圣洁、真实、权能和对罪的忿怒，就战战兢兢地期待受苦之日的来临（路加福音 13:28, 29；罗马书 9:22；以赛亚书 2:10；启示录 1:7）。
得到上帝的光照而被圣灵感动的人与此形成鲜明的对比。 他们看到上帝的可爱、美丽、圣洁以及籍着基督彰显的神圣荣耀 （哥林多后书 2:14，4:6）。
祂的儿女目睹上帝的奇妙，就会看到自己灵魂的丑陋，感到自己个人的卑微。在他们眼里，上帝变更伟大，自己变更渺小。他们有罪的灵魂将得到安息。他们将活在爱中，拥抱慈爱的救主。有上帝在里面，他们将拥有上帝的性情, 结出圣灵的果子。 他们会因上帝而喜乐，拥有属天的智慧 （彼得后书 1:4；约翰壹书 4:16；约翰福音 17:6-8；加拉太书 5:22-25；雅各书 3:17）。
他们憎恨邪恶，喜行善事，遵守上帝的命令 （雅各书 2:20；约翰壹书 2:3-4）。这样的属性不是基于自爱，而是基于看见上帝的慈爱和美丽。
Let’s learn from Matthew Chapter 5.
The Ten Commandments provide a list of do and don’ts. But the Beatitudes focus on the person we should become to be blessed and prosperous (Matthew5:7-9).
Truly blessed is not from gaining wealth or power, or obeying the Law. Truly blessed is based on who we are, such as being meek, hungry for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemaking.
As we become blessed, Christ told us to impact the lives of others—bringing out the good in others, preserving the good, and introducing light to those in darkness. So, others may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew5:13-16).
Then Christ emphasized He came to bring the Law to its fullness (5:17-20). The end game is not obeying the Law but to become like God. Christ explained with a few examples.
He started with killing and adulteries. Christ intensified the Law by considering having evil thoughts to be the same as committing the corresponding acts. The key is not just obeying externally but becoming like our heavenly Father (Matthew5:21-30).
Another example is an eye for an eye. Previously, its goal included appropriate compensation. If a Jew had ruined a carpenter’s eyes, he had to support his family because the carpenter could not earn a living anymore. But Christ told us to turn the other cheek if one cheek was hit and go two miles if demanded to go for one mile. We not only don’t ask for compensation, but also give to our evil enemies more than they asked (Matthew5:38-42).
The last example is to love our enemies (Matthew5:43-47). Perhaps nothing better demonstrates Christ’s character than this. He healed the wound of the soldier who came to arrest Him. On the cross suffering beyond comprehension, He forgave those causing Him the intense pain. As we continue to sin, falling below His standard, He keeps forgiving, embracing, and helping us on our path of discipleship.
Such perfection seems impossible to achieve. Repent and depend on our Savior’s grace. Focus on moving in the right direction. It is a journey to gradually become like our heavenly Father (Matthew5:48).
Matthew 5 gives us a glimpse into the eternities. As of now, keep trying to lift up those around us, and serve, be a light to, and love them. Through Christ’s perfection, we become complete.
Summarized from a sermon at
让我们从马太福音第 5 章学习。
十诫提供了一份该做和不该做的清单。但八福关注教导我们要成为什么样的人才是蒙福和富足的人 (马太福音 5:7-9)。
当我们得到祝福时，基督教导我们应该也感化他人——带出他人的美好，保存良好的，和为黑暗中的人带来光明。因此，其他人看到我们的善行会荣耀我们的天父 (马太福音 5:13-16)。
基督从杀人和通奸的比如开始。祂强化了律法, 认为有恶念与做出相应的行为是一样的罪。关键不只是表面的服从，而是变得像我们的天父 （马太福音 5:21-30）。
另一个例子是以眼还眼。此前，其目标包括适当的补偿。如果一个犹太人毁了一个木匠的眼睛，这犹太人就需要养活木匠的家人，因为木匠再也无法谋生。但是基督告诉我们，如果有人打我们的右脸，连左脸也转过来由他打； 有人强逼我们走一里路，我们便跟他走二里。我们不仅不要求赔偿，而且还给予邪恶敌人的要求的更多更多 （马太福音 5：38-42）。
最后一个例子是爱我们的敌人 （马太福音 5：43-47）。也许没有什么比这个更能彰显基督的品格。祂医好了前来逮捕祂的士兵的伤口。在十字架上不能想象的苦难当中，基督宽恕了那些带给祂巨大痛苦的人。当我们继续犯罪，低于基督的标准时，祂不断地原谅，拥抱并帮助我们行走训练门徒训练的道路。
这样的完美是近乎不可能实现的。悔改并依靠我们救主的恩典。关键是朝着正确的方向走。这是一个让我们逐渐变得更像天父的旅程 （马太福音 5:48）。
马太福音第 5 章让我们瞥见永恒。而现在我们不断尝试提升我们周围的人美好的一面鼓舞，和服事，和爱护和成为他们的光周围的人。 成为在黑暗中的人的光。 通过基督的完美，我们变得完全。