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"The title of my sermon is taken from John 20.31, which is the stated purpose of the book. That is, that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. And that by believing, you may have life in his name... The three key points in this verse. First, John's Gospel is selective and very purposeful. Thank you. It's much better. So first, John's Gospel is selective and purposeful. Secondly, the aim of writing is that the readers, like us, will believe in Jesus. And the third thing is, the end result of the belief is that we will have eternal life in him. Tonight, we are just focusing on the encounter of Nicodemus with Jesus."
"So today we're reading, looking at Matthew chapter 22. It's a really politically laden passage. There's a lot of drama going on. But before we dive into that, I just wanted to reflect on how words are important. And you know, what we can say can often reveal something about who we are and what we think, right?"
"If we were to venture onto the topic of how to find out and get to be doing God's will, you'd discover, we'd discover, that it's a fairly varied set of opinions that folk have as to what exactly is God's will and how do we get to find it. Or another aspect of the same thing is, is it possible to miss God's will or to have it and then muck it up? And some of the varying answers people have are held by people down through history who've been very good Christians but have differed."
"Blessed are those, verse six, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled, the older versions used to read, or satisfied. Now when we listen in to people who comment on the Beatitudes and tell us what they think it's about, and probably if you took a survey of popular opinion, the general consensus is that the truth that's there is that God is the one who satisfies the basic needs of human living. And that there is a sense in which hungering and thirsting is a very common experience for people, and by coming to God, we find an answer to it."
"Blessed is the one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness, for they shall be filled. And the idea that there's a righteousness that Jesus said that we should hunger and thirst after, and that's one of the conditions of actually getting it in the end. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, or some translations have after righteousness, chasing righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. And tonight I thought maybe to add the other half of the message, and to talk about what is the righteousness of God. And it's actually a far more tricky question to answer."
"We've been going through the Beatitudes, those blessed, and there's a lot of characteristics. And we're on to verse 6... Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after, or for, righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
"I want to join together some of what's in the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and this parable of Jesus. The parable of Jesus in Luke 15 has actually got three stories. They're all really joined because the same themes come out in all three."
"The better way to understand the Sermon on the Mount is yes, both, that there is one sermon that happened and it was as Matthew describes, but that Jesus, as an itinerant, often repeated himself in different contexts. And when you read how those repeats turn up, they sometimes have a different slant put to a different end. And sometimes there are statements in the Beatitudes which are to people who are in trouble and need to know that God is with them."
"The content of this passage is Peter exhorting the church in the light of the fact that Jesus is going to come soon, and he doesn't know how soon, but he's speaking to the fact that Christ could come at any time, and they are in the end times, and therefore how should they behave, and what should they know about themselves."
"In Isaiah 2 verse 12 it says, For the Lord of hosts has a day, a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up, and it shall be brought low. So all that's lifted up will be brought low. There is a day when God is going to bring a reckoning to the world and that is always at the back of our minds. When you read the scriptures thoroughly, you find you can't dodge the fact that our whole history is heading toward a moment of accountability before its creator. And so the whole gospel message with its recounting of how Jesus came into the world and his saying things like, I haven't come to judge the world but to save it, is against the backdrop that there is a day that we all need saving from, the day of accountability of our sins."