|EXTRA! Supplimental teaching ideas|
Explore the Bible Series
with Dr. Jim McCullen
Watch your words; be patient with others
Watch Your Words • Matt. 12:22-37 • Oct. 7
Introduction: Have you noticed some people do not have to know what they are talking about in order to express an opinion? On one occasion, I asked a small group why that happened so much and I got the answer. “Those people are not limited or confused by the facts.” I want to tell those kind of people, Watch Your Words , and of course it comes back to me to do the same.
1. Watch Your Words: Seek To Make Them . . Intelligent Words. 12:22-29
Intelligent words are suggested from the miraculous works of the Lord. Do you remember Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would give sight to the blind? Think about it; no one else in the New Testament caused the blind to gain or regain their sight. (I do not think Paul was blind in this manner.) Put those two facts together and you must say with the people in our text, “Perhaps this is the Son of David!” The Pharisees came out with a different conclusion and we can justly title it, “Senseless.” To this senseless observation Jesus makes a sensible observation that identifies the Pharisees’ thinking as ridiculous. The Lord further teaches as He uses a significant question to answer their accusation.
2. Watch Your Words: Seek To Make Them . . Inspiring Words. 12:30-32
It will be good if God uses our words to beckon others to Christ. The Pharisees scattered away from Christ, and since their words did not come from the Lord, but from Satan, they blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Why can’t this type of blasphemy be forgiven? One prominent ministry of the Holy Spirit is to draw men and women to Christ. If a person’s words and actions try to negate the work of the Holy Spirit, then who will prompt conviction of sin or draw them to Christ? Since they do not recognize the Spirit’s work, they will not confess Christ as Lord and will not be forgiven. The set of commentaries by B.H. Carroll titled, The Interpretation of the English Bible , made this more clear for me.
3. Watch Your Words: Seek To Make Them . . Influential Words. 12:33-37
Can you look at an orange tree full of fruit and tell it is an orange tree? I can also do that for any other kind of fruit tree. When a Christian’s lifestyle demonstrates Christ-like fruit, most will make the observation he or she is a Christian. What kind of fruit does a snake bring forth? Jesus called these Pharisees a, “Brood of vipers.” How do some claim to be ready for judgment when they produce evil works? Today I read 67% say they are ready for, and not afraid of, death.
If you could ask all of those surveyed about Christ, many would prove they have a false security. The judgment will expose their false hope. Their fruitless words and actions, as well as Satan himself, will be condemned by the Lord. Certainly the scriptures tell each of us, Watch Your Words . Amen? Amen!
(For a more detailed outline visit http://preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html.)
Be Patient With Others • Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43 • Oct. 14
Introduction: Not long ago I saw a parent dealing with an unruly child; I enjoyed seeing how the patience of this parent calmed the child and brought corrected behavior. Have you noticed what a significant difference a patient leader makes? Recently, I witnessed a person moderating a meeting who did not practice patience, and his actions extended the meeting causing much confusion. When we practice what the Lord taught, we will Be Patient With Others .
1. Be Patient With Others Considering The Lord’s . . Enemy. 13:24-30
Some commentators share with us how in the Middle East and the Far East even today enemies sow weeds in another’s field just to cause them trouble at harvest time. Move this over to our interactions with people. When someone tries your patience; do you ever think it might be the enemy sowing weeds in the actions of the one you are dealing with? How about if you or I respond in a very negative and impatient manner? Do you normally give much thought to this being the Devil’s activity? I am sure from the text that he would like to mess up any and all activities of Christians. In fact I will say, “it is a major part of his work.” It is curious how the Lord allows the work of Satan to exist alongside Christian activities. In the text the men wanted to correct the situation immediately, but the Lord’s patience demonstrates the patience we need to copy. If we submit to the Lord and wait for Him to do His work, He will do it much better than we ever could. The Lord knows the final word comes from Him, and at judgment the Devil will get his due. This will further prove the benefits of being patient.
2. Be Patient With Others Considering The Lord’s . . Explanation. 13:36-43
The disciples requesting to understand the parable received an explanation from the Lord. This parable is simple to understand, especially when you get the explanation from Him. I have heard some fanciful explanations of the details of some parables, but it was not wisdom from above. A good rule of thumb would be to not make the parables say something the Lord did not specifically explain. He tells us about the individual personalities of the parable, and when He does it makes things much clearer. In other verses we are told about the actions of His angels as they thrust in their sickles during the judgment of harvest time. I think all of us will benefit from showing patience when interpreting scripture, and not quickly jumping to conclusions. Ultimately, God’s plan will be accomplished. We do not need to be running ahead of God but following Him and seeking His knowledge. This lesson could easily be used by us to improve the quality of patience we express. Truly we need to Be Patient With Others . Amen? Amen! (For a more detailed outline visit: http://preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html.)
Bible Studies for Life
with Dr. Andy Chambers
Quality is job one; high-impact Christians
Quality is Job One • Matthew 5:1-12 • Oct. 7
What qualities should characterize the life of the follower of Jesus?
First, you want to learn from Jesus the Teacher (Matthew 5:1-2). Multitudes were coming to Jesus in Galilee to hear him teach. When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down, the traditional position for rabbis who were about to teach (v1). Jesus’ disciples came to Him and He began to teach them (v2).
Jesus was many things to many people, but one thing He was and is to everyone who will listen is Teacher. The disciples learned from Jesus in person, and we learn of Him from the Bible. This is why we should read the Bible, start Bible studies and sit under Bible preaching. We do these things in order to be impacted by the teachings of Christ. The desire to learn from Jesus ought to mark every genuine follower of Christ.
Second, you live life upside down (Matthew 5:3-10). The beatitudes explain life in God’s kingdom, which is upside down from what the world values. The poor in Spirit and the one who mourns over sin have come face to face with their spiritual poverty and need for Christ as their Savior (vv3-4a). The gentle, the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the ones who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed (vv4b-10). You are living for God’s values, which are upside down from the world’s values. They are countercultural.
The world tells you to be happy by living for yourself, but we were made to be deeply happy in an authentic relationship with God, expressed in love for God and others.
Third, you gladly endure persecution for Christ’s sake (Matthew 5:11-12). In a most amazing affirmation of upside-down living Jesus affirms that the blessed are those who are insulted, persecuted, lied about and spoken ill of because of Jesus (v11). Jesus said, “Be glad and rejoice,” because the reward of the persecuted church is great in heaven (v12). Also, the prophets were treated the same way, so why should follower of Jesus expect to be treated any differently?
Now, some people just seem bent on a fight. They can’t help but go around pointing out everyone’s faults and then they get insulted, when people call them on a contentious and divisive spirit. I hope that isn’t you. You should be known as kind and not quarrelsome (2 Timothy 2:24). However, there comes a time when even the gentlest and most meek follower of Christ must speak forcefully against evil in our time and against compromise in the church. Then a backlash comes, because people do not like the truth, so they attack the messenger. If you know you are not a brawler, but your obedience to Jesus has brought you persecution, whether at work, or your community, or even in the church, know this: Jesus considers you blessed. Your obedience to gladly endure persecution for the sake of the name of Jesus is noticed in heaven. Jesus promised tribulation in the world (John 16:33). He was seen standing in heaven when Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7:55). When living for Jesus is hard, be glad. Your reward is heaven is great. High-Impact Christians • Matthew 5:13-20 • Oct. 14
What does the life of a high-impact Christian look like?
First, Christians are the spice of life and the preservers of culture (Matthew 5:13). Jesus did not leave you here to be passive. Your life should impact culture the way salt spices up food. Christians add flavor to life. Rather than withdraw, I pray that Christians would engage their culture. Some of the most powerful, fruitful and effective writers, artists, song writers, builders, cooks, investors, teachers and coaches … etc., you name it, ought to be passionate followers of Christ who believe God made the world, and that you should work in it with all your heart for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17, 23).
Your life should also impact culture the way salt preserves food. God gave a certain amount of light to every man, which we call common grace, that enables lost and saved alike to live together in civilized society (See John 1:9). The law of conscience at work within the Gentiles verifies this (Rom. 2:14-15) as does the existence of governments that, however imperfect they may be, are able to punish evil doers (Romans 13:1-5). Yet, civilized society also needs Christians who are committed to living for Christ as a testimony to the truth that Christ is the source of all truth and goodness. Your life and involvement in society, whether through the political process, serving on school boards, or taking care of your neighbor preserves culture, so that the Gospel can be preached freely and flourish.
Second, Christians are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). Jesus said He is the light of the world (John 8:12) and that His followers are too (v14). God wants your light to shine the way a city on a hill or a lamp on a lamp stand lights up the darkness (vv15-16). In this way people see your good works, and it strikes chords of truth embedded deep in their consciences which they have been suppressing (Rom. 1:18). They are convinced that God is real, because they see the light of Christ in you.
Have you ever noticed that you cannot shine darkness into light? Darkness only exists wherever the light is not shining. However, shine the light and darkness has to flee. The same thing happens when you lift high Jesus’ name and renown in the world (John 12:32; Is. 26:8).
Third, live in the righteousness of Christ (Matthew 5:17-20). Christ came to fulfill the law and bring it to completion (vv17-18; see Rom. 10:4), which means He obeyed it in every respect perfectly. By His perfect life Jesus became the righteousness you need to stand before the Father. It also means He paid for sin according to the law so that He could redeem you from the curse of the law. Now, you can live in the righteousness of Christ. You live out your life as a Christ follower in His righteousness, not any righteousness that is in you (see Deut. 9:4-6). That is why law breakers, scribes, Pharisees and everyone else needs the Savior we have in Jesus (vv19-20).
The self-righteous person who will not see His need for Christ cannot be used by God. But the one who lives in the righteousness of Christ will be used mightily of God.