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April 19, 2020

Matthew 5:21-26

1. Beginning with this passage, we enter into the 6 antitheses found in the Sermon on the Mount. The aim of this section is to warn sinners about future judgment & also to describe how followers of Christ navigate life for the glory of God. How do the aims in this passage of warning & describing show the kindness of God towards those listening & reading?

2. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus explains that all are guilty of murder & deserving of punishment. How does recognizing our guilt based on the standards of God make the grace of God stand out all the more?

3. Also in these verses, we see Jesus address anger. It was described as simmering anger that is nurtured rather than put to death, anger that leads to tightly held bitterness. What are the ways we combat this kind of anger?

4. Next, the passage deals with insults and gives a harsher punishment for slander. Pastor Nate said that the reason for this punishment is that slander gives verbal expression to anger...slandering one made in God's image is to slander God Himself. How can we be more careful or intentional with our words since slander is such a dangerous act?

5. Then the passage moves to the final word of Matthew 5:22 & the punishment being hell. It was said that to deny the existence of hell is to call Jesus a liar. Even though we live in a world that wants to deny the reality of hell, why is it important to affirm this reality?

6. At this point in the message, Pastor Nate took time to say a few things about the passage as a whole & noted from Mark 7:20-23 that Jesus' concern was namely on the heart as the heart is the source for external actions. How have you seen or experienced that a transformed heart fuels a transformed life?

7. Then the passage moves in Matthew 5:23-26 into 2 illustrations on the importance of immediate reconciliation. We heard that Christians are to pursue reconciliation with those we've sinned against with no guarantee of it actually taking place, that Christians only need to seek reconciliation with those who have a legitimate grievance, & that we can't worship with integrity without being in right relationship with others. Yet with all this, we still often struggle to actually pursue reconciliation. What makes pursuing reconciliation so difficult for us?

8. We ended with a call from Romans 5:10-11 to pursue reconciliation in light of the person & work of Christ. Take time in your group to pray for one another to be sincere in considering with whom reconciliation needs to be pursued & for boldness to follow through.