Religion. Christianity. vs. onetruth. Students should understand the theme of the beatitudes. Matthew 5:1-11. Lesson Overview:

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1 Religion vs. Christianity Lesson Overview: Jesus begins the ministry of His first church with the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7 sets the stage for Jesus teaching ministry for the next three years. In this lesson, we will learn the beatitudes. Before we begin, we must understand the setting of the sermon. In this lesson, you will see: 1. The Setting 2. The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-11 Students should understand the theme of the beatitudes. Students should learn that all the beatitudes teach to the same purpose. For this reason, the handout is a spider chart. We will begin with the main theme and then add the beatitudes to it. onetruth

2 Lesson Procedure: Let s Move: Begin the session with a fun round of Smelly Onions. Have everyone sit in a circle and name each student ketchup, mustard, or relish. When the leader calls out ketchup, mustard, or relish, those people must stand up, run around the circle in a designated area, and try to get back to their spots. The last 2 people to get back to their spots go into the center of the circle and become smelly onions. Play until there are more smelly onions than anyone else. To the Lesson: The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most important sections of scripture. Jesus Christ is setting the stage for His ministry and preparing His new church for understanding His teaching. I. The Bible, although it is a special book, is still a book. Therefore, we must apply the basic rules of literary criticism to it. Just as with a reading assignment in school, we must understand the setting in order to understand the story. a. Read Matthew 4:18-22, and ask the students, What did Jesus do in this passage? Jesus called followers. We learn in other passages that these men were saved and baptized. What is a group of saved, baptized believers who follow Jesus together? It is called a church. The Bible, although it is a special book, is still a book. Therefore, we must apply the basic rules of literary criticism to it. Just as with a reading assignment in school, we must understand the setting in order to understand the story. b. Read Matthew 5:1-2, and ask the students, To whom was Jesus speaking? This question even confuses many bible scholars. Jesus saw a great multitude. When He saw this crowd, He went up a small mountain and

3 sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He taught them. Who is them? The disciples, or His small church, were the intended audience of this sermon. i. This is extremely important if we are to understand the meaning of this passage. Understanding the audience gives any reader the tools to understand the purpose, or theme, of the story. ii. For example, listen to these words: He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. These words sound true. They seem like words a president would say about making a nation better or greater. But, we must understand the setting. Adolf Hitler said those words to men who sought to brainwash children into Nazism. c. What, then, is the purpose of the sermon? The Sermon on the Mount has two purposes. Did You Know? Some believe the Sermon on the Mount was preached on a small hill called Mt. Eremos. i. Jesus is setting the stage for the next three years of teaching. From this point until the crucifixion, Jesus will teach many things about religion and being a true disciple. He will show how the religious establishment did not understand true belief. ii. Jesus is teaching His new young church. He wants them to understand what it means to be a true disciple, and therefore a good church.

4 II. This lesson on the beatitudes will teach the first major point of the Sermon on the Mount: Religion vs. Christianity. Because there are so many, this lesson will be a survey of the beatitudes. When we try to attribute more meaning or the incorrect meaning to scripture, it becomes hard to understand. Look at each beatitude in the light of our theme. a. poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Poor means one who is destitute. This could mean, blessed are the spiritually homeless. Before a person can be blessed in the most amazing way, through salvation, he must realize his inability to save himself. Remember, the Pharisees acted more like rich princes than poor beggars. Have you ever realized that you are nothing without Christ? If not, admit it to Him now. The Audience: Jesus was speaking to His disciples, or church, with a large crowd listening in. b. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. On the surface, this makes little sense. However, Jesus is comparing the Pharisees religion to true Christianity. In order to be truly blessed, one must mourn. This mourning begins when a person realizes he is a sinner destined for hell. When you admit this to God, God saves you. c. meek, for they shall inherit the earth. The word meek does not mean weak. It means controlled strength. The gospel teaches people that they are nothing without Christ. The natural response to that message is rejection. The Pharisees taught that one must do good works in order to be saved. Salvation by good works glorifies the The Purpose: 1. Setting the stage for the next 3 years of ministry 2. Teaching the first church

5 man. In order to be blessed, you must reject your desire to be glorified and seek to glorify God. Have you ever submitted control to Jesus? Have you made Him your Lord? d. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Read Romans 3:10-11, and ask the students, How many seek after God? This verse means that, before salvation, no man seeks to serve God. The Bible teaches that, when we are lost, the most righteous things we do are only filthy rags to God. Imagine if someone went to McDonalds and began working the fry station. They may do a good job, but they were never hired. Even someone doing a good job just gets in the way of the real employees. When we are saved, we are given a hunger to serve God by the Holy Spirit. Do you have that hunger? e. merciful, for they shall receive mercy. This beatitude is similar to the previous one. True mercy comes from the Holy Spirit. If we do not know the Holy Spirit, we cannot know true mercy. f. pure in heart, for they will see God. This beatitude sums up the theme of the entire list, that salvation, and not good works, is the only means of knowing God. The Pharisees taught that a person became pure by keeping the law. In truth, no one can keep the law. The purpose of the law is to show us that we cannot keep it and that we need Jesus Christ to save us. In a nation filled with Pharisees, Jesus is teaching His church the truth about salvation. Blessed Are The Poor in Spirit Those who Mourn The Meek Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righ teousness The Merciful The Pure in Heart The Peacemakers The Persecuted

6 g. peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. In order to be called a son of God, you must make peace with God. Salvation is the only means of making peace with God. Have you ever made peace with God? If not, you stand on the side of His enemy, the devil. h. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The gospel is divisive. Many people reject it because it requires that they admit their sin. The Pharisees taught a religion that was based on works. They were often the ones persecuting others, and not the ones being persecuted. The next beatitude is an extension of this one. Jesus wanted His church to realize that, when they were persecuted, they should remember that the prophets were also persecuted. Conclusion: This lesson may just seem like a list to some. In fact, it is. It is the introduction to the next three chapters in Matthew. Jesus is going to teach some hard doctrine to His disciples. Before they can understand, they must understand the difference in the religion they saw in the Pharisees and the religion Jesus was offering. Jesus, in the beatitudes, was teaching that a person must be saved in order to be truly blessed. You must realize that you are lost, mourn your sin, ignore your desire to fight God, and be saved. You must make peace with God by admitting that He alone can save you. If you have not been saved, be saved now. The rest of the Sermon on the Mount can only be truly understood if this prerequisite is met. Try Reading this section out loud. It only takes about 1 minute! This was just a sermon introduction.

7 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the spiritually homeless. Blessed are those who mourn. Mourning begins when a person realizes he is a sinner destined for hell. peacemakers. Salvation is the only means of making peace with God. Religion vs. Christianity meek. Meek means controlled strength. pure in heart. The purpose of the law is to show us that we cannot keep it and that we need Jesus Christ to save us. merciful. If we do not know the Holy Spirit, we cannot know true mercy Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness Romans 3:10-11

8 Blessed are those who are for righteousness sake Blessed are the in. Blessed are the spiritually. Blessed are those who. Mourning begins when a person realizes he is a destined for.. is the only means of making peace with God. vs.. Meek means. in. The purpose of the is to show us that we keep it and that we need Jesus Christ to us.. If we do not know the, we cannot know true Blessed are those who and for righteousness Romans one truth 2011 Youth Frameworks, Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

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