Diagnosing a Heart Condition

Senior Pastor David Rose looks at Jesus’ high standard of holiness in Matthew 5:17-48. Examining the Sermon on the Mount, he shows how Christ calls His disciples to look beyond surface level obedience to address the heart attitudes behind anger, lust and broken promises. Christ’s standards seem impossible because they are, and that is His point.

Key Takeaways

  • Jesus makes clear the value of righteousness. (v. 17-20)
  • Jesus describes righteousness in character. (v. 21-47)
  • Jesus proposes a great dilemma for all. (v. 48)

Further Study

  • In what ways have you substituted my own righteousness for Christ’s righteousness (Philippians 3:9)? How can focusing on Christ’s perfect obedience to the Father, not my own, transform your heart?
  • When does sinful anger, lust or broken promises reveal about the heart? When sin seems overwhelming and we feel powerless to fight, how does 1 John 1:8-9 and the forgiveness available in Christ give hope?

How is realizing I can never attain purity or integrity in myself freeing (Galatians 2:16)? What does it look like in practice to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power rather than my own strength?

  • What distortions of God’s design for marriage, sexuality or other commands reveal idolatrous loves of self rather than Christ (Colossians 3:5)? How does denying sin and embracing Christ daily transform affections?
  • When have I substituted superficial obedience for a transformed heart orientation toward God and others as described in Jesus’ sermon? How does meditating on Christ’s unconditional love for sinners, like me, cultivate purity of heart?

The Gospel

If you have questions about what it means to be a Christian, we would love to talk with you about it.

Reach out

We can never attain righteousness or perfection through our own efforts, but only through faith in Jesus Christ. As Bro. David said:

“Paul asked the Galatians that in chapter two, if righteousness could be gained through the law, then Christ died for nothing. He said the law was was this standard that God said, if here’s what My holiness looks like, and what the people had begun to realize over time was, there’s no way we can be that holy, no way we can be that perfect, no way we can repeatedly reach those standards.

“And Jesus said, ‘I’ve come not to abolish it, but I’ve come to fulfill it.’ Why? Because look in verse 20: ‘Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you’ll never get into the kingdom of heaven.’

“We see that Jesus came to do what we could never do – to perfectly obey God’s law and fulfill all righteousness. Only through faith in Him – in His sinless life, atoning death on the cross, and victorious resurrection – can we be justified before God.”

It is only through placing our faith in Jesus – and what He has done for us on the cross – that we can know the forgiveness of sins and be transformed by His righteousness. This is the good news of the Gospel.

Jesus is saying this because He says, 'I am this new way. I am the righteousness that you seek... Everything God expected, He continues to expect. But I want you to know it's possible through My living in you, through the transformation that comes through [Me].