PTB3-22: The American Conscience Part I.
The American Conscience.
“God is greater than the conscience”, including the American Conscience.
“To be poor in spirit means to give up our pride; to mourn means to be penitent to the point of surrendering our sins; meekness means hat we must surrender our very selves in the plans and purposes of God; our hunger for God means turning away from our ambitions for all things else; to b merciful means to pay good for evil we have received; for purity we must give up all things impure; to make peace is wholly to choose God. Those are the seven ingredients of righteousness. They must be bought at a price. Blessed are those who pay the price, “for theirs is the kingdom of God.”
Bet you never thought of the beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount as evangelistic. But Jesus looked on the masses assembled before Him and He had compassion, wanting to in all His wisdom and knowledge from God, to make people see the way of salvation and the way of the good Christian life. Unless you see this, even though considered a Christian, something is lacking in your Christian life; and it is doubtful that you can achieve the good Christian life our beloved Simon Peter writes of, a life that eschews evil, does good, seeks peace (seeks God Himself and His character), and runs after it, as if to abandon all else.
Perhaps you can appreciate more the beatitudes if you realize that they were previously given in the OT, and the people assembled there had often heard the meaning and message of those in their synagogues. Unlike us, the sound was not new to them!
Isaiah 61 is short with only 11 verses, but how packed with meaning are those 11 verses: In the first words of verse 1 it talks of the ministry of Jesus to preach good tidings to the meek (recognize that), to bind up the brokenhearted (those that mourn), it is evangelistic to reach liberty to the captives in the bondage of sin and Satan, and to preach the mercy and grace of God to those who through sin are bound in what can legitimately be called a PRISON. You see that Jesus was not just delivering another Message to the Mases, but fulfilling the very ministry that God had sent Him to earth to do.
In one verse of Isaiah 61:3 Jesus covers most of the seven beatitudes—
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Mourning is obvious and others of the seven, and the verse ends with RIGHTEOUSNESS, “that they might be called the tree of righteousness”.
NOTE: And before we pass on, it must be added that in Isaiah 61:4-10, God reached all the way forward to the new earth to give the many blessings for the people for the new earth. Do we see anything in the Sermon of the Mount to even hint of the blessings of the new earth, besides the fact that when you stand back to look at the Sermon, you realize that it is requirements for kingdom citizenship on the new earth. Certainly in Jesus warning that the law would be fulfilled and not broken, is the obvious mention of how heaven and earth will pass away, just like Peter said, and naturally comes the new heaven and earth which fulfills the righteousness of God. We miss the message also if we fail to see that God desires to heaven and on the new earth, righteousness and righteous people.-
61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
Comment: The preacher of truth has a tension of responsibility for truth and (1) having compassion, (2) love, (3) pitiful, and (4) courteous. It is much like the love for Baylor with memories from 1953, and anytime you see those BU football helmets, that love does not obliterate, I wish it did, the truth that under President Runnels they ceased to be Baptist, and long before the present female President they ceased to be good Christian. Instead they learned somewhere along the line to love the pride of life, and that is evident in many ways. Later Simon Peter will remind all Christians what manner of persons they should be since shortly this old world is going to pass away, and they meet Jesus for the new earth. Now, that is some ultimate truth!
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Comment: The preacher and pastors motivation and obligation for truth (Jesus is Truth) does not render evil when faced clearly by evil, and many pastors have to deal with narcissist. He is in the long run to be a blessing, although many may not see it, and the preacher runs the risk because of a tolerant society, for persecution. In any case, with the teachings of Jesus and especially the Sermon on the Mount the goal personally is to “inherit a blessing”. To inherit a blessing is clearly from the Sermon on the Mount, you see that in the Beatitudes if you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear (not all Christians, especially the bad and mediocre ones do not have eyes to see and ears to hear, or there would be no more Falling Away of the Great Apostasy in the church and churches.
10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Comment: One, what does the Sermon on the Mount say about LIFE?
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Two, what does the Sermon say on Evil and the tongue? Not surprising with righteousness the primary thrust, the opposite of evil is discussed in the Sermon a great deal.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
NOTE: We are aware that the Sermon if read well, condemns evil and sin.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
NOTE: We do not resist evil, but not only do we have the right to ask our Heavenly Father to deliver us from evil, do Jesus told us to do it, as part of the teaching on how to pray to the Heavenly Father, “our Father which art in heaven”.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Comment: Well, what is better than identifying a hypocrite or a narcissist is to talk about DARKNESS in the human body, and how great that darkness can be.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Comment: The Day is evil is a novel teaching of Jesus, and that evil is so sufficient as not to need to take on more than one day. Later we talk in implications and applications of the teachings of Jesus, of One Day at a Time is Sufficient”, even good Christians must be warned not to take on the whole short time before the Second Coming in one day, it is not good mental health.
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Comment: All we have to do is ask the Father, after we are sure we are abiding in Him.
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Comment: Whether we are talking about the dedicated Narcissist or the beginner, the absorption is that they have not empathy and have trouble doing good for anybody, as a matter it can be observed that doing good hurts them. Let us simply say that Jesus and God give us the privilege and the obligation to be fruit inspectors.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Comment: Notice that Jesus has more to say about the hypocrites and the narcissist than any other subject, here 6 verses. And Jesus tells one of his famous parables to illustrate and drive it home. This is tragic for the “many that say to me”, and the reason we must pray and be truthful about the narcissist that we love.
Comment: Love life and see good days here is definitely not the love of the world with the lust of the eyes, and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life of I John.
11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.