Mat 5:13: With what figure does Christ describe His disciples in this verse? What is salt used for, and how is that like Christians are to be in the world? See Lev 2:13, Col 4:6. Give examples of what it means for a Christian to become “tasteless” in society. Is it significant that the word for “tasteless” is that from which we get “moron” and that is translated elsewhere as to make or become foolish? Cf. Mat 25:1-12. What is the answer to Jesus’ rhetorical question in this verse? What is the great danger of Christians losing their savor in the world? See Heb 6:4-6, 2Pe 2:20-21, and note: salt gathered from the Dead Sea area was used to season and preserve food (especially fish for export); however, some salt had lost its saltiness (due to impurities, as true salt cannot lose its natural properties) and was stored instead in the temple to spread on the marble floors of the courtyard when the winter rains made them slippery. Are we as Christians salty, or have we begun to lose our savor because of the impurities of the world?
Mat 5:14-16: With what figure does Christ describe His disciples in these verses? In what way are true Christians like a city set on a hill? Cf. Rev 21:2,10-11. Who is the Master of the house that lights us as His lamp? For what purpose does He do so? See Mat 5:15, Phil 2:14-15. Do we understand that just as God gave the sun, moon and stars for physical light to those upon the earth, He has given us as Christians for spiritual light? How do we let our light shine before men? See Mat 5:16, Rom 13:11-14, Eph 5:8-17. Does our light shine before men? Do others see our good works—not because we do them to be seen by men, but because we are good people—and glorify God? Cf. Act 9:36,39, 1Pe 2:12,3:1.
Mat 5:17-20: Many Christians believe that because they are saved by grace they are no longer under the law and their sins really don’t matter; how do these verses address that notion? What Law does Jesus speak about in Mat 5:17? Cf. Luk 24:44. What did Jesus mean that He came to fulfill that Law? Note: fulfill means to fill full the Law with all the fullness and depth of meaning it was meant to have. What do Mat 5:18-19 teach us about the importance of even the “jots and tittles” of the Law that may seem to us to be so small and insignificant as to be unimportant? See Isa 42:21. Does Mat 5:18 say that the Law will never pass away? Cf. Luk 16:16-18. When is “all accomplished” (“everything takes place”, NET) that the Law passes away? See Joh 19:30, Eph 2:14-16, Rom 7:1-4, Heb 7:11-12,18-19, 8:7-8,13, Gal 3:23-25 and 1Co 13:10. What is the “perfect” that Paul refers to in 1Co 13:10? See Jam 1:25, Rom 13:8-10. In what sense is it true, and in what sense is it not true, that because Christians are saved by grace they are no longer under the law? Cf. 1Co 9:20-21. Is it true in any sense that our sins don’t matter? Cf. 1Ti 1:9-11. Is the law of Christ that Paul spoke of in 1Co 9:21 that Christians are under a higher or lower law than that of Moses? See Mat 5:20. Is it a more restrictive, or a less restrictive law? See Joh 8:32,36, Rom 8:2, Gal 2:4, 3:23-25, 4:1-3, 5:1, Jam 1:25, 1Pe 2:16. What is the importance of that higher law, and the great danger of lawlessness in our Christian walk? See Mat 5:19-20, 7:23.
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The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?