We now come to the second section of the King’s manifesto. In the Beatitudes we have seen what the Christian is; now we are told how to manifest kingdom principles. As the King’s subjects, we are not to withdraw from the world; we are in the world, but not of it. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13); but if you lose your saltiness (tang), you are good for nothing. Again He said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). But if you put your light under a bushel, you will not expel darkness in others around you. Your light does not shine to be seen, but that others may see Christ in you, and hunger and thirst after His righteousness.
When you are abused, turn the other cheek; go the second mile; pray for and love your enemies. Why? Because “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”. (1 Peter 2:9).
Yes, we are the aristocracy of heaven, children of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Don’t lose your saltiness or dim your light. The world is in spiritual darkness, blinded by the power of Satan, the prince of darkness (2 Corinthians 4:4). Live close to Christ and reflect His light; He is the Light of the World (John 8:12).
41-1 Believers Are Salt and Light
Believers are salt and light (vv. 13-16). The teachings of Jesus are rich in parabolic metaphors. In these verses He uses two familiar and important elements of everyday life: salt and light.
1) “You are the salt of the earth” (v. 13). Salt is aseptic; it does not cure corruption, but it can prevent decay from occurring. It also seasons food, making it more palatable to the taste. Similarly, your Christian influence in the world – measured by your conformity to the Beatitudes – is like salt that checks the spread of sin (corruption). However, “if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned [made salty]? It is then good for nothing” (v. 13). Jesus is warning believers not to lose their Christian influence – their saltiness – in this corrupt world.
2) “You are the light of the world” (v. 14). Light does not shine to be seen, but to enable others to see – and what they are to see is not the Christian, but Christ. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works [not you] and glorify your Father [not you] in heaven” (v. 16). He said, “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (v. 14), suggesting a city whose streetlamps and home lights shine through the darkest night. This is a beautiful metaphor of a congregation filled with that spiritual light that comes from Him who is light, in whom “is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5-7). He added, “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand and it gives light to all who are in the house” (v. 15). In this part of the metaphor, believers are taught to let their light shine, in their homes and elsewhere, to light the way to Jesus for the family and others. When congregated together, believers become a city on a hill, a beacon lighting the way to Jesus for all who can see the light.
41-2 Christ, the Law, and the Prophets
Christ said, “Do not think that I came to destroy…but to fulfill” the Law and the Prophets (v. 17). With these words He placed His seal of authenticity on the Old Testament – the Law and the Prophets. He is the only Man who kept the whole law of God from the moment of birth, never breaking the least commandment, not “one jot or one tittle” (v. 18). “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). Jesus walked this earth for some thirty-three years, and even after all those years He could challenge His enemies, saying, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46). Pilate said of Jesus, “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38). There is only one righteousness that is worthy of the kingdom of heaven, and that is the righteousness of Christ, who “is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes…For with the heart one believes unto righteousness” (Romans 10:4, 9, 10).
41-3 The King’s Moral Requirements
In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord contrasts the false teachings of the scribes and the Pharisees with His authoritative teaching on the moral commandments. “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29). He appealed to no higher authority, because there is none higher: His authority is sovereign, because He is the God-Man. “And the Word [God] became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). In this part of His manifesto, the King disputed the scribes’ and the Pharisees’ interpretation of the moral law. Six times He made this challenging statement: “You have heard that it was said…But I say to you…” (vv. 21, 22). It is no wonder that when He ended the Sermon, “the people were astonished [amazed, speechless, dumbfounded] at His teaching” (Matthew 7:28).
1) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder’ ” (vv. 21-26). “You shall not murder” is the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13). There is a difference between killing in general and murder. It is not murder when you kill to protect your home, family, self, or country, to murder is to kill a person with malice (premeditated or not). The Pharisees taught that as long as you did not shed innocent blood, that is, unlawfully take a life, you were innocent of transgressing the sixth commandment. Jesus corrected this interpretation, saying to the people and to the Pharisees, “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (v. 22). Malice becomes murder in the heart, and God will judge such “murder.” If you commit murder in your heart, or call a brother a fool, and later, while worshiping, you remember this transgression, you must leave the place of worship and make amends to your brother. It is as if you owed someone who is about to take you to court: settle it out of court, for you cannot escape your obligation. Paul said, “Owe no one anything except to love one another” (Romans 13:8-10). There is one debt that can never be paid in full – the debt of love. Without love it is impossible to fulfill God’s holy law.
2) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery’ ” (vv. 27 30). The Pharisees defined adultery as the act itself; they must have thought that God did not know the heart of man. Again Jesus said to the people and the Pharisees, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (v. 28); correspondingly, a woman has already committed adultery who lusts in her heart. You can easily commit adultery in your heart, aided today by books, magazines, movies, and television, until your eyes, in Peter’s words, are “full of adultery” (2 Peter 2:12-17). Your mind can control what the eye sees or what the hand touches. Job said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1).
3) “It has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce’ ” (v. 31). Here again, Jesus corrects the teachings of the scribes and the Pharisees: “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery” (v. 32).
Later, when the Pharisees came to Jesus to test Him, asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” (Matthew 19:3), they were trying to get Jesus to contradict the teachings of Moses on divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). In their narrow, legalistic interpretation of Moses’ law, a man could simply write out a note saying that he was divorcing his wife for some trivial reason. His response, however, was to repeat His earlier teaching—basing it on the Creation account written by Moses (Matthew 19:1-9)! (The apostle Paul gives still another reason for divorce, one which did not exist until after the formation of the New Testament church-1 Corinthians 7:10-15).
Adultery is a sin, but no sin of immorality is unpardonable. Jesus forgave an adulterous woman, saying, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:1-12). To the Samaritan woman, married five times and now living with a man who was not her husband, Jesus revealed that He was the Messiah, inviting her to drink the water of eternal life so that she might never thirst again (John 4:1-42).
41-4 Christ Speaks on Oaths
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all” (vv. 33, 34). In other words, if we were living up to the Sermon on the Mount, we would never need to take an oath, in or out of court.
Is your word your bond? Or do you speak with a forked tongue, or from both sides of your mouth? When you make a business transaction, do you say one thing and mean another? Are you a double-talk artist? Jesus said, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (v. 37; cf. John 8:44). To the honest person, yes is yes and no is no. There is no gray area – truth is truth and a lie is a lie; even though we may call it a “little white lie,” it is still a lie, and we are liars (James 3:5-10).
If the world could live up to the teaching of this kingdom manifesto, most of the world’s problems could be solved. When the King of kings returns to this earth and establishes His kingdom, His manifesto will be obeyed and mankind will learn to tell the truth – God’s truth.
41-5 Turn the Other Cheek, Go the Second Mile, and Love Your Enemy
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person” (vv. 38, 39). If they slap you on the cheek, give them the other cheek to strike. If anyone sues you for your tunic, give him your cloak also. If he compels you to carry his burden for a mile (Roman soldiers could do this, under Roman law), offer to carry it a second mile (vv. 38-42). The believer has the ability to demonstrate his new life in Christ, “because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
“You have heard…‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ ” (v. 43). This was the teaching of the scribes and the Pharisees. But Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (v. 44). Pray for them in love, from a heart filled with the love of God (1 Peter 1:22, 23).
Why? Because God loves them and shows them that love throughout their wicked lives. His sun shines on the evil and the good; His rain falls on the just (those who have been justified by faith – Romans 5:1), and on the unjust (the unsaved). But if we love only those who love us, we are no better than the ungodly, who do the same.
Even if we love our antagonist, and show it by turning the other cheek and by going the second mile for a taskmaster, we may suffer persecution, even as the apostle were beaten for daring to preach Christ. They responded by “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:40-42). They practiced the kingdom principle by turning the other cheek and loving their enemies, because the love of God filled their hearts (Romans 5:5); they “will receive the crown of life [a reward] which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).
As subjects of God’s kingdom, not only are we to do what is demanded of us by the laws of man, we are to go beyond the demands of the law, even though it may be an unjust law. If someone takes your shirt, give him your coat also. If you are compelled to go a mile for someone, go two miles in the spirit of the Lord. Do you love your family and friends? You should love those who love you; this is easy. But do you love your enemy? This is the true test of the kingdom principle.
Master Outline 41 – Manifesting Kingdom Principles
 Are we as Christians not to go into the world? YES or NO. Explain.
 Your light does not shine to be seen, but for what?
 Why are Christians when abused to turn the other cheek, go the second mile, pray for and love your enemies?
 We are too _____________________ close to Christ and ______________________ His
___________________. He is the __________________ of the ____________________.
 Name four (4) things about “salt.”
 Believers are _____________________ and ______________________.
 What are Jesus warning believers not to lose?
 Light does not shine to be seen, but for what?
 Jesus said a “city that is not set on a hill cannot be hidden.” This is a beautiful what?
 What should happen when believers come together?
 What did Jesus mean when He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill?”
 Even after 33 years, Jesus could challenge His enemies by saying what?
 How did Jesus contrast the false teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees?
 Is it murder when you kill to protect your home, family, self, or country? YES or NO. Explain.
 Contrast the differences between what Jesus describes as murder and what Pharisees said.
 If while worshipping you remember your transgression of murder, what are you to do?
 What is the one debt that can never be paid? Explain.
 What was the Pharisees definition of adultery?
 What did Jesus teach in the Sermon on the Mount on adultery?
 Why did Job say, “I have made a covenant with my eyes?”
 What was Jesus’ statement on divorce?
 Is adultery an unpardonable sin? YES or NO. Explain.
 What does the statement, “Is your word your bond” mean?
 For a born again believer are there gray areas we can speak in?
 What is “truth?”
 Describe the Pharisees teaching on reacting to others.
 How can the believers go the second mile, turn the other cheek, and love his enemy?
 State the difference between what the Pharisees’ taught and what Jesus stated.
 What is the true test of the Kingdom Principle?