October 15, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus teaches His disciples how the idea of law fits into His Kingdom. Contrary to common belief, this is not a passage specifically about fulfilling the Ten Commandments. Instead, Jesus is here dealing with His fulfillment of the entire Law and Prophets, which simply is the Old Testament. He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets in two ways: first by keeping and completing them, and then also by paying their penalty, which is really our penalty, because it is impossible for us to keep the commandments. We might think we can keep the commandments, but only by minimizing them. We need to understand that we should instead, as members of the Kingdom of Heaven, focus on love, self-giving love that follows the example of Christ. Actions which flow out of this love are what pleases God, and they should come naturally for us if we truly love God.
October 1, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
In Matthew 5, Jesus calls us to live as Christians in the world in two ways: first, as salt, preserving that which is in decay; and second, as light, bringing the truth and hope of salvation to an otherwise dark world. But Jesus is emphatic in telling us also that as Christians, when we are truly acting as salt and light, we will also suffer hurt, just as Jesus Himself did and as all the prophets before us have. But we can resist any self-pity because our reward is in heaven!
September 24, 2017 - Pastor Gerry Koning
In his Gospel, from start to end, Matthew portrays Jesus as the King of a new Kingdom, and the Sermon on the Mount then teaches us how to live in that Kingdom. Our guilt and bondage to sin would keep us from entering the Kingdom, but Jesus dealt with that in His baptism and temptations, and by His death on the cross. So now we can enter His Kingdom and the Beatitudes teach us what heart attitudes we must have in order to receive all the blessings of the Kingdom, including our very salvation.