One of the things we are learning in the Alpha Course is the interest there is in practical teachings on Christianity. Each week we have a teaching on an important life question. After my teaching on Righteousness at Ascension last week my wife reminded me to explain why we try to live our lives in right-relationship with God. So let me begin by stating the reason is not to make people feel guilty for their sins, but to teach them how to identify, repent and confess their sins so they can be free of guilt and shame and live a life of Joy. In the Gospel Reading (Mt. 5.21-37) Jesus is continuing a sermon that began with the Beatitudes, challenged us to be like salt and light in our righteousness in keeping the Hebrew Law. This is an Epiphany Moment for many people who assume Jesus came to replace the Law of Moses. Last week (see www.spirituallieteaching.info) I explained how the Ten Commandments are tests of our love of God and our neighbour. This week we are focussing on Jesus teaching on Murder, Adultery and Oaths.
1. Murder in the heartMost of us skip over this command – we have never murdered anyone. But we forget Jesus is almost always talking about the spiritual dimension. As Jesus teaches, if you have been angry you have committed murder in the heart and need to repent.
· If you do not repent and confess, your anger turns to guilt and shame that remains like pollution in your soul.
· This pollution poisons your soul, prevents having a life of joy
· Gossip for example can murder a reputation – Bible Study example of ‘why I did not attend services in the Cathedral’ (I was leading worship in a sister church)
2. Adultery in the heart