The Lesson of Discipleship and the Consecration Involved

Bible Book: Matthew  5 : 17-4
Subject: Discipleship
Series: Discipleship

In “Becoming A Christ-Centered Disciple-Making Church” Let’s Consider...

“2. The Lesson Of Discipleship And The Consecration Involved”

Text: Matthew 5:17-48
Theme – Purpose - Introduction

Theme: As we continue our series of sermons on “Becoming A Christ-Centered, Disciple-Making Church,” let’s look again to the section of scripture commonly called the “Sermon on the Mount.” As Jesus “opened His mouth, and taught them” in Matthew 5 thru 7, what He shared was a “Lesson Of Discipleship.” Last week we dealt with “The Cost Involved” in being a disciple. Today we’re focusing upon a second component of discipleship, and that is “The Consecration Involved.”

Purpose: In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus sets the stage for the remaining part of the chapter by establishing His relationship to “the law and the prophets” (vs. 17), and His regard for the Old Testament scriptures (vs. 18-19). Next, by revealing the deficiencies of the Pharisee’s righteousness in verse 20, He asserts that righteousness is cultivated, not through a superficial adherence to the law, but through a spiritual application of His Word. Our goal in this sermon is to highlight Christ’s expectation for this type of consecration in different areas of life as set forth in our text.

Introduction: The psalmist David asked this question: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?” (Psalms 24:3). Could we utilize the image that Christ used in Matthew 5:14, and phrase the question this way, “Who should be ‘a city that is set on an hill’?” David’s answer is applicable to both questions: “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalms 24:4).

If we are to be such visible representatives of the Lord Jesus, should we not endeavor to be walking “in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalms 23:3)? The “clean hands” of Psalm 24 suggest a righteous and consecrated quality in our actions, and the “pure heart” points to an attitude of righteousness. Let’s expand upon these principles as we focus upon Christ’s teaching in Matthew 5:17-48.

Main Message

A. I Am To Be Consecrated With Regard To My Conscience

Six times throughout this passage Jesus mentions what has been “said by them of old time,” and then He completes each truth and brings it into a New Testament context by saying, “But I say unto you...” “It was said... Thou shalt not kill” (vs. 21), but in verse 22 Christ is forbidding violent anger. He puts the malicious attitude on the same level with the murderous act. The law taught us not to “commit adultery” (vs. 27), but Christ is forbidding virtual adultery (vs. 28). The lustful thought is just as wrong as the literal transgression.

B. I Am To Be Consecrated With Regard To My Commitments

“A writing of divorcement” was allowed under the old covenant (vs. 31), but people had abused the process so that a “no-fault” divorce had become common practice. Unless there is infidelity involved though, marriage should not be viewed as something to be thrown away (vs. 32). Essentially, Christ said not to violate our love commitments. The “old” saying was, “Thou shalt not forswear thyself” (vs. 33), which means that we shouldn’t commit perjury. However, Jesus said that we shouldn’t even take an oath, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay” (vs. 34-37). Christ said not to violate our legal commitments but let our word be our bond.

C. I Am To Be Consecrated With Regard To My Community

When someone does you wrong, the natural inclination is to get back at them; and even the world is familiar with the old saying, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (vs. 38). But in verses 39 thru 42, Christ is teaching us to be kind even to the antagonists in your community. As Paul said, “Recompense to no man evil for evil” (Romans 12:17). “It hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies...” (Matthew 5:43-44). An unrelated verse could be applicable here. John 6:60 says, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Hard saying or not, Christ is teaching us to be kind even to the adversaries in your community.


These principles that Christ has set forth reveal practical Christianity exhibited through personal righteousness. If I can use another, non-biblical old saying, “This is where the rubber meets the road.” In verse 20, Christ magnified the fact that our righteousness needs to exceed the “pharisaical,” superficial brand of righteousness. It needs to be genuine; so genuine that it protects us from falling into the subtle sins that might entrap us. In verse 47, Christ magnified the fact that righteous living needs to extend beyond the church house, for “if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:47-48). As disciples, we need to be real and be righteous!