The Voluminous Poundage Of The Posture Of The Heart: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:1-2,4,9 (ESV)
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
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: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. 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. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, 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, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.Matthew 5:20-48 (NKJV)
God is concerned about the state of our hearts. He judges our hearts not our deeds. He is concerned about our motives and intentions.
It is at the place of the heart where motives and intentions are determined and your attitudes are revealed. Issues of character emanate from the state of your heart.
The spirit of a man denotes the deep underlying motivations and character of a man.
Blessed are the pure at heart for they shall see God. Their motive is to please God.
God is sovereign and He is in control of everything. He decides what will happen or not happen in your life. He permits evil and good to coexist.
Humans evaluate someone based on the outer appearance of a person.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.1 Samuel 16:7 (AMP)
It is not about your persona, it is about your attitude, character and intentions. We will give an account of every word we utter.
A person with a good altar is a person who’s heart has been worked on by God. They have the right character and a motive geared towards pleasing God.
Saul was outwardly appealing but God rejected his heart. Everything that God will judge is based on the motivation behind what you say or do.
If you will only say amen to a message that you feel is rebuking someone else and not let it work on you, you have brought judgement upon yourself.
Our judgment from God is righteous.
Do not judge by appearance [superficially and arrogantly], but judge fairly and righteously.John 7:24 (AMP)
You are looking [only] at the outward appearance of things. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, he should reflect and consider this, that just as he is Christ’s, so too are we.2 Corinthians 10:7 (AMP)
To him who much is given, much is expected. Ministers of the Gospel will be judged more severely.
At personal level, ask yourself why you do what you do as God will judge that.
God will never bless religion. Religion is typical of the fallen nature of man. It has nothing to do with spirituality. Religion will take many people to hell.
Your words and actions will only be validated by God when they are in concert with who you are on the inside.
Matthew 5:20-48 – The inside is infinitely more revealing and important than the outside.
There is a righteousness of religion then there is a Divine righteousness that emanates from the heart. God is concerned with who you are not who you appear to be.
God will only use people that have an internal righteousness.
Religious righteousness is external. Divine righteousness is internal and denotes the kind of response you have towards the Holy counsel of God.
There is a lot of hypocrisy in the Church. Why? Because people want to make an impression.
God will judge you on the basis of your heart, not on the basis of what you say or have done. He will judge your motives.
The Pharisees were not poor in spirit, not meek or hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness. The religious leaders of that time fell short of that. In Matthew 5:20-48, Jesus redefined what it means to be a true citizen of the kingdom of God.
For the religious Jews, you had to identify with the traditional law. In Matthew 5:20-48, Jesus showed them a higher standard than what they were taught. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says that He came to confirm what was written in the Mosaic Law.
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.Matthew 5:17 (NKJV)
We can be so full of religion or tradition and devoid of spiritual reality.
Religious people are so critical. They have a template and will not appreciate the different ways that God moves.
Ask the Lord to help you to never think you are more spiritual than another person.
Matthew 5:20-48 – Jesus was not comparing Himself to the Old Testament as the law of God talked about Him. He is the standard.
In Matthew 5:20-48, Jesus was addressing the standards set by the Pharisees and scribes. He asked them to go beyond their actions.
Wickedness is not as a result of the external. It is as a result of a depraved heart and mind.
The standard of God is an attitudinal standard. The Jewish leadership standard was based on actions.
Matthew 5:20-48 – Lust is no different from committing adultery. Anger is no different from murder.
Many times, we have been too hard on women the world over. There is no way a woman will commit evil without a man e.g. prostitution.
If you have never conquered lust, never open your mouth against someone who is struggling with sexual sin. You will be judged by God.
Women also need to stop blaming men and take responsibility. They need to stand up for righteousness and say no to the whiles of some men.
A person who allows an unclean desire to find root in their heart is no different from a person who fornicates. Christ said this.
A lot of divorces do not have a Biblical basis but they may have a legal basis. However, God will allow some couples to divorce because of His purpose. Many that are divorced are still used by God.
There are some marriages that are not recognized by God and in some cases, He will allow divorce. Do not be too quick to judge divorcees.
You cannot emphasize on justice without showing mercy. Sin was punished through the vicarious death of Christ on the Cross providing redemption to us. Justice and mercy go hand in hand.
Religion makes it so hard for people to have a forgiving spirit. Religion is self-uplifting and self-justifying.
God wants you to be characteristically righteous inside. He is very concerned about your attitude.
It is very possible to lower the standards of God to accommodate your abilities and inabilities. If God’s grace is sufficient for you, it is sufficient for another.
You may have not committed murder but as long as you are loaded with anger, you are not different from a murderer.
Principles Learned From Matthew 5:20-48
1. The law is not the letter. It is spiritual.
God is not looking for externals but a heart that is changed.
Conformity to the law is a matter of the heart.
Prayer does not make you spiritual. It breaks you. And someone that is broken needs mending.
2. The law is not just negative. It is positive.
It is balanced and will lead you to have the right attitude.
3. The law is not an end unto itself. Its purpose is to glorify God.
The intent of a Pharisee is to glorify themselves and not God. The Law will lead you to God.
Memorizing the Scripture without having the right heart posture will not deliver you. It will puff you up.
4. Only God can judge men as He knows the secrets of the hearts of men and if your heart matches the outward self.
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.Hebrews 4:12 (AMP)
Even when God exposes the rot within you, He does this to bestow upon you mercy and grace. Religion however hinders this.
5. Every person must live up to the standard of God’s law.
You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:48 (AMP)
God is not just calling you to be good but to be perfected.
God will work in and through you to attain to God’s perfect standard that is beyond what is religious.
When you refuse to help someone, even those who have hurt you, you do yourself a disfavour. That is being wicked. Be a Joseph to them.
Some of the things that God does for us, even bringing misfortune our way, are prophetic. The people God brings your way may be in the wrong package but are necessary for His purpose in your life.
Sometimes, it is worse to work under a religious Christian boss than an unbelieving boss.
Unless your heart is right, you may have a deep reverence for the Bible but lack in knowing and having communion with the writer of the Bible. If your heart is right, it does not matter how much of Scripture you know.
It was the Sadducees and Pharisees that crucified Jesus. They knew the law in and out but did not have the Spirit of the author in them.