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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com


The Sermon On The Mount

Bright Lights In A Dark World

Matt 5.14-16

How To Use This Outline

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Christian Living




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[Jesus Christ is the answer to every problem. These include needs for the spirit, needs for the soul, and needs for the body.] 

["But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philip 4.19)] 

[There is no need that a Christians should be born crying, live complaining and die disappointed.  We have victory in Jesus Christ.] 

A.  Christians Often Suffer Affliction (vs 13) [- Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. – focus on that word afflicted here for a few moments.  The word speaks of enduring the hardships that accompany ministry.]

[Afflicted - Κακοπαθεῖ  (Gk) - suffering ill, which is from kakós (2556), evil, and páthos (3806), passion. To suffer evil or afflictions, to be afflicted (2 Tim. 2:9; James 5:13 [cf. 2 Tim. 1:8]). To endure, sustain afflictions (2 Tim. 2:3; 4:5), endure hardships (Sept. Jon. 4:10).[1]] 

[The way this word is used in the New Testament speaks of unwarranted hardships or what we would commonly refer to as persecution. ] 

1.   Our Resolve In Persecution (vs 13; 2 Tim 2.3,9; 4.5) [-Is any among you afflicted? let him pray . . .  - Persecution is not a physical sickness but it is something that has the power to deeply trouble a person spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  It is the typical usage of this Greek word that teaches what James is truly alluding to in our text.  This Greek word is found only four (4) times in the New Testament.  In addition to our text it is found in,] 

[2 Timothy 2:3 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.]

[2 Timothy 2:9 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. ]

[2 Timothy 4:5 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. ]

[James had just given two examples of suffering affliction. The prophets have suffered affliction (vs 10).] 

[James 5:10 10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.]

[Job had suffered affliction (vs 11).] 

[James 5:11 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. ]

[It is important to note that the prophets and job all suffered for no cause of their own.  They suffered in various ways having done nothing worthy of their suffering.  If you do evil and suffer for it you are not being persecuted.  You are not suffering the kind of affliction James is talking about in our text.] 

2.   Our Recognition of Persecution (Matt 5.10-12) [- Three Forms of Persecution -  Our Lord Jesus Christ identified three distinct types of persecution in the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus said,] 

[Matthew 5:10-12 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. ]

[Our Lord identified,]

[Reviling - Ruthless mocking.] 

[Persecution - Physical attacks.] 

[False accusation.] 

3.   Our Response To Persecution (vs 13, cf Phil 4.6-7) [- Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. – When you are bearing up under persecution you need the strength and comfort of almighty God.  Prayer should be your first response.]

[Philippians 4:6-7 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.] 

B.  Christians Often Get Sick [- Our passage clearly uses the word sick.  Hence, we need to understand what the Bible teaches about sickness.]  

1.   The Agents of Sickness [- Why are people sick?] 

a.   Some people are sick because of  Sin (1 John 5.16; 1 Cor 11.30). 

[There is a sin unto death  - Physical death (1 John 5.16).] 

[1 John 5:16 16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.]

[The Bible also speaks of sin causing sickness.]

[1 Corinthians 11:30 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. ]

b.   Some people are sick because of Satan (Job 2.7; Acts 10.38). 

[Satan smote Job with boils] 

[Job 2:7 7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. ]

[Jesus healed all who were oppressed of the Devil,] 

[Acts 10:38 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him].

c.   Some people are sick because of Soveignty  (2 Cor 12.7; 2 Tim 4.20; 1 Tim 5.23; Philip 2.25-27; 2 Kings 13.14) [- Because God has a higher plan.] 

[The Apostle Paul] 

[2 Corinthians 12:7 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. ]

[Trophemus was left by Paul because he was sick,] 

[2 Timothy 4:20 20 . . .  but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. ]

[Timothy had a stomach problem (1 Tim 5.23).] 

[1 Timothy 5:23 23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities] 

[Epaphroditus was sick unto death as Paul described it,] 

[Philippians 2:25-27 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. ]

[Elisha was taken sick and died (2 Kings 13.14).]

[2 Kings 13:14 14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.]  

["God often has a loving purpose for people in sickness."] 

2.   The Advancement of Sickness - Four Purposes of God in sickness: 

a.   Power comes through suffering and sickness (2 Cor12.7-9) 

[2 Corinthians 12:7-9 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ]

b.   Productivity comes through suffering and sickness (2 Cor 1.6)  

[2 Corinthians 1:6 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.]

[Fanny Crosby was blinded at six but wrote thousands of hymns and poems in her blindness.] 

[Sometimes God uses our afflictions to bless others.] 

c.   Purity comes through suffering and sickness (1 Peter 5.10; Psalm 119.67). 

[1 Peter 5:10 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. ]

[Psalms 119:67 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. ]
 

d.   Praise comes through suffering and sickness (John 11.4; John 9.2-3; John 21.19)

[John 11:4 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.]

[John 9:2-3 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. ]

[John 21:18-19 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. ]

[Our sickness glorifies God by shutting the devils mouth.] 

C.  Christians Often Get Sidetracked (vs 13-16) [- In considering the perscription for sickness, people often get so focused on being healed that they will read into the Word of God that which they desire to bring out of the Word of God.] 

[God Still Heals – Understand that in everything we discover through this study nothing is saying that God no longer heals by His mighty and miraculous hand.  God is still God, and God can still heal.  But clearly, God heals according to His will and his timing and He yields that to no man’s hand.] 

[Believing that God still heals is important.  This belief brings comfort in hopelessness.  It bring confidence out of desperation.  The mere belief itself can bring enough tranquility to aid the body in healing itself.] 

[A recent survey at a meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians revealed the following:[2] ] 

   [Percentage of family doctors who:] 

   [--are convinced that religious belief can heal: 99 ]

   [--believe the prayers of others can help a patient's recovery: 75 ]

   [--believe faith-healers can make people well: 38 ] 

[So, how do Christians get side track when it comes to healing.  Many like to take this verse, and others in scripture and like to claim that they declare absolute healing to all who will truly believe in these words.  Some go so far as to teach that if you are not healed after claiming these verses in prayer then your failure to be healed showed a lack of faith on the sick parties part and perhaps a lack of salvation all together.  Now, this false belief will turn comfort into desperation.] 

[To develop a proper understanding of these verses and what they teach about healing requires that we fully enact what Paul told Timothy,] 

[2 Timothy 2:15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ]

[To study something means to dig into to it, and so that is exactly what we shall do.] 

First notice, 

1.   The Problem (vs 14; John 5.5-9; Mark 6.56; Luke 4.40) [- Is any sick among you? . . .  – This is one of those times when it comes in handy to know a little something about Greek and to dig into the Greek text.  The Greek word sick in verse 14 is not the sane Greek word for sick used in verse 15.  These two distinct words express two different kinds of sickness.  Recognizing this distinction will transform your understanding of these two verses.] 

[Is any Sick - ἀσθενεῖ  (Gk) - without strength, powerless, sick. To lack strength, be infirm, weak, feeble.

(I) To be weak (Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 13:3; Sept.: 1 Sam. 2:5; 2 Sam. 3:1; Lam. 2:8). In 2 Cor. 13:4, 9, to be considered weak. Christ is not to be considered inherently powerless when He does not immediately impose the proper punishment.

(II) Specifically, to be infirm in the body, i.e., to be sick, to suffer from disease or the consequences thereof (Matt. 10:8; 25:36; Mark 6:56; Luke 4:40; 7:10 where asthenó̄n, the weak one, is contrasted to one who is healthy or hugiaínōn [5198] from which we derive the Eng. word “hygiene”).[3]]

[The Actual usage of this Greek word will give us enlightenment to its meaning.] 

[The crippled man at the pool of Bethesda] 

[John 5:5-9 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.]

[The sick people brought out to Jesus] 

[Mark 6:56 56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.]

[Luke 4:40 40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. ]

[In each of these verses we see physically sick people.  These people were sick enough that Scripture records that they were brought to Jesus, perhaps carried by others.  In the case of the man at the Pool of Bethesda Jesus went to him.  Hence, verse 14 speaks of physical affliction or physical infirmity. This is what we would call being sick.  When most of us talk about being sick we mean this type of sickness.] 

2.   The Procedure (vs 14; Lev 8.10,12; 14.15-18; cf. vs 26-29; ) [- . . . let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: - Next we are told the procedure that our Lord asks for us to follow if we have an infirmity.  The text tells us,] 

a. [Let him call – Hence this is not a command, but a privilege.] 

b. [For the elders – Call for a spiritual leader of the Church.  The term elder normally designates a pastor.  Notice the word elders is plural.] 

[c.  Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord – Some in our day refuse to anoint anyone with oil, they often claim that oil symbolizes medicine; therefore, they refuse to use oil to anoint people.  There is nothing wrong with going to the doctor.] 

[However, anointing with oil is seen far more often in Scripture in association with ceremonial rituals.]   

[Moses used anointing oil to sanctify the Tabernacle,] 

Leviticus 8:10 10 And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them.

[Oil was poured upon the head of Aaron and his sons to anoint them for God’s service.]

Leviticus 8:12 12 And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

[Oil is also used for the ceremonial cleansing of someone cured of Leprosy, for an infirmity.]

[Leviticus 14:15-18 15 And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand: 16 And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: 17 And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering: 18 And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD. ]

[Hence, we find that a ceremonial anointing with oil was commanded concerning the cleansing of those with infirmities.  Therefore, when the sick call for the elders of the Church, by faith they ought to anoint them with oil.  Faith is taking God at His Word.  He commanded us to anoint them with oil.

3.   The Prayer (vs 14-16) - Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  - Prayer is a major element of what the elders, the infirm and the Church body are called upon to do for the sick.  Notice how out text indicates we ought to pray,] 

[James 5:15-16 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ]

[Healed - ἰαθῆτε (Gk) - To heal, cure, restore to bodily health. With the acc. (Luke 5:17; 6:19; 9:2, 11, 42; 14:4; 22:51; John 4:47; Acts 10:38; 28:8). Pass. (Matt. 8:8, 13; 15:28; Luke 7:7; 8:47; 17:15; John 5:13; Acts 3:11; 9:34). Pass., followed by apó (575), from, meaning to be healed from or of anything (Mark 5:29; Luke 6:17; Sept.: Gen. 20:17; Lev. 14:3; 2 Kgs. 20:8).[4]]  

[Be certain that the Greek word translated healed here means exactly what you think it would be.  It means to be cured, to be made whole, or to be healed.  We are told to pray for exactly what we desire.]

[There is power in prayer.  Christians ought never to be afraid to pray for something as specific as healing.  However, pray with the understanding that we do not have the persuasion or power to force God to do anything He does not intend to do.   

4.   The Promise (vs 15; Heb 12.3) [- And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. – Here is where the passage takes an unexpected twist.  I told you earlier that there were two different Greek words for sick in our text.  Here is where that second word appears in the passage.] 

[We have just been told that when we are sick to call for the elders of the Church they are to anoint the sick with oil and pray for their physical healing.  Now here is God’s promise.  God said the prayer of faith, which is a prayer taking God at His Word, not a prayer with some mystic ability to believe, will save the sick.] 

[Sick  (vs 15) - κάμνοντα  (Gk) - Primarily to work, be weary from constant work (Heb. 12:3; Sept.: Job 10:1). When used in connection with asthenéō (770), to be sick, it suggests the common accompaniment of sickness, weariness of mind which may hinder physical recovery (James 5:15). In some MSS, it occurs also in Rev. 2:3.[5]] 

[The word sick is speaking of the mental fatigue that often accompanies a long drawn out illness.  Even short term illnesses can be emotionally exhausting.  Don’t make the mistake of believing that this verse even remotely suggests that God is going to physically heal the sick just because we ask him to.] 

[We discovered much about the word sick in verse 14, the same contextual usage reveals much about this word sick as well.  We find it in, 

[Hebrews 12:3 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.]

[So the promise God gives is not a promise of physical healing but the promise of an endowment of spiritual strength to instill hope and spiritual fortitude.  This reminds us of what our Lord said to Paul when he prayed about his own infirimity,

[2 Corinthians 12:7-10 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. ]

[Incidentally, the Greek word that Paul used for infirmity in 2 Cor 12.10 is a form of the same Greek word used for physical affliction or sickness in our text verse 14.  When Paul prayed about his sickness it was not removed, but he was given the strength to endure it.] 

[Illustration - A friend of mine who was a minister in southern California told me recently of a woman in a mental sanitarium there. She'd been in the sanitarium for many years with an extreme depression. She used to just sit on a bench every day staring at the earth--no conversation, no response. And one day a new doctor who'd never seen her came down the hall and greeted her. He said, "Good morning!" She made no reply. "What is your name?" he said. No answer. "Well, my name is Doctor Heven, H-E-V-E-N, and I'll be by to see you again tomorrow." Then he started away.] 

[But she lifted her head and said to him--and because he did not know the patient, he did not know how remarkable it was that she was saying anything at all--"What did you say your name was?" ] 

[He said, "Heven, H-E-V-E-N." ] 

[ Now, somehow in the confused processes of that wounded mind, that woman confused the word Heven with the word heaven, and she began thinking about heaven. As she thought about heaven, she thought about God, and she thought of God's love made known to us Christ. The next day she said to everyone she met in the hospital, "This is the day which the Lord hath made." And the day after that, "Yea, I walk through the valley of the shadow of evil, but I fear no evil." Within six days she was saying, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Within five weeks she had been released from the hospital, and for the last fourteen years she has been carrying out her responsibilities as a leading teacher in southern California.[6]] 


[1]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G2553). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2] Yankelovich Partners, cited in Parade (12/1/96). Leadership, "To Verify."

[3]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G770). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[4]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G2390). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[5]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G2577). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[6] Bruce Thielemann, "Christus Imperator," Preaching Today, Tape No. 55

 

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