You Have Heard
June 11 | DNA Guide
Be Real Together:
Take a few minutes to catch up, tell stories, and laugh together. Trust and friendship take time to build. If you’re launching a new DNA, one person should tell their story — what do we need to know about you? Next week, have another person in your DNA share their story.
Read Together: Matthew 5:21-37 CSB
The One Question:
Ask this question at your family meal or DNA.
In this passage, Jesus elevates the standard for righteousness and morality. The religious leaders of the day were known for doing the bare minimum in pleasing God. Jesus said that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees if we wish to enter the kingdom. The role of faith in our lives can, at times, feel so daunting and all-encompassing that it seems easier to simply relegate it to the side or treat it like "extra credit" rather than go above and beyond. While it's not effort that saves us, the effort we put into our faith is one of the indicators that we have a genuine faith at all. In what areas of your life, have you settled for a "bare minimum" faith?
Use these questions to go deeper with your DNA or for personal study.
- What we need to realize is that for the follower of Jesus, we're being instructed not only to fulfill certain moral obligations, rather to recognize that God is calling us to a high standard of living. For instance, He explicitly commands us not to murder, but calls us even higher (in Matthew 5) to not even act in anger. Where do you feel challenged by this concept?
- God is concerned with both actions and attitudes. When He elevates the standard of morality, that goes beyond rule following. It permeates the core of our being, causing us to examine not only our behaviors, but also our motives and intentions. D.A. Carson writes this: "We are to deal drastically with sin. We must not pamper it, flirt with it, enjoy nibbling a little of it around the edges. We are to hate it, crush it, dig it out . . . sin leads to hell. And that is the ultimate reason why sin must be taken seriously," (D.A. Carson; Sermon, 44–45). Are you this desperate? Do your actions and attitudes line up with God's standard? Where do you need to address sin in your life?
- Are there areas where you drag your feet to be obedient to God because the task itself seems to cumbersome? (i.e. Is coming to church for you a drag because you'd rather be doing something else with your Sunday? Is reading the Bible a chore for you rather than a privilege? Does tithing to the local church or helping someone in need cause you frustration?)
- Achieving a greater level of holiness is not only possible, but through Christ, it’s inevitable. Theodore of Heraclea (281-319 AD), an early Church martyr, said, "For the things that are impossible with humans are possible with God...For most people, though, they are difficult to accomplish owing to their unwillingness to strive to reach the summit of virtue," (Fragment 40). What have you called "impossible" that God has declared through Christ "possible"?
Take time to pray with and for each other.