• The Fulfillment of the Law Devotional

    Matthew 5:17–20

    The distinction between the civil, ceremonial, and moral laws of the Mosaic code is not so clear on the pages of Scripture. Nevertheless, the distinction is a helpful tool for applying this law to our lives today. We study the Mosaic law to learn what God would have us do in Christ. This law has been written on our hearts thanks to the Holy Spirit, though we still certainly struggle doing it. Make sure to spend time each week in study of the law of God. View Resource

  • Law and Gospel Devotional

    Matthew 5:17–20

    Answer 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism emphasizes that we do good works because the God who justifies us also gives us His Spirit to conform us more and more to the image of Jesus Christ. Our Lord saves us from His wrath in order that we might serve Him according to His law, but we cannot serve Him unless we walk by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit empowers our obedience to God’s law, and we must ask Him daily for help that we might obey our Creator. View Resource

  • Christ’s Law-Based Ethic Devotional

    Matthew 5:21–26

    Christians are ambassadors of Christ, representatives of His sovereign reign over creation. As such, we have a special responsibility to represent our Lord’s actual teaching. The only way we can do that is through careful study of our Savior’s words. Sitting regularly under the preached Word of God, personal Bible study, small-group Bible studies, and other such things are how we will grow in our understanding of the words of Jesus. View Resource

  • The Ethics of Jesus Devotional

    Matthew 5:21–26

    While Jesus reveals the thoroughness that is required for true obedience to God’s law, He does not say anger and homicide are equally deserving of capital punishment. While both can cut us off from God, murder carries with it more severe consequences both in this world and in the next. Consider today how you live according to God’s holy standard. Do you obey Him freely in the Spirit? Speak well of another person and thus fulfill the lesson of today’s passage. View Resource

  • The Full Meaning of Moses Devotional

    Matthew 5:21–26

    Matthew Henry writes that the Pharisees made the fundamental error in thinking that “the divine law prohibited only the sinful act, not the sinful thought.” The unseen sins of the mind and heart are the easiest for us to justify, but God detests our inner wickedness as much as He hates the evil we do before the eyes of men. Seek to reconcile yourself to someone with whom you have been angry unjustly so that your heart and your deeds may be purified. View Resource

  • The Scope of the Sixth Commandment Devotional

    Matthew 5:21–26

    The sixth commandment does not forbid all anger, for there is a place for righteous anger, as we will discuss next week. But the sixth commandment warns us that what we consider righteous anger may very well be sinful anger, and we must guard our hearts lest bitterness and unjust anger take root. We must implore the Spirit to help us forgive others and to make us willing to hear His conviction when we are feeling unjust anger. View Resource

  • Adultery of the Heart Devotional

    Matthew 5:27–30

    Unfortunately, lust is rampant in the church today, and many are in bondage to pornography and other sexual sins. If this is a problem for you, cut off your access to outlets where you may find temptation. Whether or not lust has a particularly strong grip in your life, consider how you dress and act in the world and in the church. Are you a stumbling block for others with revealing clothes or with a flirtatious personality? View Resource

  • Lustful Intent Devotional

    Matthew 5:27–30

    Positively, question and answer 109 of the Heidelberg Catechism note, the seventh commandment encourages the maintenance and promotion of chastity in marriage and singleness. We should be doing all that we can to prevent a climate in the church and in our homes that may make adultery easy to commit and hide. We must also regularly return to the Bible’s teaching on sexuality so that we can resist the lies about lust and sex that our culture loves to tell us every day. View Resource

  • Divorce and Adultery Devotional

    Matthew 5:31–32

    John Calvin reminds us that “the bond of marriage is too sacred to be dissolved at the will, or rather at the licentious pleasure, of men.” Many issues can drive spouses to despair and contemplate an unbiblical divorce. That is why we must seek help for our marital troubles at the first sign of trouble. If you need counseling, make an appointment with your pastor today. If you know of another couple who is having problems, encourage them to seek counseling as well. View Resource

  • Jesus’ Teaching on Oaths Devotional

    Matthew 5:33–37

    Jesus’ teaching leads us to conclude that it is better not to make a vow than to swear an oath that we have no intention of keeping. It also reinforces the point that oaths and vows should not be made on just any occasion, but they should be reserved only for occasions of great import and lasting significance. In other cases, we should let our yes be yes and our no be no. But in all circumstances, we must strive to keep our word. View Resource

  • The Promises of the Tongue Devotional

    Matthew 5:33–37

    Our Creator is concerned foremost with the intentions of our hearts, and He is not fooled when we make a promise in a way that might give us an “out” if we do not keep it. Thus, we must search our hearts carefully before we make a promise and then commit to doing only what we truly intend to do. We must also examine our schedules carefully and have realistic expectations of what we can accomplish, lest we find ourselves overcommitted and unable to keep our word. View Resource

  • Vows and Proper Intent Devotional

    Matthew 5:33–37

    Matthew Henry writes that “the frequent requiring and using of oaths, is a poor reflection on Christians, who should be of such acknowledged fidelity, as that their sober words should be as sacred as their solemn oaths.” Believers are to be people so known for their truthfulness that they have no need to vow that they will keep their word. Let us not make promises that we cannot keep and be faithful to do what we say in big and small things. View Resource

  • A Vow’s Intent Devotional

    Matthew 5:33–37

    All of us have made promises that we do not intend to keep. We make vows all the while knowing that we have a way out if we want it. As we have seen today, however, such activity violates the law of God. God looks upon the heart (1 Sam. 16:7) and knows whether our intentions conform to the promises that we make. If you have made a promise that you did not intend to keep, remember that if it is a lawful promise you must keep it. Go and keep it today. View Resource

  • Retaliation and the Kingdom Devotional

    Matthew 5:38–42

    The last point of Matthew Henry’s quote is important since there are times when seeking reparation may in fact be the best way to love our neighbor and keep him from sinning further. Such occasions, however, will be few and far between. We are to endure insults and offenses meekly, doing extra even for those who do not deserve it (Matt. 5:41). When someone asks you for a favor, volunteer to go above and beyond their request. View Resource

  • The Standard of Perfection Devotional

    Matthew 5:43–48

    John Calvin also writes regarding today’s passage: “Christ assures us, that this will be a mark of our adoption, if we are kind to the unfaithful and evil.” Just as God’s love for His enemies does not mean He loves them the same way He loves us, so too will we love our enemies differently than we love our fellow Christians. Nevertheless, we are to do good to those who hate us in imitation of Jesus’ love. Do a good deed for an enemy today. View Resource