Elements City Church
Sermon on the Mount week 3 - Truthful
The Sermon on the Mount is the most famous sermon Jesus ever preached. It derives its name from the place where Jesus preached it; a mountainside that acted as a natural amphitheater along the shores of Galilee. The Sermon on the Mount, preached to ordinary people, covers a wide range of topics like prayer, fasting, money, worry, forgiveness, anger, lust, judging others and more. But the theme that unites it all is Jesus explaining the heart of God behind his given law. It is one of the most challenging biblical texts to interpret properly because the Sermon goes far deeper than promoting external obedience to God’s moral imperatives or simple behavior modification. Every line of the Sermon on the Mount goes to the heart of discipleship. The Sermon on the Mount offers a clear understanding of what a blessed life that is pleasing to God looks like from the inside out. What Jesus taught often runs counter to mainstream thinking, but every lesson is brimming with heavenly wisdom and practical instruction that leads us into a flourishing life.
Locations & Times
  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    Sunday 5:00 PM

Thanks for joining us...

Whether you're on-site or online, we are praying that tonight will be an encouragement to your soul. May God whisper to you and help you in taking your next steps in a journey with Him. If you're new, we'd love to have you fill out our connection card.

The Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7 — it’s here that King Jesus gives us a radical picture of what life in the Kingdom looks like. And It’s our hope that as we meditate on Jesus’ words that we might become people who more closely follow His Way and that we’ll experience a life that truly flourishes in the process…

The SOTM - declares that the pathway to human flourishing is best found in the following of the way of the person of Jesus.
Matthew 5:33-37
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
“Theological Time-Out”

Jesus is referring to the expansion of the law; those traditions for oath taking: how you hold your hand, what to do to prove you're telling the truth. Jesus decides to throw out those expansions of the law.

Now comes the grand simplification of the ninth commandment: "Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

Look what Jesus has done: he has brought us into contact with the grand positive of this commandment. This commandment is about our relationship with reality. Our relationship with truth.

It is about a truthful relationship we have with ourselves, it's about a truthful relationship with God, and truthful relationships with our neighbors around us. Jesus spoke about oaths in order to point out that they were not the main problem—integrity was. Oaths are no substitute for personal integrity.

A liar’s vow expresses a worthless promise. But when a person of integrity says yes or no, that person’s simple word can be trusted.

Jesus is calling us to make integrity our standard.

The Pharisees, in contrast to Jesus’ insistence upon straightforward truthfulness, had expanded oaths to matters of technicalities, much like our own American legal system that often twists and turns the normal meaning of words. Legal technicalities can devolve to the point of destroying the justice they are supposed to serve.Truth loses itself in wordiness.

The pharisaical system of oaths was expanded to cover all kinds of promises made to one another. “Levels of truth” emerged from the varieties of oaths. were considered more binding than oaths on the earth.

Like children crossing their fingers behind their backs, the Pharisees camouflaged reality in elaborate technicalities.

The point Jesus is making is that your yes should be yes and your, no, no; and an oath should not be necessary in order to verify the veracity or accuracy of your statements.
Some say truth is relative
Some say truth is whatever you want it to be

Or we can often find many who are massaging the the truth in order to spin things the way they want == welcome to the land of spilling hot coffee on yourself and suing a restaurant for damages…

But if you ask your momma what is truth - she will deliver it to ya:)
The Message

33-37 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.
Jesus calls us to develop a reputation that is so committed to integrity that you never have to preface anything with an oath or with a statement that says this is really true, because your lifestyle, your testimony is such that whatever you say is true.

Q) Wouldn’t it be refreshing to live in a world like that?
Read Acts 4:32 - 5:11
crazy story of shading the truth...

Jesus Christ cares about the truth, and he wants us to deal with each other in integrity, honesty, and with credibility.
Honesty is built one truth upon another.
Dishonesty is built one fib upon another.
If you teach yourself to traffic in untruths, it’s not long before the deception is beyond your control.

We must never be careless with truth.

Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws.
-Timothy Keller

We are to be people unconditional about love and unapologetic about truth. People of integrity - which is not perfection, but of integration and wholeness. People able to admit our faults and learn from them, people committed to being truthful in all we do, just as Jesus is!

Thanks for partnering with us...

Thank you for enabling us to be the Church in our city! Your gifts help fuel the mission of Elements City Church, as well as our capacity to share His love with as many as we can. You help us bring the HOPE and LIGHT of Jesus to our city! You can give online at the link below or through the Elements app.

Whether you joined us on-site or online, thanks for being with us tonight!
May you have a blessed week ahead friends.

Join us next week as we continue our new series in the Sermon on the Mount for the summer months. (read Matthew chapters 5-7)

Check out the Elements app for upcoming events, and we look forward to gathering again next weekend.