Having found 7 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message by means of The New Testament Literacy Tool in Matthew chapters 1 thru 3, we advance further into chapter 4. Like John, just before Him, in chapter 3, verses 1 and 2, Jesus also preaches of the necessity for #6, repentance, and that it is requisite for acceptance and entrance into #10, the Kingdom in verse 17. He begins calling His first disciples, and the chapter closes on the note that Jesus is instructing the people about the #10, Kingdom and demonstrating His Messianic authority with healings and deliverances.
We then come to Matthew chapters 5 thru 7, the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus opens by first addressing unrepentant non-converted people in 5:3 thru 6a. The characteristics of poverty of spirit, mourning, meekness, and hungering and thirsting for #1, righteousness, are all signs of one who is seeking #6, repentance; wanting to turn and to be converted. As you can imagine, the pre-conversion experience of a sinner can be very emotional and traumatic. With verse 6, and part b, we have their conversion experience in their being filled with #1, righteousness in that which we call #8, the New Birth. Theirs is now the #10, Kingdom of heaven! Verses 7 and following, thru verse 12, describes the nature and results of one’s conversion in what will become a #9, New Life in Christ. They will become merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. And, they will begin to experience persecution, insults, and be spoken evil against; all because of #1, righteousness and #4, the Savior, Jesus Christ, says verses 10 and 11. The most glorious #10, Kingdom promise resides in verse 8 where it says that those converted will actually see God! There is no greater joy! Have you ever repented? Have you ever been converted? Are you now living a new life in Christ since repenting and being converted?
The next passage, 5:13 thru 16, is the call unto those who have been converted, as just described above, to become both salt and light in a corrupt and darkened world. Never put 5:13 thru 16, before 5:3 thru 6a. That which we find here is #9, New Life instruction for the converted! As believers on Jesus Christ, we demonstrate that by no longer participating in the corruption that is in this world. We now long, and live, for righteousness. This is what results in that which is spoken of in verse 10, persecution for righteousness. Beyond that, we are now to become light, sharing our conversion experience by way of personal testimony, and testifying to #4, the Savior, how that thru Christ we were converted. If you claim to be a Christian, have you become salt and light in this dark and corrupted world?
At this point, we have 8 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message. Only #5, the Gospel and #7, believe have not yet been found. But, they most certainly will be, as this is what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell