Calvary Road Baptist Church

“The Gospel of Matthew records OUR LORD’S FIVE-FOLD PRIORITIES”

A sermon preached by Dr. Samuel Rai at Calvary Road Baptist Church, Sunday morning, April 24, 2016


1. In Matthew 5:23-24 - FIRST your Brother, then your Gift to God

Notice how clear God’s order is. The Devil loves to sow seeds of discord in the ranks of the redeemed, but here the Lord tells us of the way victory - not by any means as easy way, but one that commands His immediate blessing. To worship Him or to bring gifts to Him, or enter into His service, are all in vain if you fail to obey His requirement in Matthew 5:23-24:


23    Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24    Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.


God’s work is often paralyzed, and His servants are frequently powerless, because of an unwillingness to seek and secure the reconciliation that is commanded and that will alone glorify Him and release His blessing.  No Christian can be right with God if he is consciously wrong with his fellow man. If the tides of God’s blessing are dammed up in your life, is it because you need to “first be reconciled . . . “? As you think of the matters at this moment, what is it that you ... remember (verse 23).


In Matthew 6:33 - FIRST the spiritual, then the Temporal things.


“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”


Here is a wonderful promise: If you will put God’s claims first and seek to do His will first, then you need have no anxiety about anything else, for He will shower upon you His abundant provision, even in days of shortage! Compare verses 31 and 32, which precede this great law of priorities, and notice from verse 33 that we are to seek first not only justification (indicated by “the kingdom of God”), but sanctification (indicated by “His righteousness”). It is possible to be in the kingdom of God and yet not really be seeking His righteousness; saved, but not nothing going on with the Lord - 2 Peter 3:18. In like manner, it is possible to be justified and to disregard God’s call to sanctification - 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Thus, the promise of Matthew 6:33 is made to the Christian who is willing to go all the way with the Lord. He knows all about our temporal needs, and He waits, wants and guarantees to meet those needs if you will put first - look up 1 Kings 17:13-16, and compare Psalm 32:1-2; 34:9-10; Philippians 4:19.


In Matthew 7:3-5 - FIRST Judge Yourself, Then your Brother.


3     And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4      Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

 5     Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.


For “mote” (verse 3) read “splinter”, and for “beam” “plank”. How blind we often are to our own faults, and how quickly we observe the faults and failings of other! Nearly every time we criticize someone else for a certain thing we unconsciously criticize them for the thing of which we ourselves are guilty. The very solemn and searching words in Matthew 7:7 were spoken by the Searcher of hearts Himself (Jeremiah 17:10). Be careful how you use your critical faculty; look up Galatians 6:1- and notice the last part of the verse!


In Matthew 8:21-22 - FIRST what Christ wants, then what I want.


21   And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

22   But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.


“Me first ....!” How terrible - and yet how frequently we act in this way! A disciple, but a “Me first” disciple - a self-centered Christian going his own way instead of the Lord's way! There is only one answer to each of the following seven questions:


(1)    Why do you allow that doubtful habit?

(2)    Why do you always put yourself first?

(3)    Why do you purpose that harmful friendship?

(4)    Why do you allow that crooked method in business?

(5)    Why do you still attend worldly places?

(6)    Why do you not try to win souls?

(7)    Why do you not obey the voice of the Lord?


Is the answer to some of these questions – “ME FIRST”?


In Matthew 23:25-26 - FIRST the inside, then the outside.


25   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

26   Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.


The Christian life is not just and outwardly reformed life; primarily it is an inwardly cleansed life - look up 1 Samuel 16:7, and compare Psalm 51:6, 10. When the inward cleansing is through, the outward transformation is soon evident. God does not want outward profession merely. First He wants inward possession.


In conclusion 2 Chronicles 29:15-17.

15   And they gathered their Brethren sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the King, at the word of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord.

16   Then the priest went to inner parts of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought debris that they found in the temple of the Lord to the court of the house of the Lord, and Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron.

17   Now  they began to sanctify on the first day of  the first month, and  on the  eight day  of the  month they came to the vestibule of the LORD, So they sanctify  the house of the LORD, in the  eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.


God bless us in His day of 24/04/2016

The service of the Calvary Road Baptist Church, Monrovia, CA USA

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