The Story of Jesus Requirements for Entering God's Kingdom (Lesson 43)
1. As Peter concluded his second letter he gave an admonition to grow "in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). 2. According to the statement Jesus made in John 5:39, "searching the Scriptures" is the key to accomplishing this growth. 3. In this lesson we are studying requirements that Jesus gave for entering God's kingdom.
I. WE MUST BE "POOR IN SPIRIT" (Matthew 5:3)
A. Additional passages help us understand the Lord's requirement (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2). B. Requests like those David made in Psalm 19:12-14; 139:23-24 are indications that a person is poor in spirit. C. The publican in the Lord's parable in Luke 18:9-14 was poor in spirit while the Pharisee was not.
II. WE MUST "EXCEED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES" (Matthew 5:19-20)
A. The scribes and Pharisees disobeyed certain commands of God, and they taught others to do the same. B. To enter the kingdom of heaven we must not follow the example of these people.
III. WE MUST DO THE FATHER'S WILL (Matthew 7:21-23)
A. At the judgment many will be lost who will claim to have done great things in the Lord's name. B. Jesus requires us to do His Father's will.
IV. WE MUST "BE CONVERTED AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN" (Matthew 18:1-4)
A. The disciples wanted to know who was the greatest in the kingdom. B. Before Jesus answered their question in vs.4 He told them how to enter the kingdom in vs.3.
V. WE MUST ELIMINATE THINGS THAT WILL CAUSE US TO STUMBLE (Mark 9:43-48)
A. Jesus illustrated His point by referring to important parts of the body that we would not want to lose, including a hand, a foot, and an eye. B. Anything that will cause us to stumble must be eliminated, even something as special as a hand, a foot, or an eye.
VI. WE MUST "BE BORN AGAIN," THAT IS, "BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT" (John 3:3-5)