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What does it mean to be a spiritual person? (Isaiah 58:1-9a, Psalm 112:1-9, 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, Matthew 5:13-20)

Colin ThompsonColin Thompson, Sunday, 5th February 2017

Isaiah 58:1-9a

1"Cry aloud, don't spare, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare to my people their disobedience, and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and didn't forsake the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God. 3'Why have we fasted,' [say they], 'and you don't see? [why] have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge?' "Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exact all your labors. 4Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don't fast this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high. 5Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh? 6"Isn't this the fast that I have chosen: to release the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7Isn't it to distribute your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh shall be your rear guard. 9Then you shall call, and Yahweh will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' "If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly; (WEB)

Psalm 112:1-9

1Praise Yah! Blessed is the man who fears Yahweh, who delights greatly in his commandments. 2His seed will be mighty in the land. The generation of the upright will be blessed. 3Wealth and riches are in his house. His righteousness endures forever. 4Light dawns in the darkness for the upright, gracious, merciful, and righteous. 5It is well with the man who deals graciously and lends. He will maintain his cause in judgment. 6For he will never be shaken. The righteous will be remembered forever. 7He will not be afraid of evil news. His heart is steadfast, trusting in Yahweh. 8His heart is established. He will not be afraid in the end when he sees his adversaries. 9He has dispersed, he has given to the poor. His righteousness endures forever. His horn will be exalted with honor. (WEB)

1 Corinthians 2:1-12

1When I came to you, brothers, I didn't come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith wouldn't stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. 7But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, 8which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But as it is written, "Things which an eye didn't see, and an ear didn't hear, which didn't enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him." 10But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God's Spirit. 12But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. (WEB)

Matthew 5:13-20

13"You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. 14You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can't be hidden. 15Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. 16Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 17"Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. 19Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. (WEB)

About Colin Thompson: Revd Dr Colin Thompson is Associate Minister of Wheatley URC and Emeritus Fellow, St Catherine's College, Oxford.

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