Дорога домой. Выпуск 21.4а  [25янв06а]
THE TEACHING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
РУС    РУС-ENG

Short overview of Christian teaching about life. The Holy Scriptures English text is taken from the New King James Version (NKJV), with slightly modified capitalization rules to agree with common Russian usage.
    Contents: (1) Ten Commandments from the Old Testament; (1.1) Interpretation of Ten Commandments; (2) Sermon on the Mount; (2.1) Beatitude Commandments; (2.1.1) Interpretation of Beatitude Commandments; (2.2) God's Providence; (2.3) Do not judge others; (2.4) About forgiving; (2.5) About loving your Neighbor; (2.6) The Golden Rule; (2.7) The Power of the Prayer; (2.8) Charity should be done in secret. (2.9) About the necessity of doing good Deeds and living according to the God's Law; (2.10) It is necessary to collect treasures in Heaven; (2.11) Be perfect; (2.12) Lord's Prayer ("Our Father"); (2.13) Beware of False Teachers; (2.14) Parable of the Wise Builder; (3) The Greatest Commandment; (4) The Hymn of Love. [From the textbook by Protoierey Apolloniy Temnomerov, The Sacred History of the New Testament, Petrograd, 1915 (in Russian)].

1. Ten Commandments of the Old Testament (Exodus 20:2-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21). The Ten Commandments were given in the era of Old Testament (1615 years before the Birth of Christ), to the prophet Moses on Sinai mountain, on the fifties day of exodus of Jews from Egypt. Jesus Christ's teaching is based on the Old Testament and it deepens it. This was not understood by some ancient Jews and they accused Him that He is teaching something different. To this He answered: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law of the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil" (Mat. 5:17). This led to the division of Jews into two groups. The first group became first Christians, and second are descendants of the present Jews. One group followed Jesus, and the other did not. The Ten Commandments from the Old Testament and the Beatitude Commandments from the New Testament (Gospel), during nearly 2000 years, were the base of all civilized societies. All civil laws have their beginnings or were affected in one way or another by these commandments. Following these commandments creates well-being and safety in our life on earth, and also the salvation in the world to come. (Recently there is a slow drift away from them, which creates many problems in our society). They are given below in a short form.

     1. I am your Lord God,
       you will have no other gods, (Exodus 20:2,3)
     2. Do not make idols and do not serve them, (20:4)
     3. Do not use God's name unnecessarily, (20:7)
     4. Work six days, and seveth dedicate it to Lord God, (20:8)
     5. Respect your parents, (20:12)
     6. Do not kill, (20:13)
     7. Do not commit adultery, (20:14)
     8. Do not steal, (20:15)
     9. Do not lie, (20:16)
    10. Do not wish anything that is not yours; do not envy. (20:17)

1.1 Interpretation of Ten Commandments. According to the teaching of Jesus Christ, these commandments are interpreted in a wide way. The sin is not only to break the commandment, but the sin is also any action that leads towards breaking the commandment. This is the basic difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament and people's who follow the first or the second one:

  1. One has to love and respect the Lord God, more than anybody in the world and besides Him not to worship anybody else. It is necessary to love, respect and learn about Him and everything that is connected with Him: His Law (the God's Law), the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Faith. It is necessary to pray and to live according to His teaching.
  2. It is forbidden to worship idols and serve them; directly or indirectly. It is forbidden to serve passions (obsessions) like: obsession with wealth (greed, abnormal love for wealth, reaches, materialism), gluttony (overeating sweets, plain overeating, drunkenness), pride and vainglory (self importance, high opinion about oneself, one's mind, beauty, knowledge, wealth). Following virtues are taught: absence of any love for wealth and generosity; abstinence, fast and humility (absence of self importance).
  3. If it is not necessary, do not use Lord God's name in vain, in empty conversations or in swearing.
  4. It is necessary to labor six days and the seventh to dedicate to Lord God. One is not to be lazy or emptily waste his time.
  5. It is necessary to love and respect the parents and listen to their good advices. This also applies to all older people, and also to people who are somehow substituting for parents: priests, spiritual fathers, teachers, representatives of civil government. When parents get older it is necessary to be their support and to take care of them.
  6. It is forbidden to kill others or to commit suicide. It is forbidden by any kind of action or a bad habit to shorten one's and other people's life, or damage the health. It is forbidden not to control one's temper and insult others. One is to live with everybody in peace and harmony. It is also necessary to love animals.
  7. It is forbidden not to be faithful to one's spouse or any other unlawful or unclean love. It is necessary to have pure thoughts and wishes. One has to avoid everything that can excite unclean (impure, sexually explicit) thoughts and feelings (in oneself and in others): unclean jokes, pictures, films, books, songs, dances, dresses etc.
  8. It is forbidden to steal, cheat, take something without owner's permission. One has to work honestly.
  9. It is forbidden to lie, slander, talk evil, insinuate a lie, not keep a promise etc. We have to be honest.
  10. It is forbidden to wish something that does not belong to you, to envy and also to think bad about other people. The envy and bad thoughts are the sources of bad wishes and they are the source of bad actions (deeds).

2. Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29; Luke 6:12-41). In the "Sermon on the Mount" Jesus Christ said the essence of His teaching. The most important in this teaching are the Beatitude Commandments [Beatitudes], but besides them there are also many other commandments. The Sermon on the Mount starts with the Beatitude Commandments and ends with the Wise Builder (Matthew 7:24-27). This parable teaches us that especially during the trouble, one can see the advantage of living by the God's Law and His Commandments.

2.1 Beatitude Commandments (Matthew 5:3-12; Luke 6:20-23). The Ten Commandments together with the Beatitude Commandments are the foundation of the Christian teaching about life. The Ten Commandments are describing how are we supposed to live, and the Beatitude Commandments are teaching us what kind of attitudes and feelings we are supposed to have. The Beatitude Commandments do not contradict the Ten Commandments, but they supplement them.
    In English language -- basically the language of the Protestant world -- it is "Beatitudes" and not "Beatitude Commandments". The difference is because they believe that they are obtaining these qualities from God as a reward for their prayers, serving the Church and doing charity work. In the Orthodox Church these are "Beatitude Commandments" and the Orthodox are supposed to actively work on incorporating these virtues and qualities into their life and personality. According to Russian Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitzky), this is the most important difference between the Orthodox Church and the Western Church (Roman-Catholic Church, protestants and sectarians).
    The Beatitude Commandments are sang in Church-Slavic in Liturgy, during the "Small Entry". Below they are given in English, in New King James Version:

  1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
  3. Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
  5. Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
  8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
    For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  9. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
    and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
    Rejoice and be exceedingly glad,
    for great is your reward in heaven."

2.1.1 Interpretation of Beatitude Commandments.
The Orthodox Christianity is teaching us to live according to the Commandments, and also purge our sinful habits, in other words to gradually change ourselves for the better. The Beatitude Commandments are showing us the direction of this improvement. Below are given the explanations of these Commandments.

  1. It is necessary to be "poor in spirit", that is peaceful, at peace and humble, and not to think that we are better than others. This is the first step towards moral and spiritual growth and improvement.
  2. It is necessary to be sorry (cry) about our sins and to repent and correct them. This is very important, because in order to correct our ourselves, we have to see and be sorry for our sins.
  3. It is necessary to be mild (soft spoken), without evil, peaceful and have Christian love.
  4. It is necessary to seek God's Truth and live according to the God's Law. (To "hunger and thirst for righteousness" means "to wish so much God's Truth, like the hungry wants to eat and thirsty wants to drink").
  5. It is necessary to be compassionate (merciful), that is to have sympathy for people who are in trouble or have some difficulty and help them.
  6. It is necessary to have pure heart. Not to have evil, bad and unclean thoughts, wishes and feelings. Bad thoughts, wishes and feelings one has to drive them away.
  7. It is necessary to be a peacemaker, live with everybody in peace and harmony and create peace, silence and peacefulness and make peace between those who are fighting.
  8. Very often bad people, the enemies of truth and good, full of envy, evil and other sinners, dislike those who live according to the God's Law (by the truth). One should not despair and should remember that Lord sees and knows everything and will reward for standing for the truth.
  9. Same as 8th Commandment, if people are suffering for Christ, then the Lord God will see and know that and will reward it.

2.2 God's Providence (Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-31). Jesus Christ was teaching, that Lord God provides (takes care) of everything and especially for people. He takes care of us, more than any good father for his children. He helps us to obtain whatever is required for our life and all our real needs.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.3 Do not judge others. (Mathew 7:1-5; Luke 6:37). Jesus Christ taught not to judge (condemn) others and not to criticize, but pay more attention at our own faults.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows: Liberals and also people who are doing something evil, like this Biblical quotation that one cannot judge. This way, they can do what they want and the evil triumphs. They explain it out of context and incorrectly. Archbishop Averky (Taushev) adhering to the words of St. John Zlatoust (Gooldenmouth, Chrisostom) explains this very well. The Christian has to judge (reason, evaluate, compare) in order to distinguish good from evil, but to condemn, obviously, can only the Lord God.

2.4 About forgiving (Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26). Jesus Christ was teaching to forgive and not to remember evil.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.5 About loving your Neighbor (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-30). Most of all Jesus Christ taught to love everybody and everyone. The God's Law can be called "the Law of Love".
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.6 The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). The famous Golden Rule in a concise way shows the essence of the Christian Teaching. The Rule means that one should not do to other people what he does not want them to do to him.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.7 The Power of the Prayer (Matthew 7:7-11; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9-13; John 14:13-14). Jesus Christ was teaching, that if we will pray sincerely, and with all our heart, to Lord God and ask Him for help, He will always hear us and do whatever is necessary for our real need.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.8 Charity should be done in secret (Matthew 6:1-4). Jesus Christ was teaching that it is necessary to help people, perform good deeds and do charity work in secret and not to show off and not to boast in front of others. Lord God sees everything and He will reward us.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.9 About the necessity of doing good Deeds and living according to the God's Law (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46). Jesus Christ was teaching that besides praying, it is also necessary to do good deeds and to live according to the God's Law, that is to fulfill His Holy Will.

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.10 It is necessary to collect treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Jesus Christ was teaching that whatever we do, whatever is our profession, the most important thing is to pray, live according to the God's Law, do good deeds, correct our weaknesses, and try to be better. This way we will collect treasuries (points) for Heavenly Kingdom.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.11 Be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Only the Lord God is without a sin, all of us are sinful: we, our parents, friends, priests. Even saints were committing sins. Despite this fact Lord Jesus Christ is calling to work toward holiness, because only in holiness there is man's real happiness. He teaches us to live according to God's Law Commandments, to always try to be better, struggle with our weaknesses, gradually rectify our sinful habits and gradually improve ourselves.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.12 Lord's Prayer ("Our Father") (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4). By saying this prayer, Jesus Christ taught us how to pray to God. This prayer became a model for all Christian prayers. This is why this prayer is called "the Lord's Prayer" and it is most known and loved prayer. From that moment this prayer was repeated by many Christians during all their life, for nearly 2000 years.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.13 Beware of False Teachers (Matthew 7:15-20; Luke 6:43-44). Jesus Christ warned people to beware of false teachers of His Law. He said that they can be recognized by the result of their deeds, which are bad fruits.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

2.14 Parable of the Wise Builder (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49). At the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29) Jesus Christ said the parable which amounts to the conclusion of this sermon.
    He said that one wise man built his house on the rock, and a foolish one built his house on the sand. During the good weather both houses stood well. But, when the storm came and the strong wind blew, the house which was built on the sand fell. The other house, which was built on the rock, on solid foundation, survived the storm and the wind, and it did not fall.
    This parable tells us that we should build our life on a solid foundation of the God's Law and then whatever happens in one's life, we will survive.
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

3. The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28). Once when Jesus Christ was preaching, one lawyer asked Him, what is the greatest commandment. Jesus answered:
    Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew quotes Jesus Christ's words as follows:

This means that the first and the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God, His Teaching (God's Law) and fulfill His will, and the second similar to the first, is to love all people and help them.

4. The Hymn of Love (1 Corinthians 13:1-8). St. Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to Corinthians what is considered the best description and definition of love.

  1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
    but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
  2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries
    and all knowledge, and though I have all faith,
    so that I could remove mountains,
    but have not love, I am nothing.
  3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,
    but have not love, it profits me nothing.
  4. Love suffers long and is kind;
    love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
  5. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
  6. Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
  7. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  8. Love never fails.
    But whether there are prophecies, they will fail;
    whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

HOMEWORK

For students of the Church Gimnaziya at the Church of all Russian Saints in Burlingame, California.

Homework 2-1. Ten Commandemnts
1. By whom, when and from whom were received Ten Commandments?
2. What is their meaning for European Civilization?
3. What is the consequence of following these Commandments?
4. What did Lord Jesus Christ teach about how should we understand these Commandments?
5. What did ancient Jews accuse Jesus Christ of?
6. Explain in your own words each of the Ten Commandments.

Homework 2-2. Nine Beatitude Commandments
1. What is "The Sermon in the Mount"?
2. By whom, when and from whom were received Beatitude Commandments?
3. What is the difference between Ten Commandments and Beatitude Commandments?
4. Explain in your own words each of the Beatitude Commandments.

Homework 2-3. Other Commandments
1. What is "God's Providence" and what did Jesus Christ teach about it? Give an example.
2. What is "judging" and what did Jesus Christ teach about it? Give an example.
3. What did Jesus Christ teach about forgiving? Give an example.
4. What did Jesus Christ teach about love for our neighbor? Give an example.
5. What is meant by "Golden Rule"? Give an example.
6. What did Jesus Christ teach about the strength of the prayer? Give an example.
7. What is "charity" and what did Jesus Christ teach about it? Give an example.
8. What is meant by "good deed" and what did Jesus Christ teach about it? Give an example.
9. What is meant by "collecting treasuries in Kingdom of Heaven". Give an example.
10. What is meant by "be perfect". Give an example.
11. Who said and when "The Lord's Prayer".
12. What is meant by "False Teachers". Give an example.
13. What is the meaning of "The Parable of the wise Builder". Explain.

Примечание
[П1] Эта работа была написана для учеников «Русской Церковной Гимназии при Храме всех Святых в Земле Российской просиявших», в Бурлингейме, Калифорния. Так как некоторые ученики не так хорошо владеют русским языком, для того что бы они могли быстрее осилить и усвоить русский текст, то специально для них был прибавлен к русскому тексту, английский.
[П2] Russian Alphabet (SE-03)

Literature on our site:
Life of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.1а)
Miracles of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.2а)
Parables of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.3а)
Teaching of Lord Jesus Christ (ДД-21.4а)


Духовный листок «Дорога домой. Выпуск 21.4а -
Учение Господа Иисуса Христа»

Гимназия при Храме всех Святых в Земле Российской просиявших (АНМ),
г. Бурлингейм, штат Калифорния
School at the Church of all Russian Saints (ANM),
744 El Camino Real, Burlingame, CA 94010-5005
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