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The Fifth Dimension

There is a part of you that only you and God know—and it should stay that way.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "If Jesus Came to Your Town ...". See series.


There are five parts of me and (probably) you: Part of myself that I know and like and let my friends see; part of myself that I know and dislike and try to keep hidden; part of myself that I do not know but my friends do (especially my mother, my best friend); part of myself that neither I nor my friends know but only God knows—he made me in his image and knows who I might become. And there is a fifth part of myself that only God and I know: a hidden part with God.

Today Jesus is concerned with this hidden part—what I call the Fifth Dimension. For him, this is vital to who we are. Of course, culture finds that hard to believe. Image seems everything. Play to your strengths and project your best image—"Hey, how do I look?"

With Jesus, it's different. You will have noticed two sections in the scripture. Both have a similar structure and use the same kind of language—first, about the way I do "acts of righteousness;" secondly, about the way I pray. Jesus' teaching follows a pattern here. He makes certain assumptions, gives serious warning, and then gives practical advice.

The fifth dimension of acts of righteousness

Righteousness is especially God's word because it describes him in his goodness, rightness, justice, purity, and glory. Only he is righteous, but when Jesus died for us, the righteous for the unrighteous, he empowered us to belong to him and become more like him—more righteous.

Jesus assumes you are doing righteous things. He says: "When you do…When you give." When. And it is happening.

Someone on this campus on Saturday deliberately befriended another student who was sitting by themselves, and tried to introduce them to their friends. That's an act of righteousness. ...

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Michael Quicke is professor of preaching at Northern Baptist Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and author of 360-Degree Preaching (Baker).

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Sermon Outline:


I. The fifth dimension of acts of righteousness

II. The fifth dimension of prayer