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The Sermon on the Mount

Summary of chapters 5-7 in Matthew

Summary . . . as I see it

Now that we have concluded the Sermon on the Mount, I think it would be a good idea to back off and get a view of it, sort of from a distance. Many people think that the Sermon on the Mount tells us the way TRUE believers are to live in our society, and that it is given to the church.

But, if we step back and look at the Word of God as a whole, we will see that God has given three great systems by which He governs and rules mankind.

The first one is the Mosaic system, the Law, the Ten Commandments. Early in Genesis (ch. 7) is the record that God had to destroy the entire human race (with the exception of one man and his family) because of their violence and because “… every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). The human family had departed from God (apostasy), and He had to judge it. Out of the Earth He could find only one righteous man, Noah, and his family. From these people God began a movement to draw out of this new population a man who would become the father of a people who would be a witness for Him. Actually, He was going to give them a land, and He was going to make them a great nation . . . numberless . . . and He would make them a blessing to the whole world. God, through them, would reach the world. He gave them through Moses, the Mosaic system, and it was a great sacrificial system. The Book of Exodus gives us the details of it and reveals that the very heart of it was the burnt altar where sacrifices were offered. That altar speaks of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, and God never forgave a sin apart from a sacrifice that was made, because Law CANNOT save man. Law only revealed that man was a sinner. It was a system of condemnation, not a system of salvation. Throughout the Old Testament, the burnt offerings pointed to the coming of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus came and offered Himself as the King in order to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. But His nation, the Jews, rejected Him. The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as King. It is my personal belief that everything in Matthew’s Gospel is to be understood in the light of the fact that Jesus is the King. He was born a King, He lived a King, He died a King, He rose again from the dead as a King, and He is coming again to this Earth as a King.

One of the things that He did while He was here on earth was to proclaim a law that was different from the Mosaic Law. It was the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew 5–7. Parts of it are found in the other Gospels, but Matthew gives the fullest extent. I think it may be a shortened version, and the evidence of this, I think, is that He took only two of the Mosaic commandments and lifted them to a higher degree of interpretation than they ever had been held in the Old Testament. He said that if you are angry with your brother, you are guilty of murder. There is nothing about that in the Old Testament.

Jesus also said that if you so much as look upon a woman to commit adultery in your heart, that you are guilty of it. My friend, that involves half the human race today. There are very few men who are not guilty of breaking that commandment, and many women as well. Consider how many sins of adultery go on in the world today, according to Jesus’ Words in Mat.5:28. It is when someone looks at a woman (or man) and undresses that person without moving a muscle! If the opportunity arose, they would take action. They never move an eyelash, just watch the woman with lust in their heart. But, according Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount, they are guilty of adultery.

The Sermon on the Mount lifts the Law to the highest degree imaginable. Somebody may ask: “Isn’t that what we are to live by today?” No, it is for the Kingdom which is coming on the Earth. At that time we will probably have the complete version of the Sermon on the Mount. It will be the Law of the Kingdom, which Christ will set up in the future. There are great principles in it for us, but we have been given a different system. You and I are living in what is called the age of grace or the age of the Holy Spirit (Rom.6:14-15; 11:5-6). It is a time when God saves by grace, not by keeping the law, not by following the law. We are not saved by anything that we do. NONE of us are a Christian until we BELIEVE something, and that something is: “… that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3–4). That is the Gospel; that is what saves you. The precious shed Blood of our Almighty Saviour saves us! (1 Pet.1:18-19; Heb.9:12).

After you have been saved, God has a way for you to live, and that way is NOT the Mosaic Law, NOT the Ten Commandments. Yes! I know that all the big denominations teach the Ten Commandments. What if you did/could keep all ten of the commandments (which you don’t/can’t). That would NOT save your soul from Hell, because what saves you is FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Law CANNOT save you (Eph.2:8). God the Father GIVES us eternal life in Heaven ONLY in the behalf of Christ, (Phil.1:29).

Neither is the Law a way of life; it is not the Christian way of life. “Does that mean we can break it?” NO! You do NOT have freedom to break it. It simply means that we have a way of life which is much higher than the Ten Commandments. Jesus gives believers our commandments! Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.(KJV) . . . Those TWO commandments cover the whole Old Testament . . . the Law and the prophets! Everything back there! So. . . our commandment from Jesus is one four letter word: LOVE!!! Godly LOVE, NOT sex! Have you ever stopped to consider if you could keep the Sermon on the Mount? NO one can live by it. NO one can keep it. The heart of man must be changed. People talk about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Our Lord Jesus contradicted that theory when He said to the religious rulers of His day, “Ye are of your father the devil …” (John 8:44). Quite clearly, there were some people in that day who couldn’t call God their Father. It is the same today! The universal fatherhood of God did not apply then, and it does NOT apply today. Nor does the universal brotherhood of man. Universalism is a damnable heresy! Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV) Does this tell you that everyone will go to Heaven? Just the opposite. Only a FEW will make it according to Jesus!

HOW are we to live? NOT by our own effort, because we can’t make it. The Word says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance [self-control]: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22–23). There is NO law on God’s Books which can produce any these things. It is NOT in our nature to love. Again I say: I do NOT mean sex! The people in this world are sex-crazy! I mean a real, soul-deep love for God, and care, concern and compassion for our fellow man! That kind of love does NOT come naturally. I CANNOT do it by myself. God is waiting to do it for us by the Holy Spirit.

This is a new way of living. This is not the Mosaic system, this is not the Sermon on the Mount, this is new! God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies . . . it is spiritual blessings that He has given to us. And now we are to walk through this world in meekness, lowliness of mind and heart, by the power of the Spirit of God. And today we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit which will enable us to live for God. He will produce fruit in our lives as only He can do. It will enable us to SERVE God. This is the high plane to which we are called. I hope that you now see the Sermon on the Mount in what I think is its true perspective. We are now ready to come down from the mountain where our Lord Jesus delivered this marvelous portion of Scripture. We will one day see that He also has the power to enforce this law when He comes to rule upon this Earth. Are you ready?

I must add the following. When God places something on my heart, I must obey. Far too often I disobey my Lord, thinking it is only something I want and that He is not behind it. I woke up with the following words fresh in my mind.

JESUS, JUST JESUS

Why is it that so many people have a problem with Jesus being the only Way to Heaven? “Your way isn’t the only way” a dear loved one told me. I told her that it was NOT my way, it was God’s way.

Jesus IS God

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV)

Do you see what this prophecy foretells?

  • For unto us . . . for the benefit of the Jews first, and then the Gentiles. (Luke 2:11says: unto you.)
  • A son . . . given . . . (Psalm 2:7). This was God's FREE GIFT, on which mankind had no claim (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23).
  • The government . . . upon . . . his shoulder . . . The emblem of office used to be worn on the shoulder, in token of sustaining the government (Isaiah 22:22). Here the government on Messiah's shoulder is in marked opposite to the "yoke and staff" of the oppressor on Israel's "shoulder" (Isaiah 9:4). Christ shall receive the Kingdom of the Earth from the Father, to defend it from the misrule of those to whom it was entrusted. The Father declares His right by the Son, the "Heir of all things," who will hold it for Him (Daniel 7:13-14).

His name shall be called:

  • Wonderful . . . a miracle, marvelous (Judges 13:18, 1 Tim. 3:16).
  • Counsellor . . . advise (well), consult, (give, take) counsel, determine, guide, purpose (Psalm 16:7; Rom. 11:33-34; 1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3).
  • Mighty God . . . NO one is more powerful than God (Isaiah 10:21; Psalm 24:8; Titus 2:13) Jesus is the mighty man. Jesus is the "Immanuel" God with us (Isaiah 7:14).
  • Everlasting Father . . . Jesus is "Wonderful," He is "a child," yet He is also the "everlasting Father" (John 10:30; John 14:9). Earthly kings leave their people after a short reign, but Jesus will reign over and bless them His people for ever.
  • Prince of Peace . . . Only with Jesus can there ever be peace (Genesis 49:10) Jesus is Shiloh, "The Tranquillizer" and He and He alone can bring peace on Earth (Hosea 2:18). Even in today’s chaotic, evil and violent world already Jesus is "our peace" (Luke 2:14; Ephes. 2:14).

John 10:22-30 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. [23] And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. [24] Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. [25] Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. . . . Jesus told the Jews several times Who and What He was, and they had seen the miracles that He had done (John 7:37-38; John 8:12, 35-36, 58).

[26] But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. . . . Jesus told them they were not His sheep (John 10:1). Millions in the world today are NOT Jesus’ sheep, because they refuse to believe and accept Him.

[27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: . . . God’s TRUE children hear Jesus’ voice and they OBEY what He says! Jesus’sheep listen to Him and follow Him. They believe God!

[28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. . . . ONLY Jesus can give a person eternal life. ONLY Jesus can make a person a child of God. (John 1:12-13). Jesus told Nicodemus that he (and we) must be born again (John 3:3) or he couldn’t even SEE the kingdom of God, let alone go there. And ONLY Jesus has the power to place a person into the family of God.

[29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. . . . My Father, which gave them me (John 6:37-39), is greater than all. NO hostile power can ever contend with the Almighty God! Once we are in God’s Hand, NO one can remove us from Him! It is impossible for a TRUE believer to lose their salvation! Once saved, always saved! If God gives a person to Jesus (Eph.1:4-5), they are His for ever (John 14:16).

Then Jesus makes a statement that riled the Jews completely.

[30] I and my Father are one. (KJV) Jesus clearly states that He is God! He and His Father are ONE!!! God the Father is a Spirit (John 4:24). The Father is in Jesus, and Jesus is in the Father. John 10:37-38 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. [38] But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. (KJV) We serve a very unique God. Our God is very much alive and exceptionally powerful. Jesus lives! Jesus is GOD!!!

Jesus is the ONLY Way to Heaven

So, WHY do I say, agreeing completely with the Bible, that Jesus is the ONLY Way to Heaven? Can I back it up? I hope I can explain it to your satisfaction.

In the Old Testament, God gave the Ten Commandments to the Jews (Exodus 19:16-25; 20:1-17). If a person says they keep the Ten Commandments, they are a liar! For to keep the Mosaic Law is more than the Ten Commandments. There are about 613 laws in total in the “Law.” And, the Bible clearly tells us that we are cursed if we don’t keep them ALL.

Deut. 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. (KJV) IF a person insists on obedience to the Mosaic Law, they must obey every bit of it. God will curse anyone who does not obey all of His laws.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (KJV) Ahyone who depends on obedience to the Law live under a "curse." The Bible clearly says that anyone who does not always obey EVERYTHING that is written in the book of the Law is under God's curse!

Where does that leave us?

As you must know, NO mere person has ever even come close to obeying God’s Laws. HOW can sinful man avoid God’s wrath? I CANNOT fulfill the Law! Can you? I can’t get past the first couple without being cursed by God, without provoking His Holy wrath. All this means that I am God’s enemy (Rom.5:10). So . . . HOW do I get right with God the Father? HOW do I become His friend?

God knows mankind’s weakness, so He devised a PLAN that could make us right with Him. Just One Plan! That being Jesus! Jesus is the ONLY Person ever to fulfill the Law! No one else has ever even come close.

Since we don’t even have a smidgen of righteousness in us anywhere, we must depend on Jesus to make us right with God. 1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV)

  • But . . . ye . . . are in contrast to them that "glory" in worldly wisdom and greatness.
  • Of him . . . not of yourselves (Eph. 2:8), but of Him (Rom.11:36).
  • In Christ . . . living in union with Jesus. Not "in the flesh" (1 Cor. 1:26, 29).
  • Of God . . . Jesus came forth from Him, was sent by Him.
  • Is made unto us . . . has been made to us, to our eternal gain.
  • Wisdom . . . godly wisdom is NOT attainable by any worldly method of seeking it (1 Cor. 1:19-20; contrast Col. 2:3; Proverbs 8:1-36). By it we become "wise unto salvation," owing His wisdom in starting and executing the plan, for, once we were "fools."
  • Righteousness . . . is the ground for our justification (Jer.23:5-6; Romans 4:25; 2 Cor. 5:21). Since we have NONE, we must get ours from Jesus. He is our Righteousness! Once we were "weak" (Rom.5:6).
  • Sanctification . . . set apart for service to God by His Spirit.
  • Redemption . . . whereas once we were "despised" Jesus redeemed us! (Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:23; Eph. 1:14; Eph. 4:30).

So, it is by accepting Jesus and walking the narrow road (Mat.7:13-14) that makes us right with God. The Law CANNOT do it. Jesus, Just Jesus!

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (KJV) We CANNOT have peace with God the Father without Jesus! NO way!

Unless we believe God (1 John 5:10-12), and accept His only Way to Him and Heaven, HELL will be our eternal destination.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV)

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (KJV) The Law CANNOT justify us!

John 3:15-18 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV) IF you believe God, Heaven is yours! IF you refuse to believe God, Hell awaits.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (KJV) You HAVE eternal life as soon as you believe God and accept Jesus!

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (KJV) Eternal Hell awaits if you refuse to believe WHO Jesus is!

Ephes. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (KJV) Eternal life in Heaven is a GIFT from God; it is FREE! All you have to do is accept it by faith! (also see: Rom.6:23).

613 laws boiled down to two in Matthew. Jesus says so!

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? [37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV) What Jesus means is that these two commandments cover the entire Old Testament.

Below are some examples of reducing the 613 laws to just one law.

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. [KJV] Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. [KJV]

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [KJV]

Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [KJV] So, actually, our command from Jesus boils down to one word, LOVE!

The Ten Commandments were valid UNTIL Jesus came.

Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. [KJV] All the prophets and Moses’ teachings were good up to the time of John the Baptist.

Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. [KJV]

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. [KJV] Why then was the Law given? To show people how guilty they are. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of Jesus, to whom God’s Promise was made. God gave His laws to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Since Jesus, He is the only Mediator we need!

Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount

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