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The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is in Matthew 5–7, but portions of it are in the other Gospels, also. It is unlikely that our Lord gave it only one time. He repeated many of the truths that He gave and probably gave the Sermon on the Mount, probably many times. Luke records only a portion of it (Luke 6:17-49) and mentions the fact that our Lord came down and stood in the plain, indicating that this was a different occasion, a different location. Matthew’s account is probably just a part of the Sermon on the Mount. I believe that our Lord said much more. He gave it for our learning and our understanding and for our good.
The Gospel of Christ is NOT found in the Sermon on the Mount. There is absolutely NO mention of the death and resurrection of Christ. Some people say “I live by the Sermon on the Mount.” If a person is honest and will READ the Sermon on the Mount, he will KNOW that he is not living up to it. The Sermon on the Mount is God’s standard and we all come short of it.
Since there is NO Gospel message in the Sermon on the Mount, it is tragic to give it to an unsaved person as a standard of conduct, and to tell him that if he tries to measure up to it, he is a Christian. The Sermon on the Mount is Law lifted to the highest degree. Man could not keep the Law in the Old Testament, so how can he possibly keep, in his own strength, the Sermon on the Mount which is elevated by Jesus, to an even higher degree?
Living by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit is also NOT one of the Truths taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Rom. 8:3–4). It contains nothing of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Still, it does contain high moral standards and practices which are NOT contrary to Christian living; plus something very important, the fact that it expresses the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), which should be the mind of ALL Christians as well. The great principles set down are beneficial for the Christian to study and learn, but he can never attain them in his own strength; he must go to Jesus to receive the power.
The primary purpose of the Sermon on the Mount is to set before people the law of the Kingdom. Matthew speaks about the King who has come to present Himself. John the Baptist was His forerunner, and the King called disciples to follow Him. Here He announces the law of the Kingdom. This is the declaration of the King and the rules of the Prince of Peace. The Christian who calls Jesus Christ “Lord,” will strive to do what He commands, but he can obey only in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is wrong to try to force the Sermon on the Mount on a rebellious world. Only the Gospel of the grace of God can make men obedient to Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Sermon on the Mount should be preached to bring conviction to the hearts of men. It lets us know that we have sinned, and it reveals that none of us are righteous and that we all have come short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:10,23).
We should take the standards set down in the Sermon on the Mount and consider them in the light of other Scriptures. This will provide a wider view and a better understanding of the mind of Christ. The Bible is always its own best commentary.
Only here can you find Christ’s definition of murder and adultery. You say that the Sermon on the Mount is your religion. Are you living by it? Are you keeping it? Let’s take a test! The Sermon on the Mount says that if you are angry with your brother you are guilty of murder. Are you keeping that one? What about: whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart, are you keeping that one? People piously say that the Sermon on the Mount is their religion, but the fact is, it is only words! It doesn’t affect them NOT one little bit. IF you look at the Sermon on the Mount honestly, it will bring you to a Saviour who died for you on the cross. The Sermon on the Mount sets before us great principles and high goals. We need to know them, but they reveal just how far short that we come.
Matthew’s record of the Sermon on the Mount is probably just a part of Christ’s actual message. The Sermon on the Mount opens with the Beatitudes. They are BE-attitudes, not DO-attitudes. They state what the citizens of the Kingdom ARE . . . they are the type of person described in the Beatitudes.
It should be noted that the Lord did not actually give the Sermon on the Mount to the multitudes. He gave it to His disciples, those who were already His people.
Blessed, supremely blest; Blessed is a positive judgment by God on the individual that means to be approved or to find approval. When God blesses us, He approves of us. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is so famous and so powerful that we cannot overstate its influence. It is the perfect standard of the Christian life.
Nature has given us certain elements, and all our bodies are composed of them. Languages has given us certain alphabet, and all words are composed of them. So too, our blessed Saviour, in these 3 chapters of this Message(5,6,7), has given us a sermon of texts, of which all sermons may be composed. All the articles of our religion, all the rules of our Church, all the laws of our nations, all the lectures of our fathers, are in these three chapters, in this one Sermon in the Mount. The power and effect of the Sermon on the Mount cannot be calculated.
When we read and/or hear the Sermon on the Mount, we expose ourselves to the X-ray of Christ’s Words. We will be able to SEE if we truly are believers; and if we are believers, we can SEE just how genuine and serious that we really are. No other portion of Scripture makes us face ourselves like the Sermon on the Mount. It is the remedy to any pretense we may have in our Christian life.
The Sermon on the Mount should be the most important factor in our spiritual life, especially the Beatitudes. It should make us realize just how far short we are of what our Lord wants and expects of us. The Sermon on the Mount should penetrate our hearts, and give us cause to really consider eternity.
Opposite to popular opinion, blessed does NOT mean happy, even though some modern versions translate it this way. Happiness is an imagined, mental state, a feeling. What Jesus is trying to get across to us is what God thinks of us, NOT how we feel. Blessed is a positive judgment by God on the individual that means to be approved or to find approval. So when God blesses us, He approves of us.
There is no doubt that when we are blessed by God, we will feel happy, because blessed people are happy. But we must remember that to be blessed is us being aware of that God approves of us. Blessedness is actually approval from God. Blessedness brings the applause of Heaven.
If God’s blessing/approval doesn’t mean more to us than anything else, then the Beatitudes are not penetrating our hearts, and not speaking to us in the deepest of ways. Question??? Do you really want God's approval more than anything else? OR, do you just want to be happy in this life on Earth? There is a BIG difference! Happiness is temporary, blessedness is eternal! Do you really want God’s approval above all else?
Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount