Last week we started a series in the Sermon on the Mount. It is the greatest sermon ever preached. It is the best know of Jesus teachings, but also the most misunderstood and interpreted. The following is a brief overview of the first message in the series.
Interpretations of the SOM
Ways the Sermon on the Mount has been interpreted over the years
• Protestant liberals have used the ethics of the sermon as a mandate for the church to usher in the kingdom of God by means of reforming society.
• Leaders of the Social Gospel Movement believed that the kingdom could be attained by understanding and applying the principles of this Sermon to our culture.
Carry over from OT
• Some believe it is merely a better interpretation of the Law and has nothing to do with the Age of Grace,
Standards are to high
• Some say that the "demands" of the Sermon on the Mount are beyond human capabilities therefore, cannot be expected to be literally fulfilled. Thus, the Sermon serves to make man aware of his sin and to bring him to repentance.
• Dispensationalism teaches that these laws are for the kingdom age (Millennium) and are only an example for us and our day.
The Sermon on the Mount is a description of what the citizens of the kingdom are to be and do. “It describes what human life and human community look like when they come under the gracious rule of God.” (John Stott).
Why study the Sermon on the Mount
1. The Sermon on the Mount will show you the absolute necessity of the new birth.
2. it clearly points to Jesus Christ.
3. it's the only way to happiness for Christians.
4. it's the best means I know of evangelism.
The layout of Sermon on the Mount
I. Our character Matthew 5:3-12
• is to be completely distinct from the character which the world admires (through the qualities in the beatitudes)
II. Our influence Matthew 5:13-16
• is like light to darkness and salt to moral decay
III. Our righteousness Matthew 5:17-6:18-
• Our righteousness must exceed the superficial righteousness of the established religious community:
• The Sermon on the Mount impacts the way we live our lives in the following areas:
a. In Ethics 5:17-4
Hatred/Love for enemy: 43-48
b. In devotion 6:1-18
c. In ambition
Our ambitions are to be different. Though the world around us is preoccupied with material necessities, the followers of Christ must seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness.
IV. Our relationships Matthew 7:1-20
Relationships must be transformed and different from those around us
With our spiritual family 7:1-6
With our heavenly father 7:7-12
With our spiritual opponents 7:13-23
24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.