Sermon On The Mount Devotional Blog

Sermon On The Mount Devotional 

And So It Begins…

Introduction Part 1

Read Matthew 5:1-6:4

What are some of the most famous lines from literature or movies or history, of all time? What are some of the world’s most famous quotes? What comes to mind with these questions? While this may be a somewhat subjective question, opinions varying widely from person to person, maybe we can agree on a few simple ones. From the study of history perhaps you think of President Roosevelt’s famous remarks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when he famously said, “Dec. 7th, a date that will live in infamy!” From literature, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” out of A Tale of Two Cities. From movies and the classic beginning to the Star Wars trilogies, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” And of course, Shakespeare’s famous line, “To be or not to be that is the question!” is one that readily comes to mind.

How about from the Bible? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” starts the Bible off in a well-known way. One of the shortest passages is also one of the best known, “Jesus wept.” There is a section in the New Testament that contains a rich treasury of some of the best-known phrases and teachings anywhere in the Bible - The Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew. See if you recognize any of these:

“You are the salt of the earth…”

“You have heard it said… But I say…”

“I have not come to abolish the law…” 

“An eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth…”

“The Lord’s Prayer”

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth…”

“Judge not that you be not judged…” 

“Take the log out of your own eye…”

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will 

be opened for you.”

The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“Good fruit… bad fruit.”

“Build your house on the rock… not sand.”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

Many of these are well known but many are also often taken wildly out of context and misused. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” is often quoted and used as a justification for revenge. “Judge not that you be not judged,” is often thrown around to put a stop to unwanted confrontation. Understanding the context of what Christ is saying in the Sermon on the Mount and to whom He is speaking gives proper light to what these individual passages are saying and what they mean.

Other than to dispel the misuse of these famous passages, what reason do we have to study the Sermon on the Mount? Let me begin by encouraging you from II Timothy 3:16 that says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Why study the Sermon? It is God’s Word and will be profitable for us!

Others have chimed in in answer to this question as well. Kent Hughes says of the Sermon on the Mount, “For the Christian believer, it is simply the greatest sermon ever preached. Why is this? To begin with, it came from the lips of Jesus.” (Hughes pg. 14) He goes on to say, “The Sermon on the Mount is the compacted, congealed theology of Christ and as such is perhaps the most profound section of the entire New Testament and the whole Bible.” (IBID)

Some have mistakenly taught that the SOM (Sermon on the Mount) is instruction on how we are to live so that we might gain salvation. The SOM proclaims to us loudly the absolute need for us to be reborn through faith in Jesus Christ. We must be saved by grace through Christ so that when we read this great Sermon, we won’t think that somehow we can be saved by doing what is said there. We must be given a new heart and new affections and desires so that, once we are saved, we can respond to this message and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Have you been saved by the atoning work of Jesus Christ? Are you trusting in His complete, holy and perfect living on this earth, keeping the law in every way, on your behalf? Have you confessed your sinful life and heart, pleading that His sacrifice on the Cross might have paid for your sins? We are saved by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ alone. The SOM “is not intended to be a set of rules and regulations with which to measure ourselves and others to see whether we are good enough to be in the kingdom. Rather, as those who have been brought into God’s kingdom, it is a call to our hearts and to our minds to be shaped by the reality of who we are as Christians.” (Duguid pg. 2)

So, What Now?

If you have been saved, are you now trusting in your own ability to try and change and live what is taught here in the Sermon on the Mount? We are saved and justified by grace; likewise, we live and are sanctified by this same grace. We need Jesus to create right thinking and living in our new hearts. The Sermon on the Mount is this new pattern of thinking and living. Plead today that the Lord would teach you and change you, that your life might resemble what is being taught here, more and more each day.