THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT — PART III
• Jesus Christ teaching the sermon on the mount
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 5:16; 6:33.
This week we publish the concluding part of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:1-29.
Please enjoy and pass it on to others!
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
ASK, SEEK, KNOCK
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
THE NARROW AND WIDE GATES
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
TRUE AND FALSE PROPHETS
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
TRUE AND FALSE DISCIPLES
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
THE WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS
“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. The 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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
RELEVANCE OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
The Sermon on the Mount is relevant to modern life because it depicts the behaviour which Jesus expected of each of His disciples then and also of us now because of our citizenship in God’s Kingdom. The Sermon speaks of what ought to be in a disciple’s heart, what should be his motives and what should be in his private and public life.
I agree with the preacher, John Stott when he says that the relevance of the Sermon on the Mount can be seen in the following areas:
• A Christian’s character (Matthew 5: 3-12): The beatitudes emphasise eight principal marks of a Christian’s character and conduct in life.
• A Christian’s influence (Matthew 5: 13-16): Salt and Light indicate the influence for good, which Christians will exert in the community if they maintain their distinctive character as portrayed in the beatitudes.
• A Christian’s righteousness (Matthew 5:17- 48): A Christian’s righteousness denotes what should be that Christian’s attitude to the moral law of God.
• A Christian’s piety (Matthew 6:1-18): This should not be a hypocritical display as in the days of the Pharisees nor should it be the mechanical formalism of unbelievers. A Christian’s piety should be marked by reality and the sincerity of children who always live in the Heavenly Father’s presence.
• A Christian’s ambition (Matthew 6:19-34): A Christian is to live above worldliness and secularism by concentrating on a relationship with the living God which creates contentment and peace. A Christian’s supreme ambition ought to be the glory of God which is what we should seek. – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well – Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
• A Christian’s relationships (Matthew 7:1-20): Once a Christian is properly related to Christ, all other relationships are positively affected. New relationships are created and old ones are changed for good.
• A Christian’s Commitment (Matthew 7:21-27): A Christian should not merely call Jesus Lord, but to seek to obey Him who is called Lord. Such is the wisdom that drives from being a Christian.
PRACTICALITY OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Many people wonder how practical the Sermon on the Mount is for today’s everyday living. The truth is, no one can achieve the standards set by the Lord Jesus Christ without being born again. Because it is only in the new nature that comes with our relationship with Christ it gives us the impetus to live to please God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) states categorically “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! It is this new life empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit that marks out how a Christian is able to live his life.
Jesus spoke the Sermon to those who are citizens of God’s Kingdom and children of God’s family. It is when we attain Christ’s standards that we give evidence of what, by God’s free grace and gift we are.
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Dr. Joyce Aryee, the author