This blog study will take on the most literal view of the Sermon on the Mount. We will come to the Sermon with the idea that it is meant for all Christians (but only disciples can apply it, thus Christ calls all Believers to be disciples – see blogs concerning discipleship presented earlier). We will find many clues supporting this idea. Some clues were mentioned in the preceding blog when discussing views that were not acceptable. Many scholars agree that the book of Matthew was written with a Jewish perspective. In this Gospel we see that the Jew had a false impression of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not a political or economic cure-all, rather, it is something that changes you and shapes your character. This is our premise.
The Sermon is the Kingdom and the Kingdom is within and surrounds the Christian:
Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21, NASB)
This is the character of Christ: this should be our character. The Kingdom is presented as being within you; it governs and controls the heart, mind, and outlook. The Sermon pleads with a believer saying “because you are a Christian be and live like this.” I pray our study will clarify this reasoning.
I also pray what you have read has been reasonable enough to make you consider the premise of this study. I will endeavor to offer more substance to solidify this claim. You will find Titus Chapter 2 offers some parallels to the Sermon and should be studied on your own – it is a life that should be lived by the Christian. Real Christian character begets real Christlike living. Contemplate upon the fact that the Christ died so that you can live the Sermon (Titus 2:14).
I pray that it becomes obvious when studying the Sermon that it shows your need for rebirth (John Chapter 3) and the need for His Holy Spirit (John Chapter 15). I hope that you come face to face with the Sermon and realize that you will be like me, one who is undone and inneed of cleansing by the firebrand of God (Isaiah 6:15). The Sermon should crush you so you arise with Christian character (the winepress and the olive press are presented in the Gospels to help us grasp this idea). The Beatitudes tell us “how blessed” we are for putting on the character of Christ. Through the totality of the Sermon there is an implicit blessing because Kingdom living is blessed and ordained from the mouth of Jesus to His servants.
You should also see your lack of character in utter poverty, when measured against the Sermon and find within it how to build Christian character. Study the Sermon for it builds the Kingdom through character building. Most importantly, living by the Sermon is the means the Lord gave for evangelism (because the unsaved will see something they want) and discipleship (because you become what the Lord wants).
This world today is in desperate need of seeing Christians living as we are called to by Christ. Let us take on the call to obedience. It all starts with the Beatitudes.
Character – it matters.
“A man’s character is his fate.” Greek philosopher Heraclitus (c. 540 – c. 480 BC)
Take the Sermon on the Mount as a personal invitation from the Christ to enter a life of discipleship and character development praying that you will have every Beatitude working in your life.