Sermon on the Mount
And seeing the multitudes [v. 23-25], He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. (2) Then He opened His mouth and taught them saying:
(3) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
(5) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
(6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
(7) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
(8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
(9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
(10) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(11) Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
(12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [NKJV]
A. Beginning with this sermon over the next few weeks we are going to look at Matthew Chapters 5-7 and examine them concerning their content - for they contain what is commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.
1. The Sermon on the Mount was a message preached in Galilee by Jesus during His earthly ministry.
If your Bible is a Red-Letter edition - you should not have any trouble finding this passage of Scripture. But also please note that all passages as from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 are just as inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pt 1:19-21) as this portion which is written in red.
The central thrust of [Christ’s] message to every group and every person, of whatever persuasion or inclination, was that the way of His kingdom is first and above all a matter of the inside - the soul.
That is the central focus of the Sermon on the Mount. True religion in God’s kingdom is not a question of ritual, of philosophy, of location, or of military might ... but of right attitude toward God and toward other people.
The Lord summed it up in the words [-] I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven (5:20).
--- Source: [The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, Chicago: Moody Press, 1985, p. 134 (adapted)] ---
B. This sermon can be broken down into several different sections. The first section | aspect is found in 5:1-12 which is known as The Beatitudes.
1. The Sermon on the Mount - Ch. 5 - 7 is often considered synonymous with what is called The Beatitudes 5:1-12. But in actuality - The Beatitudes is just a part of the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount.
C. The Beatitudes is one of the most mention portions of Scriptures by many today.
1. The name Beatitude is derived from Latin and it refers to a state of happiness or bliss.
2. Seldom in history have so few words been spoken with so much meaning. The Beatitudes of our Lord are powerful, holding before the world a ... picture of the true disciple of God. The Beatitudes cover the glorious hope and reward the believer can expect, now and as well as in eternity.
--- Source: [The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible: Matthew 1, Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1991 (2nd ed. - 1996), p. 54] ---
3. The Beatitudes are actually addressed to the disciples - v. 1 - instead of the multitude that had followed Jesus about all of Galilee (4:23-25). Yet the multitude that had gathered around still benefited indirectly from the words of the great Master teacher as He spoke to His disciples.
Can you imagine the joy of sitting there on the slopes of the mountain and listening as Christ’s words rang out over the multitude as He spoke!
Acoustics in the past were different than today. There is so much noise today everywhere that it is near impossible to hear one speak across the room let alone at a great distance. It has been said that when the great evangelist George Whitefield would speak (sometimes up to a crowd of 10,000) that he could be heard up to a mile away. I can’t imagine what that would be like - Cindy and I have trouble just hearing three feet from each other. :-)
4. As this multitude listened indirectly to Christ as He spoke to His disciples - so too, do we often the learn from the Scriptures indirectly. As we read the accounts of Israel in the OT - we indirectly learn by their example (1 Cor 10:6) or even often in the NT - such as those of Macedonia who learned indirectly from Paul through the Thessalonians (1 Thes 1:8).
D. The Importance of this portion of Scripture to us today is five-fold.
a. First, it shows the absolute necessity of the new birth - because the standards of these blessings pronounced here are at too high of a level for us as natural men and women to achieve. Then we must be born again (John 3:5) in order to achieve such blessedness.
b. Second, the passage intends to drive the listener to Jesus Christ as man’s only hope of meeting these (God’s) standards - salvation is only found in Jesus Christ - the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
c. Third, the passage gives God’s pattern for happiness and true success - a believer’s goal is to please God and take the pathway required to travel which is narrow and difficult (Matt 7:13-14).
d. Fourth, the passage gives up a great resource for witnessing about Christ - these standards are such that the need of a savior becomes obvious and opens up opportunities to speak (Acts 1:8).
e. Fifth, the passage shows that an obedient life is the only life that is pleasing to God - the standard is high, be holy because He is holy (1 Pt 1:16).
--- Source: [John MacArthur, p. 135 (adapted)] ---
Just as God began the Book of the Psalms by telling us how Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and he meditates in it day and night. So too do we find here at the beginning of the Lord’s sermon that He begins by telling us how Blessed is the disciple who embodies these characteristics to be described.
I. Blessed -
The word - blessed - (Gk. makarios) literally means: happy. Thus here in these next few verses we find the Lord’s recipe for a happy life of a disciple.
All people desire to be blessed -
1. Earthly Man
A. Seeks his blessings in the things of the earth - position, money, fame, power, and sensual pleasure.
Because earthly man is carnal, corrupt, sinful, and dying -
... those who are [of] the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are [of] the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
1 John 2:15-16
Do not love the world not the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
NOTE: A happy earthly man is characterized by his desire to have more or something new. Things wear out, become boring, unattractive - they eventually must needs be replaced.
2. Spiritual Man -
A. Seeks his blessing in the things above - Spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3); heavenly treasures that do not rust or thieves can steal (Mt 6:19-21); partakers of the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4).
Because spiritual man is a new creature - old things have passed away, we desire to be renewed in the spirit of the mind after holiness.
2 Cor 5:17
¡K if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
... lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and ... be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
A happy spiritual person is characterized by spiritual joy and satisfaction that lasts regardless of conditions; that carries one through pain, sorrow, loss, grief and joy. Blessed is he whose life is happy, who will be happy when death approaches death, and will be happy when entering eternity to be with His Lord and Savior - Jesus Christ.
II. Blessed Disciple -
1. Poor in Spirit - Theirs is the kingdom of heaven
To acknowledge spiritual poverty - complete and absolute bankrupt of spirit - expressing our utter helplessness before God - our spiritual need.
Eph 2:1-3, 5
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. ... But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions made us alive together with Christ ...
... I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which come from God on the basis of faith.
2. Mourn - They shall be comforted
To have a broken heart. Not sorrow over an earthly loss. But a wailing over the fact that we are spiritually separated from God.
... the tax collect [publican], ... unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, the sinner!
... at the evening offering I rose from my humiliation, even my garment and robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; and I said, O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.
3. Meek - They shall inherit the earth
A submitted teachable spirit, a tender and humble heart - not proud, not boastful - not sufficient upon themselves.
2 Cor 12:7-9
Because of the surpassing revelation [v. 1-6], for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered, what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, I will question you and you shall answer Me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
4. Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness - Shall be filled
A craving starving spirit parched beyond relief from earthly food and drink.
John 6:26-35 and 4:7-14
Bread of Life (after feeding the 5000) | Water of Life (talking to the woman at the well)
... I am the bread of life. He who come to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in me shall never thirst. ...
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
5. Merciful - Shall obtain mercy
A forgiving spirit | a compassionate heart. Showing mercy and being benevolent. A deliberate effort to forgive and showing mercy. The opposite of being hard, unforgiving, and unfeeling. Able to forgive and forget because God forgives and forgets.
A. Practice -
1 Jn 3:17
... whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in Him? - [Mercy gives unconditionally w/o hearing a thanks]
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? -[Mercy acts unconditionally w/o waiting for some return]
B. Example -
Ps 103:8, 10-12
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. ¡K He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy towards those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
6. The Pure in Heart - Shall see God (Righteousness must exceed the Pharisees - vs. 20)
The Gk word was often used of metals that had been refined until all impurities were removed, leaving only the pure metal. In a sense, purity means unmixed, unalloyed, unadulterated. Applied to the heart, the idea is that of pure motive - of single-mindedness, undivided devotion, spiritual integrity, and true righteousness [MacArthur, p. 204]. A clean heart is a heart directed towards bringing Glory to God.
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart ... he shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
7. Peacemakers - Shall be called the sons of God
Bring men together. Make peace between man and God. Is a person who strives to make peace with God.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
For He Himself is our peace ...
Peacemaking is a hallmark of God’s children. A person who is not a peacemaker either is not a Christian or is a disobedient Christian. The person who is continually disruptive, divisive, and quarrelsome has good reason to doubt his relationship to God altogether. God’s sons - that is, all of His children, both male and female - are peacemakers. Only God determines who His children are and He has determined that they are the humble, the penitent over sin, the gentle, the seekers of righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers [p. 217-218]. - cf. 1 Thes 5:13b, Be at peace among yourselves.
8. Those who are Persecuted of Righteousness Sake - Theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Mocked, ridiculed, criticized, ostracized, treated with contempt, hostility, and/or martyred.
1 Pt 4;12, 14
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you ... if you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but, because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you ...
2 Tim 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
9. You are reviled and persecuted - for my sake ... Rejoice - Great is your reward in heaven (v. 12)
1 Pt 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith ... may be found to result in praise and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The beatitudes begin and end with the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven - v. 3 | v. 10. The major promise of the Beatitudes is that in Christ we become kingdom citizens now and forever. No matter what the world does to us, it cannot affect our possession of Christ’s kingdom.
V. 12 - Tells us to: Rejoice and be exceedingly glad ...
Christians should be the happiest (blessed) people on the face of this earth. Are you?
If you have never seen a need for Jesus Christ as your Savior -
. I invite you to look to Christ - He can change you today.
. Why don’t you call on His name today?
. Know that God forgives sinners when they repent and turn to the crucified and resurrected Christ.
. Place your faith in Jesus and God will show you mercy.
I urge you too to fully exercise your faith in Jesus Christ today.
. Start today and determine that you are going to submit to His will and message
. Truly what hinders you from starting? Take it to Jesus!
COME WORSHIP THE LORD
. Our Invitation is open to all -
. Come to Christ
. Come if you need to pray
. Come be a part of us
. Come share with us what the Lord would have you to do
Underwood Baptist Church
August 19, 2007