Summary: An introductory sermon to a series exploring "The Sermon on the Mount." This message lays out the importance of this passage, and provides a challenge to go deeper in God’s Word.
www.sermoncentral.com. The largest, best, and most popular preaching research and resource site in the world…if they do say so themselves. Or I should say, ourselves? Because there are more than 80,000 totally free sermons, illustrations, and dramas, including more than 100 from yours truly. There are 300 new sermons added each week, and more than 200,000 users a week.
And yet, many a person within the church cringes at the thought of their pastor preaching someone else’s sermon. Though I suppose there might even be a few churches that wish their pastor would preach someone else’s sermon.
But it is actually not a new phenomenon. For decades, even centuries preachers have taken the works of other preachers and boldly declared God’s Word. Sometimes adding their own personality or flavor. And sometimes even reading them verbatim as they were originally written. John Wesley’s 52 Standard Sermons have been preached by many Methodist ministers through the years. Long before the internet, or sermoncentral.com.
What an odd opening to a message you might think. Whose sermon is he about to preach you might ask. Well, let me tell you why this is relevant to our life today at SWC. Throughout 2008, and I’m guessing even well into 2009, I am going to be taking us through the Sermon on the Mount. While I have preached straight through other books of the Bible during my time here, I’m anticipating that the Sermon on the Mount will cover more weeks, and a larger calendar period than any other expository preaching I have done in my life.
And I want you to know up front that there are going to be five primary inspirations to our time in these three chapters over the next year or two. And the reason for this will make a little more sense in a few minutes.
First, and foremost, will be the sermon itself. The Word of God. Hopefully the beginning and ending inspiration of just about any sermon that is preached. In fact, I so desire that it be the foundation of our study together that I have set a personal goal of committing to memory the Sermon on the Mount as I preach it.
Let me encourage you to not be intimidated by such a task, but to join me in it. Over the life of a year or two, it will come out to just a verse or two a week. Pretty manageable. In fact, on the back of your outline you will see that between now and the beginning of May, just 6 verses. And many of the verses you are already familiar with.
But aside from the Word of God, there are going to be two sermon series, two historical, pre-sermon central databases that will be lighting our study along the way. The first is by a man named D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. You may have never heard of him, because he died before many of us were even born and he spent his ministry career in London, England.
In the late 1950s he preached for 60 successive weeks at Westminster Chapel on the Sermon on the Mount. In March of 1959, almost 50 years ago, those sermons were published, and have already come to be known as a spiritual classic in many circles.