Summary: Jesus’ instruction to His followers about Christian living and how to seek God’s blessings in your life.
(Adapted from Bob Russel’s series, “Living a Life of Integrity”)
SERIES: “WORDS OF WISDOM FOR KINGDOM LIVING”
TEXT: MATTHEW 5:1-6
TITLE: “SEEK GOD’S BLESSING”
INTRODUCTION: A. Several years back, Leadership Journal had a cartoon by Lee Johnson depicting a
preacher standing at the back door of the worship auditorium shaking hands with
people at the conclusion of the worship service. One man is shaking the preacher’s
hand and looking very intently into the preacher’s eyes. As he does so, he says,
“Powerful sermons, Pastor. Thoughtful, well-researched. I can always see myself in
them … and I want you to knock it off!”
1. Jesus preached those kinds of sermons
2. His messages always hit home and people either loved Him or hated Him because
3. This morning, we start a verse-by-verse study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount,
which is recorded in Matthew 5-7.
--I’m calling it, “Words of Wisdom for Kingdom Living”
B. Toward the beginning of His ministry, Jesus took His disciples to a mountain retreat
and drilled them in the fundamentals of following Him.
1. Mt. 4:23-26 gives us a summary of Jesus’ ministry leading up to this point: “Jesus
went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of
the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News
about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with
various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demonpossessed, those having
seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the
Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”
2. Mt. 5:1-2 – “Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat
down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying…”
3. Jesus grabs a teachable moment with His disciples
--There’s one theme that runs consistently through this entire teaching segment:
a. Christ-followers are to think and act differently than the world around them.
b. We’re not supposed to be thermometers adjusting to the moral climate of our
--We’re to be thermostats setting the standard for the culture.
4. Jesus is calling those who claim to follow Him to be an authentic counter-culture to
the culture of the world
a. He is asking us to live distinctive lives
--showing others the joys of being part of the “royal family”
b. We are to be a viable alternative to worldly living
--So much so that we make goodness and integrity attractive
C. The Sermon on the Mount is not a complete theology.
--It is, however, practical theology. The message of the Sermon on the Mount is
relevant for everyday living as a follower of Christ.
1. It is not a system of laws for the Christian.
a. So many people see Christianity as a list of “do’s and don’ts”.
b. Being a follower of Christ is not about individual effort.
--It’s about submission and obedience to the will of God.
2. The Sermon on the Mount is not the requirements to enter the Kingdom.
a. It’s not the plan of salvation
b. But it is the guidelines to follow once you’re in the Kingdom
c. The Sermon on the Mount is Christianity 101 for every believer
3. The Bible reminds us that we’re in a battle between kingdoms: the kingdom of the
world and the Kingdom of God
--We’re told which kingdom ultimately wins the battle. The important thing is who
you chose to serve.
4. I want First Christian Church of Washington not just to grow in number but to grow
in integrity and character
a. I want us to grow in maturity and become more like Christ
b. I want us to be people who, in such a positive way, live differently from the
world that people are drawn to Christ like a magnet
D. The Sermon on the Mount is actually comprised of several sections
1. This first section talks about seeking God’s blessing.
a. It’s made up of short sayings called The Beatitudes
b. That term comes from the Latin beatus, which means “happy or blessed”
c. “Blessed” means more than “happy”
--The Biblical definition is a little more involved
1). It means to be the recipient of God’s favor (though not necessarily man’s
2). It means to be content, to have an inner joy
d. The Beatitudes are the right attitudes to have
--They define the right mind set for the believer
2. The Beatitudes are eight essential virtues to receive God’s blessing.
a. Understand that Jesus is not listing eight different categories of people
--He’s talking about qualities that should be present in every disciple.
b. In fact there seems to be a natural progression that takes place.
1). These virtues should build on each other and become increasingly evident as