Summary: In one church where the pastor was preaching the Sermon on the Mount the roadside sign read, “Worlds greatest sermon” by pastor so and so.
Sometimes the Sermon on the Mount is referred to as the world’s greatest sermon. In one church where the pastor was preaching the Sermon on the Mount the roadside sign read, “Worlds greatest sermon” by pastor so and so. That was a little confusing. It is Jesus who preached the world’s greatest sermon not that pastor.
My friend told me the story of how he became a Christian. He went to a Christian bookstore and asked for Sermon on the Mount by Jesus. The clerk at the bookstore told him they did not have the book Sermon on the Mount, but they did have New Testament and that he would show him where the Sermon on the Mount was in the New Testament. He began reading Matthew chapters 5-7. He was so moved that he read the entire New Testament and later committed his life to Christ.
You will find some great sermons in the Bible: Stephen preached a great one before his death. Paul stood and addressed the crowds preached a great sermon. Fittingly Jesus tops them all. Mahatma Gandhi in his Autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, says that Sermon on the Mount by Jesus is the greatest thing ever written.
When Jesus sat down on the Mountain the multitudes were there, but this message was for his disciples, often the crowds turned away when they found out what following Jesus meant. Jesus was clear, being his follower means more than a superficial commitment.
Being a follower of Jesus means dedicated faith.
There are three Chapters in the Bible known as the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12, are the first section of the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are more than just ethical standards. Once we know spiritual transformation then we can live out the spiritual standards.
The beatitudes begin with the phrase, blessed are which means happiness or deep joy.
There are nine Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount.
Blessed are …
The poor in spirit
Those who morn
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
The pure in heart
Those who are persecuted because of righteousness
You when people insult you for the sake of Jesus
I will only comment on the beatitudes found in this passage but be aware that some jokesters try to add a tenth Beatitude:
Blessed is he who sits on a tack, for he shall surely rise
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
Vs 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The way to heaven is not through living a good life and doing good deeds. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that begins with a profound awareness of our own spiritual poverty that leads to turning to Jesus in repentance. Humility comes when we recognize our spiritual poverty.
We need the grace of God, his undeserved favor to be saved. Those who acknowledge their own spiritual poverty: Thiers is the kingdom of heaven. This is in the present tense. It begins now not just in the future. We not only need God’s grace to receive salvation, but to live out the Christian life.
The Apostle Paul said in all his pursuit of righteousness that he himself was the chief of sinners. The woman at the well realized her spiritual poverty. The total depravity of man means that sin has depraved us. Sin has wrecked us and we are spiritually bankrupt.
Radical spiritual surgery is needed. I did not want to hear the bad news the day they told me that I had Malignant Melanoma, but I am glad I came to know of it. Ignoring it would have meant certain death for me. I needed a surgery to rid myself of that cancer. It might cause some offence, people don’t like to hear about their spiritual condition, but we must tell them radical spiritual surgery is needed. A spiritual cancer is spreading.
Yes we could be worse. Total depravity does not mean we are as bad as we can be. It means that there is not even one point where we measure up to God’s holiness. Blessed is the man who recognizes he is a sinner.
God is pure, blameless, and perfect in Holiness. When we view ourselves in light of God our spiritual poverty is made known. We look around a room that seems clean. Then suddenly a beam of light comes through the window and everywhere the light shines we see dust particles floating in the air. They were there before, but we did not see them until the light exposed them. It is like that when the holiness of God exposes our true heart condition. Isaiah said woe is me I am a man of unclean lips when he was exposed to the Holiness of God. Our righteous deeds are filthy rags in the sight of God.