Summary: God teaches that internal righteousness is what produces external acts of righteousness.
Matthew 5:1, 17,10
God teaches that internal righteousness is what produces external acts of righteousness.
• Today we begin a new seven-week series entitled, “Sermon on the Mount: A Kingdom Upside Down.”
• This series will encourage Christians to go beyond the superficial and search deep into their heart to see themselves as Christ sees them.
• Christ’s bold Sermon on the Mount challenged his hearers to understand that God was seeking internal righteousness from them, not just external acts.
• This change is only possible through God’s work to bring new life in us.
• The Sermon on the Mount has been lauded as one of the greatest messages ever delivered,
• Concerning the Sermon on the Mount, author E. Stanley Jones states:
“The Sermon on the Mount seems dangerous. It challenges the whole underlying conception on which modern society is built. It would replace it by a new conception, animate it with a new motive, and turn it toward a new goal.”
E. Stanley Jones, Christ of the Mount
• As we look back on the Sermon on the Mount from today’s perspective, we may not grasp the impact this sermon had on the world at the time.
• I believe we also miss the point in our self-absorbant culture of today.
• We need to understand that to miss the point of the Sermon on the Mount is to miss the keystone of Jesus’s teachings.
• This message is considered the most important message of Jesus’s teaching ministry; it was the greatest sermon of all time.
• The sermon contains the famous Beatitudes, the model prayer, and the Golden Rule.
• Even secular people can’t ignore its teachings.
• The Sermon on the Mount is three chapters long!
• Why such a long sermon from Christ?
• The answer is found in the context.
• In Matthew 1, the genealogy demonstrates that Jesus has the legal right to rule Israel.
• Chapter 2 shows that the Gentiles (the magi) accept his kingship.
• In chapter 3, John preaches repentance (necessary before the Davidic kingdom could be established).
• In chapter 4, Jesus is demonstrated to be morally worthy to rule (by resisting the devil’s temptation), and he shows the conditions of the kingdom by several miracles.
• A messianic fever was building in Israel.
• In chapter 5, Christ then delivers the ethic of the kingdom.
• Jesus wanted to be sure everyone clearly understood His expectations of what kingdom living looked like.
• While there are many views and interpretations of what exactly the kingdom is, it is safe to say that the kingdom is wherever Christ is King.
• If there is no king, there is no kingdom.
• If Christ is King of our lives, there is a certain heart and behavior that follows, and that’s what he is addressing in this great sermon.
• Today we will begin our seven-week journey together as we dig into the depths of the Sermon on the Mount.
• Turn with me to Matthew 5:1-2.
Matthew 5:1-2 (CSB)
1When he saw the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2Then he began to teach them, saying:
1. I. The beginning of a new revolution.
• In this sermon to the people, Jesus was laying the foundation for teaching that would be revolutionary.
• When you think about it, pretty much everything Jesus taught was revolutionary.
• The teaching of Jesus is life-changing. The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword!
• What Jesus shared with His audience over the three chapters of this message left them in awe!
Matthew 7:28-29 (CSB)
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
29because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.
• What you need to understand about this sermon is that, like many of the other teachings of Jesus, this sermon would turn things upside down.
• For hundreds of years, the people were living under a system that was diametrically opposed to the message Jesus was about to deliver.
• The religious leaders were who the people looked to so they could understand what it took to please God.
• The Pharisees looked the part. These men were dressed in the most beautiful religious clothing; they made sure to follow all of the RULES.
• These men were so righteous, that not only did they follow the Ten Commandments, but they also observed the 700 some odd rules that were tacked on to the Ten Commandments over the centuries.
• Whenever it was time for public prayers, these men made sure they were out in public so that others could see them pray.