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Living the Sermon on the Mount in Modern Times

Living the Sermon on the Mount in Modern Times  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:27
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Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be introduced to a few fictional characters as we study the Passages found in Matthew Chapter 5-7 Better known as, the sermon on the mount.
It is our goal that some of you will be able to identify with these people portrayed. Identify with the material we cover and how will apply to our lives.
(Hank enters the stage)
Let me introduce to you this week, Hank. A busy businessman who has little time to read, but has found time to listen to audio books. As is his daily routine, Hank has time to stop in the local coffee shop, Celestial Beans.
For some reason today, his phone app didn’t work to pre-order and he must talk with the person behind the counter and wait.
Hank places his order and now wanders over to an empty table. This is a new experience for him as he often picks up his coffee to go.
Hank settles down at the table and notices a book left on the table and picks up the book.
“Living the life of the Sermon on the Mount in Modern Times”, How to discover your purpose as a disciple of Christ.
Interesting title he thought to himself.
Sermon on the Mount.
Hank has been a believer for many years, it’s a part of his routine to come to church. He once attended a home group but found the business of life crowded in and he soon found himself out of the context of relationships within the church.
Church life had become a thing to do rather than a purpose.
This book caught his attention,
all these words seemed to jump out off the page.
He quickly reached for his phone to order the audio book.
“There it is. Wow, its even on sale. “
Hank was so attracted to the book, he had forgotten about his coffee order. As he went over to pick up his coffee, he began listening to the audio book
(Hank picks up the coffee, and exits the coffee shop)
Voice of Audio Book:
“Living the life of the Sermon on the Mount in Modern Times”, How to discover your purpose as a disciple of Christ. Over the next few weeks you will hear the sermons delivered through the ministry of the Nicola Valley Evangelical Free Church.
Let’s begin with the text, “ Matthew 5:1-2
Matthew 5:1–2 ESV
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 24: Matthew Chapter Two: The Message of the King

The Sermon on the Mount has been called by Oswald Dykes “The Manifesto of the King.” It is an outline of behavior for the citizens of the kingdom. As one of many messages by Jesus, it presents important moral or ethical teachings. It is not a message on salvation as is John 3, neither is it on the work of the Holy Spirit as in John 16. Rather, it is a message on a lifestyle for the “new creation”—those who are born of the Spirit. It outlines the kind of life which is expected of the “new community.” However, it is not a legalistic formula, but rather this message calls the members of the kingdom to faith in every area of life.

Oswald Dykes calls this portion of scripture “The Manifesto of the King”
Over the next several weeks we will be reading through this manifesto, and applying the many principles of the text to our lives.
folks let me tell you something.
This message given by Jesus to his disciples was counter culture to the people of his day. This message can also be counter culture to us today.
counter culture not to the church, but to the world in which we live.
I’ve entitled this series “for the modern times” so that we clearly remember that the sermon delivered to Jesus’ disciples back on that hill is still applicable for us today.
If headed to,
and exemplified it will change the way we live our lives in this world as a disciple of Christ.
The characters we show throughout these weeks are a broad swipe of people in the world today, both in and out of the church.
The sermon on the mount is a message for us today. To challenge us, by God’s Word, to live as he instructed his disciples to live.
New Years Resolutions
Change....Challenge....Course Directions
For many of us, A new year brings about some resolutions to change, challenge, and in some give us a course direction in our lives.
FitBit Illustration
The sermon on the mount will do that very thing. You cannot approach this passage and walk away without being challenged. It will change the very way you think, and in some cases for some of us, it may prompt us to have a course direction for our lives.
Folks every day should be a new day of resolutions:
Romans 12:2 ESV
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
God’s will is outlined in this sermon on the mount. It is a lifestyle for every disciple of Christ.
This morning we will be looking at what we will be covering in the next few weeks.

Major Themes

When we look at the sermon on the mount there are a few major themes that are presented in the sermon.
Most believe that this message, given to the people, was primarily focused on the disciples.
The people Christ has chosen to lead and to guide in his next few years of his earthly ministry.
This is why the sermon is as valid today as it was the day it was delivered. If you have chosen to be a follower of Christ, this message is for you.
If you have chosen to accept God’s free gift of salvation by accepting that Christ came into this world to be our saviour, you are a part of God’s kingdom. These words are for you.
If you are sitting here this morning and still questioning the validity of the Gospel, continue to come. Continue to have questions, as you will discover, Jesus when he taught he taught with authority
Matthew 7:28–29 ESV
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
When you open your heart and mind to the words of Jesus, they will lead you to a relationship with God, for he was not only a teacher, but God incarnate.


The first major theme found throughout these passages is that of discipleship.
You can see in the first verses, he gathered his followers and disciples around him and taught them.
We will discover in the weeks to come what he taught them, but here is a sneak preview
He taught them about what their character should look like
He taught them the concept of influence in the world in which we live
He taught them about inward and outward righteousness
He taught them what a disciple’s ambition should look like to others
An finally, we will discover what a disciple’s commitment should look like and roll out in our lives.
If you ever thought of what discipleship would look like in a follower of Christ, these next few weeks will come directly from Christ’s mouth to us, his disciples.


The second main theme is that of a kingdom.
There are a couple of things you must have in a kingdom.
First is a king. For without a king all is left is dom
What we must realize is that Christ is the king. Through out the entire span of the chosen race, God wanted to have them as their king. The chosen race from God, to be set apart for a purpose. To serve God and through that race salvation will come to all people.
Jesus came to this world to usher in the new kingdom. God’s Kingdom. A kingdom open for all people. No longer a chosen race, but a chosen people.
The beauty of this king there is no beginning nor end. He is an eternal king. We look forward to the advent of His return where he will rule for all of eternity.
Jesus came in to usher in this new kingdom. One what would look different than the people were following.
John Stott writes,
The Message of the Sermon on the Mount Introduction: What Is This Sermon? (Matthew 5:1, 2)

The Sermon on the Mount, then, is to be seen in this context. It portrays the repentance (metanoia, the complete change of mind) and the righteousness which belong to the kingdom. That is, it describes what human life and human community look like when they come under the gracious rule of God.

The second part of the kingdom is those who are a part of that kingdom. People who the king rules over.
The first thing you will notice as we go through these passages over the next few weeks we will discover there is a difference between the people of this kingdom and those who are a not apart of this kingdom but the world’s kingdom.
In this sermon on the mount the line is drawn between a follower of Christ’s Kingdom and not.
There is no dual citizenship in God’s Kingdom.
The fake passports of this world will be worthless in the end.
To be a part of this kingdom, requires that you surrender you old passport of this world in order to hold and possess the passport of the kingdom of God.
The beauty of this kingdom is that it is free to enter. It is free to receive a passport. No Citizenship test, class or payment, Its a free passport, but it does require something.
A member of this kingdom is called a disciple.
A member of this kingdom has Christ as the center of their lives.
A member of this kingdom follows the words of Christ, is transformed by the power of God.
One thing is certain. This kingdom is alive and living today. The full realization of the Kingdom where God will reign is coming when he returns.


There are the two major themes throughout the passages, but I want to draw attention to who the target audience is in the Book of Matthew.
There were two groups of people, his disciples and the crowd.

The Disciples

Let’s first look at the disciples.
Turn back a few pages in your Bible
Matthew 4:18–22 ESV
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
This gives us a picture of who his disciples were that were now surrounding him.
Called people
Fisherman, generally unschooled in the area of theology,
They hadn’t spent the last four years studying at Bible school.
They hadn’t taken a correspondence course on systematic theology or read on the latest articles of what it meant to be a follower of Christ,
They were called and so are we called people.
Did you notice how they followed.
They followed immediately.
Yes, they were still in training,
Yes, they continued to seek to know God.
We are called by God to continue to seek to know God.
In the fall we introduced our definition of a disciple.
...seeking to know God while being transformed into the image of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit in the context of Community.
Jesus taught in the context of community.
Jesus lead his ministry in the context of community
As a disciple we need to understand community.
In our definition, we have defined Community three different ways.
One with God
One with a few
One with Many
Did you notice, as a disciple, you are never alone.
How often we feel alone in this world, the struggles we face, we attempt to face them alone.
A true disciple of Christ, one that follows his teaching,
do not live in in absence of community.
It sadness me when I hear of Christians state the following,
I don’t need to go to church or be involved in Church.
I just study God’s word and it is the only thing I need.
We will discover over the next few weeks, Jesus point to his disciples and teaches them in the context of community.
As will all things, there is a balance. Too much of one thing is not always healthy either. You need to balance the three aspects of community.
The other parts of this definition are,
when we grow in our faith,
how we function or live out our faith,
and finally as stated earlier, how we live a sacrificial life as followers.
All of this will draw us into living a Christ Centered life.
The sermon on the mount will be dealing with all the different components of this definition.
Folks, people of this church, this is critical as you will see in the sermon on the mount.
We need to approach scripture not as an exercise in order to gain knowledge, but to gain an understanding in how we are to live and being renewed in our minds to be more Christ like.
These words in Matthew were given to men and women who were on the road or journey of faith. They were on the road like you and me.
This is why we have chosen various people in our opening sketch. These words found in the sermon on the mount are for those of us who are called disciples. Whether you have been a disciple for many years, or recent, they all apply to us and will challenge us to be more Christ like in our lives.

The Crowds

The second group of people were the crowds.
Jesus was growing in popularity. People were coming from all over to hear from this man. There was something different from all the other teachers of the day.
Why was he so popular?
Matt expains
Matthew 4:23 ESV
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
The crowds came for what they could get.
This is the difference between a crowd and disciples.
Self Centered VS Christ Centered
Get VS Give
Watch VS Follow
Inward VS Outward
The crowds are self centered- disciples are Christ Centered
The crowds come to Get- Disciples come to Give
The crowds come to watch- Disciples come to follow
The crowds seek inward things (ME) - Disciples seek outward things (HIM)
As believers and disciples of Christ we must resist the desire to be just one of the crowd and to seek after What Jesus tells us to do.

Questions we must ask ourselves

With knowing the themes and the audience we must ask ourselves three questions about the sermon on the mount.
Questions that are asked when people approach this text. The first is,
Is the text authentic, second is it relevant for today, and finally how practical is it to live in today’s world.

Is it authentic?

Is the Sermon on the mount authentic? I mean, Is it worth to change our behavior based on this text.
People always ask, Did Jesus really sit down and give this discourse to the people or where they just a collection of saying throughout his ministry in the three years and gathered together as one sermon.
Some have come to question the authenticity because it is only found in the first Gospel. If such a sermon of this length, 109 verses were true, then why not mentioned in all gospels. Luke’s mention of a sermon was on a plain.
One commentator writes,
The Message of the Sermon on the Mount 1. Is the Sermon Authentic?

The main reason is that both Matthew and Luke present their material as a sermon of Christ, and appear to intend their readers to understand it as such. Both give it a precise historical and geographical context, ascribing it to his early ministry in Galilee and stating that he delivered it ‘on the mountain’ or ‘on a level place’ in the hills. Matthew records the astonished reaction of the crowds when he had finished, especially because of the authority with which he had spoken.1

I believe it to be authentic as it’s God’s inspired word through the writings of Matthew. The sermon on the mount was delivered in a context directed at his disciples (many jews) and therefore, Matthew wanted his readers (many jews) to hear the words spoken by the Messiah and his teacher.
It is an authentic sermon delivered to his followers as a way for them to live as believers in a New Kingdom that was ushered in with the coming of the Messiah. The Gospel or good news of Christ’s Kingdom will be established.

Is it relevant?

The second question we must ask ourselves is this text relevant for us today? Will it Challenge our way of thinking for today?
Was it written and taught for the people of that day and is not relevant for today.
I won’t keep you in suspense of what I think. It is a resounding yes. It’s of great importance for us as disciples of Christ
One speaks by saying
The Message of the Sermon on the Mount 2. Is the Sermon Relevant?

It depicts the behaviour which Jesus expected of each of his disciples, who is also thereby a citizen of God’s kingdom.

As we go through these texts we will see a detailed examination of our lives as followers of Christ. We will be looking at the various groupings of the text as I outlined earlier. We will be looking at the messages through small vignettes portrayed by various people throughout the weeks that give a picture of the various aspects of the messages given in this sermon.
To be honest, There is so much information in these verses that to give a full explanation of the verses would take us much longer than the time we have set out.
This text is so relevant for today that so many books have been written and preached. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones had preached 30 sermons alone on chapter 5.
It is my prayer that as we go through this discovery that it would spur you on to your own research on the topics brought out in these series of messages.

Is it practical?

Is it practical? I am asked the question of the content covered in this text is great in theory, but really, can it be worked out in our every day life. Are the words in this text just too high to be obtainable in this busy world in which we live.
Some of the topics we will be look at are rich and full of expectations.
Have you read the Beatitudes recently?
How to be Salt and Light, Dealing with our anger, our lust, and working out difficulties with one another.
The passages will deal with spiritual disciplines like giving, praying, fasting
It will teach us how to understand God’s will and direction for our lives.
It is a Discipleship manual 101.
This is why we have called this series
Living the life of the Sermon on the Mount in Modern times: How to discover your purpose as a disciple of Christ.
Is it practical, It must, but it will be a journey. A journey I challenge each one of us to embark these next few weeks as we pour into the messages given by Jesus to his disciples, us.
It should be so practical that it will drive us to make a course direction in our lives. A course correction if what is taught in the scripture is opposite to how we are living our lives.
A disciple is one who is seeking to know God, being transformed into the image of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in the context of community.
As the worship team comes forward,
Will you join with one another these next few Sundays as we discover the Kingdom of God for the disciples of Christ for the modern world in which we live today.
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