The Sermon on the Mount
This website views the Sermon on the Mount as teachings and examples of how we are to love one another from our heart, in the same way that the Father loves Jesus the Son of Man*.
Following the Cross, loving God first and then loving others as the Father loves Jesus the Son of Man, fulfills everything in the Law*, the Prophets, the Sermon on the Mount, and any other commands given by Jesus.
The following excerpts are taken from several online resources that discuss the Sermon on the Mount from different perspectives. These excerpts are not intended to support any of the positions taken by these resources. They are intended only to bring out what are thought to be interesting and well stated points regarding the Sermon.
A few comments are added inline by this website.
Excerpts from: ‘A Summary of Understanding the Sermon on the Mount’
The Full Text can be Found Here*
Dr. Greg Herrick summarizes the main teachings of Harvey K. McArthur’s book entitled, ‘Understanding the Sermon on the Mount’. The outline of the paper follows the outline of the book, noting areas where he feels the author has done an especially good job or in other instances missed the mark.
“The Sermon on the Mount has held a primary place in the teachings of the church throughout the centuries. But, even though it has enjoyed such popularity, it has not always been understood in the same way. Various authors have regarded the Sermon from numerous and even quite different, conflicting points of view.”
“The author says that the sermon has been widely accepted and quoted within the Christian tradition as well as outside of it. Chapter 5 has been quoted by the Fathers far more than any other in the entire Bible and 5-7 more than any other three successive chapters.”
“The most significant contribution of this section is the fact that the sermon has itself been well read and in many ways understood differently. This is true no matter what the theological persuasion in which one finds oneself. It is a most interesting and compelling portion of Scripture.”
“The Sermon on the Mount appears to emphasize what one needs to do to find life. However, Paul seems to teach that Christianity is a religion of grace, not effort or achievement. This tension has existed within the church since the beginning.”
“The attitude of Irenaeus, Augustine and Chrysostom, as indicative of their time period was that the sermon was emphasizing the way of life for one already saved by the grace of God through faith. Aquinas was in complete agreement (Treatise on Grace) as well as the Roman church as understood from the Council of Trent, ‘Decree Concerning Justification.’”
“The General Principal View of The Sermon. This view claims that Jesus was using special illustrations through which to teach general principles. There is certainly truth to this idea, but care must be taken in order that the general principle be less radical than the illustration. “Turn the other cheek” can apply to a host of situations, but it must never lose its demand through reduction into a general principle. This in effect would be to destroy the Sermon.”
Website comment: It is thought that the guiding General Principal of the Sermon on the Mount is the New Commandment of loving others just as the Father loves Jesus. (John 13:34, 15:9,12) And the New Commandment is the most radical of all the commandments given by God in either the Old or New Testaments, and is one reason why it encompasses all the others. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Stated explicitly, to love others as the Father loves Jesus the Son of Man is to see, think, feel, and act toward others from our heart, just as the Father perceives us, i.e., thinks, feels, and would act toward Jesus the Son of Man.
“The summary of chapter five is that the Sermon is pointing us in the way of love. Love is the foundation and goal of the Sermon and in this way is the divine expression of the two great commandments.”
Excerpts from: ‘THE GREATEST SERMON EVER PREACHED. . . THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT’
The Full Text can be Found Here*
“Christ said, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, love one another.’ and the Sermon on the Mount is a grand elaboration of the concept of how we are to love one another.” (Pg 4)
“The kind of “love” that Jesus speaks of, in the Sermon on the Mount, is not a “feeling,” but, rather, it is an “act of the will” and it is always possible to have this kind of God-given love toward one’s enemies.” (Pg 99)
“We are commanded to “love” others even when we may not “like” them and, in verse 44, when Christ commands us to “love our enemies,” the kind of “love” that He is speaking of is the “love” that, “blesses,” “does good to,” and “prays for,” one’s enemies.” (Pg 99)
Website comment: As we learn to perceive and act toward others in the same way that the Father perceives and acts toward Jesus, we can expect to begin to ‘experience’ the Father’s love for Jesus for other people regardless of their words or actions. And ‘experiencing’ the Father’s love for Jesus for another person is one way of being a representative or ambassador of God to them.
Excerpts from: NavPress Student Ministries
“Matthew 5:45–47 Jesus said that a characteristic of a child of God is love for one’s enemies. John 15:12 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” You are commanded to love others. And this love not only includes your friends; it includes your enemies. Through the Holy Spirit, a believer is transformed to the point of loving his or her enemies, just as God does. Only God can bring about this transformation in an individual’s life.
Jesus continued by reminding His hearers about how God demonstrates this very action. Jesus noted that God causes the sun to rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. In other words, God exhibits love for all people; therefore, His children are to do the same. Likewise, Jesus added the fact that “tax collectors” and “pagans” greet those whom they love. His point was that even those who are thought to be evil and sinful greet those whom they love and who love them in return. But those who have been saved by Christ Jesus are to be different from everyone else, not only loving those who love them but also those who despise them or try to hurt them.”
Website comment: As we focus on perceiving ourselves from God’s perspective by way of renewing our mind*, we slowly change from seeing ourselves and others as evil and sinful people, toward seeing ourselves and others as fully and completely forgiven, and loved by God in every way possible. And we glorify God to the degree we learn to see ourselves and others from God’s percpective.
The MS Word NKJV version of the Sermon on the Mount can be downloaded here.
|* Jesus the Son of Man|
|* Fulfills everything in the Law|
|* A Summary Understanding of the Sermon|
|* The Greatest Sermon ever Preached|
|* Renewing Our Mind|
|Other Websites Relevant to this Topic|
|The Body of Christ: The Mouth of Christ|
|Where People of all Backgrounds Learn about Jesus|
|Jesus Central – On the Words of Jesus Christ|
Last updated: March 1, 2016 at 10:38 am ET USA