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The Sermon On The Mount: The Solid Foundation

John Collins09/17/2012

In the closing of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that all who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock.  This sermon (Matt 6-7), should be the instructions we should live by.

Lifting Up The Downcast

He stared the sermon telling us we should lift up the downcast, and those who did would be blessed.  The poor in spirit were blessed, and if we were persecuted for our stand for Him, we were laying up treasures in heaven.

Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Others

Using examples of "salt" and "light", he said that we should become living examples to all people.  Others should see our good works and give glory to the Father in heaven.

Fulfilling the Law

The Mosaic Law had two parts:  a blessing and a curse.  The Jew's side of the bargain was to keep each and every one of the Law, and in return, God would give them the blessings.  Since the Jews were unable to keep their part, Christ said that He came to fulfill their side of the Law.  The Law, though having failed, was showing a better way.  Jesus said that even though He came to fulfill it, we should continue to strive for perfection in the law.  Whoever kept the Law and teaches others to do the same would be great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Law

Jesus then went on to show how the Ten Commandments were broken in our daily lives.  Using examples that every man could associate with in his own life, Christ told us that our sinful flesh needed an interceder.  Those who followed the Law as a set of rules were missing the much, much larger picture.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Jesus said that everyone who is angry with his brother had violated the commandment regarding murder.  Even those who ridicule others were destined to hell. We are to make peace with our brothers in reconciliation of breaking this commandment.

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

Every man who has looked at a woman in lust had already broken the commandment regarding adultery.  He rebuked those who proclaimed to be righteous regarding this commandment and yet walked around in lust.  For a man, to keep this commandment was to cut out our eyes and cast them away.  

He went on to say that those who divorced their wives caused her to commit adultery.  Those who married a divorced woman committed adultery.  Those who were guilty of this had already broken the commandment, even though they were given a certificate of divorce.

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

Jesus said that any person who takes an oath on heaven or earth was potentially breaking the commandment regarding false witness.  Anything more than a simple "yes" or "no" came from evil.

Peace and Love

Jesus said that we should live our lives in love and peace.  If our enemies attack us, we should accept our persecution.  If anyone asks for assistance, we should go an extra mile for them.  If anyone are in need, we should give freely.

He said that Divine Love was not just Love for our brothers, but Love for our enemies as well.  We should Love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us so that we can be sons of the Heavenly Father.  God has no special regard for those who are good over those who are bad, the same sun rises on the just and the unjust.  We should love everyone, just as our Heavenly Father loves all.

Give to the Needy in Secret

Those who give to the needy so that others might see their righteousness will have no reward in heaven.  Our reward does not come from others on earth who see us give, but from the Father in heaven who knows our hearts.  He will reward us.

Pray in Secret

Likewise, when we pray, we should pray in secret.  We should not intentionally pray for others to see our righteousness.  Jesus called it the way of the hypocrite.

How To Pray

Jesus even gave an example of the correct way to pray.  Our prayer should be unto the Father in heaven.  We should pray that He forgives us as we forgive others, and not lead us into temptation to sin.  He said that the reason we should forgive others is so that the Father would also forgive us.  If we do not forgive others, our Father in heaven will not forgive us.

How to Fast

When we fast, we should not do so in a way that is on display for others.  We should present ourselves as we normally would.  If we do this in secret, we will be rewarded by our Heavenly Father.

Do Not Lay Up Treasures On Earth, Lay Them Up In Heaven

He said that we should not store up our treasures on earth.  Earthly treasures will pass away.  If we store up treasures on earth, our heart will remain on earth. Instead, we should lay up treasures in heaven.  Jesus said that we could not serve two masters, and storing up treasures on earth would keep our hearts and minds focused on our valuables rather than on our Heavenly goal.

Do Not Be Concerned With Our Wellbeing

Jesus said not to worry about our wellbeing.  He would take care of us.  Whatever we need for food or drink would be provided, and our lives were more valuable than food, drink, or clothing.  Our focus should remain on Him.  If God can provide for the grass or flowers of the field, how much more can he provide for His Children?  We should seek first the kingdom of God, and all of these things would be provided for us.

Do Not Judge Others

If we decide to judge rather than forgive, then we will be measured by the same rules that we use to judge.  While judging others for something small, we do not realize that we ourselves have sin that is much greater.

Ask, and It Will Be Given

Those who do not ask will never receive.  Jesus said to ask the Father in heaven for everything that we have need of.  As we give good gifts for our children, God loves to give good gifts to us.

The Golden Rule

The entire Law, and the entire list of the Prophets in the Old Testament pointed to this one simple rule:  treat others in the way that we ourselves wish to be treated.  That rule, though very simple, is very difficult to follow.  Jesus said that it was a narrow gate that led to life.

Beware of False Prophets

He gave solemn warning against prophets who proclaimed prophecy and their visions did not come to pass.  They come in sheep's clothing but are inwardly ravenous wolves.  Jesus said that we will recognize them by the fruits of their ministry.  

Jesus said that even though they proclaimed Him on earth, they would not enter the kingdom.  Only those that do the will of the Father in Heaven can enter.  Though they prophesy in His name, He will still tell them to depart because He never knew them.  They were workers of lawlessness.

The Conclusion

Jesus said that this sermon was the Rock.  Anyone who built his house on this Rock would stand against everything that came against them.  Those who did not keep the teachings of this sermon had built his house on sinking sand.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  How many of these teachings have we broken daily and never even considered them?  How many judge others by the law, not knowing that they themselves are breaking it?  How many never lift the downcast, but push them further into the ground?  How many show outward righteousness, not knowing that God does not even see it?  How many never proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  How many preachers preach law instead of Grace, mounting up judgements against themselves?  How many are filled with enough love to love even their enemies?  How many treat all others exactly like they themselves wish to be treated?  How many worry about houses, cars, boats, retirement plans, or more, laying up treasures here on earth instead of in the kingdom of God?  How many are following after famous prophets or televangelists having one or more prophecies that did not come to pass?  How many have built their foundation on the rock, and how many have built theirs in the sand?