DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11 – Sermon On The Mount

Deeper Life Search the Scripture 13 March 2022

ADULT STS LESSON 11 – SERMON ON THE MOUNT

MEMORY VERSE: “For 1 say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”
(Matthew 5:20).

TEXTS: Matthew Chapters 5-7; Luke 6:17-49; 13:22-30

DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

The Sermon on the Mount is a practical discourse which our Lord Jesus Christ gave to His followers
and disciples. The setting was on a mountain, hence the title. Spanning Matthew chapters five to seven and considered the longest recorded sermon of our Lord, it consists of expositions of the doctrines of the kingdom of God, pattern of godliness expected of kingdom citizens and precepts for daily Christian living. It is an ethical or moral directory for all followers of Christ and constitutes the framework of the Christian life.

Our Lord used both symbols and imagery to teach foundational truths about true Christianity so that believers may understand the demands of God’s kingdom and requisite qualifications for heaven.

The sermon contains instructions, commandments, promises, warnings and rebuke. The whole
discourse was a stark indictment on the scribes and Pharisees of Christ’s day who specialised in
misinterpreting and misapplying the law to the detriment of the people. The Lord describes them as
“blind guides” (Matt 23:24) misleading the people and making them twice children of hell than
themselves.

The sermon then is a copious interpretation of the Old Testament laws and a verdict on
those who misunderstand them. Every preacher or believer in the New Testament era must be
acquainted with its message. Beginning with the beatitudes — statements of what makes a person
blessed and truly happy — the sermon teems with elements of the radiant Christian life, true perspective of some Old Testament laws and precepts for daily Christian living, etc. It is a pattern of a balanced message for preachers to emulate and for all to obey.

DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

1. THE BEATITUDES AND CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE
Matt 5:1-16Luke 6:20-23John 18:20Isaiah 66:22 Cor 5:201 Pet 3:14-174:3-19

Jesus’ preaching and teaching ministry was a radical departure from what the people were used to. As truth personified, He taught, spread, exemplified and institutionalised the truth of the Scripture. This drew massive crowds to Him wherever He went. On one of such occasions, “…seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them”. The Lord Jesus began to teach the people about life in the Kingdom (Matt 13:5428: 15Mark 1:212:1310:11Luke 4:155:3John 7:14).

Church gathering is not for entertainment but to preach and teach the word of God. Bible-based preaching, one, brings sinners to repentance; two, it transforms lives; three, it matures young converts; four, it establishes believers and grounds them in the faith (Col 1:23). The Lord’s sermon on this mount began with what is generally referred to as the beatitudes. The word has been variously translated, ‘blessed’, ‘happy’, ‘fortunate’ or ‘highly favoured’. It explains the spiritual state of those who practice the precepts and fulfil the conditions for blessings;

i. The first of the beatitudes teaches on poverty of the spirit. The poor in spirit are those who realise
their sinfulness and inability to pay for its remedy. They are quick to acknowledge their sins,
genuinely repent of them and turn to God with their whole heart. Such humble minds, like the
thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) and the publican in Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:9-14), received
pardon from the Lord. The poor in spirit would not deny their wretchedness or cover up their sin
(Gen 3:9-12). They would not argue with God when confronted with the reality of their sinful deeds
(Gen 4:8-10). Acknowledging sin and genuinely turning away from it makes one a candidate of
heaven.

ii. The second beatitude focuses on those who mourn for sin. The mourner who is blessed is broken- hearted because they see the effect of sin in their lives. The condition of the lost multitude in the world calls for mourning; the rebellious system of the world revolting against God and His word calls for mourning; the Bible and upend its teachings calls for mourning. Efforts to redefine God’s precept on marriage, true worship and holiness cannot but make one to mourn. However, God’s promise to mourners is that “they shall be comforted.”

iii. The third is on meekness, a virtue that is highly valued in heaven. The meek possesses a mild
temperament and does not retaliate or revenge when offended. God commended Moses for being
meek (Num 12:3) in spite of the chiding by the children of Israel. God wants His children to be
meek and gentle (Matt 11:29).

iv. Fourth, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be
filled”. “Hunger and thirst after righteousness” encourages us to pant after the nature of God
and do things the right way. Seeking the will of God in all things and doing same should be a
burning desire in the hearts of children of God.

v. The fifth beatitude teaches about mercy. Believers should show mercy even to the undeserving, just like God showed us when we were sinners (1 Peter 1:3).

vi. Sixth, purity of heart comes next. Holiness is a prerequisite for everyone who would get to heaven. God demands holiness because He is holy; Heaven is holy; His deeds are holy (1 Pet 1:15Rev 21:27).

vii. Seventh, believers are also called to be peacemakers and to follow peace with all men. One who preaches to reconcile sinners to God is a peacemaker. It is a ministry believers are to occupy themselves with until the Lord comes (2 Cor 5:19,20).

viii. Lastly, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven”. Persecution is part of the Christian experience (Mark 10:301 Pet 2:21);
when it comes, we are to take it in good spirit. If anyone suffers as a Christian he or she should
rejoice because there is reward for such in heaven.

DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

2. THE BELIEVER’S LIFESTYLE AND KINGDOM CHARACTERISTICS
Matt 5:17-486:1-34Mark 4:21Luke 8:1611:33Eph 5:11,13

The Lord teaches on the similitude of believers and compares them with various elements. First, He
likens them to SALT. As salt, our lives should possess its properties of being white and pure. The believer is also to prevent putrefaction, decay and corruption. Salt is a seasoning agent and believers should make their world a better place to live. Our Lord also refers to believers as the LIGHT of the world. Light shows the way (Neh 9:12). We are to be examples of righteous living in our homes, workplaces and society. We are not to mingle with the world in its sinful practices, but be distinct to be able to point the way. Light also reveals, and invigorates. When light comes, it exposes things kept in the dark. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 5:16).

The Lord corrected the erroneous belief that He had come to destroy the Law; He actually came to fulfil it. All the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Old Testament foreshadowed Him (Heb 10: 1) and by His own sacrifice, He accomplished the Law’s ultimate purpose (Rom 10:4). He is the perfect Lamb that was sacrificed for the sin of the whole world to fulfil the requirement of the Law (Heb 9:22). As a result of the perfect sacrifice of Christ, the antitype of the Old Testament sacrifices, the ceremonial law had been abolished. However, the moral law subsists and its commands are actually restated in the New Testament. And the Lord expects that we keep them as they are universal and perpetual: “…whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”.

3. PROPER PERCEPTION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW
Matt 5:21-486:1-347:1-2915:1919: 18Gal 5: 19Matt 19:3-19Luke 6:2711:2

The Lord proceeds to interpret some Old Testament commands which the Pharisees, by their carnal and selfish interpretation, had corrupted and trivialised. As the Word personified, the Lord gave the true sense of the laws according to the mind of God and spoke with the authority of the Author of life. His interpretation of the Old Testament exposes the hollow and self-serving interpretation of the Pharisees and lays emphasis on the spirit of the Word rather than the letter. Each statement is preceded by, “Ye have heard that it has been said by them of old time…” to show the prevailing understanding and common opinion among the people at that time.

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” All killings have anger at their roots. Through anger, Cain slew his brother. Saul wiped out Nob, the city of priests because he was angry that Ahimelech the priest betrayed him (1 Sam 22:13-19).

To overcome the problem of anger, one must be born again and sanctified. Ability to have self-control and be under the influence of the Holy Ghost is equally significant. Anger must be dealt with before it brings the victim into danger. The Lord talks about what constitutes adultery (Matt 5:27,28). There is no actual adultery that is committed that does not bear the stamp of inward lust (James 1:1415).

Our Lord explains that those who committed the real act and those who did it through mere thought are alike guilty before God. That also calls for a regeneration of the heart, a determination to mortify the deeds of the flesh through the spirit (Rom 8: 13), a decision to remove and refrain from objects that can inflame the passion like pornographic materials, or getting too close to the opposite gender with whom one has no marital relationship. It is in that sense that the Lord commands us to “pluck” out the eyes or “cut” off hands that can lead to sin.

Besides, divorce and remarriage while the other partner is still alive constitutes adultery. “It has been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But 1 say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matt 5:31,32Rom 7:31 Cor 7:39).

In contradistinction to the prevalent practice of divorcing the wife for every cause, Jesus taught that marriage is a lifetime commitment and should not be tampered with. It is one man one wife without divorce, remarriage or unscriptural cohabitation (Matt 19:4-61 Cor 7:2John 4:16-18). Our Lord proceeds to correct the false interpretation on the law of swearing. Respecting the oath in Leviticus 19:12, people were forbidden to lie or swear falsely. But we are to “Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne” (Matt 5:34).

It is profane to swear with anything God has made or our life because it belongs to God. Rather, our words should be our bond; whatever we have spoken should be affirmed to be nothing but the truth. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Matt 5:38). Though this was given as a rule to guide the judges in their dispensation of justice, it teaches non- retaliation for children of God. It should not extend to private conduct where individuals take the law into their hands. DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

Turning the other cheek suggests that the believer should be ready to suffer or go the extra-mile for righteousness’ sake (1 Pet 2:19,20). The chapter wraps up with a message on love. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies…” To many, this is strange because enemies should be hated or set up for destruction. But in the kingdom of God, this is not so. Loving our enemies makes for the possibility of conversion (Rom 12:20). More so, it makes us to be like our heavenly Father (Matt 5:44,45). Christ also denounced the prevalent emphasis on outward religious practices meant to attract people’s commendation. He condemned this as hypocrisy.

Matthew chapter six closes with warning against avarice, worry and anxiety. “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matt 6:25). The Lord supported this warning with comparisons between His children and lesser creatures — birds of the air and lilies of the field. If God cared for them, He will care for us. Ours is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and other things shall be given to us (Matt 6:33).

Moving to the third and last chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ warns believers against being critical or judgmental (Matt 7:1-5). “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt 7:1). Rather, we are to judge ourselves and make sure we are constantly looking forward to the coming of the Lord (1 Cor 11 :31; 4:5). Besides, when we get busy judging others, we ignore our own faults that should be corrected. Then the Lord turns His attention to the subject of prayer. He had warned that it should not be employed as a display of outward piety or show but as a duty towards God.

Here, He reveals prayer as a means of obtaining our requests from God. He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt 7:7). The believer should come to God with a positive attitude of faith for receiving every request according to His will rather than wallowing in faithless anxiety or fear (1 John 5:14). Finally, the Lord draws attention to the danger of self-deception.

Many hear the word of God but do not do it. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matt 7:24). Those who hear but do not obey the word build their spiritual houses on sand. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matt 7:27).

DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW:
1. Explain the poor in spirit.
2. How can a believer make peace between God and a dinner?
3. What is the antidote to lust?
4. Why should believers love their enemies?
5. What can we learn from the Lord’s prayer?
6. How can we be free from worry and anxiety?

Thanks for studying DCLM Search the Scripture 13th March 2022 | Adult Lesson 11

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