Of all the sermons that have been preached, none is more famous, more profound, or more convicting than the one Jesus preached on the mountain. It is timeless, ever-relevant, and never dull.
Simple Faith: The Sermon on the Mount—A Study of Matthew 5-7
Real Christianity. Where is it? What is it? What does it look like? Surprisingly, a great many Christians are wondering that these days—especially those who once based their faith on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ but who have since become trapped in the rat race of performance-based faith…caged by the self-imposed demands of works and more works.
Simple Faith isn’t about adding more religious demands to an already complicated existence. It’s about gaining freedom from tyrannical expectations and rediscovering the beauty of what Christ really taught. It’s about getting out of the cage and winging your way back to freedom, peace, and rest in Jesus Christ. It’s about discovering the heart of Jesus’s teachings and His life. Simple Faith recounts the real message of the Sermon on the Mount—what it means to live an authentic, uncomplicated life. In short, it is a call to simple faith.
We can read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in 15 minutes or less. No teacher or preacher has ever packed more truth into such a brief period of time. Our hope in this study is to glean a few fresh, practical insights that will enable us to stay on course in living lives that are distinctively different.
As Christians, we must focus on making a lasting impact for good—influencing others without resorting to force or other means of control. The crucial question is how? Jesus’ answer in Matthew 5 is still the best.
Nothing Jesus stated was ever more profound than His Sermon on the Mount. In the section of Scripture we’ll examine in this lesson, Jesus discussed the Christian’s relationship to the Mosaic Law. At the heart of His instruction is righteousness—the state of having sufficient grounds to stand before a holy God.
In His greatest of sermons, Jesus addressed marriage. As He did, He went deeper than the letter of the Law. He made it clear that marriage requires absolute faithfulness, and personal relationships require absolute truthfulness.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offered revolutionary, even strange, advice for His people. Without pulling His punches, Jesus addressed the very best way to handle sensitive situations with those who threaten our personal rights. He offered countercultural counsel and dared us to obey.
In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus took on the hypocrites with both guns blazing! Drawing on common examples of showy righteousness, He instructed us on the importance of being people of quiet sincerity, seeking to glorify God rather than impress others.
As we go deeper into His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ words turn our attention from all the circus-like pizzazz of performance to the simplicity of prayer and fasting, two disciplines all-too-rarely done His way for His glory. Let’s seek out His counsel so we can carry out His instructions.
Realizing the beast of greed within all of us, Jesus chose not to ignore it but to expose it and to warn against its ravenous appetite. Every genuine disciple of Jesus Christ must come to terms with the question: Which master will I serve?
The 10 verses we’ll examine in this lesson flow very naturally out of what our Lord had just finished saying. They represent such a complete unit that little is left to be added or amplified. And talk about an up-to-date subject! No one can improve on Jesus’ instruction on worry. If we would simply do as He says, our anxiety levels would reduce to zero and our joy would know new heights.
What’s the best thing to wear while listening to the Sermon on the Mount? A pair of steel-toed boots! Could any body of truth be more convicting than Matthew 5, 6, and 7? Without concern for how folks would react or what opinions they would form, our Lord declared His penetrating message for all to hear.
The Sermon on the Mount overflows with frequently quoted statements that have become familiar mottoes. Most are better known than Ben Franklin’s wit and wisdom…and they’re certainly more penetrating!
The closer Jesus drew to the conclusion of His magnificent Sermon on the Mount, the greater His intensity. By the time He got to the passage in this lesson, it was clear He was not mildly suggesting we simply resolve to try a little harder and do a little better.
Our need is not to think of ways to get away from the storms of life but to learn the secret of going through them. This brings us to the last words Jesus spoke in His immortal Sermon on the Mount. As He drew His remarks to a close, He used a vivid word picture of two houses, built on opposite foundations. From this familiar illustration, we can learn the secret of an unsinkable life.