Life in the Kingdom of God - Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that early in the ministry of Jesus there was a time when Jesus went up on a mountain with His disciples and He taught them. From that time of teaching, we have one of the longest recorded discourses of Jesus. It’s a teaching that the church has come to refer to as The Sermon on the Mount.
The Setting and Theme of the Sermon (Matthew 4:23-25)
- Proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom – As Matthew describes the early ministry of Jesus, he says that Jesus went around proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus was announcing that the Kingdom of God was at hand and He was calling people to repent and submit to the rule and reign of God (Colossians 1:13-14).
- A Sermon about Life in the Kingdom of God – The message of Jesus was the good news of the Kingdom of God, and in The Sermon on the Mount Jesus describes what life in that kingdom looks like. What does it look like to live as a citizen of God’s kingdom? That’s the message of this sermon from our Lord.
- The Counter-Cultural Nature of the Sermon on the Mount – What’s clear as we read the Sermon on the Mount is that the kingdom of God is so unlike the world in which we live. Those who live as citizens of God’s kingdom will be living counter-cultural lives.
An Introduction to The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:2-12
- A description of the people of God’s Kingdom – Jesus begins His sermon with a list of eight statements that have come be called the Beatitudes. These eight statements describe the character of those who are part of the kingdom of God. All of these qualities are to mark all of the followers of Christ.
- The blessedness of the people of God’s Kingdom – Those who are part of God’s kingdom – and who therefore have the character traits of those who are part of God’s kingdom – are called blessed. The substance of this blessing is described in the second half of each of the Beatitudes.
Why should we study The Sermon on the Mount?
- We should study The Sermon on the Mount for the sake of seeing Christ
- We should study The Sermon on the Mount for the sake of seeing our need for Christ
- We should study The Sermon on the Mount for the sake of growing in holiness (1 Peter 1:13–16)
- We should study The Sermon on the Mount for the sake of the world (evangelism) (Matthew 5:14–16)
- We should study The Sermon on the Mount because Christ and His Word is our only sure foundation (Matthew 7:24–27)
Resources for Further Study
- Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation of the World, A Study of Matthew 5-7, by D.A. Carson
- The Sermon on the Mount, Kingdom Life in a Fallen World, by Sinclair Ferguson
- The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, Christian Counter Culture, by John R.W. Stott
- The Sermon on the Mount, An Expositional Commentary, by James Montgomery Boice
- Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones