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  • James Stegall

Beginning the Sermon on the Mount


The Sermon on the Mount (SOTM) is a teaching of Jesus’ that has shaped Christianity since its inception. Found in Matthew 5-7 (with different aspects of it found in a few different parts of Mark and Luke), this sermon is a treasure trove of revelation about the values of God’s Kingdom. I consider the SOTM to effectively be the constitution of God’s Kingdom, showing the values and standards to which he calls us as we live for him.

Additionally, it should be stated that these values and standards are not hoops that we jump through in our faith that earn us God’s salvation and love. Rather, they come as the result of being a Christian. We follow God’s ways as a result of our love for him, not to earn his love. God approaches us as a Father, not a taskmaster. Jesus references his/our heavenly Father seventeen times throughout the sermon (in just three chapters!). As he was teaching the sermon, he was constantly reminding us that it is all in light of that relationship.

As a culture that shirks any notion of responsibility, or the need to diligently obey the commands of God’s word, has arisen in many churches in this nation, may we see God’s word for what it is and seek to live it fervently with hearts full of gracious love. During this in-depth study of the SOTM, we will begin with the beatitudes, one-by-one, then move on to the other parts of the sermon. I hope you will join us on Sunday mornings at 10:00AM. If you cannot, I will recap and summarize them for you here and in The Whitfield Spirit.

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United Methodist Church
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