THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT[Matthew 5-7]
Over the several thousand years of the expounding on the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount there have been several main teachings.
- That this is the way for the lost of the world to be saved.
- This is the way of lost Israel to be saved.
- This is the moral code by which all men should aspire to live.
- This is the state of spirituality that those who are born again shall stand in the coming kingdom.
What is presented here is the Truth, the true interpretation in the light of the NC. That is, the entire Sermon on the Mount was teaching by Jesus Christ on the standard of righteousness required of the born again Believer in order that one might inherit a place in the coming kingdom of heavens.
The Sermon could be broken down into 3 parts.
- Righteousness is shown as a maturing process within the Believer in the Beatitudes.
- A dynamic and reflective spiritual state comparative to salt and light.
- A list of Commandments and standards demanded by Jesus Christ of His followers. (Far exceeding those of the Mosaic Law.)
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” [Matthew 7:29] Astonished indeed! What great demands. And with what great authority He demanded them! But how could a Believer in Him walk in such righteousness? Only in the discovery of Him as He now began filling the Law of Moses with its fullest of meanings, culminating on this earth at the Cross, in the historical setting, the impasse being the continuance in Moses or in Him only may we now have the HOPE of fulfillment.
The Sermon on the Mount is setting before us the HOPE of our Salvation. An incentive to achieve something possible for those first, who have been justified in faith. Hope is not faith. Faith is resting in something God has already given us. Hope is striving for something we may achieve in Him.
To seek first the kingdom of God is to live one’s life accordingly, in hope and anticipation of being a part of the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ.
A hope set before us and rightly discerned will protect from the lies of satan and this World. The obscuring of this hope, and thereby the realization of it, is the object of religious lies. For it is by this HOPE that one purifies himself in this World and qualifies himself to be a part of that great purging of satan’s kingdom of the heavens above. [Revelation 13:5-12]
As most of the actual Commandments of Jesus are self explanatory, we focus on the lying spirits that reason away their intended meanings. “…hath God really said?” Almost all Christians are told by lying spirits, and therefore see themselves as “saved” wholly/completely, spirit, soul and body with little or nothing needed to be exercised beyond their initial salvation. They believe that since they are eternally saved and cannot lose that salvation, therefore essentially the secret thought conveyed is that they may live more or less as they choose in full assurance of “grace and mercy” with nothing necessary beyond their declaration of Jesus as their Savior. (Without Lordship of Christ in their lives) and on that “justified only” basis, they believe themselves due the blessings of God. They have perceived neither clear understanding nor necessity of the commands from Jesus nor therefore promise of the prize for having made Him Lord of their lives other than blessings on the earth. They believe that to tithe or to attend services or the exercise of prayer are but means that they might receive added tangible blessings upon their lives here on the earth, to go along with anticipated eternal bliss in “Heaven” afterwards. Being in eternal covenant with God, they see no threat in the loss of anything hereafter. This is the righteousness referred to by Christ as that of the scribe or Pharisee, that unless His follower, says Christ, exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, they “…shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven(s).” [Matthew 5:20]
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 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: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the 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. [Matthew 7:21-27]
These are Dead works of righteousness and are classified as dead works, because they are without spiritual meaningfulness, they are not particularly painful. They are such as the Lord referred to as “these all give of their abundance….” [Luke 21:4]
When Christ speaks of building our house on rock or sand here in the Sermon on the Mount, He refers to saved Christians building on His Righteousness, their righteousness, by keeping His Commandments, which alone will ensure the inheritance of the kingdom of heavens. As opposed to someone who is mistakenly building a righteousness that will be disqualified, that based upon the righteousness depicted and promoted of the scribes and Pharisees. Those lives built upon the rock (the complete, whole doctrine of Christ) will survive all the trials and temptations of this world. Those whose lives are built upon the rock of Christ will be the Bride of Christ; the ones chosen out from among the merely saved at the Judgment Seat of Christ to enter the kingdom of heavens.
The Lord speaks in the Sermon on the Mount to those already eternally saved, those who would now be His Disciples (disciplined ones), heeding His Words, by keeping His Laws, those who would inherit the Kingdom of heavens by doing the will of the Father on the earth. To these, called to be disciples, He explains the different foundations in chapter 7, on which a saved person may build. The “smitten rock,” the “foundation stone,” or the “smiting rock” or the “stumbling stone.” To build on the Rock is characterized by dying to self. The “..she gave all she had…”. This is that painful battle against the flesh within. The battle within is the dynamic energized by being regenerated/saved. Saved from eternal death is the gift that no man may strive for, (seen in Luke 13). It is by faith and not “works” (Ephesians 2), a righteousness imputed, to build upon this are the Laws of Jesus given, and by the keeping them is righteousness imparted by “works of righteousness.” Luke 13:24 says, “Strive that you might enter….”. This answers to Paul’s “…buffeting his body..” (1Corinthians 9) and running the race, the striving to enter into His rest of Hebrews 3.
Works of righteousness, the gold, silver and precious stones, the faith more precious than gold, refined in the winds and storms of life are strictly limited to an internal battle of spirit/Spirit vs flesh. [Romans 6-8] Building on the foundation Rock, is receiving the Truth/Jesus Christ/His Words and is a life consecrated to living in the spirit/Spirit and crucifying the flesh in accordance with the Laws of Christ as revealed here on the Sermon on the Mount. It is here Jesus expresses the internal battle in descriptive terms of “cutting off or plucking out members of the carnal body”. This constitutes the internal battle against the flesh after being saved, with an exclusive New Covenant empowering. “He is with you and shall be in you.” Building a life on His commands is working out the salvation of our souls, that is to say that we might qualify for the Millennial Kingdom of Christ to rule and reign with Him through the glorious infilling of the First Resurrection.
All should know that only “saved” will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and be judged for our works after we were saved. [Romans 14; 2Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22]The foundation we built upon, sand or rock, is exposed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The house being built on the sand is the wood, hay and stubble of 1Corinthians 3, the Christian’s building material of religious dead works, legalism, self works, without the work of the spirit/Spirit, without the painful death of flesh our religion is perfunctory rote ritual, with “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof (the spirit/Spirit)…. from such turn away.” [2Timothy 3:5] We then have no distinctiveness “(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek)” [Matthew 6:32] It is but the religious foundation of sand that will not withstand the tests and trials brought to bear upon it here or at the Judgment Seat of the hereafter. The great fall of that house built on the sand is representative of the loss of the inheritance of the Kingdom of heavens. The judgment fire that ravages the house [1Corinthians 3:15] is the Gehenna fire of Matthew 5:22,29,30 7:13,19 ….the result of the refused wisdom of how to build the temple of God [Matthew 7:24-27] with [1Corinthians 3:15-18]…. “Every man’s WORK shall be made manifest: for the day (your judgment day at the Judgment seat of Christ) will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire. KNOW ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool.”
Those Christians Jesus referred to in Matthew 7:24-27, who have founded their lives upon the rock of Jesus Christ, are likened unto “wise men”; those who have founded their lives upon the sands of the religious works of self are likened unto “foolish men.” Reminding us of the wise and foolish virgins of Matthew 25:1-13. This parable teaches that the five foolish virgins had only one portion of oil in their lamps (oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit), thus revealing that they were justified or saved. The five wise virgins had two portions of oil; the first, that Oil that accompanied the faith expressed in the saving Atonement of Jesus Christ. And the 2nd was that infilling portion that the five wise virgins carried with them in vessels, thus showing that they were not only saved, but also had a double portion of the Spirit of God that gives knowledge of the kingdom, and the Power to build, hence, their lives were founded upon a rock.
This parable informs us that at the Judgement Seat, the wise will go into the marriage, while the foolish will try in vain to obtain the extra oil that will be needed to enter. The door will be shut to the heavenly marriage and they will be left outside crying for the Lord to open the door to them. The foolish in this parable represent most of Christendom, who will fail to inherit the kingdom. The wise represent a very small portion of Christendom, who, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will enter the kingdom.
When a believer allows the old nature in the soul to rule over his life, he produces dead works of unrighteousness. When he submits to the Holy Spirit to rule over his life through his spirit, he produces works of righteousness. [Romans 8:1-5] To seek righteousness, Christians must strive seek to give all control of their lives to Christ by observing His Words; and asking Him for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. Our minding the things of the spirit/Spirit is walking in the spirit/Spirit of life in Jesus that sets me free from the obligation to the Law of Moses and the workings of the curse for not fully walking in its demands. He will cause us then to remain in washings of favor in unbroken communion and thereby fulfill His commandments, faithful and fruitful, which is the standard of righteousness needed to inherit the kingdom. The turning away from the desires of this world to the hope of the next world is that which causes us to strive against our old nature and allows Jesus to be the Lord of our lives; and only by striving can we enter into the strait gate. [Luke 13: 24]
The spiritual Christian’s hope is in the coming kingdom; the carnal Christian’s hope is in his success in this present world. Spiritual Christians have a reverential fear of God, and they know He will judge all their works at the Judgment Seat of Christ. [2 Corinthians 5: 10] Because of this fear, they are able to receive wisdom, “for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” [Proverbs 9:10; 15: 33]; thus, as they receive wisdom (the double portion of the oil), they become wise. The carnal Christians have no fear of God. They correctly believe that they are saved and cannot lose their eternal salvation; but they incorrectly believe that since they are saved by grace, they will automatically gain all rewards in heaven, no matter how they live here on earth.
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