Chapters 5--7 record the Sermon on the Mount. It is important that we have a total view of this important sermon before we attempt to study the various divisions of the passage. The theme, given in chapter 5:17-20, is true righteousness, as opposed to the false righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. It is important to remember that the people looked to the Scribes and Pharisees as their models and examples in the things of God, since they set the rules and determined what was holy and unholy. One reason the Scribes and Pharisees hated Jesus was because He exposed their shallowness and deceit in this sermon.
The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount was threefold: (1) To tell His followers the meaning of true righteousness. (2) To describe the laws of His Kingdom, the spiritual principles He uses in governing the lives of men. (3) To relate His message to the Old Testament Law and the tradition of the Scribes and Pharisees.
When studying the Sermon on the Mount, we should realize that it is to be applied to individuals rather than to nations, to believers rather than unbelievers; and we must remember that it is a description of what a Christian is like when the Holy Spirit is working through his life. Most of the material in the Sermon on the Mount is repeated in the New Testament Epistles to the church, so we can definitely say it is relevant for us today.MEMORY VERSE FOR TODAY: Man now can be: Redeemed. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
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