Archives For Sermon on the Mount

Welcome back to the new series, Livin’ the ‘Tudes here on ZachMalott.com! I am excited about this series that will also be developed into a book and Bible study. I hope that you will discover great meaning that you have never before seen in Jesus’ first recorded sermon in the New Testament. If you are just now discovering this series, here is a link to PART 1 that I hope you will take the time to read. The beatitudes are sequential. We will spend some time in each beatitude and relish the many facets of this finely-cut diamond that was cut by the trusting and faithful hand of Jesus Christ Himself and found in God’s word beginning at Matthew 5:3-10.

“Do you have a clear picture of the beatitudes and what they represent?  You CAN!”

We left off last week with the question of, “Why?” Why does mankind, in varying degrees, seem to gravitate towards the things that the Holy Bible, the word of God, calls sin? From a true, Christian worldview, the answer is simple. Mankind is fallen, meaning he has fell from grace, he turned away from his creator to follow his own ways. The Christian knows that this first occurred in the Garden of Eden when Eve, then Adam, first sinned (putting themselves first above God) and brought all mankind into the position of an enemy against God Himself. There it is. This is the answer of why: disobedience and lost fellowship with God.

Enter Jesus.

We can look at Jeremiah 31:31-34 and see where the new covenant was prophesied. We can then look at Hebrews 8. Click on the link and read it. Let God’s own words tell you about the new covenant that replaces the old. Let God’s word allow you understand who Jesus is. Then let us proceed to discover the path called The Way. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). If you are not a Christian, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, the Son of God, and you want to know Him and live for eternity with Him, CLICK HERE.

If you are a Christian and have a personal relationship with Jesus, you know that you have eternal life. Is your life being lived in obedience to God? Are you putting God first in your life? Do you know you CAN live out the Christian life that Jesus first described in the beatitudes? You CAN walk the walk that He modeled for us as he walked about during the 3 ½ years of His earthly ministry!  Do you have a clear picture of the beatitudes and what they represent?  You CAN!

Be here next week and find out!

Next week, we will delve into the first of the beatitudes. We will examine it and delve into the true meaning and context of the original language to see what the words really mean. We will pray together before we begin for Holy Spirit guidance and we will pray again after we end our study. In fellowship and love we will begin a journey that was granted us in Scripture in the first century by Jesus Christ, the living Son of Almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“Father God, please bless this study of your word and let the Holy Spirit reveal the truths of your word and plant the seeds that lead to a righteous walk of an obedient and faithful servant of Christ Jesus.  It is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.”

Will you join me?

Blessings,

Zach

Hello and welcome back!

This post will provide some background information before we start our first beatitude study, “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs” (Matt. 5:3, HCSB).  If you have not read the earlier post: Part One

Reflections on Life

Wow!  The weather in New Mexico is crazy!  Yesterday, it was beautiful (sunny and warm) and today it is beautiful (cloudy and cold).  What I mean to say here is that I love all kinds of weather because I relish variety!  Looking out my study window, I am enjoying seeing the occasional flurries of snowflakes falling.

Birds are sitting on the branches of the tree and the wind is gently blowing through the newly blossoming buds of green.  Winter and spring meet in contest but it is spring that is gaining momentum and winter will soon fade into the past.

Come to think about it, what I just described above is like our lives, isn’t it?  We have seasons.  We are born and grow up in the spring of our lives.  Everything seems to go on forever, one day leading into another in an endless procession of springtime breezes.

Then summer is upon us.  We mature, get married, raise a family and the days just seem to become a blur as fall approaches while we aren’t looking.  When the first leaves of our lives begin to change from green to various tones of browns and yellow, we notice that our children are raising families of their own.  As we are raking the leaves of our lives, our children’s leaves are just beginning to bud.

I am now at the end of my personal, fall season.  The winter of my life is fast approaching.  I have raked the leaves, put away my rake and leaf blower, and I sit here looking out at the tree that is blossoming with new life — even during winter’s last efforts to hold on.  As I look at the birds sitting in its branches, I reflect upon the winter season of my life that is fast approaching and I rejoice!

  • I rejoice because I am still running the race!
  • I rejoice because I know where it is that I am going!
  • I rejoice because this season is in God’s timing and His timing is perfect!
  • I rejoice because I am His and He is mine!

What season of life are you now in?

What season is coming?

Where are you at in this season of your life as you walk with Jesus?

It all depends upon your understanding of the Christian character and how you are developing it!  Let’s take a look at some background information needed before we begin our study of the Christian character model that Jesus provided us in the Sermon on the Mount.

The Christian Character

Did you know that Jesus has provided us the perfect Christian character development course that has ever been written?  He has!  The entire world seeks after happiness!  Unfortunately, the method in which they seek happiness has a way of turning into unhappiness.  Why is that?  Why is it that happiness, the goal of every person, seems to occur fleetingly — only to dissolve into misery and dejection?

“The beatitudes describe the character traits that separate us from the character traits of the world.”

Could it be that the world is looking for happiness on the sinful road that leads to misery and rejection?  Yes, Christians, we need to be following Christ in order to obtain true happiness.  So many Christians are missing the meaning Jesus provided in the Sermon on the Mount.

There are so many of us are caught up in the religion of our walk that we sometimes forget that Jesus is looking at our hearts.  It’s not about what we—DO—it’s all about who we ARE!  It is not so much our DOING but our BEING!  Jesus died because we cannot DO the law!

He died so that we can BECOME like Him!  The Sermon on the Mount is not about our OUTSIDE but all about our INSIDE!  It had nothing to do with empty, external religious traditions but all about who we are in Jesus!

What is the Christian character that Jesus provides the blueprint for in the Sermon on the Mount?  What is it that will bring us that elusive happiness that we all so crave?  Jesus looks at our character before he looks at how we act.  It is our character that determines our actions.

What to Expect

In the beatitudes, Jesus shows us how Christians are to become like Him.  The beatitudes describe the character traits that separate us from the character traits of the world.  These character traits in the beatitudes are portraits of Christ and not a portrait of the world.  The beatitudes describe the divine difference between those IN Christ and those who are not.

[IMPORTANT]: Please remember and tuck this away in your heart:  The Bible tells us to be LIKE Jesus and not the world.  The beatitudes provide the vehicle in which to do so.  Please join with me next post for the first study of the beatitude, “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs” (Matt. 5:3, HCSB).

 

Until next time…

Zach

QUESTION:  WHAT DOES “POOR IN SPIRIT” MEAN?

Hello and welcome back!

I’m so happy to see you here once again.  I’m beginning a series on the beatitudes for those interested.

 It’s amazing just how fast time passes, isn’t it?  It just seems like yesterday that I posted my Easter piece on the 1st of April and here it is — already the 6th!  Life is so very, very short, isn’t it?  It is so short that we need to consider the importance of our Christian walk.  Each and every day that passes brings us closer to that day when we shall leave this earth behind and look Jesus in the eyes.

What shall we say then?

This post series is about the Sermon on the Mount that begins in Matthew 5. You can look upon this sermon of Jesus as a key that unlocks the Bible while providing you with the secrets of the Christian walk.   We will take each of the beatitudes and delve into the spiritual meaning of each one to discover the essence of what it is to walk behind Jesus from the cross to the grave.

Jesus presented the beatitudes in order to present you with a blueprint or treasure map to guide your steps in following Him.  When you glean the meaning of the beatitudes, you will understand how each one builds upon the other — leading you closer to Christ as you follow in his footsteps.  The beatitudes paint an accurate objective truth about holiness.

When looking spiritually at the beatitudes, we can compare the teachings of the Pharisees and Scribes of Jesus’ day with His teachings of the Law of God the way He wants us to follow them.  In other words — unlike Jesus — the Pharisees were claiming the law must be perfected in us before we are worthy of God. Jesus taught that if we follow Him we are already children of God.   Then we follow the law in love, not to obtain salvation from the law.  Salvation comes because of how Jesus lived the law.

We obey the law of God out of love for Jesus who died for us because we could not be perfect in God’s law. Only Jesus could and did keep the whole law.

“The sum of all of this is you are to mature as you grow — a process, not an event.”

The Sermon on the Mount presents and stresses the elements of this truth.  If you understand and live out the Sermon on the Mount, you will understand the kingdom of God, you will walk a new life that attracts others to Christ, and you will grow in Christ and be able to carry out God’s plan for your life.

Knowing the full meaning of the beatitudes will provide the foundation to the Christian walk.  This full, Christian walk will allow the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in and from you for the kingdom work.  Not only will we talk about Christ to others, but present His walk to them.  Which of the two do you think will best allow them to see Christ?

As we look the Sermon on the Mount, keep in mind that the beatitudes build upon the others.  Once the entire picture is understood we will then understand what it is Christ is telling us.  Each part or beatitude is just part of the whole.

Please understand that a person must be a follower of Jesus to understand the truth of the beatitudes and how to live them.  No one can ever live the beatitudes without the Holy Spirit living inside of him/her.  If we truly belong to Jesus Christ, we will not only understand God’s requirement for us to live holy but we will understand the power within us that can help us to live it daily.

 We read what the Christian’s hope is concerning temptations:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.  God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”

We will discover in this study that you as a Christian have to keep God’s law.  Now, this does not mean that you are under the law but that you must keep the law.  The Sermon on the Mount was given to you by Jesus for the express purpose for knowing how to follow Him and what will give you the power to do so.

 It does not mean that we never sin.  It means that you must repent all sin, not live in it.  It means that we follow Jesus by learning the Sermon on the Mount and living by it.  The sum of all of this — you are to mature as you grow — a process, not an event.

I hope that this overview of the new post series on the Sermon on the Mount has excited you.  I pray that you will comment on the question always provided at the end of a post.  This will help to initiate dialog on each post which will help us all to grow in Christ!

Next post we will discover the full meaning of the first beatitude at Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Until next time…

Zach

QUESTION:  WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN WE SAY, “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS — NO TURNING BACK, NO TURNING BACK.”