What the Sermon on the Mount is All About – by Desmond Ford

Feb 15, 2016 1715

CrownThe Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 does not tell us how to be saved. It tells us who are saved.

What are the evidences – the sign and marks – that someone has found God? The Sermon on the Mount tells you whether you have eternal life or not. Not by whether your behav- iour matches the Sermon’s ideals; no one’s behaviour does. But by whether the Sermon’s ideals are the ideals of your heart. Are the ideals of the Sermon the ideals you hunger and thirst for?

The Sermon on the Mount is not a creed. It’s an agenda. It is not telling us what articles of faith to cherish or what we are to believe. It is telling us what to be, and what to do.

The Sermon is full of paradoxes. You would expect that when you have described the perfect person – someone pure, merciful, a peace- maker – that such a person would be crowned, elevated, esteemed. But Jesus says, when you are pure, merciful, and a peacemaker, Look out! You are going to be martyred. “Blessed are those who are persecuted” (Mt 5:10) – despised, hated, rejected, maligned.

Where we read ”blessed”, to the ancient people it read “happy”. Happy are the poor inspirit, happy are they that mourn, happy are the meek, Happy are those who hunger and thirst, happy are the merciful, happy are the pure in heart, happy are the peace-makers, Happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

The words must have seemed strange and new to the first hearers. This sermon was so different! There is nothing her to flatter pride, nothing to feed ambitious hopes. But to all who are Christ’s, the Beatitudes are his congratulations – the benediction of heaven.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from “Christ’s Recipe for Lasting Happiness – Part 1.”

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