Sermon on the Mount: Blessings

Sermon on the Mount:
Blessings
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
Oct 1, 2017
Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Listen to full sermon here.

Click here to Download an audio file of the sermon.


Sermon on the Mount: Blessings
Today, we are starting a 6-week series on the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.  And the approach that we are going to take as we go through The Sermon on the Mount is that we are going to look at it from a spiritual point of view instead of a physical one. 

This is an extremely important concept for us as Christians.  We must learn to look at the world, our actions, what God calls us to do, and even God’s blessings from a spiritual point of view.  We are told in scripture over and over that spiritual things are far more important than physical things.

Galations 5:16-18 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other…

So, the question is, why… Why does scripture place so much emphasis on spiritual over physical? 

Well, quite simply, spiritual things are eternal and physical things are temporary…including our bodies.  Paul describes our earthly bodies as temporary tents in 2 Corinthians.  And Jesus tells us to not fear those who can kill the body, but can send the soul to hell…(Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:4)

And that sounds, counter intuitive to us… kill the body is bad… right?  But since spiritual things are eternal and physical only temporary, then spiritual things take a much higher precedence for us.

There is a book that I am reading right now, that talks about the difference between hurt and harm.  And in this book, it says we must separate the difference between hurt and harm.  If something is harming us, then we must stop it, but if it is only hurting us, then it needs a different evaluation.  In fact, there are things in this world that hurt us, but do not harm us and instead, are actually good for us. By the same token, there are things that do not hurt us, but most definitely harm us. 

The example they give is, when you go to the dentist, the dentist hurts you, but do they harm you?  No, quite the opposite, they are helping you.  But Eating candy…does it hurt you?  No, it tastes good!  But does it harm you? Yes, it’s why we have cavities…

The point here, is that we must separate the hurt from the harm.  And what Jesus is saying is that there are physical sins that do not seem to harm us, in fact they might seem enjoyable, but in the end they are causing spiritual harm.  At the same time, there are physical things that seem to hurt, but in the end, they will lead to spiritual health and growth. 

So, for us, as Christians, scripture tells us we need to begin to separate the hurt from the harm, the spiritual from the physical. So, this is the approach we will take as we look at the Sermon on the Mount.

This week we will talk about the very first part of the Sermon, which most people are familiar with as the beatitudes.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the humble…and so on. 

And when we take a spiritual approach to this passage what we see is that Jesus is saying, if we endure a little bit of physical world hurt now, there will be spiritual blessings for us later.  The poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs, those who mourn, will be comforted and you get the point.
And for us, what that means, is that when we start to suffer for the kingdom, whether we are mourning a broken world, whether we are showing mercy to someone who doesn’t deserve it, whether it is a struggle to remain pure in heart… that if we hold on just a little bit longer, there are some pretty spectacular blessings waiting for us in heaven.

Matthew 5:1-11
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

11 “You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

So all in all what we are seeing in these, is that if you are suffering now, understand that these are just hurts, they will not last eternally, but waiting for you in heaven, is an eternal blessing. 
So, in this very first part of Jesus’ sermon, He rally’s His disciples.  This would have given them a new energy to push forward and keep on keeping on.  And once He builds them up with this good news, He then gives them a charge…  Be the salt of the Earth and be the light of the world…  And this is the same charge He gives us.

Matthew 6:13-14
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

So, at the end of the day, what we learn from the first part of the sermon on the mount is that if you are down and out because of your faith or if you are facing persecution because of your belief in Jesus, hang in there, because you will be blessed with eternal blessings in heaven.  So, until that day, stay strong, be the salt of the earth and let your light shine before men.


If you have found this topic interesting or helpful, please share!
You can easily share by clicking on one of these icons.

No comments:

Post a Comment