Approaches to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew
Liberal Approach – This approach teaches that all a person needs to live the
Christian life is the Sermon on the Mount.
These believe that everything we need to know about life and God is
contained in the Sermon on the Mount.
This is the common teaching of Churches in our day.
The problem here is that the
Sermon on the Mount does not contain the Gospel, nor the divine provision
(salvation by faith and the indwelling Holy Spirit) for actually fulfilling the
Sermon on the Mount.]
Hyper-Dispensational Approach – This approach teaches that the Sermon on the
Mount was given before Calvary and the
Resurrection and therefore precedes the dispensation of Grace.
This view holds that the Sermon on the Mount does not apply to born again
Christians at all.
The problem here is that our Lord
Jesus Christ was teaching and preparing His Apostles and Disciples to do the
work of the Kingdom after His departure.]
Biblical Approach – The Sermon on the Mount
“. . . expresses the mind of Christ which
should be the mind of the Christian also.”
It leads us to understand what the mind of Christ is (The Be-Attitudes)
and what the mind of Christ will look like in the way a born again Christian
lives his life. People need the
whole revelation of God in order to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
They need the moral and ethical code of God (the law), and the
empowerment to live the life God demands (the new life).
When one reads the Sermon on the Mount one must quickly admit that he
cannot live this life on his own.
Only the Holy Spirit (empowerment), received through the New Birth (redemption,
the gospel), can enable one to live the life our Lord describes through the
Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on
the Mount is the light bulb that requires a power source (the indwelling Holy
Spirit) to provide light. Without
the gospel and its supernatural empowerment the Sermon on the Mount leaves
people helpless before God.]
(Matt 5.1-13) – Our text today has often been referred to as the
Be-Attitudes. In referring to this
text as the Be-Attitudes scholars affectionately express what ought to be in the
hearts and minds of born again Christians.
But people need to understand that apart from receiving our Lord Jesus
Christ mankind will strive in vain to live out what is expressed in these first
thirteen verses of the Sermon on the Mount.
As said just moments ago, only the presence of the Holy Spirit of God
within a child of God will enable them to realize the mind of Christ within them
and the development of these spiritually endowed attitudes.]
[The focus of the Be-Attitudes
Notice that Jesus said “BLESSED” nine (9) times in these first thirteen
verses. When our Lord said blessed,
he was saying, HAPPY is he, CONTENTED is he, JOYFUL is he.
The focus of the Be-Attitudes is the source of true happiness and
contentment. Hence, we discover
The Focus of the Be-Attitudes,]
[In all of these attitudes Jesus is talking about
what we are,
not what we have. Who you have
within yourself determines what you are and will give you the provision of
supernatural blessedness. Hence,
what we are relies wholly upon what you have within you.
If you have the presence of God within you, then you will be blessed
by God because he will work the mind of Christ into and out of you.]
- [Our culture focuses on
what we have,
blessed are those that have power, wealth, strength, knowledge, prestige,
popularity. A lot of people have a
lot of things but lack joy, happiness or contentment.
What you have will never bring you to the blessedness being expressed
by our Lord Jesus Christ in this text.]
[Today we will
consider the first of these Be-Attitudes.
Blessed are the
poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ]
The Definition Of A Spiritual Beggar [–
What is the poor in spirit? - Word
Study - Two Greek words for poor,]
Deprived - Not our texts usage.
[There are two Greek words that speak of poverty. One of them means to be
so poor that you have to work each day just to live through that day. If you
missed a day of work and pay, you would be destitute. That Greek word is not the
one used here. ]
[Poor Like the widow with two mites.
Poor, but able to give
Destitute [- Poor - ptochos (gk)
- 1) reduced to beggary, begging,
asking alms. 2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour. 3)
lacking in anything.
3a) as respects their spirit.]
poor as Lazarus - completely destitute.
Lazarus was dead, there was absolutely nothing he could do, he was dead.]
[This word means to be utterly destitute. It means to be
without any means of support whatsoever. It means you are hopeless! There is no
friend or family member to help you. It means there is no savings, no earthly
goods you could sell, absolutely nothing that can help you survive. This word is
used in Luke 16:20 to speak of Lazarus the beggar. It means to be a beggar
before God. In the sight and presence of God, you and I are spiritual beggars!]
The Details Of The Spiritual Beggar
Spiritual Beggar's Bankruptcy (John 10.10; 16.24; Isa 64.6; Job 25.5-6;
[Not like the man who said when he was growing up, they were so
poor, the mice ate out most of the time.]
[Or like the man who told his boss he needed a raise because
three companies were after him. His
boss asked which three companies.
He replied, "The gas company, the electric company, and the telephone company."]
Bankruptcy - Your attitude about yourself.]
[This is not speaking of the person who is down on himself or
carries a low self-esteem. Like
those who say to themselves, "I'm just no good."]
[God intends for us to have an abundant life, full of Joy.]
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come
that they might have
life, and that they might have it
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that
your joy may be full.
is Spiritual Bankruptcy - Poor in respect to God.]
[We have nothing with which we can redeem ourselves from our
spiritual bankruptcy. We are helpless before God. A person must see himself as
bankrupt before a holy God. ]
[A human being has absolutely nothing with which to commend
himself to God.]
But we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our
righteousnesses are as filthy
rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind,
have taken us away. ]
[Bildad the Shuhite said]
Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his
6How much less
man, that is a worm? and
the son of man, which is a
. . . for without me ye
can do nothing. ]
[Apart from God we are:]
[Bankrupt from hope.]
[Bankrupt from satisfaction.]
[Bankrupt from love]
[Bankrupt from joy.]
[Bankrupt from eternity.]
Spiritual Beggar's Brokenness (Matt 15.26-28; Philip 3.8; )
[A person must discover and recognize what he is.]
["Most people are
egomaniacs running to hell, thinking that they are
too good to be damned." - Adrian Rogers]
[Brokenness comes when we see ourselves in comparison to
[The women of Canaan
came seeking the deliverance of her demon possessed daughter.
26 But he answered and said, It is not
meet to take the children's bread, and to cast
it to dogs.]
15:27-28 And she said, Truth,
Lord: yet the dogs eat
of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great
is thy faith: be it unto thee
even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.]
[Paul recognized his spiritual bankruptcy when he
counted all his gains but dung.]
Yea doubtless, and I
count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them
but dung, that I may win
[Brokenness come when we realize that without God we are
spiritually bankrupt and completely hopeless.]
[There is the story of Cesar Milan, a famous minister from
Geneva. He met a young woman one day and asked about her
spiritual condition. She was annoyed by the question and plainly told him that
she did not wish to discuss the matter. He said that he would pray for her
salvation. Later, when they saw each other again, she asked how she might come
to know the Lord. He told her to come just as she was. She turned her life over
to Christ and then wrote the great hymn, which expresses the message of the
first Beatitude. A couple verses of the hymn make the point.]