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Behold the King

“Life in the Kingdom of God” Matthew 5:1-2

Date:February 20, 2022
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


Jesus began His earthly ministry with this proclamation. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  True repentance includes our sorrow for having sinned, our confession of that specific sin, our shame over having participated in that sin, our new hatred of that sin, and finally, a complete turning away from that sin.
Even the mature saints still deal with the appeal of sin every day, and yes, they will fall for Satan’s lies in many ways. So, the issue is not whether or not we sin and continue to fall short of the glory of God, but what we do about it when we do!  If we can sin and not weep over it, where is the evidence of our repentance? If we can go on sinning and try to justify it before God in some selfish way, where is the evidence of our conversion?
Many in the church are convinced about the life and ministry of Jesus, but they are not converted in their way of life, and therefore they are not being conformed to the image of Christ. A counterfeit conversion is one with no death to self, no submission to the Lordship of Christ, no taking up the cross daily, no obedience to Christ, and no fruit of repentance. There is nothing but shallow feelings and the repetition of worthless religious activities.
We will explain this further in our next sermon in this series – “Behold the King: Life in the Kingdom of God.”

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Old Testament Reading: Psalm 1:1-6 – New Testament Reading: Galatians 5:16-26

Behold the King
“Life in the Kingdom of God”
Matthew 5:1-2

   The Sermon on the Mount is the greatest sermon ever preached by the greatest Preacher that ever lived.

  • It is fundamental to our understanding of the Christian Faith and essential to our understanding of the Christian life, and therefore, we must view it through two themes:
  • God’s eternal plan of the ages was to call out a people for Himself, and unto Himself; people of every tongue, tribe and nation, and every generation, and to allow them to inhabit and enjoy His kingdom forever.
  • God’s ultimate goal for His people was and is their eternal happiness – to see this life from His perspective.
  • The Sermon on the Mount is not a ladder of good works one must climb to enter into heaven or the quality of life one must achieve to become acceptable unto God.
  • The Sermon on the Mount describes the kind of life God designed and desires His people to enjoy – the kind of life His people will live in His kingdom and the kind of life He wants His people to live while on the earth.
  • The Sermon on the Mount describes the kind of life that is only possible to those who receive Jesus as their Savior and surrender unto Him as their Lord.

1. The Biblical Context of the Sermon on the Mount – where the sermon fits in the timeline of God’s divine revelation.

  • The Old Testament ended with a curse – after 4,000 years of God’s revelation of Himself through various means and methods, mankind was still separated from God because of his unbelief.
  • The New Testament begins with a blessing – in His first official sermon, Jesus emphasized the word “blessing”; nine times to indicate the kind of life He had come to give to those who would believe in Him.
  • “Blessed” means “happy” – not the outward joy based on temporal circumstances, but the inward joy that comes from knowing the true meaning/purpose of life.
  • “Blessed” describes the character of God the Father and God the Son. When a person is born again, they become “partakers of God’s divine nature,” giving them the potential to enjoy the same level of happiness and contentment that is known by God the Father and God the Son – the “Kingdom of God that is within us.”
  • This was a “turning point” in God’s message as well as His methods of redemption; the Law He had expressed at Mt. Sinai was being fulfilled by His Love which would be expressed on Mt. Calvary, through Jesus Christ.
  • The Old Testament ends with the failure of the old king – the first Adam – who lost his dominion over the earth because of his rebellion against God.
  • The New Testament begins with the blessing of the New King – Jesus –the Second Adam – who gained dominion over heaven and earth by His obedience unto God.
  • The first Adam fell from grace and left the world in a curse – the Second Adam expressed God’s grace and will one day remove the curse.
  • The first Adam was tested in a beautiful garden and failed – the Second Adam was tested in a barren wilderness and succeeded.
  • Because the first Adam failed, the thief was thrown out of the garden – because the Second Adam succeeded, the thief is with Christ in Paradise.
  • The Old Testament ends with a curse – the New Testament ends with “no more curse’.
  • The Old Testament ends with misery – the New Testament opens and ends in grace.

“No more let sins and sorrow grow, or thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow; far as the curse is found!”

2. The Political Context of the Sermon on the Mount – how the sermon exposed the hypocrisy of the political leaders.

  • The Jews were looking for a political king, like David, who would destroy the Roman armies and restore Israel to its former glory.
  • Jesus did not come to be that kind of a king – He said His kingdom was “not of this world.”
  • All the principles Jesus referred to in the Sermon on the Mount are completely contrary to our human ideas about our present government and God’s Kingdom to come.

3. The Religious Context of the Sermon on the Mount – how the sermon exposed the hypocrisy of the Jewish Religious leaders.

  • When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He confronted the false religions of the Gentiles and the failed religion of the Jewish people.
  • There were four groups in the Jewish Religion:
    • The Pharisees – the legalists
    • The Sadducees – the liberals
    • The Essenes – the separatists
    • The Zealots – the activists
  • In Matthew 5:20, Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter into the Kingdom of God.”
  • True happiness cannot be found in religion because they are all limited to the enforcement of their own set of external rules.
  • True happiness is only found in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, for He alone can change a person’s heart.

Reasons why we should study the Sermon on the Mount:

  • The Sermon on the Mount shows us the absolute necessity of being born again – it is the only way to receive the “blessings” of God.
  • The Sermon on the Mount clearly points to the Person of Jesus Christ – it is the full revelation of His heart.
  • The Sermon on the Mount shows us the only way to true happiness in many ways, He was the first to achieve it.
  • The Sermon on the Mount gives us the key to effective evangelism – if Christians were truly living it, the lost world would want it and be asking us how to get it.
  • The Sermon on the Mount shows us how we can please God it shows us how to live our lives to prove to us, and to others how His love has changed us.