This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.
The Sermon on the Mount shows Jesus’ authority as Israel’s King and his expectations how citizens of the kingdom should live. The Sermon on the Mount has direct application for those Jesus spoke to (Jews). They were under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law, so Jesus teaches the righteousness the Law demanded of them from the standpoint of the Law. The Sermon on the Mount does not give conditions of salvation but teaches the character of the saved.
Christians are not under the jurisdiction of the Law (Rom 6:14-15; 7:1-6; Gal 3-4), are citizens of Christ’s coming kingdom (Col 1:13), are to follow Jesus’ example (1 Pet 2:21) and walk as he walked (1 John 2:6), and being born again are to live righteous lives (Rom 6:13, 18-9; Titus 2:12).
Thus, Christians can and must learn how to live righteously from the Sermon on the Mount by learning its principles, hearing its lessons, and heeding its direct commands that are applicable for church saints, just like when reading the Mosaic Law. Here’s a basic outline of the Sermon on the Mount:
- The character of Jewish disciples at that time who would enter the kingdom, 5:1-16.
- The relation of Jesus’ teaching to the Mosaic Law, 5:17-20
- The main body of Jesus’ teaching, 5:21-7:12
- Conclusion to Jesus’ teaching, 7:13-29
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Note, Jesus does not teach a righteousness different from the Law; he expects nothing less for his Jewish hearers than the full, total expectation of righteousness as taught by the Law.
- Be sure to read the Sermon on the Mount from the standpoint of a Jew living during Jesus’ time, as if you were a Jew listening to Jesus teach. Then apply Jesus’ teaching and principles to your life as a church.
- Evaluate your life by God’s righteousness as Jesus taught here for all the different aspects and circumstances of life. Ask the Lord to help you “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (5:48)!