The year before I entered seminary (September, 1989), I spent a great deal of time in prayer and reading God’s Word. It was a special time of new and exciting discoveries for me. Yet, it was also a time that rocked me to my core.
Specifically, it was while reading the power-packed words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount that my life was turned upside-down. Of course, I have since learned this is the point.
To paraphrase something I recently read by Sinclair Ferguson, the Sermon on the Mount does not appear in the pages of Scripture to lead us to utter despair, but it should shock us… and then lead us to grace, to the cross, to Christ. For it is his righteousness we so desperately need imputed to our account. It is his Spirit we need indwelling, leading, and empowering us to live the “set-apart kingdom life” our Lord calls us to in the Sermon.
Reading Matthew 5-7 caused me to look at God’s holiness, my sinfulness, and my great need for God’s grace. It was blessed preparation for a young man who was about to enter training for ministry.
Over the last 25-plus years, I’ve continued to read those same words of Jesus, and even studied them for seminary credit. I have also had the privilege to teach several classes on the Sermon on the Mount to folks in my church. The words found in these three chapters of Matthew’s Gospel mean a great deal to me because of who first spoke them and because they lead me to the gracious God of total life-renovation. It is with these same words Christ continues to encourage, instruct, and convict me in and through his Spirit.
New Men's Study
Our men's discipleship groups at Southside will be starting a 12-week study on The Sermon on the Mount the week after Easter. I invite you to join us in this study.
But Is It Relevant?
If you're like a lot of people, you rightfully want to know if this study will be relevant to your life. Let me answer that question by simply listing just a few of the ideas found in Jesus' Sermon.
If you have any questions about this study, I hope you will contact me at DaleTedder@yahoo.com.
May the Lord bless us as we learn what it means to live the Kingdom Life in a fallen world as his disciples and ambassadors.
Grace and Truth,