"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
1. Matthew, Chapters 5-7 have recorded the most famous sermon that has
ever been preached...
a. Commonly referred to as "The Sermon On The Mount"
b. It has touched more hearts, and in turn has sparked more sermons
than any other
2. But what is Jesus talking about in this sermon?
a. What is the "THEME?"
b. What is the "CONTENT" of this sermon?
3. As we begin this series of lessons on "The Sermon On The Mount,"
these are some of the questions we shall try to answer
[To begin, let's try to determine the "THEME" of the sermon...]
I. THE "THEME"
A. THE "SETTING" LEADING UP TO THE SERMON...
1. In Mt 3:1-3, we read of the preaching of John the Baptist
a. Who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord
b. The theme of his preaching concerned "the kingdom of
2. In Mt 4, we read of the beginning of Jesus' ministry
a. After His temptation, Jesus begins preaching a message
similar to John's - Mt 4:17
b. His preaching in Galilee pertained to the "gospel of the
kingdom" - Mt 4:23
B. A "PHRASE" USED REPEATEDLY THROUGHOUT THE SERMON...
1. "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:3
2. "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:10
3. "...shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven"
- Mt 5:19
4. "...shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven"
- Mt 5:19
5. "...will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:20
6. "Your kingdom come" - Mt 6:10
7. "But seek first the kingdom of God" - Mt 6:33
8. ". . . shall enter the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 7:21
[Both the SETTING and the use of a particular PHRASE should lead us to
conclude that the "THEME" of Jesus' sermon on the mount is:
"THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."
With this in mind, let's briefly consider the "CONTENT" of the
II. THE "CONTENT" AND ITS BASIC DIVISIONS
A. THE "CITIZENS" OF THE KINGDOM...
1. Their character and blessedness - Mt 5:3-12
2. Their relation to the world - Mt 5:13-16
B. THE "RIGHTEOUSNESS" OF THE KINGDOM...
1. In contrast to the "traditional interpretations and
applications" of the Law - Mt 5:17-48
2. With respect to man's relation to God - Mt 6:1-33
3. With respect to man's relation to man - Mt 7:1-12
C. THE "EXHORTATION TO ENTER" THE KINGDOM...
1. The "beginning" of the way - Mt 7:13-14
2. The "progress" along the way - Mt 7:15-20
3. The "end" of the way - Mt 7:21-27
a. Contrasting "sayers" with "doers" 21-23
b. Contrasting "hearers" with "doers" 24-27
[In view of its "CONTENT," we can appreciate why some have called this
sermon of Jesus "THE MAGNA CARTA OF HIS KINGDOM;" and by others,
"THE MANIFESTO OF THE KING."
Before we examine the sermon any closer, it may be helpful to define
the expression "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" so we can better appreciate and
apply the teachings of Jesus found in this sermon...]
III. DEFINING "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"
A. COMPARING IT WITH "THE KINGDOM OF GOD"...
1. Some try to make a distinction (e.g., Scofield Reference
2. But a quick comparison of the gospels indicates that the terms
refer to the same thing
a. Cf. Mt 4:17 with Mk 1:14-15
b. Cf. Mt 5:3 with Lk 6:20
c. Cf. Mt 13:31 with Mk 4:30-31
3. We find that Matthew used the expression "kingdom of heaven"
almost exclusively, while the other gospel writers used the
phrase "kingdom of God"
4. It may be that, since Matthew wrote his gospel to the Jews, he
chose to use the phrase "kingdom of heaven"...
a. Because of the Jews' reluctance to use the name of God (out
b. Because of the Jews' misconception of the coming kingdom
1) Many anticipated a physical kingdom
2) The expression "heaven" (literally, "heavens") would
emphasize a spiritual kingdom
B. THE "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" INVOLVES FOUR INTER-RELATED CONCEPTS...
1. God's Kingship, Rule, or Recognized Sovereignty
a. The term "kingdom" as used by the Jews often stressed the
abstract idea of rule or dominion, not some geographical
area surrounded by physical boundaries
b. Possibly used this way by Jesus in Lk 17:21
c. It is used this way by Jesus in Mt 6:10 ("Thy kingdom
come; thy WILL be done . . .")
-- Thus, the "kingdom of heaven" is wherever the God of heaven
is allowed to RULE in the hearts of men
2. It Is Spiritual In Nature
a. Not a physical kingdom - Jn 18:36
b. But one that is spiritual - Ro 14:17
3. Its Visible Manifestation Today Is In The Form Of The Lord's
a. Which is the community of souls in whose hearts God is
recognized as Sovereign
b. That the church constitutes the kingdom on earth, consider:
1) How the term "church" and "kingdom" were used
interchangeably - Mt 16:18
2) Comments made to those who were in the church
- Co 1:13; 1 Th 2:12
3) The description of those in the churches of Asia
- Re 1:4, v6, v9
4. It Also Involves The "New Heavens And New Earth"
a. The "kingdom of heaven" has a future element as well as a
b. Its future aspect is spoken of by:
1) Jesus in Mt 25:34
2) Paul in 1 Co 15:50; 2 Ti 4:18
3) Peter in 2 Pe 1:10-11
c. Peter described the coming of its future state in
2 Pe 3:10-13
C. SO IT IS PROPER TO THINK OF THE "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" IN BOTH A
"PRESENT" AND "FUTURE" SENSE...
1. In the PRESENT sense...
a. It is found wherever the SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD is accepted in
the hearts of men
b. It is a SPIRITUAL KINGDOM, for God rules in the hearts of
c. Its outward manifestation today is the LORD'S CHURCH
d. It is that "NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH" described by
Peter and John
e. The kingdom was "INAUGURATED" on the Day of Pentecost in
2. In the FUTURE sense . . .
a. The kingdom will be "CULMINATED" with the coming of the
b. It will be experienced only by those in the church who are
submitting to God's will - Mt 7:21-23; 2 Pe 3:13-15a
(Before the cross, the kingdom was in the future. After the cross, the
church was established. One can be in the kingdom here on earth
while looking forward to "graduating" to the kingdom of heaven
in the future.)
1. With this understanding of the "kingdom of heaven," we will more
a. Appreciate the CHARACTER and BLESSEDNESS of the citizens of the
kingdom Mt 5:3-16
b. Understand the need for the RIGHTEOUSNESS expected of its
citizens as illustrated from Mt 5:17 thru Mt 7:12
c. Respond to the EXHORTATION TO ENTER the kingdom if we have not
done so Mt 7:13-27
2. Our next study will concentrate on "THE BEATITUDES" Mt 5:3-12,
in which we examine the character and blessedness of those who are
citizens of the kingdom of heaven
Have you responded to the exhortation to enter the kingdom? Remember
the words of our Lord to Nicodemus in Jn 3:3-5 ...
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
UNLESS ONE IS BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, UNLESS ONE IS
BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
Thus anyone having submitted himself to the will of God by
having his sins washed away and experiencing a re-birth,
rising from the watery grave of baptism, has entered the kingdom of God.
His journey to the eternal kingdom has begun.
About These Outlines ~~~ Submit An Outline ~~~ Back To Main Outlines ~~~ Home Page