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The Sermon On The Mount

The sermon on the mount is a sermon given by the greatest preacher ever, Jesus. This sermon was given early in Jesus’ ministry and covers a wide range of important topics which many considered radical and turned their world upside down. He is correcting and teaching the true meaning of the law and the word of God which has been hijacked and distorted by the rabbis, scribes, and Pharisees. His sermon covered the beatitudes, exegeting the true meaning of the law and commandments, how to pray to the Father, righteous living as a Christian, and what is required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus stated many times throughout this sermon “you have heard it said, but I say to you” as He is showing authority as the supreme teacher who spoke with all authority. The sermon He gave that day is just as relevant to us today to live a life honoring and pleasing God. We have the sermon notes from God Himself, and we would be wise to listen! 

Shawn Owens

Pastor Shawn Owens dedicates part of his study time to make notes easy to read, and thorough for anyone who cannot attend in person. Pastor Shawn desires for these notes help you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Sitting on the side of a mountain, the greatest preacher ever, delivered the greatest sermon ever. The words that He spoke have all authority and are all truth. We have heard His words. Do we believe His words? Do we act on and obey His words? If so, we are standing on the rock of ages and can say with all sincerity, affection, and love: Lord, Lord!

Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of the Father.  A profession of faith does not save anyone, but a possession of faith does. “Lord, Lord” speaks of true affection for Jesus. However, those who are not true believers although they may declare they love the Lord in actuality do not love Him. How can one be sure that they are numbered among the elect? Do you love the Biblical Jesus? If we can honestly and sincerely from the depths of our souls answer that question “yes” then we must know that love for Him doesn’t come from an unregenerate heart. If we have true affection for Jesus, it is because He has removed our heart of stone and given us a new heart that beats with affection for Him via regeneration. If we love Him we will keep His commands which is the will of the Father. Only by the Spirit can we call Him Lord, Lord and mean it from the depths of our souls. One day He will not say depart, but rather will speak the most beautiful words a creature can hear which comes from


Matthew 25:34: 

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 

The broad way is the easy way as this is the path all humanity’s feet hit running when we are born. Only through the mercy and grace of God and faith in Jesus who is the gate do our path and way change. We then begin walking on the narrow way which can difficult way full of testing, persecution, and cross carrying. This is the way least traveled. However, this way is worth traveling because it has the greatest destination a creature could ever arrive. The destination is our eternal home where we have eternal life. Only those who have entered by the small gate can one day enter the gates of glory! Keep walking, it’s worth it! 

Do not judge, so that you will not be judged which can also be translated “do not condemn, so that you will not be condemned.” Let us not be people that walk around with a spirit of condemnation and self-righteous, hypocritical judgment upon others. Christ is the only one who can condemn as He demonstrated in the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11 as He is the only One without sin as the perfect eternal judge. He would have been fully just to condemn everyone of us. However, to the believer He has extended mercy and forgiveness through justification. As a result of justification, we who stood to be condemned now have no condemnation through His imputed righteousness upon us. All who are saved have heard the words the woman caught in adultery heard, “I do not condemn you. Go. From now on sin no more.” There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). As Christians who have escaped condemnation and have been forgiven of the most, let us reflect this in our attitudes and actions toward others as we seek to help them rather than destroy them.  Let us examine ourselves first and remove the log from our eyes so that we can then with sincere motives help our brothers and sisters to grow in sanctification so they like the woman can strive to go and sin no more. 

If Jesus were to look us eye to eye and tell us not to worry about the current situation that we are worried about and that He is working everything out for good, would we stop worrying and believe Him? He is not physically speaking to our ears to tell us that, but He is speaking that very truth to our spiritual ears to our souls through His word. Do we know that He is working all things out together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose and that He does all things well? God has decreed all things that come to pass before the foundation of the world and our worry will never change His plan. Rather, let us remember who He is and trust Him in all things including in our daily provision. Let our minds not be consumed with worry, which is futile, but let our minds be consumed with seeking after His kingdom and His righteousness. The more we know Him and the more our faith grows, the less anxious and worry filled we should be.  Why should we worry as plan A is running flawlessly full steam ahead as we speak! Jesus is telling us not to worry or be anxious. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! 

Every Christian has the most precious and priceless treasures that any creature can ever have: salvation, eternal life, dwelling with God, and an inheritance in our eternal home. In a world that values and seeks after wealth and material things, let us keep our gaze fixed upon the Kingdom of Heaven where our treasures are being stored up. On treasure maps “x marks the spot” of where the treasure is found. The map we have is God’s Holy Word and we know exactly where our treasure is located. Our treasure is found in Christ and the Kingdom of God to where our treasures are being stored up and kept. So let us persevere following the map of God’s Word with our eyes fixed upon our eternal home. One day we will reap the bounty of these treasures as we dwell forever with God. We can be confident that our treasures and our inheritance will not rust, fade, or be stolen as they are being kept by God omnipotent. Not only is He keeping out inheritance for us, but He is keeping us for our inheritance and treasure! For where treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

We are commanded to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17) yet prayer is something we all struggle with. His disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray and our desire should be the same. Here in the sermon on the mount we get to hear Jesus teach us how to pray as He gives us this model for prayer. Let us surrender our prayer life into conformity with His teaching. Let us understand the undeserved privilege to address the eternal God as Father. Let our petition be that the name of our Father continuously be holy in our words and actions. Let us pray that the kingdom of God and the things of will take priority in our lives as we seek the kingdom of God first and display that He is King over all including our lives. Let us pray that God we surrender and pray that the decretive will of God that we may not know to be done as we trust Him will all our souls. Let us also pray that sanctification which is the preceptive will of God be our will and be done in our lives every second of our lives. Let us then pray that God mercifully supply our daily needs. Let us pray that we understand the debt that we could not pay and be in continuous thanks for Christ paying our debt by His blood on the cross as He declared tetelestai. As Christ has forgiven us and no longer holds our sins against our account, let us pray that we would forgive as Christ has forgiven us. Let us pray that God would keep us from temptation and from the assault of the enemy lest we stumble. However, if we are tempted and tested let us pray that God deliver us as He is the only means of escape. As we reflect on this prayer and all that is teaches, let our souls and voices lift up doxology to our God to whom belongs all glory, majesty, dominion, and authority from before and now and forever. Let us remember the two rules for prayer: 1.) Remember to whom you are speaking. 2) Remember who you are. “Lord teach us to pray.”  As Jesus said in this prayer “Pray then in this way.” 

Matt. 6:11

We see God showing He is the provider in Genesis 22:14 when Abraham called the place on Mount Moriah “the Lord will provide” speaking of the true sacrifice God would provide in this area many years later in the way of Christ His only begotten Son. We are to petition for God to mercifully provide for our daily needs as we are daily dependent upon Him for everything. Give us this day our daily bread should be our daily petition as He is our provider. Above all He provided His Son who is the true bread of Life and we need Him not just daily, but every second of the day! All whom the Father has mercy given the Bread of Life to will not hunger this day or for all eternity!

We see how the model of prayer that Jesus is teaching builds on itself. We must first realize whom we are praying to and the privilege it is to call the eternal God our Father. We are then to pray that we reverence His name as holy in our mouths and also in our actions. As the desire to make His name hallowed in our lives grows, we will then desire and pray that His kingdom and rule will be in every aspect of our lives. Him being in complete rule and kingship in all aspects of our lives will result in a desire and growth in our obedience to His will that is revealed in His Word which is sanctification. Jesus is teaching a model for prayer in this verse, but He also showed us by example when in the garden He prayed “your will be done” as Christ was desiring the eternal will of the Father be accomplished as He lived a life of full obedience to the Law and to the Father. Christ inaugurated the kingdom at His first coming and is reigning now, waiting for the day He returns to consummate the kingdom. While we are on earth let us our lives reflect His kingship in all aspects of our lives. Let our lives also reflect our surrender to His efficacious and preceptive wills as we trust His will eternal decrees and long for sanctification in our lives. Let our petition be as instructed by our Lord in His sermon on the mount “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

Let the petition spoken by Jesus that the name of God be holy arise from the depths of our souls and find its place on our lips, in our minds, and in all aspects of our lives. His name is holy for He is holy. We must remember to whom we are speaking to when we pray and how holy His name is. What we think of His name and how we treat His name reveals what we think of Him. One cannot truly worship God in spirit and truth with awe and reverence when they don’t reverence His holy name. How important is God’s name to us? Does honoring, reverencing, and making His name holy in our lives rise to the top of our prayer requests? It is of the utmost importance to God Himself. Let us also come to prayer holding to this petition that our lives would declare the holiness of God and His name as we ascribe glory due His holy and awesome name. As we come to prayer, let us remember what a privilege it is to be able to call God Abba, Father, just as Christ did. Let us also see the weight and focus on God’s name being reverenced and being made holy in our lives. May our prayers begin with the same focus and as Jesus instructs us “Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name!”

Matt. 6:9
(Part 1)

What a privilege it is to come to prayer and as unworthy rebel creature that was made from the dust and call the eternal holy God “Father.” This is not brought about by any merit of ourselves, but by our adoptions as sons via the union with His only begotten Son. The eternal Son was with the Father before the world was and before the world was the Father was loving His Son. It is that same love the Father has upon His Son that He shows to His elect as he adopts them as sons in union with His eternal Son. As Jesus cried out in the Garden “Abba, Father” now we to can cry out the same thing to God the Father as a result of our sonship with God. We can prayer “Father” because He cried “my God, my God” as He was dying for us. So let us never come to prayer casually or irreverently, but rather let us understand the incomprehensible privilege to pray “our Father who is in Heaven.”  

Prayer is vital and essential in the life of a Christian. Being able to come before the throne of the Living God in prayer is an incomprehensible privilege that should never be taken flippantly or irreverently. When we pray, we must always remember to whom we are speaking to and then in return remember who we are.  When we do these things, the prayer of the heart, with more and more frequency, will in reverence, trust, and worship cry out “not my will, but yours be done.” 

Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. This is the standard of God and this is immutable. This is impossible for us to achieve as fallen creatures, which is the bad news. It is only when one understands the bad news can one truly understand and be in awe of the good news found in Christ alone. The righteousness that merits our entrance into Heaven is not our own, but rather the imputed righteousness and perfection of Jesus upon us. This is the good news of the gospel. We can’t, Christ did! The death of Christ (passive obedience) is vital to the gospel and our salvation. As equally as importance is the perfect life He lived fulfilling all righteousness (active obedience) on behalf of all the Father had given Him. Without the righteousness of Christ imputed to us through faith alone we have no hope. Let us never be idolatrous and arrogant to think we can achieve the righteousness that is required on our own. Justification in which we are declared righteous by faith alone (sola fide) strikes at the heart of the gospel. Justification by faith alone is non-negotiable and to preach anything else is to preach another gospel (Galatians 1:6-10). This is a hill worth dying on because on a hill 2,00 years ago the one who lived a perfect life and fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law became sin and died so I could become the righteousness of God in Him!

Christians are not to return slap for slap but are rather instructed to turn the other cheek. There is a small detail in this verse that gives insight into the meaning of this verse. Since most people are right hand dominant, to be slapped on the right cheek would mean that one would be slapped with the back of the hand. Being slapped with the back of the hand is insulting, degrading, and showing disdain for someone. We see this in our own culture today with the phrase “that was a slap in the face” to indicate something that is hurtful, insulting, and ever slanderous. Jesus is teaching to avoid personal retaliation which would result in sin just as the one who slaps you, but rather we are show the love of God and be salt and light. We often want to get one up and get more than revenge on people that wrong us, but we are to let God take care of the vengeance. What is implied by turning the other cheek is that being in this world that hates God and the things of God, those who bear His name and live for Him can expect continued persecution, slander, and difficulty. Jesus is speaking in this context to personal matters and not to matters of self-defense, government/law enforcement to maintain law, or necessary military defense.

God swore by nothing greater that Himself when making the promise to Abram in Genesis 15. In swearing by Himself, He was saying if He doesn’t come through on His promise of the Abrahamic covenant, then He will die and cease being God which means we have no hope of heaven. However, the good news is that He cannot die or lie, and we know His promise is eternal as all His promises are yes. As children of God let us be like Him and let our yes be yes and our no be no. 

Matt. 5:27-32

It is better to enter Heaven blind and lame, than to see while running into hell!  

God looks at the heart. As in water face reflects face, so the heart reflects man (Proverbs 27:19). From the heart comes the inclination, motives, and desire of a man. Jesus is teaching that murder is not just in an outward action, but from within the heart. As believers we are to love as Christ loved and this is only done by a heart that has been regenerated by the power of God. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves, but this can only be accomplished by loving the Lord our God. We only love Him because He first loved us!  

God is concerned about who you really are as opposed to what you appear to be. God knows what is in man as He looks at the heart. Those whose righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees are those whose heart have been born again.  

Once we are justified and grow in sanctification we are to pursue, hunger, and thirst for righteousness. Unlike the pharisees who quest for righteousness was external, those who are born again worship in spirit and truth and desire God and His righteousness from the soul.  We are to delight in the law of God (Psalm 1:1-2), meditate (Psalm 119:97) on His word, and strive for obedience down to the smallest letter and stroke because we love Him. We only love Him because He first loved us.  


“So thankful for the active obedience of Christ no hope without it.” -  J.G Machen 

Starting at verse 13, Jesus begins to discuss the impact the blessed ones will have on society and the world. Verses 10-12 that speak about being persecuted for righteousness thrusts us into verses 13-16. The blessed ones who are righteousness will be persecuted, but we are to stand firm and be the salt and the light of the earth in a world that is corrupt and decaying and full of darkness. Christians are salt and light; it is not optional. Christians are to have an impact and influence on the society and those around them.

Those who are blessed are those who are covered in the imputed righteousness of Christ. The fallen world hates God and righteousness and without righteousness there is no peace. That is why those who hunger and thirst after righteousness and are being conformed to the image of God will be persecuted. This persecution is a blessing as it is what we as His children have been called to. Let us not respond to persecution with unrighteousness, but rather with righteousness. Let us not be discouraged, but rather rejoice. Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed and theirs is the kingdom of God and every second of persecution will be more than worth it when we see Him as He is. Let us rethink what it means to be persecuted for righteousness as it means we are blessed. So what are we to do in our persecution for righteousness?  Rejoice!  

At the moment of our justification there is a declaration that “the war is over” and there is peace between us and God. This is not a temporary cease fire or just a momentary truce, but rather a peace that is eternal. Righteousness is required for peace and at the moment of our justification we are clothed in the imputed righteousness of Christ forever which means that we have eternal peace with God. Knowing this truth, we as children of God are to be peacemakers first and most importantly by sharing the news of peace to all that we know that are at war with God. The Christians is not just a peacekeeper, but a peacemaker. There is no peace in the life of a non-believer and there never will be until peace is made by justification which is brought about by faith in gospel of peace and faith in Jesus Christ our righteousness. Being a peacemaker does not always mean avoiding a conflict, but it means that righteousness must be present as we see when we look at the cross. When people look at the cross, they may see torture, violence, bloodshed, vile actions of men, unimaginable evil, and conflict. However, if we carefully we see peace. The righteousness of Christ through His death and through His blood, brought us peace. How does one know they are born again and a true child of God? They are peacemakers.  

God told Moses “I am.”  He is not becoming anything, rather He is the only true being. We have our existence and being in Him (Acts 17:28)

Who made God? He is!  Where did God come from? He is!  

We have not seen God, but we love Him (1 Peter 1:8-9). However, one day we will see Him and see Him as He is!  

God is displeased when we who have been shown the most mercy are the most stingy distributing mercy to others. We must remember that we as the blessed ones are poor in spirit who are beggars with a hand outstretched for God’s mercy. Those who God has been merciful to, we are to extend that mercy as this is a characteristic of the regenerate person. The greatest realization and fulfillment of mercy is when we who were spiritually poor beggars and paupers are welcomed into the kingdom of Kings of Kings. If anyone asks the reason we are allowed in the Kingdom of God, the myriads and myriads of people there will give the reason with this word: Mercy! How blessed it that! 

Hunger and thirst after righteousness is a sign of regeneration. The blessed one that hungers and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. Their souls on this earth will be satisfied, but at the same time year for more righteousness. However, the greatest fulfillment is this when we enter the Kingdom of God where righteousness dwells. The blessed one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will be forever satisfied in glory with Christ who is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and the Living Water (John 4:7-14, John 7:37-38)!  

Being meek and gentle is not an optional characteristic or attribute of a Christian, but rather a characteristic of everyone who will be in Heaven. To be meek one must be born again as they by the Holy Spirit are poor in spirit and mourn over their sin. Meekness begins with the vertical aspect in regards to our meekness to God. We are to be meek to God and in total submission and obedience to His Sovereign authority. To be meek is to be humbled before God knowing that we deserve absolutely nothing and all that we have is from God to whom we are in total submission. This vertical meekness is the only thing that allows us to be meek toward others which is the horizontal aspect of meekness. The same humility that the blessed one has toward God, is to be shown toward other people as we live in humility with Christ being our example. One can’t be meek toward others if they are not meek before God as the horizontal can’t be present without the vertical.  The attitude and love one has toward others is an indication of the attitude and the love they have toward God.  

True meekness is found in testing. This is where meekness or submission to God is the most sincere. The meek person is humble, gentle, and in submission to God and that results in the meek person saying, “not my will, but yours be done.”

The true blessedness is not in the mourning, but rather in the comfort! 

This is the first sermon Jesus gave in His earthly ministry. When a rabbi would teach in the synagogue, he would sit down to teach instead of standing. We The teacher sitting down was a way of saying “class is about to start, listen up.” We see another example of this when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue. Luke 4:14-21   

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