by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The perfect picture of the life of the Kingdom of God
There is nothing ... so dangerous as to say that the Sermon on the Mount has nothing to do with modern Christians...; it is something which is meant for all Christian people. It is a perfect picture of the life of the kingdom of God...; that is why Matthew put it in his Gospel at the beginning.
It is agreed that Matthew was writing his Gospel especially for the Jews. That was his set desire. Hence all this emphasis upon the kingdom of heaven. And what was Matthew out to emphasize? Surely it was this. The Jews had a false, materialistic conception of the kingdom. They thought the Messiah was one who was coming to give them political emancipation. They were looking forward to someone who would deliver them from the bondage and yoke of the Roman Empire. They always thought of the kingdom in an external sense, a mechanical, military, materialistic sense.
So Matthew puts the true teaching concerning the kingdom in the very forefront of his Gospel, for the great purpose of this Sermon is to give an exposition of the kingdom as something which is essentially spiritual. The kingdom is primarily something "within you." It is that which governs and controls the heart and mind ad outlook. Far from being something which leads to great military power, it is to be "poor in spirit." In other words, we are not told in the Sermon on the Mount, "Live like this and you will become Christian"; rather we are told, "Because you are Christian live like this." This is how Christians ought to live; this is how Christians are meant to live.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 16-17
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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