The Savior's Sermon

Happy New Year everyone!!!

How about let’s start off with a fun fact? Here you go:

“The longest sermon on record was preached by Rev. Robert Marshall, minister of the Birmingham Unitarian Church, Michigan, in 1976. He preached for 60 hours and 31 minutes. The previous record holder was Robert McKee who preached for 52 hours. He said that it took him two-and-a-half years to write the 500,000-word sermon”[1]

Ok, rather you believe that or not I found it interesting. A 60 hour Sermon! Well, at Youth Group we do not have talks that long, nor are we trying to. We may not be making records for the longest talk but we are looking at the best Sermon ever given (at least in my opinion). Not that the other sermons in the Bible are not worthy, because they also are God’s word, but we are looking at the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7.

So, for our first Youth Group we had an introduction to this Sermon. We asked three questions. (1) Why learn about this Sermon, (2) What should we expect, and (3) how should we look approach the beatitudes?

Why this Sermon?

Here we saw that it shows us what the blessed life is. Blessed life, sounds a bit strange, huh? We talked about how that meant a happy life. The blessed life is one that is a happy life. One, that is satisfied in God, content, one that has peace, and where joy could be found. Pursuit in the pleasure of God brings most happiness. That does not mean things will be easy, but that we have hope. We asked, does this life describe me?

We saw that it shows us what authentic Christianity is. It shows us our heart, it reveals to us area’s where we need to grow and it points us to our Lord and Savior. What does it mean to be an authentic Christian?

It also comes from Jesus, so it is the very word of God. How much do we revere this?    

It teaches us how to live, gives us a purpose, and encourages us to live as Christ did; teaching us how to love our neighbors. Is that something I want to live by?

What to expect?

There are many commands. At times we should feel like we do not measure up. This is a sermon of grace. We follow it because of what Jesus has done for us. He gives us the grace. It is based on the Gospel. We do not save ourselves. Jesus does that. So we should expect to hear the Gospel a lot.

But, there will be time where it makes us feel bad because we do not measure up. We should what to live this sermon. This should drive us to Jesus. He is the message of hope. He is our comfort and savior.

The beatitudes

Taking this from Dr. Llyod-Jones there are at least 3 things to consider.

(1)    These characteristics are meant to be lived out by ‘all’ Christians. Not just the super spiritual ones.

(2)    Christians are to have, to some extent all of these characteristics. It’s not picking and choosing.

(3)    These characteristics are not natural tendencies. We are not born with them. They are given in grace.

We want to love God and neighbor. We do so based on the grace of the Gospel. We live as we are not of the world although we are in it. So we are to be different, follow Christ and that is how we will make a lasting difference.

This Sermon is amazing. It is our prayer that we learn how to live it out.

 

[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 1071). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

Ryan Fields