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Saturday, June 18 2011

What Does "Sermon" Mean?

The English word "sermon" originated from a Latin word, sermonis, which meant a connected discourse, that is, to join or weave together thoughts about a single topic. The English word "series" originated from the same Latin root word, sero, as that for sermon.

The most famous sermon recorded in the Holy Scriptures is the Sermon on the Mount (as it has come to be called) which may well have been the Messiah's first large-scale public address. It took place immediately after the "temptation of Christ" (Matthew 4:1-11), after which Jesus began to preach.

"4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:12-17 KJV)

"4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." (Matthew 4:23-25 KJV)

"Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand"

The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. The theme was living a genuine Christian life (see Christian Living and Calendar of Christ's Holy Days) toward salvation; it includes many of the most well-known teachings of the Messiah e.g. you are the light of the earth, love for enemies, treasures in heaven, the narrow and broad ways, judging others, a tree and its fruit - and numerous others.


"5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward [see A Reward For Everyone] in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:1-12 KJV)

Christ's "salt of the earth" analogy is about how His people must be His people without losing their "savor" - and their Savior (see Friends Of Jesus). The teaching was repeated in that light is meant to shine, not be hidden amidst the darkness (see Let Your Light Shine).

"5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16 KJV)

Although millions have been misled into thinking otherwise, Christ did not come to "do away with the Law" (see Was Jesus A 'New Testament' Christian? and Did Jesus Break The Law?).

"5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-20 KJV)

Murders are not committed by weapons (a weapon of itself can do nothing, good or bad). Murders are not committed by hands (you have hands - but you aren't a murderer, are you?). Murder is committed by the mind and spirit of murder (e.g. when Cain and Abel went into the field that day, Abel was already murdered in Cain's mind with and by his plan and determination to do it - see My Brother's Shepherd), as Christ made plain in this teaching.

"5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." (Matthew 5:21-26 KJV)

The same principle, as explained above about murder, applies to adultery.

"5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:27-30 KJV)

Divorce, in the eyes of God, is justified only by "fornication," a translated word that has a much wider meaning in the original language of the Scriptures (listen to Fornication or Pornication? from our Sermons page).

"5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." (Matthew 5:31-32 KJV)

Oaths are unnecessary and redundant to those who obey God's Law (see Thou shalt not bear false witness).

"5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Matthew 5:33-37 KJV)

Christ's famous "eye for an eye" and "turn the other cheek" teachings form the basis of how God will be the Judge: "10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:30-31 KJV). It was not somehow a new teaching, since it was Christ who gave the "eye for an eye" teaching to Moses (see Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?), but rather a more perfect application of God's eternal Law of love - and justice.

"5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." (Matthew 5:38-42 KJV)

"Love for enemies" is very "Christian" because an "enemy" is really just someone who hasn't yet the Holy Spirit to see the truth. A prime example of that is Saul, the Christian-hating Pharisee who became the Christian apostle Paul when his eyes were opened (see Paul's Ministry).

"5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did the Messiah say during the remainder of the Sermon on the Mount?
See Study Notes For Matthew 3-7 from our 1 Year Holy Bible Reading Plan

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This Day In History, June 18

618: Li Yuan was proclaimed Emperor Gaozu of Tang, beginning three centuries of the Tang Dynasty in China.

1155: Frederick I Barbarossa (known as "Red Beard"), a Hohenstaufen, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV.

1178: 5 Canterbury monks reported seeing an explosion on the moon, the only such observation known. It is believed to have been the result of a collision with a piece of space rock that formed another of the moon's many impact craters.

1264: The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first known session of the Irish legislature.

1667: The Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames and threatened London.

1784: King George III authorized the division of Nova Scotia, establishing the new section as New Brunswick.

1812: U.S. President James Madison signed a declaration of war that began the War of 1812 (1812-1814) against Britain, with the primary goal of annexing Canada (at the end of the war, Canada was still Canada and the borders remained unmoved). It was the last invasion of Canada by any nation.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte's attempt to regain control of France ended when he was defeated at The Battle of Waterloo in Belgium by British and Prussian forces. After escaping from exile in Elba, Napoleon marched north through France for 100 days, gathering men and arms. The Duke of Wellington met him with a mixed allied army in a day-long battle. Napoleon's army suffered massive casualties, losing 40,000 of its 72,000 men.

1953: Egypt was proclaimed a republic.

1975: Prince Faisal Ibn Musaed was publicly beheaded for the murder of his uncle, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

1981: A disease that was later to be known as AIDS, was identified by researchers in San Francisco, California.

1983: Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space, 20 years after the first woman in space, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.


Copyright © Wayne Blank