Sermon: The Greatest Sermon
Scripture: Matthew 5-7
In this week’s lessons we introduce our new series on the Sermon on the Mount, and see its significance for our Christian lives.
Theme: Our Privilege of Pleasing Christ
Second, the Sermon on the Mount should be studied because, like all Scripture, it points us to the Lord Jesus Christ. This should happen even in a literary or historical study, for it is impossible to study any document well without giving attention to its author. Even more important, however, is the fact that it is also true spiritually. For, as we shall see in future studies, it is impossible to enter into the deepest understanding of these chapters without realizing that in a very large measure they bring us into the deepest possible contact with the person and the nature of our Lord. The preacher of the Sermon on the Mount is the Sermon on the Mount. And we are constantly brought into the most intimate contact with him. 
Third, we should study the Sermon on the Mount because it indicates the way to blessing for Christians, not in accordance with the world’s standards, but in accordance with these principles does the Christian find happiness. For it is the poor (not the haughty), the meek (not the proud), the merciful (not the cruel), the peacemakers (not the agitators) who are called blessed by God.
Finally, we study the Sermon on the Mount as Christians because it shows us the way to please our heavenly Father. Let me ask you this question: Have you ever tried to please him by anticipating his will? Oh, I don’t mean have you ever come across something in the Word of God that applies to you and you said with a long face, “Well, I guess I’ll have to do it,” and done it for that reason? At times that is necessary, but I do not mean that. I mean, have you ever tried to anticipate God’s will simply in order to please him?
We do that for one another at Christmas time. You know how it is in the weeks preceding Christmas. Everyone is thinking about buying gifts, and there is a period of quiet sensitivity around the house when each member of the family listens to catch a clue about something another member of the family would like. And then they rush out to buy it just so that they might have the joy of hearing the other member of the family say on Christmas morning, “Why this is a beautiful present. How did you know to get it? It is exactly what I wanted and needed.” 
Do you see the comparison? It is our great privilege to do that with Jesus. It is true that we cannot please him until we first become a member of his family. That comes only through the new birth. But once we are in his family, it is a delightful privilege to please him. And we are able to search the Scriptures constantly to anticipate his will for our lives. As we enter into these studies, let each of us pray that God will work to accomplish each of these important purposes in our lives, and that through it he will be glorified. 
Study Questions:

What are the second, third, and fourth reasons to study the Sermon on the Mount?
How do you think the Sermon on the Mount points us to Christ?

Prayer: Ask God in advance to work in your life in a great way as you study this portion of Scripture.
For Further Study: Download and listen for free to James Boice’s message, “The New Humanity.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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