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The Sermon on the Mount

Christ seldomly gathered His disciples alone to receive His words. It was His work
to reach the multitudes, in words of warning, entreaty, and encouragement, seeking to uplift all who would come to Him. The Sermon on the Mount, though given especially to the disciples, was spoken in the hearing of the multitudes. After the ordination of the Apostles, Jesus went to the seaside. In the early morning people had begun to assemble.
"And He came down with them and stood on a level place with the crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all of Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases. 18. as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed."
The narrow beach did not before even afford standing room,
and Jesus lead the way back to the mountainside. Reaching a level space that offered a pleasant gathering place, He seated Himself on the grass, and the disciples and the multitudes followed His example. The disciples sat close beside Him, eager to understand the truths that they were to make known to all lands and all ages. They believed that the Kingdom was soon to be established. A feeling of expectancy pervaded the multitudes also. As the people sat on the green hillside, their hearts were filled with thoughts of future Glory. They hoped that Israel was soon to be honored before the nation as the chosen of the Lord, and Jerusalem exalted as the head of a universal Kingdom.
In His Sermon on the Mount Christ sought to undo the work that had been wrought by false education and to give His hearers a right conception of His Kingdom. Without combating their ideas of the Kingdom of God, He told them the conditions of entrance therein, leaving them to draw their own conclusion as to its nature. Happy are they, He said, who recognize their Spiritual poverty and feel their need for redemption. Not to the Spiritual proud is the Gospel revealed, but to those who are humble and contrite. The proud heart strives to earn salvation; but both our title to Heaven and our fitness for it are found in the righteousness of Christ. The Lord can do nothing to the recovery of man until he yields himself to the control of God. Then he can recieve the gift God is waiting to bestow him. From the soul that feels
its need, nothing
is withheld. *Isaiah57:15* "For thus says the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the High and Holy Place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To recieve the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
God loves mankind. To shield us from the results of transgression, He had revealed the principles of righteousness. When the law is recieved in Christ, it lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin. God gave us the precepts of the law that in obeying them we might have Joy. At Sinai, God made known to men the holiness of His character, that by contrast they might see the sinfulness of their own. The law was given to convict them of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour. As the Holy Spirit reveals to men their need of Christ's cleansing blood
and justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith, *Psalm19:7* ''The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple."
The Saviour's life of obedience proved that the law could be kept in humanity and showed excellence of character that obedience would develop. *Proverbs27:11* ''My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, That I may answer him who reproaches me.'' As the son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their lives. Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He shared the lot of man; yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was God in the flesh. His character is to be ours. Jesus had shown in what righteousness consists and Had pointed to God as its source. Now He turned to practical duties. Let nothing be done to attract attention or who praise to self. Give in sincerity, for the benefit of the suffering poor. In prayer, commune with God. In fasting, go not
with the heart filled with thoughts of self. Service rendered in sincerity of heart has great recompense. ''Thy Father which seeth in secret will reward thee openly." By the life we live through the Grace of Christ the character is formed. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted, and the image of the Divine begins to shine forth. Men and women who work and walk with God are surrounded with the atmosphere of Heaven. For these souls, the Kingdom of God has began. All who have chosen God's service are to rest in His care. Christ pointed to the birds flying in the Heavens, and to the flower of the field, and asked, "Are you not of more value than they?" The little brown sparrow is watched over. The flowers, the grass, share the notice of our Heavenly Father. The great Master Artist has taken thought
for the lilies,
making them outshine the Glory of Solomon. How much more does He care for man, who is the image and Glory of God. As the sunbeam imparts to the flowers their delicate tints, so God imparts to the soul the beauty of His own character. The good tree will produce good fruit. So the fruit borne in the life testifies as to the character. Good work can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The reward is not bestowed because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work done through Grace. Thus Christ set forth the principles of His Kingdom. To impress the lesson He added an illustration. It is not enough to hear My words; by obedience, you must make them the foundation of your character. If you build on human theories, your house will
fall. By the winds of temptation and trial it will be swept away. But these principles that I have given will endure. Recieve Me; build on My words. ''Every one then who hears these words of mine, and does them will be like a wise man who built upon the rock; And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on the rock. *Luke6:20-49*

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