The complete Commandments of Christ from the Sermon on the Mount
Matthew Chapter 5
Matthew Chapter 6
Matthew Chapter 7
Essay: "Who needs MORE commandments?"
What are the Commandments? Do Theologians Agree?
Jesus implored his disciples on multiple occasions to follow his commandments and to put them into practice in every-day life. By virtue of the multiple, ardent, direct pleas for the disciples to follow his commandments, put them into practice and teach them to others, there can be no doubt that Jesus' commandments are absolutely essential to finding the 'small, narrow gate' and stay on the 'narrow road' that leads to life, which only a few find. Mt 7:14.
While virtually all Bible scholars, from the first century through modern times, agree that the Sermon on the Mount represents among the most profound, if not THE most profound teachings in the entire Bible, their opinions vary as to the exact purpose of the Sermon on the Mount. In fact there are no less than twelve different approaches or concepts of the Sermon on the Mount. For those interested in the details, read "A Summary of Understanding the Sermon on the Mount", by Greg Harrick Th.M., PhD.
In general, bible scholars question whether the Sermon on the Mount applies to everyone or that in its entirety it applies only to the clergy as the Roman Catholic Church has contended. Some scholars contend that the Sermon on the Mount never happened, that the Gospel writers merely gathered a collection of Jesus' sayings over time and artificially put them into a Sermon context. Others question the relation of the ethics embodied in the Sermon to daily life, asking the question, "Has anyone ever fulfilled it or is it ever meant to be lived out?". Some even question whether the lessons in ethics contained in the Sermon are relevant to anything, if we accept that we are saved by faith.
The approach taken in the book, "The Commandments of Christ" can be summarized in three points:
- The Sermon on the Mount was one of, if not Jesus' major "key note" lessons to his disciples. ("If you love me follow my commandments". -John 14:15)
- Jesus expected his disciples to apply the commandments and teach them to others. ("Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." -Matthew 28:19-20)
- The Sermon on the Mount represents the divine process of self-transformation; of spiritual rebirth, where we learn to consciously overcome the domination of and identity with the self-absorbed concerns of the ego and put on the "new man" dominated by the Christ Mind. This is the gradual process of which Jesus spoke, when he said, 'the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed', and 'the kingdom of God is like leaven, which leavens the whole loaf'.
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