Christ of the Mount

In our morning moments while Sara gets ready to leave for her high school we are reading together a little book that has touched me in the past. It is The Christ of the Mount By E. Stanley Jones. It is a study ofn the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5. This quote sums up his approach which makes the whole discourse so incredibly powerful:

The essential difference between Phariseism and the teaching of Jesus is just here: “One was devotion to an idea – the Law; the other was devotion to a Person – the Gospel.†In the first, one could feel that he had attained and could stand in the temple and thank God that he was not as other men; but the other could never feel that he had attained, for love was always opening new doors. The one produced the perfect Pharisee and the other the perfect lover.

“If religion is concerned with love to a person there can be no limit to duty and there can be no question of merit,†says Findlay, and he laid his finger upon an essential truth. There is a beyondness in the Sermon on the Mount that startles and appalls the legalistic mind. It sees no limit to duty – the first mile does not suffice, he will go two; the coat is not enough, he will love enemies as well. Come to that with the legalistic mind and it is impossible and absurd; come to it with the mind of the lover and nothing else is possible. The lover’s attitude is not one of duty, but one of privilege.

Here is the key to the Sermon on the Mount. We mistake it entirely if we look on it as the chart of the Christian’s duty, rather it is the charter of the Christian’s liberty – his liberty to go beyond, to do the thing that love impels and not merely the thing that duty compels.

AMEN! This life is a person we love who transforms us, not set of principles or rituals to observe. Get that and your as close the kingdom as anyone on the planet!

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6 Comments
  1. Rob Horton March 28, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Awesome! Something stirred in my heart along similiar lines the other day. God is desiring to woo us to be God lovers. Many are attempting to woo us to be “baby makers”. When we permit God to bring us into a loving relationship with Him, He will be fruitful and multipliable through us. We do not need to obsess about being fruitful and multipliable – we can obsess simply upon loving Him.

  2. Rob Horton March 29, 2006 at 1:50 am

    Awesome! Something stirred in my heart along similiar lines the other day. God is desiring to woo us to be God lovers. Many are attempting to woo us to be “baby makers”. When we permit God to bring us into a loving relationship with Him, He will be fruitful and multipliable through us. We do not need to obsess about being fruitful and multipliable – we can obsess simply upon loving Him.

  3. Steve March 29, 2006 at 5:31 am

    Yep. Transformation through the gift of our Lover…not conformation through obligation to change.

  4. Steve March 29, 2006 at 8:31 am

    Yep. Transformation through the gift of our Lover…not conformation through obligation to change.

  5. Daniel April 5, 2006 at 7:46 am

    The Sermon on the Mount is absolutely one of my favorite passages in Scripture partly because it takes religion and turns it on its ear. I may have to get that book.

  6. Daniel April 5, 2006 at 10:46 am

    The Sermon on the Mount is absolutely one of my favorite passages in Scripture partly because it takes religion and turns it on its ear. I may have to get that book.

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