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Sermon Quotes

Sermon on the Mount

Omar Bradley

We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount…Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.

Speech on Armistice Day, Boston, Mass., 11 Nov. 1948.

Clarence Bauman

The Sermon on the Mount is the most important and most controversial biblical text.

John Donne

All the articles of our religion, all the canons of our church, all the injunctions of our princes, all the homilies of our fathers, all the body of divinity, is in these three chapters, in this one Sermon on the Mount.’

Sermon, Lent 1629.

Stanley Hauerwas

To be formed in the habits, the virtues, of the prayer we are taught to pray means that Christians cannot help but appear as a threat to the legitimating ideologies of those who rule. Christians do not seek to be subversives; it just turns out that living according to the Sermon on the Mount cannot help but challenge the way things are.

Matthew, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2006.)

Stanley Hauerwas

The basis for the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount is not what works, but rather who God is.

A.M. Hunter

The New Testament makes it clear that the early Church’s message always …had two aspects—one theological, the other ethical: (i) the Gospel which the apostles preached; and (ii) the Commandment, growing out of the Gospel, which they taught to those who accepted the Gospel. The Gospel was a declaration of what God, in his grace, had done for men through Christ; the Commandment was a statement of what God required from men who had become the objects of his gracious action.’

Design for Life: an Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (SCM, 1953; revised edition 1965).

Martin Luther

The command to you is not to crawl into a corner or into the desert, but to run out, if that is where you have been, and to offer your hands and your feet and your whole body, and to wager everything you have and can do. What is required is a hunger and thirst for righteousness that can never be curbed or stopped or sated, one that looks for nothing and cares for nothing except the accomplishment and maintenance of the right, despising everything that hinders this end. If you cannot make the world completely pious, then do what you can.

The Sermon on the Mount, trans. Jaroslav Pelikan: in vol. 21 of Luther’s works, Concordia, 1956.

Justin Martyr

We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies.

A Love without Condition,” History of the Early Church (blog),

Jaroslav Pelikan (attributed)

The Sermon on the Mount remains the greatest moral document of all time.

John R.W. Stott

The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed. It is the nearest thing to a manifesto that he ever uttered, for it is his own description of what he wanted his followers to be and to do. To my mind no two words sum up its intention better, or indicate more clearly its challenge to the modern world, than the expression ‘Christian counter-culture’.

Taken from The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7: Christian Counter-Culture) by John R.W. Stott Copyright (c) 1985 by John R.W. Stott. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

John R.W. Stott

To me the key text of the Sermon on the Mount is 6:8: ‘Do not be like them.’

Taken from The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7: Christian Counter-Cultureby John R.W. Stott Copyright (c) 1985 by John R.W. Stott. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

John R.W. Stott

More simply, as both the Reformers and the Puritans used to summarize it, the law sends us to Christ to be justified, and Christ sends us back to the law to be sanctified.

Taken from The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7: Christian Counter-Culture) by John R.W. Stott Copyright (c) 1985 by John R.W. Stott. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Dale Bruner

The Sermon on the Mount is, spiritually speaking, actually the sermon from the valley. It starts low. It starts with those who feel very unlike mountains!

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