Getting the Sermon on the Mount Right (The Anabaptist Challenge), Part 1

by David Servant

No doubt you’ve heard of Mennonites. Perhaps also of the Amish. Maybe even the Brethren and Hutterites. All fall under the heading of “Anabaptists,” who trace their roots to 16th century Germany and Switzerland. Their predecessors were part of what is known as the Radical Reformation, a response to perceived corruption in both Roman Catholicism and the expanding Magisterial (state-wedded) Protestant movement led by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others.

Picture of the Sermon on the Mount
The artist who painted this picture certainly didn’t “Get the Sermon on the Mount Right,” as Jesus and His Jewish followers would have had a little darker skin!

The early Anabaptists, like the early Christians, were pejoratively named by their persecutors, but in their case because of their distinct doctrine of re-baptizing adults who had already been baptized as babies. The word anabaptist means “one who baptizes again.” Anabaptists noticed that infant baptism, practiced by both Roman Catholics and the Protestants of their day, wasn’t found in the New Testament, and that the apostles seemed to baptize only those who were old enough to understand the gospel, repent of their sins and follow Christ.

What Is the Best Way to Test Your Motives?

A Daily Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

What is the best way to test your motives? Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. We’re working our way now through the Sermon on the Mount into the middle chapter. And the Sermon on the Mount of course is Matthew five, six and seven.

Picture of man looking at sunset, reflecting on motives

We’re in chapter six and Jesus deals with the heart of holiness, at least at the beginning portions of Matthew chapter six because He deals with motivations. God’s not just concerned about what’s going on outwardly in our lives, He’s concerned about what’s going on inwardly in our lives and in our hearts and He wants us to be motivated from primarily two things: First of all and foremost, love for Him, and second, love for others.

Should Every Christian Give to the Poor?

A Daily Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

Should every Christian give to the poor? Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson, and we’re working our way slowly but surely through the Sermon on the Mount, and today, we’re finding ourselves right at the beginning of Matthew Chapter 6.

Picture of poor man begging

Now remember, Jesus didn’t give this sermon in chapters and in verses, and at the end of Chapter 5, there’s no indication that Jesus took a pause and said, “Now let’s all break for a little intermission here and then I’ll start up with a brand new subject in part two of the Sermon of the Mount.” No, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 didn’t exist in the original Sermon of the Mount. It just flowed.

Is It Possible to Be Perfect?

A Daily Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

Is it possible to be perfect? Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. If you’ve been following the Little Lessons for a while, you know that we’ve been working our way through Matthew 5, the very first chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, and I never intended really to go this far. I wanted to take a look at the Beatitudes and one thing led to another, and pretty soon it was out of control.

Picture of woman lifting her hands in worship

Here we are all the way now to the end of Matthew 5, and there’s a verse at the very end that has some of us scratching our heads. Matthew 5:48, “Jesus said, Therefore,” and this is obviously a summarizing statement to all that’s been said previously because He said ‘Therefore’ so it connects it to everything he said. “Therefore, you are to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

A Final, Brief Summary of What Jesus Taught About Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

A Daily Little Lesson

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A final brief summary of what Jesus taught about marriage, divorce and remarriage.

Picture of divorce paper and gavel

Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. We have been treading in dangerous waters, talking about marriage, divorce and remarriage. In, I think, four or five Little Lessons so far we’ve delved into a couple of angles that I just hope will provoke your thinking.

What Does It Mean to Divorce “Because of the Hardness of Your Heart”?

A Daily Little Lesson

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Jesus said that Moses permitted the Jewish men to divorce their wives because of the hardness of their hearts, so what did He mean by that?

Picture of man signing divorce paper with wife

Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. This will be I think our fourth one discussing marriage and divorce as we’re working our way through Jesus’ sixth, “You have heard, but I say to you,” statements. I saved this one for last because it is the one where interpreters are most apt to claim that Jesus was changing the standards found in the law of Moses. I’m taking a different course, as you know if you’ve watched already, that Jesus was reiterating standards that were already there, and that what was true when Jesus spoke these words on the Sermon on the Mount was true during the law of Moses.

What Makes Divorce Justifiable?

A Daily Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

What makes divorce justifiable?

Picture of woman taking wedding ring off finger - symbolic of divorce

Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson. We’ve already spent two of the lessons looking at Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter five regarding divorce and remarriage, just into the edge of it and I’ve just come to terms with the fact that there’s no way that I’ll be able to fully expound on this subject.

What Did the Scribes and Pharisees Believe About Divorce and Remarriage?

A Daily Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

So, what did the Scribes and Pharisees believe about divorce and remarriage? Stay tuned.

Picture of wedding rings and judge's gavel - symbolic of divorce

Welcome to today’s Little Lesson, one more special Cuba edition. We’re looking at the sixth of Jesus’s six “You have heard but I say to you” statements found in the Gospel of Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount. We’ve covered five already. In every case Jesus was clearly not changing moral standards; He was reiterating what could easily be found in the Old Testament, the Law of Moses, which, I’ve said all this over and over again, so I’m not going to say it again.

A “Holy” Guy Tells a Lie

by David Servant

I was going to write this month about someone else’s sins, but then, before I could throw the first stone, my conscience got the better of me. So I’m going to tell you about one of my own recent sins, and for two reasons.

Graphic with title of E-Teaching: A "Holy" Guy Tells a Lie.

First, anyone who serves in public ministry eventually becomes aware of the fact that there are people who think more highly of him (or her) than they should. This is especially true in these days of media ministry when folks don’t personally know those whom they are following, and an “image” can easily hide all the warts. When confronted with one’s admiring fans, one has a choice: Do I allow these folks to remain deceived, or do I shatter their false perceptions by letting them see what those who are close to me know only too well?

What Did Jesus Actually Teach About Divorce and Remarriage?

A Daily Little Lesson

Read the transcript of this video below.

What did Jesus actually teach about divorce and remarriage? Hi, welcome to today’s Little Lesson, this is another special Cuba edition. I’m so blessed to be here on behalf of the Ministry of Heaven’s Family, checking up on a number of different projects that we’ve been involved in here.

Picture of marriage rings over paper reading "divorce"

I’m happy to report that we’re blessed to be supporting native evangelists, who are winning literally thousands of people to Jesus as the level of receptivity towards Jesus here is really almost unlike anything I’ve ever seen in four decades of ministry all over the world. It’s a huge honor for me to be here and be talking to those who are a part of that revival and hear the reports firsthand.