THE KINGDOM MANIFESTO
Author: Steve Wilmshurst
Matthew's gospel is about the King and his kingdom, and the Sermon on the Mount is his Manifesto.The high ideals and behaviour he presents are possible through his Spirit working in his subjects.
'Steve Wilmshurst has the happy knack of combining thoroughly orthodox and Christ-centred theology with a perceptive grasp of the contemporary scene. This combination, coupled with his incisive applications from the biblical text, makes the Kingdom Manifesto a great read. Both those who are disciples of that kingdom and those who preach its gald tidings will derive great spiritual benefit from this accessible analysis of the Sermon on the Mount.
Roger Fay, Senior Editor, Evangelical Times.
The Beatitudes refer to the kingdom primarily in its present aspect (5:3, 10) – Jesus is saying, this is what kingdom people are like now. In 7:21, however, Jesus is speaking of the Day of Judgment, and the kingdom referred to is the completed, perfected eternal kingdom. In theological language, the kingdom of heaven is therefore eschatological – it relates to the new age, the eternal age, but it is already present in some measure now. At the outset of his ministry Jesus proclaims that ‘the kingdom of heaven is near’ (4:17, echoing John the Baptiser in 3:2). The sense of the Greek is that the kingdom has come near and is now present in the vicinity, waiting to be populated by the members Jesus will call into it. In that context, 11:12 (‘the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing’) is like a progress report. The kingdom is here and now, and the Sermon on the Mount calls us to make it visible, both individually and corporately.
‘It might seem that another book on the Sermon on the Mount was not needed, but Steve Wilmshurst has produced something that deals well with the text and is fresh and relevant. Here is a book that will be of value to preachers and individual Christians who are studying this passage, and also will help and challenge an enquiring unbeliever. The author excels in making applications which speak to today's world in a totally accessible style. A book to be recommended. ‘ Robert Hitchings
Dr Steve Wilmshurst is currently Director of Training at Kensington Baptist Church in Bristol and teaches on the New Testament in a variety of other places. He is the author of The Final Word - The book of Revelation simply explained, and A ransom for many – The book of Mark simply explained also published by Evangelical Press.