Article Title: A Book “Review”: ‘The Sermon on the Mount’: The Key to Success in Life by Emmet Fox
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Books, good books, success, success principles, Emmet Fox, Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, Jesus Christ, thoughts on Jesus, spiritual growth
Submitter’s web sites: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lockhttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://goo.gl/vTpjk The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.
(obsessive or WHAT!)
Other Articles by Craig are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
All my articles may be freely published, electronically or in print
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
A BOOK “REVIEW” THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: The Key to Success in Life by Emmet Fox
Sourced from http://self-improvement-ebooks.com/books/tsotm.php
I have extracted (and “bolded” and underlined) what I consider to be the main points from this article on Emmet Fox’s excellent book and am sharing in a “spirit of enlightenment” thanks to the amazing power of the ‘net’ to reach so many people around the globe
“total non-techno” craig
The book is a practical manual of spiritual development
“Fresh with contemporary relevance, this classic of positive thinking from one of the world’s great motivational writers offers galvanizing insights on self-transformation. Based on Emmet Fox’s simple message that “thoughts are things” and all potential lies in their creative and constructive use, these thirty-one inspiring essays how to have it all — health, healing, happiness, and a liberated spirit — through the power of constructive though. First published in 1940, Power Through Constructive Thinking has been a never-failing source of strength and renewal for generations of readers.”
The eminence of Jesus Christ in the world…
* Jesus taught without dogma
* Tap into the power of prayer
* Transform negative attitudes into life-affirming beliefs through tapping the realm of infinite power that surrounds us.
“In the scriptural sense, ‘prosperity‘ and ‘prosper’ signify a very great deal more than the acquirement of material possessions. They really mean success in prayer. From the point of view from the soul, success in prayer is the only kind of prosperity worth having; and if our prayers are successful, we shall naturally have all the material things that we need.”
Emmet Fox offers people of all faiths powerful strategies and practical guidelines for bringing health, happiness, and true prosperity into their lives and the lives of others.
As you read the Bible, you should constantly affirm that Divine Wisdom is enlightening and inspiring you.
What Did Jesus Teach (Chapter 1)?
JESUS Christ is easily the most important figure that has ever appeared in the history of mankind. However you regard him, the fact will remain that the life and death of Jesus, and the teachings attributed to him have influenced the course of human history more than those of any other man who has ever lived.
There can hardly, therefore, be a more important undertaking than to inquire into the question of what Jesus really did stand for.
What did Jesus teach? What did he really wish us to believe and to do? What was his message to the world? If he should come back now, what would he say? The message which Jesus brought has a unique value, because it is the Truth, and the only perfect statement of the Truth of the nature of God and of man, and of life, and of the world; and of the relationships which exist between them. Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is, and what our own nature is; tells us the meaning of life and of death; shows us why we make mistakes; why we yield to temptation; why we become sick, and impoverished, and old; and, most important of all, he tells us how all these evils may be overcome, and how we may bring health, happiness, and true prosperity into our lives, and into the lives of others, if they really wish for them, too.
The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means breaking away from all the ordinary pre-possessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical. Historical Christianity, unfortunately, has largely concerned itself with theological and doctrinal questions which, strange to say, have no part whatever in the Gospel teaching. It will startle many good people to learn that all the doctrines and theologies of the churches are human inventions built up by their authors out of their own mentalities, and foisted upon the Bible from the outside; but such is the case. The actual explanation of man’s life lies in just the fact that he is essentially spiritual and eternal,
The “Plan of Salvation” which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran. There never was any such arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all. What has happened is that certain obscure texts from Genesis, a few phrases taken here and there from Paul’s letters, and one or two isolated verses from other parts of the Scriptures, have been taken out and pieced together by divines, to produce the kind of teaching which it seemed to them ought to have been found in the Bible. Jesus knows nothing of all this.
But he teaches that we are only punished for–and actually punished by–our own mistakes; and he teaches that every man or woman, no matter how steeped in evil and uncleanness, has always direct access to an all-loving, all-powerful Father-God, who will forgive him, and supply His own strength to him to enable him to find himself again; and unto seventy times seven, if need be.
It seems that human nature is very prone to believe what it wants to believe, rather than to incur the labor of really searching the Scriptures with an open mind.
Jesus, as we shall discover later on, made a special point of discouraging the laying of emphasis upon outer observances; and, indeed, upon hard-and-fast rules and regulations of every kind. What he insisted upon was a certain spirit in one’s conduct, and he was careful to teach principles only, knowing that when the spirit is right, details will take care of themselves; and that, in fact, “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life,” as was so obviously seen in the sad example of the Pharisees. Yet, in spite of this, the history of orthodox Christianity is largely made up of attempts to enforce all sorts of external observances upon the people
But the miracles did happen. All the deeds related of Jesus in the four Gospels did happen, and many others too, “the which, if they should be written, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” Jesus himself justified what people thought to be a strange and wonderful teaching by the works he was able to do; and he went further and said, referring to those who study and practice his teaching: “The works that I do, ye shall do, and greater works.” * Now what, after all, is a miracle? Miracles, in the popular sense of the word, can and do happen as the result of prayer. Prayer does change things. Prayer does make things happen quite otherwise than they would have happened had the prayer not been made. It makes no difference at all what sort of difficulty you may be in. It does not matter what the causes may have been that led up to it. Enough prayer will get you out of your difficulty if only you will be persistent enough in your appeal to God.
Prayer, however, is both a science and an art; and it was to the teaching of this science and this art that Jesus devoted the greater part of his ministry. The Gospel miracles happened, because Jesus had the spiritual understanding that gave him greater power in prayer than anyone else before or since.
It is the Spiritual Key that unlocks the mystery of the Bible teaching in general, and of the Gospels in particular. It is the Spiritual Key that explains the miracles and shows that they were performed in order to prove to us that we too can perform miracles, and thereby overcome sin, sickness, and limitation. With this key we can afford to discard verbal inspiration and all superstitious literalism, and yet understand that the Bible really is the most precious and most authentic of all man’s possessions.
Externally, the Bible is a collection of inspired documents written by men of all kinds, in all sorts of circumstances, and over hundreds of years of time. The book, as we have it, is an inexhaustible reservoir, of Spiritual Truth, compiled under Divine inspiration, and the actual route by which it reached its present form does not matter. Divine Wisdom is the author; and that is all that concerns us. .
The spiritual message is given in the Bible; and, above all, the parable is used to convey spiritual and metaphysical truth. In some cases, what was never intended to be more than a parable was, at one time, taken for literal statement of fact; and this often made the Bible seem to teach things which are opposed to common sense. The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden is a case in point. Rightly understood, this is perhaps the most wonderful parable of all; it was never intended by its author to be taken for history, but literal-minded people did so take it, with all sorts of absurd consequences.
The Spiritual Key to the Bible rescues us from all these difficulties, dilemmas, and seeming inconsistencies. It saves us from the false positions of Ritualism, Evangelicalism, and what is called Liberalism alike, because it gives us the Truth. And the Truth turns out to be nothing less than the amazing but undeniable fact that the whole outer world–whether it be the physical body, the common things of life, the winds and the rain, the clouds, the earth itself–is amenable to man’s thought, and that he has dominion over it when he knows it
All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the truth is that the whole of our life’s experience is but the outer expression of inner thought. Now we can choose the sort of thoughts that we entertain. It will be a little difficult to break a bad habit of thought, but it can be done. We can choose how we shall think–in point of fact, we always do choose–and therefore our lives are just the result of the kind of thoughts we have chosen to hold; and therefore they are of our own ordering; and therefore there is perfect justice in the universe. No suffering for another man’s original sin, but the reaping of a harvest that we our-selves have sown. We have free will, but our free will lies in our choice of thought.
NB: This is in essence what Jesus taught. It is, as we shall see, the underlying message of the whole Bible; but it is not expressed with equal clearness throughout. In the earlier portion of the book it shines through but dimly on the whole, as the light from a heavily shrouded lamp; but, as time goes on, veil after veil is removed, and the light shines ever stronger and stronger, until, in the teaching of Jesus Christ, it pours forth clear and unimpeded. Truth never changes, but what we have to deal with on this plane is man’s apprehension of the Truth, and, throughout historical time, this has been steadily and continuously improving.
Jesus Christ summed up this Truth, taught it completely and thoroughly, and, above all, demonstrated it in his own person. Most of us now can glimpse intellectually the idea of what it must mean in its fullness, and much that must inevitably follow from a competent understanding of it. But what we can demonstrate is a very different matter. To accept the Truth is the great first step, but not until we have proved it in doing is it ours. Jesus proved everything that he taught, even to the overcoming of death in what we call the Resurrection. For reasons which I cannot discuss here, it happens that every time you overcome a difficulty by prayer, you help the whole of the human race, past, present, and future, in a general way; and you help it to overcome that special kind of difficulty in particular. Jesus, by surmounting every sort of limitation to which mankind is subject, and in particular by over-coming death, per-formed a work of unique and incalculable value to the race, and is therefore justly entitled the Saviour of the world.
A number of those present naturally took notes, and, later on, these notes were edited into what we know as the Sermon on the Mount. The authors of the four Gospels each selected the material for his monograph in accordance with his own purpose; and it is Matthew who gives us the most complete and carefully arranged version of the address. His setting forth of the Sermon on the Mount is an almost perfect codification of the Jesus Christ religion, and I have therefore chosen it as the text for this book. It covers the essentials. It is practical and personal. It is definite, specific, and yet widely illuminating. Once the true meaning of the instructions has been grasped, it is only necessary to begin putting them faithfully into practice to get immediate results. The magnitude and extent of these results will depend solely upon the sincerity and thoroughness with which they are applied. This is a matter which each individual has to settle for himself. “No man can save his brother’s soul, or pay his brother’s debt.” We can and should help one another on special occasions, but in the long run each must learn to do his own work, and “sin” no more, lest a worse thing befall him.
If you really do wish to alter your life, if you really do wish to change yourself–to become a different person altogether in the sight of God and man–if you really do want health and peace of mind, and spiritual development, then Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, has clearly shown you how it is to be done. The task is not an easy one, but we know that it CAN be accomplished, because there are those who have done it–but the price must be paid, and the price is the actual carrying out of these principles in every corner of your life.
If you are prepared to pay that price, to break really and truly with the old, and start upon the creation of the new , then the study of the great Sermon will indeed be to you the Mountain of Liberation.
Sourced from http://self-improvement-ebooks.com/books/tsotm.php
Shared by craig
“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”
Former Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu once said these wise and inspiring words:
“We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.” “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.” – Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India
“It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us. Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe… because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.”
“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”
“When people’s hearts are full of love, the world is filled with hope.”
“With passion and purpose in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity to make a better world (through helping raise the ‘collective consciousness’). Let us encourage our leaders towards an alternate vision for the world to embrace: one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged. Each one of us in our own little ways can offer (and most importantly, LIVE) this compelling new horizon: a bright future of justness and justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values. Especially a vision of hope and thoughts of peace fuelled by the eternal flame of love, which can light the darkest night… always ” – me “God, The Essence of Life, the Ground of All Being, is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”
These writings may be freely published with acknowledgment to the source web site, thanks
“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes – goodwill among men and peace on earth.” – Albert Einstein
“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or a Sikh …’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are.”
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one soul, one life at a time, Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through sharing information and “planting, then watering uplifting ideas and seeds of hope”. He truly believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share as ‘human beans’ is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new manuscript, ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lockhttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://goo.gl/vTpjk
(obsessive or WHAT!)
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This article may be published with acknowledgment to the source, thanks
“God is a mystery, the ‘mystery of life’, a Creative Presence, Who/That allows me to be who I really want to be and become.”
“God, the Essence of Life, is the great mystery in the vast unknown; yet He (She/Spirit??) is understandable.”
May YOU all see God’s bright light on the path up head