I haven’t read a fiction book in several years. I read the Bible or books about the Bible. I read a number of well-grounded pastors and teachers, one of which has become a favorite. Dr. Emmet Fox wrote “Sermon on the Mount” in 1934. A friend gave me the book in 1986 and I’ve read it over and over. You can download the ebook version in pdf format for free at http://harrykatz.com/Sermon/Sermon_On_The_Mount_eBook.pdf.
The first chapter in his book, What Jesus Taught, was thought provoking and powerful for me. I don’t take books about the Bible as gospel truth. I like to dig into the Bible and compare what authors say against what the Bible says. Sometimes I agree. Sometimes I don’t. For me, the Bible is always incontrovertible Truth and supreme authority.
In this initial chapter Fox says Jesus never taught theology. “There is absolutely no system of theology or doctrine to be found in the Bible; it simply is not there.”¹ In another part, Fox said all Jesus’ teaching was specifically and only for the development of the soul.
Those statements got me thinking. As I read the Bible I started paying attention to specific things Jesus taught. I came to the conclusion that Fox was right. As an Exchanged Life advocate I believe our “soul” is the sum of our thoughts, our will and our emotions. Many folks commonly refer to it as our personality.
Everything I read confirmed, at least for me, that the purpose for all Jesus taught was for the development of the soul. Intended to teach us how to think, choose and feel as we are led by the Spirit of God.
¹The Sermon on the Mount, by Emmet Fox, ©1934, Harper & Row Publishers,New York, pg.3