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Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Sermon on the Mount

I was wondering what 'Sermon on the mount' means to the believers here. To me when I read the Bible as a Hindu, 'Sermon on the Mount' challenged me so much. I had something inside me, tell me that if God came to earth and setup his standard of requirement for his creation, this is what it will be. I was absolutely amazed at the standard set by Jesus. Acts 1 says, Jesus practiced and then preached. So Jesus lived by the Sermon on the Mount and it was from his life the teaching came.

To me Sermon on the Mount, is an effort by Jesus to raise the standard set by 10 commandments and prophets. He is raising the bar to a new height that is now possible by this New Covenant life. Every Believer should have this ambition to live by the standard preached in this sermon.


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Sreeram

 2019/3/3 23:04Profile
Gloryandgrace
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Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1075
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re: Sermon on the Mount


The Sermon on the mount is New Covenant perspective, new covenant living and new covenant promises. But what stumbled everyone when it was preached was the fact the Old covenant was being lived out, preached and believed in such a way that something like this was tantamount to an alien invasion.

Jesus lived out the law in relation to his Father, his view of the law and it's authority in our lives was beyond merely the curses for disobeying it. Jesus showed what the 'true Israel' should be like and think like.

In doing this, and in bringing in the new covenant he revealed to all of us an example to follow, a way of life to imitate, a relationship with the Father to seek after.

The Sermon on the mount is a 'bridge' that shows what both old and new covenant spiritual life was and is to look like.


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Marvin

 2019/3/4 11:33Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1988
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Sermon on the Mount

Sreeram: I would like to put this out there for consideration. In the sermon on the mount we read, "Your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the pharisees if you are to enter the kingdom of God." Immediately after this statement, Jesus begins to compare the letter of the law with the motive of the heart, that which is up to our own effort to keep and which was externally enforced with that which comes out of the motive of a regenerated heart and is internally motivated.

Think about thou shalt not kill. Under the OT law, I could hate a man all I wanted, but as long as I did not kill him, I was not punished. But Jesus said, "If you hate him in your heart, you have committed murder already."

To the common Jews Jesus was speaking to, the righteousness of the Pharisees was like walking on water. They saw the Pharisee as the spiritual elite. They felt they could never rise to that level of righteousness. And now Jesus throws out a standard that is so high above the law that it is totally unattainable.

Jesus wraps the thought up with this statement. If you are going to be right with God, you have to be perfect like He is perfect. This would have sent a collective gasp through the crowd. How is this possible. How can I be righteous like God is righteous. How can I be complete, mature, perfect like God is?

So I don't think Jesus was giving a new and higher law for us to keep. That was the very thing that He came to abolish, self effort in trying to attain to a standard and be pleasing to God. Instead He came to offer Himself as the way back to the kind of right relationship and righteousness that causes a man to have the heart and mind of God. So to give a higher law would be to build stronger the very thing He came to destroy, man's own self righteousness gained through self-effort. But if His point is to show that no amount of keeping the law can ever earn us righteousness, then He made the point very well.

So I believe Jesus goal was to show the futility of self effort, the ineffectiveness of the law, and the need to be born again and then transformed into God's image.


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Travis

 2019/3/4 12:26Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Re:

Quote:

So I believe Jesus goal was to show the futility of self effort, the ineffectiveness of the law, and the need to be born again and then transformed into God's image.



I appreciate your view but I disagree. Jesus did say that our righteousness should exceed that of Pharisees and scribe. The righteousness of them was only external, but internally as Jesus pointed out they were dead bones. So as Jesus responded to them, it is inner cleaning that leads to external life. Holy Spirit working inside us is needed to produce the external testimony.

As you noted here, the Sermon ON the Mount is about internal. All except 1 command in 10 commandments was external. Paul acknowledges that he struggled in that 1 internal command of lust. But in sermon on the mount which is the new covenant standard, Jesus emphasized the inner cleansing that leads to external life. This is the new covenant standard.

Quote:

So I don't think Jesus was giving a new and higher law for us to keep. That was the very thing that He came to abolish, self effort in trying to attain to a standard and be pleasing to God.



There is not a single verse in the Bible that says the law is Abolished! There are multiple verses to show it is not by both Jesus and Paul.

Matthew 5:17 - Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them

Standard and law are 2 different things. Old Covenant had a standard of requirement that God wanted them to meet which was mostly external. Law was a means (or medium) by which that standard was achieved. For example we want our kids to be proficient in math and School grades are a means by which our kids learn math and become proficient in them. What is the use if a kid passes high school but struggles to do basic math! His school certificate is useless. Same way Law was a school master that came to bring us to a standard.

What Jesus preached here is not law but a higher standard than the one needed for Old Covenant. Now to achieve this standard is impossible by Law. That is why Jesus starts with saying blessed are the poor in SPirit. Which means we have to acknowledge our poverty in spiritual things and seek God's spirit to achieve this standard.

He ends up Sermon on the mount with Hope, 'Ask you will receive'. Ask me for the power to keep this standard, you will receive.

Jesus himself said that his words are spirit and not law. Letter kills but Spirit gives life. It is important to note that we know how to distinguish between Law and Spirit, else we might ignore the words of SPirit calling it law. Then we will hear the dreadful words, 'I Did not know you'.


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Sreeram

 2019/3/4 12:59Profile
Gloryandgrace
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Joined: 2017/7/14
Posts: 1075
Snoqualmie, WA

 Re:


Hi Sree: You should know being a good student of scripture that the law in the form of Ceremonial, Temple, Priesthood, dietary, wars were all abolished.

You know this text:

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

As a Gentile, all of these laws are contrary to us because we could never obey them in covenant, because it wasn't until the 10th generation that a gentile would be considered in covenant relation like a Jew.

The Moral law as is contained in the 10 commandments, that which pertains to marriage and sexual relations are binding.
But even though the moral law is binding we are not justified by it. We are not antinomians but we are not law-justified either.

As to righteousness, there is no 'external righteousness', that external thing not conforming to the mind and will of God done by reason of love and devotion to God is not righteousness at all.
Everyday we have atheists who do not kill, do not steal do not commit adultery but there is no knowledgeable believer who categorizes moral-atheists as righteous. Nor do we consider moral pagans or moral skeptics or moral Mormons/Jw's etc as righteous in the sight of God.
We make that judgment not based upon external law-keeping but based upon their own testimony regarding Jesus Christ.
They deny him.

Morality has in view only the fact that a man has kept or obeyed a law and by that 'keeping' is judged moral.
But righteousness has in view the keeping of law in relation to God. Righteousness is obedience done in love and honor to God.

If you leave God out of the picture, righteousness is reduced to morality which any pagan can imitate...and when such a term is used indiscriminately blurs the difference between the life of a Christian and the life of any pagan or atheist. Our culture is full of this ignorance.


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Marvin

 2019/3/4 13:33Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1988
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Sreeram: My heart is not to argue, but I do want to make sure you understand where I am coming from. Ephesians 2:15 says that Jesus, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;" So the enmity that He abolished in His flesh was the law of commandments. Romans 10 says that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe.

Please do not think that I am saying that God does not have a standard of holiness. He IS holiness itself. I am made like Him, but not through keeping any laws by my own efforts. I am called to live a holy life. I am called to be like Him. But living a holy life and becoming like Him is utterly impossible if I am trying to do it in my own efforts. The rebirth makes me like Him. I literally become His righteousness. I utterly abandon my own and I receive His. I am, through His sacrifice of death, dead to sin. My surrender to Him means that I died with Him. Baptism is the picture of this. Death, burial, resurrection. It is not a rite of the Christian church, it is a reality of the death and rebirth that happened in my life. The old man is dead. I now live in Him.

But the people to whom Jesus was preaching did not have this reality yet. They were still under the law and under the deception that they could somehow be righteous by keeping the law. None more so than the Pharisees. (I tithe of mint, anise, and cumin...) Jesus told the people, your righteousness must exceed this if you are to have any hope of eternal life. Not only must you not kill, steal, or commit adultery. You must also not hate, covet, or lust.

To even the modern day Christian, these seem like totally unreachable goals. How much of a typical Christian's life is spent trying to overcome just these three. And how many sermons and counseling sessions are spent trying to help people overcome just these three.

But we were never intended to try to eliminate these things from our lives. We were intended to die to self and live through Him so that these things are dead to us and we are dead to them. If we see these things as higher laws that we are to attain unto, we will fail and be frustrated because our efforts will be self originating. But when we realize that the rebirth is about becoming like Him and dying to these things, it changes everything. God does not desire us to overcome these things. He desires us to become like Christ in whom these things do not even reside.

So Jesus says that we not only must have a righteousness that is greater than the scribes and Pharisee's righteousness (which was a self righteousness based on their own effort), but we must be able to meet God's true standard of holiness which cannot be reached with external effort as it is an internal standard. How must we do this? We must be just as righteous as God is. We must be perfect like His is perfect. Not continually striving for his perfection. The text leaves no room for that interpretation. We must be just as righteous as God is. No exceptions.

But how do we get that righteousness? We cannot get it through keeping a higher set of laws. We can only receive it by death and resurrection. Death to this old man and resurrection by the very life and power of God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. His death and resurrection provided for my own through which I receive His life and His righteousness.

Now I no longer lust. Now I no longer covet. Now I no longer hate.
Why? Because I have His perfect life living in me. My eye is single and my whole body is full of light. I am in relationship with Him in intimacy and as I gaze upon Him with an unveiled face (the enmity is gone. The veil of the law and self effort is gone. The veil is removed) I am changed into His image from glory to glory. That word changed is the word used in Romans 12:2. It is metamorphosis. But what is more, it is the word transfigured for that is the only other use it has in the NT. On the mount, Jesus was transfigured before them. He put on the glory He had with the Father and they saw Him that way. Likewise we are changed, transfigured, from one level of glory to the next, ever more into His image.

Hope that clarifies my statements a little bit.


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Travis

 2019/3/4 15:56Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1988
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Marvin: Appreciate the comment. I would ask a question though. Is there a Biblical distinction between moral law and ceremonial law. I have heard those terms most of my life, but I have never personally found in scripture where this distinction is made.

What do you make of 2 Corinthians 3:6-10?


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Travis

 2019/3/4 16:01Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Re:

Mavin, you are totally confused with Justification and sanctification. May be Sanctification does not even exist in your view of Christianity!

Justification is by faith in Jesus. We cannot make ourself righteous. When we repent from our Sins and believe in Jesus, then God looks us like how he looks at his Son Jesus. This is called Justification. It is positional righteousness, based on our position in Jesus.

Now when a person is born again and believes in this justification, a desire comes to obey every command of Jesus. Jesus himself said that the one who loves him will obey his commandments. The great commissions in Matt 28, is very clear, in which Jesus commanded his disciples to keep and teach every commandment of his.

But it is God who empowers us to keep his commandments by the working of the Holy Spirit. It is not by self effort, it is God who enables us.

Philp 2:12 - Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.

Anyone who does not want to follow sermon on the mount and considers it as law is not even born again. How can someone not have love for Jesus and consider born again? If he has love for Jesus, then as Jesus said there will be a genuine desire to follow every word of Jesus. A person without such a desire is not just unsaved but is also cursed.
1 Cor 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed.


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Sreeram

 2019/3/4 16:10Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Re:

It is lie of the Devil to say that ALL the 10 commandments are no longer applicable to Christians. 9 out of the 10 commandments are mentioned in New Testament in a positive way. That is in a way to make it applicable to Christians.

If the standard of life of a Christian is below someone one who lives by 10 commandments then he has to put his head low and confess that he has no love for Jesus.


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Sreeram

 2019/3/4 16:14Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1703


 Re:

Quote:

Sreeram: My heart is not to argue, but I do want to make sure you understand where I am coming from. Ephesians 2:15 says that Jesus, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;" So the enmity that He abolished in His flesh was the law of commandments. Romans 10 says that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe.



Totally taking the verse (Eph 2) out of context, what was abolished there is the enmity that was there on gentiles with whom God had no covenant. It talks about Justification which is not based on law. Law was never abolished, Jesus words are so clear. Let God alone be true and everyman be liar.

Romans 7:12 is very clear that the enemy is not Law.
7:12- So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Certainly not!

Please read scripture with context and compare scripture with scripture. Otherwise you will only be deceived like this.

The problem is not with Law, the problem is with human who cannot keep it. Paul was so clear about it in Romans.

No where did I ever mention that we should keep the commandments of Jesus in self effort. I do not know where you are even getting these ideas. In fact I was very clear that apart from God working inside us it is impossible for man to live the Sermon on the Mount. When it is proven that it is impossible to live by 10 commandments, God should be out of his mind to expect the same from us by self effort.
But New covenant is not self effort, it is God who works inside every believer to enable him. A believer can do all things through Christ who gives him strength.

Whether it is self effort or work of God, the fruit should be evident. If not then Christianity is lie.


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Sreeram

 2019/3/4 16:28Profile





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