THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT!
Guilty, Guiltless, Grateful, and Guided!
When I read the Sermon on the Mount I am both overwhelmed and overjoyed. I am overwhelmed with the demands of the law and I am overjoyed that Jesus met those demands on my behalf. Reading the sermon truly helps me to “Thank God for Jesus.” I am glad that He “fulfilled the law” (Matt. 5:17-18), because there is just too much “law” here for me to fill completely full. I do not read and seek to follow the principles taught here in order to be saved because I am already saved by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus. I do read it in order follow the principles to be blessed. The sermon is about how to be successful…not a code of rules for being saved. The Sermon on the Mount is designed to teach us how to be a “light”…not how to “get right.” It is designed to teach us how to be salt…not how to be “saved.” If we are trying to be saved by keeping all of the principles in this sermon at all times we can hang it up now. See Matthew 5:48. But Jesus did that “for us” so that He could live it out “in us” based on our degree of faith, dedication, and understanding (Col. 1:27-28; Gal. 2:20). This sermon teaches us how to build our lives on a “rock solid” foundation. (Matt. 7:24-27). Remember this: Acts 2 teaches how to be saved (and it’s all about Jesus and turning to Him)… while Matthew 5-7 teaches us how be salt (or how to serve Jesus in His kingdom). Jesus came that we might have “life” more abundantly. And this sermon teaches us the principles for the abundant life. (Jn. 10:10). The principles taught here have always true and are the ideal principles to seek to live by. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).
I am Overwhelmed — I am rendered powerless. There are just too many things here for me to completely and/or consistently live up to. I am completely defeated when I realize how many demands are made and how weak and sinful I really am. (Rom. 7:24; 1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Jn. 1:8).
I am Overjoyed. I am extremely joyful. I am happy and glad. I am blessed indeed…with all I need. Jesus came to “fulfill” the law. He came to get it “all right” so that I could be made “alright.” He came to do the “will” of God perfectly and completely…and He did! (Heb. 10:5ff). And the great news is that His righteousness is imputed…or placed in my account (2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; 1 Cor. 1:30-31). I am completely justified…because He was tried, crucified, and glorified.
My heart Overflows. I am filled with appreciation, confidence, and assurance. I have an inspired plan for success. I know the right way to live. I know the right way to treat others. I know how to serve others. I know how to build on a solid foundation that will last. I am blessed indeed…with the principles I need to prosper and prevail. All in one sermon!
I am guilty because I do not live up to all of principles in the sermon on all occasions and at all times. I am guiltless because of what Jesus had accomplished for me. I am grateful beyond words to Jesus for my salvation. I am guided by the principles He has taught me in this sermon. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).
A related article: What is Jesus Correcting in the Sermon on the Mount?