Our church is currently in the middle of studying the “you have heard it said…” portion of the Sermon on the Mount. It is important that we do not forget the overall big picture of what Jesus is emphasizing with each of his 6 examples of how the Jews were guilty of lowering the standards of holiness believing themselves to be righteous (self-righteous) before God.
Similar to our Gospel and the Ten Commandments series in 2021, each of the 6 examples is given to show that we are all: murderers, adulterers, liars, full of vengeance, and hateful.
If there was anyone (who was hungry for the Word of God) who sat through my sermons on Matthew 5:21-32 and was able to walk out of the room believing that they had never committed murder or adultery in their hearts, then I didn’t do my job!
In order to bask in the glory of God and His goodness towards His people, through the provision of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary atonement for our sins, we must be completely humbled to the point where we realize that we are guilty of sinning against God in ways that may be a surprise to us.
If you ever have the thought, “God’s standards are too difficult to keep!”, then you are on the right track to repentance and salvation! However, this statement is not a source of discouragement when we also understand that salvation is not about us meeting God’s standards on our own; rather, it is about Jesus meeting God’s standards for us so that we can be saved through Him. This mode of salvation ensures that we give God all the glory for our salvation and prevents us from being self-righteous.
I want to encourage you; as you track with us through the Sermon on the Mount series, try to come to an appreciation of the impossible holy standards of God. It is these impossible standards that should keep Christians from having self-righteous attitudes, as if they have somehow attained to God’s holy standards on their own, and it makes clear to the Christian that their salvation is made possible only through faith alone in Christ alone.
When outsiders (unbelievers) observe Christian worship, they should be able to observe the humility that is consistent with the soteriology (doctrine of salvation) that we have no pride in and of ourselves, and that the message of salvation is available to all those who call upon Christ. The unbelievers who observe proper Christian worship should know that the same joy they see in the Christians is also available to them, so as long as they are humble enough to receive it by faith.
In all humility in Christ,