Friday, April 1, 2016

Should We Glorify In The Sermon On The Mount As Christians?








Does The Teaching Of Jesus Before The Cross Apply To Us Today?


Question : Do you think there's any danger in claiming that the teachings of Jesus before the cross don't apply to us as believers today? I take a lot of time on this subject in my book, exposing what I believe to be the very real dangers in doing this, but for the moment, I'm wondering if you could tell me why grace preachers like Spurgeon or D.M. Lloyd-Jones gloried in the Sermon on the Mount and considered it to be choice material for believers today, whereas you reject it as being applicable to us. Were they missing something?

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! There is a great danger when people start to believe that that the teachings of Jesus before the cross don't apply to us as believers today, because the Gospel did not just start from the Cross, but it started from the Baptism of John to the present day time. Even when a substitute apostle was chosen in Matthias for Judas the betrayer who died and lost his apostleship because of transgression, the qualification for them was beginning from the
"baptism of John to the day He was taken up" (Acts 1:26, 21-22). The death of Jesus did not just start at the time of the Cross, but rather from the Baptism of Jesus which was actually fulfilled at the end when He was crucified on the Cross, so our faith in His death start with the baptism of Jesus and not at time of His death on the Cross, therefore when we identify ourselves in His death, we identify with the baptism which Jesus took from John where the sins of all humans have been transferred in exchange upon Jesus and all righteousness from Jesus were given back to all humans who believe Him in a gracious Divine exchange (1 Cor 15:29; Matt 3:14-15, 16-17; Luke 12;50; Mark 10:39; Rom 6:4; 1 Cor 15:3-4, 1-2). When they start the gospel with the Cross of Jesus, almost the very crux of the message which is the Divine exchange that happened at the time of the Baptism of Jesus is completely lost, and we fail to experience the real power of the Cross of Jesus which is human identification and oneness with Him that brings victory over sin, sickness and death in the present time. Not one of the gospel writer in all the four fails to mention the baptism of Jesus because it is the very foundation of the Gospel upon which the super structure of the Gospel and the entire New Testament stands upon (Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; LUke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34; Heb 6:1-2).

Grace preachers like Spurgeon or D.M. Lloyd-Jones gloried in the Sermon on the Mount and considered it to be choice material for believers today, because all others laws of the Old Testament and every other law that keeps human under its power or in protective custody does lead us to only external restraint from sin
(Prov 29:18; Gal 3:23), but it cannot deal with the attitude of our heart to challenge it and to transform it in to the likeness of the perfection of God (Matt 5:48). Only Sermon on the Mount is able to dig deep in to our wrong attitude of our heart and replace it with the right be-attitude that makes us happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous with life, joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of our outward conditions (Matt 5:3-11).

Even Mohandas K. Gandhi the father of the nation of India who was lovingly called as Mahatma which means 'Great Soul,' says about the Sermon on the Mount, "[It] went straight to my heart": "When I read in the Sermon on the Mount such passages as...'whoever smiteth thee on thy cheek turn to him the other also' I was simply overjoyed." Universally the one law of all laws that goes in to each humans heart to do a surgery to make them humble, broken and make them realize their need for God is nothing else except the Sermon on the Mount.

Philip Yancey one of the best selling author of our contemporary times and a great man of God said, "Thunderously, inarguably, the Sermon on the Mount proves that before God we all stand on level ground: murderers and temper-throwers, adulterers and lusters, thieves and coveters. We are all desperate, and that is in fact the only state appropriate to a human being who wants to know God. Having fallen from the absolute Ideal, we have nowhere to land but in the safety net of absolute grace." We are all beggars in need of God's mercy and grace like as we need oxygen to survive through in life whether we really realize it or not. The Sermon of the Mount is not just a flag to hoist over a ship that we sail through in life named as Christianity, but it is actually the rudder which makes us change direction towards God in our day to day lives and makes us sail through in life in the right righteous direction of God's destiny for us.

Here below we can read and understand at least some five verses of Matthew 5th Chapter that grace preacher C. H. Spurgeon expounded and the important reason whey he did it:

1 & 2)
"And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him: and He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying." (Matt 5:1-2). Our Savior soon gathered a congregation. The multitudes perceived in Him a love to them and a willingness to impart blessing to them. And, therefore, they gathered about Him.

He chose the mountain and the open air for the delivery of this great discourse—and we would be glad to find such a place for our assemblies — but in this variable climate we cannot often do so.
“And when He was seated.” The Preacher sat and the people stood. We might make a helpful change if we were sometimes to adopt a similar plan now. I am afraid
that ease of posture may contribute to the creation of slumber of heart in the hearers. There Christ sat and
“His disciples came to Him.” They formed the inner circle that was ever nearest to Him — and to them He imparted His choicest secrets. But He also spoke to the multitude and therefore it is said that, “He opened His mouth,” as well He might when there were such great Truths of God to proceed from it and so vast a crowd to hear them! “He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying.”
3) "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." This is a gracious beginning to our Savior’s discourse, “Blessed are the poor.” None ever considered the poor as Jesus did, but here He is speaking of a poverty of spirit, a lowliness of heart, an absence of self-esteem. Where that kind of spirit is found, it is sweet poverty! “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

4) "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." There is a blessing which often goes with mourning, itself, but when the sorrow is of a spiritual sort—mourning for sin—then is it blessed, indeed! 


“Lord, let me weep for nothing but sin
And after none but Thee.
And then I would—oh, that I might—
A constant mourner be!”


5) "Blessed are the meek." The quiet-spirited, the gentle, the self-sacrificing. For they shall inherit the earth." It looks as if they would be pushed out of the world but they shall not be, “for they shall inherit the earth.” The wolves devour the sheep, yet there are more sheep in the world than there are wolves. And the sheep continue to multiply and to feed in green pastures.

The reason grace preachers and teachers of the Word of God have always emphasized the Sermon on the Mount is because without the conviction of sin in the hearts of humans through the law, no one will become desperate enough to run to the love of the Savior Jesus and embrace His righteousness which is the reason the Law itself was given (Rom 13:9-10; 7:7; Gal 3:24). The law to humans is like a chain over a pig's throat that restrains and chokes the swine whenever it tries to go in to the gutter water of sin and uncleanness, in other words it restrains them from sin but doesn't change their heart character (Gal 3:19). Once left to themselves without that chain of law that binds them, immediately they will run in to the gutter and try to enjoy themselves in it. When people come to Christ, their heart character gets changed and transformed like Jesus so that like a cat, even if they are thrown in to gutter water, they cannot stay there but will clean themselves up from that uncleanness and run in to the arms of the Savior who is their refuge from all sin and troubles of this world (John 16:33). Hallelujah!

I do not reject the Sermon on the Mount, but do not want people just to stop there and get deceived religiously in to thinking that they can keep it all by their own strength or else go to the other extreme sincerely in trying and come to the conclusion falsely to say that no humans can keep the Sermon on the Mount. But I want people to know that the Sermon on the Mount is the surgery we need now and then to remove all the sinful cancerous growth with in us, but again we need to know that the physician who does it is Jesus and therefore we need to run to Him to get operated and take the stitches to close our wound and further get healed from it safely whenever such surgery does happen (Mark 2:17; Psa 147:3; Job 5:17, 18; 1 Peter 5:7).

In other words, like the Israelites used the law of Moses to attain the righteousness of the law in their ignorance which did nothing but only condemned them when they stopped at the law as a means for achieving righteousness instead of the law leading them to Christ who is the end of all law (John 5:45, 46-47; Deut 18:15-22; Rom 9:31-32; 10:3-4), the Christian should not use the Sermon on the Mount as a means to achieve their own righteousness which is of the law, so that it might deny them from going to Christ and receiving His imputed righteousness which is of the faith (Rom 10:6-13; 9:30; 11:30-31, 20-21, 22; Rom 4:20-21, 22-23, 24-25; Gal 3:24).

Christ’s righteousness imputed to a believer by faith means that all believers are forgiven and accepted when they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Rom 10:9-10), not for the sake of anything in them, or of anything that ever was done by them, or ever can be done by them, but perfect righteousness of Christ is put on their account in heaven before God, wholly and solely for the sake of what Christ hath done and suffered for them. Once we are justified and made righteous by God in our Christian life, we need to receive the imparted righteousness of Christ by being in close communion with Him, in other words, impartation of Christ's righteousness is Christ releasing within us his very life so that moment-by-moment we may experience his presence enabling us to make righteous choices for the Glory of God (Php 3:8, 9, 10-11, 4:13).

Much Blessings....



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