Today’s passage brings us to the heart of the Sermon on the Mount. 1 * When he saw the crowds, * he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. First, the overall context must be considered. II. Matthew 5:48 During the Seventies, there was a bumper-sticker that said, “Christians are not perfect – just forgiven.” Sadly, it gave both Christians and non-Christians the wrong impression of the true spirit of Christianity. What is Jesus saying? Wait a minute. The Beatitudes *. And as we've seen, both of these come from God. It may be come as surprise to you that what's actually improper and disgraceful in this Matthew 5:48 dynamic is our thinking about grace. Topic. It is a righteousness that flows out of one's nature. I. CHRISTIANITY PRESENTS A PERFECT STANDARD OF HUMANITY. And that word appears numerous times throughout the NT, usually translated by the phrase “stumbling block”. That same is true about God. . (I Corinthians 14:20), Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. It shouldn't be. Both come to the same thing. The Sermon on the Mount - When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. This is what the Apostle said... For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. ñ: í í-16). In fact the word “scandal” comes from the Greek word, . That's a verse about righteousness. 5 The peculiar characteristic of these opening sentences is, the kind of man whom Christ pronounces happy. Imperfect you must run to perfect Jesus, to receive both perfect grace and perfect righteousness. But these aren't my words. I'd like to share one of those with you this morning. But as we look to Him, with a hungry faith, we find power to keep saying, “I want to follow faithfully...I want to please you in every way, Father...I want to honor you at all times...in my attitude and actions.” That has to be what the NT writers had in mind when they wrote about “maturity”. If I walked in here this morning, and simply said to you, “You must be perfect as God is perfect”, I think a lot of people would have trouble with that. In Matthew 5:48, Jesus is pointing us to both a radical inner righteousness, and a radical outer righteousness. His very nature is righteous. So, like verse 48, Matthew 5:20 would have sounded extremely demanding...unrealistically demanding to the first listeners of this message. Why was Jesus identified as scandalous? Christ is the realized thought of God, when he designed the being man. (Romans 3:21, 22). . And yet, there is nothing improper or offensive about them. Concluding exhortation. Never are we instructed to run from conflict. Matthew 5:6... “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”. How? The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew’s concept of perfection has to do with imitating God’s love and behavior.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete [or mature and complete], lacking in nothing. Let me say it one more time, in case you didn't hear it the first time...You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Respond to evil by doing good - Mt 5:39b-42 2. If that's the cry God has put in your heart through Jesus, then the sermon of Jesus in Matthew 5-7, this “Sermon on the Mount”, is for you. 2. Because of what Jesus is pointing us to here. Browse Sermons on Matthew 5:48. He cannot compromise. In the coming months, we will dig deep into what Jesus taught, allowing it to drive us to both the outer and inner righteousness He alone can give. The Christ is to be so set before men, that they may get from his story the idea of a perfect human being. Other verses throughout the sermon are also concerned about righteousness...5:13...“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? God is the ultimate standard. God doesn't simply act righteous. The same Jesus who called us to “perfect” righteousness is the same Jesus who offers us perfect righteousness (his spotless record of perfect law-keeping), his perfect righteousness, through faith alone. That's a verse about righteousness. “Jesus Really Means What He Says” (Matthew 5:38-48) Listen again to what Jesus says to us in today’s Gospel reading, and tell me what you think: “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. Wonderfully, it is that. In 5:43 Jesus introduces the less than perfect way of the law of Moses, that … September 9, 2018 As Jesus continues to teach us what it means to be truly holy, the focus is on reconciliation instead of retribution. 6:33...But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." Distributive justice, which ought to be exercised by rulers towards their subjects, consists in the equal distribution of rewards and punishments. Verse 1-2. So do these contexts help us understand what Jesus means when he says, “You...must be perfect”? When that happens, your “I can't be perfect” will be coupled with a new declaration, “I can't be perfect...but I want to be...by your power, Father, I want to be.”.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Rom. But it is also. And as we've seen, both of these come from God. Matthew 5:48 is the forty-eighth and final verse of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount.This is the final verse of the final antithesis, and it is a summary of Jesus' earlier teachings. 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Whoa. 3. As we've already heard, this radical inner righteousness is like God's righteousness in that it doesn't simply consist of outward displays, but flows from inside, from out of the nature of the one who walks in righteousness. If it is, you must first let this call of Jesus, this call of perfection, you must let it drive you to surrender. Sound familiar? (Read the entire sermon - Matthew 5:43-48 Love to Enemies Enjoined) Love ( 25 ) ( agapao from the noun agape ) ( Click study of agape ) describes an unconditional, sacrificial love, which ultimately is the love that God is (1Jn 4:8,16) and that God demonstrates (Ro 5:8- note ) (Jn 3:16, 1Jn 4:9) in its supreme form at Calvary. THE CHRISTIAN STANDARD OF THE PERFECT IS THE NOBLEST INSPIRATION TO MAN. 1. Way of Grace Church | P.O. Not outer righteousness in the sense of your actions. It should yield us satisfaction that such a perfect Being as God is governs the world. General calling to repentance and the promise of the kingdom: Matthew 5:3-10, characterized by: ^Blessed are… _ 2. Listen to the way the Apostle Paul talked about the change that God effects in a life through the gospel. This is also called the “six antitheses” because Jesus makes six quotations or paraphrases of commands of Moses in the Bible, and then he says, “But I say” and makes a similar but stronger statement. For those who felt those hunger pains, who felt their own deep need, their own painful lack of righteousness, but were hungry and thirsty for it, there would be satisfaction. I think we struggle with this statement from Jesus because of how we think God's grace in Jesus. 2 He began to teach them, saying: . But it is also power. Throughout this “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus repeatedly shows that the Law always points to the perfection and holiness of God. Blessed are they who upon good grounds can call this perfect Being their Father and God. The Sermon on the Mount consists— I. Can you imagine if a Supreme Court nominee was asked during confirmation hearings whether or not he would care about justice every time he presided, can you imagine what would happen if he or she said, “I will care about justice...most of the time”? Given the fact that many of these verses use some image of human growth, from child to adult, “mature” seems like a good translation. I. Then all our powers ought to be awakened to bless His name. We should be hereby excited to seek wisdom (Proverbs 4:5, 7). We should in our contemplations of Him have a strict regard to the harmony of His attributes. John Piper ... Sermon. Matthew 5:1 tells that …seeing the multitudes, [Jesus] went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. But we compromise. Perfect? 1 a And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:. BY MATTHEW (shaded area) Click chart to enlarge Jesus Birth and Early Years Leading up to the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 1-7 Source: Ryrie Study Bible. To be like God is the sublimest human possibility. God doesn't simply declare us righteous because of Jesus, he also begins a work of making us righteous because of Jesus, righteous from the inside out. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ So why do they bother us so much? It is of great concern to us guilty creatures to be found in Jesus Christ, having on His righteousness. He has at once revealed our distance from the "perfect;" for we are not like him. The largest distinct section of the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 5:21-48. Are they too unrealistic? . Jesus left the multitudes and went up on a mountain. 2. Feb 2, 1986. Scripture: Matthew 5:43–48. Let's take a few minutes and use the three different contexts to make sure we understand what Jesus is saying. It is all from Him. 5–7), Jesus speaks in an idealistic sense. And that new self is “created after the likeness of God”. God is PERFECTLY HOLY. Justice is commonly distinguished into commutative and distributive, the former in an equal exchange of benefits; this can have no place in our dealings with God. A. Matthew 5:48 is not the only passage teaching us to be perfect (Genesis 6:9, Genesis 17:1, Deuteronomy 18:13, Job 1:1; 8; 2:3, Psalms But to understand that fully, we need to think about the radical outer righteousness Jesus is pointing us to in Matthew 5:48. Where in O.T. But can the rest of this sermon tell us anything about this scandalous verse? A couple verses later, Paul talks about how we are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. John Piper May 21, 1995 289 Shares What we wholly fail to conceive is a perfect man. Earlier in this same chapter Jesus made an equally scandalous statement. Back Bible Studies Home Page. for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. May 21, 1995. It is implied in our text, it is taught throughout the New Testament, and it is confirmed by experience, that there is nothing so morally helpful as faith in God. One clue in the context that helps us with this concept is that God is called “your Father”, and verse 45 talks about being “sons of your Father who is in heaven”. Is God perfectly good? In Matthew 5:48, Jesus is pointing us to both a radical inner righteousness, and a radical outer righteousness. When you think about that word, what comes to mind? Wouldn't the real scandal be for a grace-filled child of God to say, “My goal is not obey God in all things, in every way, at all times...because that's unrealistic”? Because for the Jews who heard the message, the death of Jesus on a Roman cross, a criminal's death, made claims about his lordship improper, disgraceful, even offensive. The judgments of God cannot be fathomed at present. That would be scandalous. Is it scandalous to say, “You must have as your goal obedience at all times, in every way”? Jesus' call here, Jesus' kingdom call to perfect righteousness is all about grace. God is PERFECTLY GOOD. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. That language is found throughout this sermon, and points to something radical about our identity as followers of Jesus. It's in Matthew 5:20... For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. No, it actually flows from “the new self” to which Paul pointed his readers in Ephesians 4:24. Since Jesus says “therefore” in 5:48, he is referring back to what he just said; and the last theme he taught–in 5:43-47–fits the bill of referring to who God is and who children of God should be. 1. In fact the word “scandal” comes from the Greek word skandalon. But to understand that fully, we need to think about the radical outer righteousness Jesus is pointing us to in Matthew 5:48. We may be able to form an idea of perfect virtue, perfect duty, perfect purity. © 2021 Way of Grace Church: Buckeye, AZ All Rights Reserved. We have and we will fail. No, we give up on the idea that by my power, I can earn my position before God. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law [apart from the righteousness of perfect law-keeping...which none of us could fulfill], although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. Perfect? (Hebrews 5:14). It is all from Him. It is loving for God to expose our inability, and therefore, the futility of our attempts to be righteous. God doesn't simply act righteous. We know what being like God means when we look on Christ. But did you know Jesus also said lots of things that are still considered scandalous today? First, let’s dispel the misconceptions of peacemakers. Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. IV. “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That's “true righteousness and holiness”. It comes from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 48. Sermon Matthew 5:38-48 Love Your Enemies. Speaker: Bryce Morgan Series: Be Perfect (Sermon on the Mount), Topic: Think about it. God cannot be awed by any power to pervert judgment. Note that Mat. Before we can make sense of why this statement sounds scandalous, we need to know what Jesus means. An inter-office memo about your company's disgraced CEO? It answers the question, what is moral perfection? 1:16, 17). It also powers us...power to pursue perfection, just as Jesus said. III. 4. Do his words still sound scandalous to you? Then Jesus turns to his disciples and all who want to learn from him: ^lessed are you… _ The main theme is ^the prophets _ (Mt. But the Good News of Christ promises God's provision for that need. If we are to obey the injunction of the text it is necessary that we have faith in the fact. But we compromise. Brothers and sisters, friends, there is no problem with the words of Jesus. 3. 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