Monday, January 31, 2011

Radical Calling

The greatest sermon ever preached is recorded in the book of Matthew chapters 5 through 7. This is what is known as the sermon on the mount preached by Jesus. Jesus is speaking to his disciples giving them a picture of what a disciple of his will look like while living everyday life. The desire of a disciple to live in light of these truth comes from the transforming work of Christ in the disciples life. Though we will never obey this standard of living perfectly we have been given the power of the Spirit to daily grow in the means of godliness. The point is to be like Christ.

Sadly I have heard many people talk about the impossibility of these standards therefore they leave them up to Jesus. But Jesus tells us, "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). This ought to be the desire of every Christian. We want to be like Christ. He has left us with a picture of his character and his will for us to know and apply to our lives. If you see a lack of desire to know God deeper and deeper on a consistent basis then what he demands from us will mean nothing to you. You will want to leave his will for him. But if you have been regenerated by his grace, empowered by his Spirit then your desire will be to grow deeper and deeper into the knowledge and will of God. In turn your life will begin to change more and more into the image of Christ. This is the pursuit of godliness.

Please to misinterpret what Christ is saying at the end of Matthew 5: "You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Other translations use the word "holy" rather than "perfect." Jesus is not saying his disciples will obtain perfection while we are on the earth. We are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ through faith in Christ and we will be brought to glory after this life where sin will be no more but Jesus here is referring to the pursuing of his holiness. If you read Matthew 5-7 you will be amazed at the radical calling God has for his people. I would encourage you to read these three chapters and examine your own heart.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

No comments: