I am home this morning, with a sore throat and various other cold like symptoms. Not what I had planned for my day, but none-the-less what I have been given. (Each day is a gift — regardless). So I want to use some time to write.
Last evening I taught Matthew 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount) in my 21/2 hour Bible Institute class. (small break in middle for comforts sake). I am absolutely astounded at the different way of life described there — different than our American Christian concept of life.
As our Lord Jesus describes for His disciples (and crowds listening) the “ways” of the kingdom of heaven, over and over again I am amazed at what I have not seen. Some teachers say it is impossible to live, some believe we are to try, some think it will only be in heaven — on and on. I firmly believe, that in the Holy Spirit, the life described in this passage is to be our way of living. Being in this world but not of it means that the world’s way of living is not to be mine.
The Lord touches everything in this passage — my possessions, my treasures, my interior person. His concern is my inward person, not my outward “doing.” Those who came saying, “Lord, Lord, did we not …” describing miracles, wonders, deliverance; His response was, “I never knew you,” — or “I don’t know you.” Their concentration was their “doing,” while His was their “being.” Obedience is important, but if the motive or reason for action is not what it needs to be then the obedience does nothing. In fact, the Lord calls these people evil. Interesting isn’t it?
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our lives is expected to transform our motives to produce the answer to our prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This means our individual lives are to dwell in this kingdom, not the world. As a result of individuals dwelling and “being” the kingdom of heaven, the church would be empowered to do the same.
I think we all need to study this sermon again and again.