The Sermon on the Mount and Law Principles

The Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5-7, is one of the great portions of your Bible.

Unfortunately, there are some who don’t think it applies to us.

This assumption is based on the fact that it sounds like “law.” As in, it is based upon law principles–if you do this, then you will get this.

If Israel obeys their covenant with God–they will get to stay in the Promised Land.
If Israel disobeys the covenant–they will get kicked out of the Promised Land.

The opposite of law is grace, for most.

Grace principle is, presumably, you can do whatever you want and it won’t make one bit of difference in results.

If these are your assumptions, it is easy to see why the Sermon on the Mount would be chucked as being law principle.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

Therefore, if I don’t show mercy to others, I won’t get mercy from God. I have to DO something to get mercy. This is a law principle.

I think this whole thing is completely missing the point. We are indeed told that we are not under law but under grace. We are not in the Old Covenant. I do not have to keep the laws of Israel that they were to keep to stay in the Land. The Church is not called to stay in any Land.

We are told that we no longer need to observe sabbath days, food laws, sacrifices, temples, priests, circumcision, etc. All these were particular laws for Israel as part of their land covenant with God.

To say that this means law principle is out is a stretch. As Paul said, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, you will reap what you sow.”

Based on the definition above, “reaping what you sow” is a law principle. Paul says not to be deceived, what you do matters, don’t mock God by saying otherwise.

Jesus was very clear and repetitive about the idea that what you do shows what is in your heart. If you are not a forgiving person, don’t expect to be forgiven by God.

The only people who should have a problem with that statement are people who don’t want to forgive others. That’s a problem.

We have too long bought into the notion that the Gospel is just what Jesus did for me, and have all but eliminated the idea that by faith we join in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. That we’re raised up to newness of life.

If you have faith in the Gospel, your life begins to look like Christ. The Sermon on the Mount is a description of what the life of Christ looks like. It is pure grace.

The Sermon on the Mount is the best description of what grace actually looks like. Live it.

To those who still think the Sermon on the Mount is law–you will do much more for the doctrine of grace by living the Sermon on the Mount, than any explanation of grace you may attempt to argue.

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