The Lord’s Prayer – The theme of the Sermon on the Mount.
length: 69:55 - taught on Nov, 29 2022
November 29, 2022
Main idea: The Lord’s great sermon is a command to love and live in the image of Christ.
In the midst of it, the Lord shows us how to pray. His prayer is a framework by which we are to keep in consistent communication with God as we strive to learn to love God’s great law.
It is not the doing that we are under, but the love for whom we do those things that rules us.
We are in union with the One who fulfilled the Law. We are married to the One who removed the penalty of sin, releasing us from death. One of the names for the Law is sin and death - but we possess eternal life. We don’t do because we are under a law. We do because we love to do. God is love. He does things because He loves, JOH 3:16.
If we follow a list or rules or commands towards some end or goal then we are under rule of the list. But if we do the things on the list because we are the type of people who do those things, then we are above the list. If we were Christ Himself then we would be the Creator of the list, but we are called to be conformed to His image, which for the writers of the New Testament always has an ethical and more reality as its emphasis.
and [you] have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him — 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
To give us light and understanding to the Sermon on the Mount we keep looking to parallel statements in the epistles.
When we believed in Christ, we became something extraordinary, but we must know this by faith. We can only know it by faith. What monumental thing that Christ did for us is something above and beyond what anyone could have dreamed. It has to be! If the one who is the image of the invisible God made peace through the blood of His cross (COL 1:15, 20) something amazing must have been done. Since He did it on our behalf (COL 2:13-15) then the amazing thing was done to us. So, “[you] have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true (full) knowledge according to the image of the One who created him (her).”
Run and look in the mirror! Look at your new image! You don’t look any different. But Paul’s emphasis when he writes about the image of Christ is never about overt appearance (not even the Lord’s - no one of them who saw Him thought it was of any importance to describe what He looked like). Paul’s emphasis in relation to the image of Christ, is just like Christ’s Sermon - ethical.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him — 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
The believer is made new so that he can be what God wills - the very image of Christ; not God, but like Him in way, truth, and life.
Note again the image of the new self is not projected in appearance, but in action and in thought. It is dead to immorality, impurity, passion (sinful), evil desire, greed, idolatry; and put aside anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, lying (these are all found in the OT law). Your physical makeup makes no difference here (“there is no distinction”), but that you are a new creature in Christ.
Living under the precepts of the Law means that we are living under the precepts of God. We do so in Christ. However, this does not put us under the Law.
For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE" — 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
If we are under the laws themselves, and not of the type that keeps them because that’s just who we are (new self), then we live and die by the laws and die we shall. We cannot abide by all the things in the book of the Law, to perform them. But God reconciled us through Christ. The Law stated that cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree - and Christ became that curse for us. The blessing of Abraham, who believed what God told him is now the blessing for us who believe what God has told us - Christ is our one and only Savior. Now we are in Him. In Him we have fulfilled the Law. But consider, why does Christ keep the law of morality and goodness and godliness and faithfulness and righteousness and holiness and sanctification if He fulfilled the law and is not under it?
Our dumb flesh is always looking for an out. Always trying to make it hard for us. Always trying to snatch victory away from us just when it seems to be in our grasp. Faith is the cure just as a lack of faith is a curse.
Know who you are and grab hold of eternal life.
The lines [boundaries of God’s law] have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
Main idea: The Lord’s great sermon is a command to love and live in the image of Christ.
Christ became a curse for us. The forgiveness of all sin by the blood of Christ sets us free from the curse of the law of sin and death. We would not think that being free from the curse of the law would remove us from the way of righteousness that is written in the law. Now, without fear of failure, secure in Christ, and with the power of the Holy Spirit within, we can actually perform the moral and ethical way of God in the law to the depth that it should be, that God had always desired it to be for mankind. Stop looking morbidly at what is wrong with you and start looking with confidence and solid conviction on what is so very right with you - you have put on the new self in the image of the one who created him or her. Believe it and now get going with your eyes on the prize of the upward call (Php 3:14).
Eyes on who we are in Him as well as the prize of the upward call, Jesus shows us in His authoritative teaching, is the way of His disciple.
We’re attempting a great thing here - seeing the context of the Sermon that surrounds the Lord’s Prayer.
Look at the end of it.
This, Jesus shows us in His authoritative teaching, is the way of His disciple.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall."
28 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
You must either do it or not. Jesus will not leave us the option of debating definitions or weighing out points we thought were strong and weak. Either do it or not.
And when He was finished, it wasn’t so much the newness of the teaching that struck them. No one had ever heard anything like this before, but the Sermon contained many things they had heard before. What they hadn’t heard was teaching on commands that defined them as fulfilled within the heart. The Lord didn’t stop at the physical or overt - claiming that if that was the real problem, start hacking off body parts. He defined the commandments in the way that they were always meant to be. However, it was the conviction and authority with which He taught that amazed them. No one besides the bread of life from heaven could have taught this with such authority, but we know Him to be the very writer and giver of the Mosaic Law. He was with Moses on Sinai centuries ago.
[follow along in your Bible starting in MAT 5:1]
The Sermon begins with the beatitudes, “Blessed are” and each of these describe a type of person in the heart.
The next part is our relationships to others, all others - from the intimate marriage partner to our enemy. The only fulfillment of these commands, Jesus reveals, is divine love in our heart.
Next comes our relationship to ourselves. When we give, pray, and fast, how should we reveal ourselves - to be noticed by others or to only worship God? Don’t be greedy for earthly things but store up treasure in heaven, and then evaluate yourself. In terms of what you’ve heard so far, is your heart light or darkness?
Next, be anxious for nothing. Seek first the kingdom of heaven and the Father will be sure to take care of all those things that the world is so worried about. He embeds the problem, “You of little faith.”
Next, back to others, but still on the theme of anxiety - don’t judge them. If you do, you will be judged. As you want others to treat you, so treat them.
Next, through all of these commandments on our life, don’t forget to continually pray. Keep asking, seeking, and knocking. Your Father is going to give you good things.
Then, beware of those who teach things contrary to what you just heard. They are false prophets and you will know them by their fruits. As the new self is to have fruit, so the false have fruit - just wait and you will see it.
Finally, He tells us that we who hear must do and then we will be the house built on the rock. He is the Rock and our life is completely built on Him. Not one stanchion should be touching the sand.
And, it should give us joy and not be burdensome. It is the flesh that calls it burdensome while, ironically, the flesh keeps you in its bondage.