Monday, March 26, 2018

A Matthew 5 Christian

I was praying about temptation. I'm not going to go into specifics, but it was a prayer that falls under the "lead me not into temptation" rubric. And immediately the answer came. "I have given you everything you need for life and godliness."

Since then those words, which are from 2 Peter 1:3, have been resonating in my brain like an echo that refuses to diminish. God has given me everything I need for life and godliness.

So I went back to my source, to my foundational text, the Sermon on the Mount. I have everything I need to be a Matthew 5 Christian.

  • A Christian who understands that anger and contemptuousness are deeply sinful, and who is quick to seek forgiveness whenever he has wronged another (Matt. 5:21-26)
  • A Christian who understands that lust is a toying with adultery in the mind and needs to be dealt with immediately (Matt. 5:27-30)
  • A Christian who takes faithfulness in marriage extremely seriously (Matt. 5:31-32)
  • A Christian whose word is truth. An utterly reliable man .(Matt. 5:33-37)
  • A Christian who prizes peace, and whose actions lead toward peace instead of conflict, making whatever personal sacrifice is necessary (Matt. 5:38-41)
  • A Christian whose love does not recognize categories like friend or enemy (loving the one and hating the other). It is not a selective, fastidious, of exclusive kind of love. (Matt. 5:43-48)
Of course these nutshell summaries do not plumb the depths of these verses. There is much more that can be said about all these things, but suffice to say that Jesus is painting a portrait of the life of those who have answered his call to follow. And that is a call for which each of us will need equipping. The great thing is, the One we follow will do the equipping.

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