Many read through the Sermon on the Mount and seem to portray what Jesus said in such nice terms. But if you really think about what He was doing, He was raising the bar of the law even higher to where it’s impossible for us to even begin to keep any of it at all. So instead of thinking that Jesus’ sermon on the mount was just a nice talk He gave, and merely a “good moralistic teaching,” really it should cause us to despair of doing anything right in ourselves and strike fear in our hearts.

For instance, in Matthew 5, Jesus will state a law, by saying in verse 27 for example, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ and then He comes along behind that and refines that law, by saying in verse 28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Whoa. The deed is already done in our hearts even if we don’t commit the physical act! And He does this with several laws. If anyone is angry with his brother, he has committed murder in his heart! Man, what a defeater. And that’s the point! We should indeed despair of doing anything right in ourselves and see that Christ Himself did everything right and that when we trust Him to be our perfect law-abider, then we are freed from the judgment we all fall under because of our law-breaking.

This is exactly what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”Christ came to do what we could never do, perform and fulfill the requirements of the law perfectly on our behalf. Praise be to God for the person and work of Jesus Christ, that He was able and in fact did obey the law perfectly, that when we place our faith in Him, we gain His perfect record on our behalf. And through this we then gain power by the Holy Spirit to actually begin to do what the law says, not because we have to out of duty, but because we want to, and the desires of our hearts are changed. What a wonderful and gloriously free gift!

Repent and believe in Jesus Christ that you may be saved, because you definitely cannot count on out-weighing your good with your bad, mainly becaise there is no good within any of us at all (when compared against God’s standard of righteousness displayed in Matthew 5 here)! We are sinners. We fall short continually and yet in Christ, we can be presented perfect before the Father because of Christ’s perfect work on our behalf. How amazing …