We are looking at the words in red for a time on Sunday mornings. Those familiar with the Bible understand that means the words of Jesus, which in some translations are printed in red to make them stand out. There is nothing particularly scriptural about emphasizing the words of Jesus more than other scriptures, but it is insightful to look at those teachings which Jesus himself gave voice to. We started with a great section of red letters from Matthew 5 through 7, most commonly known as she Sermon on the Mount since Jesus went up on the mountainside to speak. It may take us all summer just to comb through these chapters because there is so much in them. The Sermon on the Mount can be summed up as Jesus’ teaching on holiness. What is it to be holy and to live a holy life. In the process he sums up the Law well, and also points out our utter inability to find salvation based in our own holiness.
As Christians we need to be thankful that Jesus fulfilled the law for us and offered his own life as a substitute for our own. In faith we accept his death for our death and give up our life to receive a new life through him. That doesn’t nullify God’s desires for how we are to live though. We may be freed from the requirements of the Law to gain salvation, but we still need to follow the pattern that God has set out for us.
The ceremonial laws don’t apply because we are not trying to live as Jews, but through out the New Testament the moral law is affirmed time and time again. William Hendriksen made the point in his commentary on Matthew that we can’t live a life pleasing to God and disregard his law even if we are salvation is by grace. That’s a challenge for any of us to understand and undertake, but there it is in the words in red.
See You Sunday! Don