I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
Previously, I asked the question of how is a Christian possibly to live the high ethical and moral standards of the teachings found in Sermon on the Mount.
Now I present my answer.
Jesus is a good teacher. He is a good teacher because he is a good shepherd. In Matthew 23, he condemns the teachers of the law because they laid commands on people who they were not willing to lift themselves.
Is Jesus like that? Is he a teacher who gives commandments to his disciples without helping them?
No, we trust that he is a good shepherd as he is a good teacher. That with the commandments that he gives, he also provides the means of obeying him.
To obey Jesus outside the power he gives for obedience is religiousness and self-righteousness. With that, we must never read the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount without considering the rest of the New Testament.
The Sermon on the Mount forms the vision of what the Christian life should look life, but the rest of the NT offers the power to get us to that vision.
That power, my friends…..is the Holy Spirit.
It is Christ in us. It is his love making us more like him. It is in spending time with him that we become more like him. Discipleship flows out of love, not self-exacting righteousness.
The answer comes to show how important it is the Holy Spirit is relevant for Christian life and faith. In short, the Holy Spirit empowering us is the answer to the question. You see, without the Holy Spirit, the concepts of following and looking like Jesus are vain religious attempts.
The Holy Spirit is central to the power to following and looking like Jesus. It is how we live the sermon on the mount.