Sunday, September 25, 2005

More than "more poetic legalism"

Tod Bolsinger writes about the Sermon on the Mount and reminds us that Kingdom living is more than simply "new and improved" morality:
Sometimes when we start talking about living in the Kingdom, there is a tendency to think that God’s reign and rule is simply a more poetic way to talk about legalism. We hear Jesus talk about “righteousness” and immediately think that what he means is “You have to be more moral, more obedient to the law, more ‘good’ than anyone else.” Indeed we can sometimes fall into the trap of believing that the announcement of the Kingdom is nothing more than recruitment for a more intense, more committed, “new and improved” religious person. . . .

But it isn't really about that at all. Sure, we are called to live moral lives. Yes, Christians should be "good". But at the same time, the point of the Kingdom isn't to show the world how good we are, but instead to point to the reality of God's remaking of the world by demonstrating his renewing effect in our lives.

Well said. Tod offers this insight as well:
The Sermon on the Mount is therefore not about urging us to be good, (indeed, being “good moral people” is what the Pharisees of Jesus’ day were best at) but instead encouragement to do the “good works” of the Kingdom, to live in ways that our distinctive to the reign and rule of our life so that in our distinctiveness we may be part of God’s plan to “preserve” his world and reveal his presence to it. But that requires that there is a distinctiveness, a difference to our lives that is only explainable in reference to the Kingdom.
Amen (Hat Tip: Blogotional).


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