The New Covenant Formula

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”Matthew 5:48

The message of Jesus is certainly one of grace and forgiveness, as opposed to the rigor of law and sacrifice. But I keep noticing that he spends a great deal of time in the Sermon on the Mount talking about things we should DO and how we should ACT. It is a constant litany of forgiving, praying, being generous, and acting with grace. Jesus' words are a reminder that we should still spend time in an effort to do good to others, thus setting an example for others to follow.

And that is most apparent in these words today – “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We cannot achieve that kind of perfection without God's gift of grace, but likewise, we should not abuse it to the point of ignoring His commands. The love of our Father, and the appreciation we should have for his gifts demand that we strive to follow His ways. The formula – repentance and thankfulness first, followed by the gift of grace and being made righteous, which is then followed by the desire to live a humble and obedient life.


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