Are Jesus’s commands in Matthew 6 (and beyond) intended for the people who were trying to save themselves by the law, or were those commands given to believers? (“Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”)

It seems like what Jesus is commanding is impossible for anyone to maintain, and he commands us to be “perfect”. Was this intended for people who thought they were going to save themselves as the standard that would need to be reached? 

Clarify Share Report Asked January 26 2022 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the intent of Jesus' words was to make clear that no one (including believers, as indicated to me by His reference to "your Heavenly Father") has an excuse that is acceptable in God's eyes for not at least striving for moral perfection.

However, He also said (Matthew 5:20) that unless a person's righteousness would exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (who were outwardly meticulous about complying with the Law in ts smallest detail), that person would certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

So, righteousness is not determined, and cannot be achieved, by even the strongest efforts at outward obedience, but by individual realization of the impossibility (as noted by Paul in Galatians 2:16) of saving oneself by keeping the Law, leaving the only path to salvation to be faith in Christ as the One who said -- also in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:17) -- that He had not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them (as only He could). He then died a sacrificial atoning death that was acceptable in God's sight (as proven by His subsequent resurrection), thereby allowing His perfect righteousness to be imputed to those who depend (both then and to this day) upon that faith (rather than on any efforts of their own) to gain salvation and eternal life.

Faith comes first, and good works then follow, not as a means of being saved, but out of gratitude to God for salvation that has already been gained by that faith, and serving as a basis for eternal rewards from God.

January 27 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
Why are Jesus' teachings called "commands?" I've never looked at them that way. 

My parents told me the kinds of things Jesus said to His disciples, and by extension, to us who now believe because of what the disciples passed on to us.

For instance, they taught me to say, 'Please, excuse me,’ and, ‘Thank you.' I've never referred to them teaching me those things as them "commanding" me to do those things. They taught me; they were not commanding me. Nobody ever said of me, 'His parents commanded him to do those things.' They said, 'He was taught.'

Jesus teaches us to DESIRE to be perfect, to AIM FOR perfection. 

What parent doesn't teach his or her child to try and get it right, to score 100 every time? They say things like, 'Knock it out of the park.' They want their kid to hit a home run every at-bat. It's not a command, it's the highest form of encouragement. Jesus does it, and it's seen as a command.

Why is it this way for some of us? I think it depends on how you relate to the Lord; if you think of Jesus as a teacher you view His encouragements as teachings; if you think of Him as a judge you view His encouragements as commands. JMO

How does He encourage us to think of Himself? He says, 'Because I have made known to you all that I heard from My Father, I now call you friends' (John 15:15).

But what about this? "You're My friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:14). He means, 'if you accept My authority' (to be your teacher). He's saying, 'My friends receive My teachings.' 

I don't think He's throwing His weight around; nor do I believe He's demanding compliance or else withholding His friendship. Jesus teaches us to aim high, shoot for the stars.

June 07 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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