Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quick Thought on Grace and Works

The other day I was reading Jesus of Nazareth's most well known sermon: The Sermon on the Mount. It is always a touching sermon that makes me want to never again do any wrong, which is always sadly short lived. But this time I got an insight that I had never gotten before.

In verse 20 of Matthew chapter 5, Jesus states "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

This is fascinating. The Master himself worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling, now he calls on us to do the same. And he will have none of the lips only service. No, rather he calls on men to be holy and perfected, which shows how his teaching transcends the Mosaic Law.

It is often thought in the Christian world that we are saved sole fide (Latin for "Faith Alone). I was taught this growing up, even though I saw no evidence of this idea in the Masters teachings. It is true that St. Paul does mention the idea to some extent, but the fact that Jesus says nothing of the sort holds much more warrant in my mind.

No one will get into the kingdom of Heaven just by believing that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world; as St. James tells us even the devils do that ( James 2:19). One will dwell with him forever when he is able to obtain all of his attributes and desires good alone.

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