Cut To The Chase

I love that phrase! It causes me to bring everything down to the simplest common denominator. I've just finished outlining a sermon from Matthew 5:31-48. This passage deals with some of the more difficult teachings of Jesus. He was answering His critics who were accusing Him of changing or dismissing the laws of Moses. Here He deals with divorce, using oaths, retaliation, and treatment of enemies. The last line of the passage is the "cut to the chase" statement. "Be perfect therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Wow!!! Two by four to the face! When you stop to think about it, how could a perfect God set any standard for His followers that is less than perfect? The moment He does so, He becomes less than perfect. The beauty of this command is that Jesus has met the standard on our behalf. Just as He paid the sin-debt owed by all mankind, He has met the impossible standard of Godly perfection and applied it to our account.
Can I be perfect? Absolutely not! Can I appropriate the perfection of Jesus? Absolutely! I do it by faith, just as I also gain eternal life with Christ. Faith is the coin of the realm that buys spiritual standing that I can never claim any other way. Now THAT is cutting to the chase.

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