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Life Behind the Mask (4 of 9)
We are in our series "Happy Living According to
Jesus," a study of the Sermon on the Mount.
This is a verse which the Lord Jesus gives at the
beginning of a section which is very important if you
want to have a happy life. We have been moving along
with the Sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon ever
delivered by the greatest preacher who ever preached,
as He shares with us how it is possible for a person
to have a genuinely happy life. I don't mean happiness
as the world looks at it in terms of just what
happens. Most people are happy on the basis of what
does or what doesn't happen to them. But I'm using it
in the terms that Jesus used when He began in chapter
5 by using the word, blessed. Happy. To be
congratulated. He is talking about happiness in the
genuine sense of the term.
In the beatitudes we learn how you become a member of
the family of God and how you get into that happy life
which is possible by a new birth experience with the
Lord Jesus. Then He tells us about the influence of a
happy believer's life. We are like salt and light in
Back in the 5th chapter, 17th verse, he talks about the
law and says, "I didn't come to destroy the law, but I
came to fulfill the law." Having given that opening
introductory statement about the purpose of God's law,
He reinterprets the law and gives us the new
guidelines. He points out to us that it is not so much
a matter of what you do on the outside as what you are
on the inside.
The Pharisees had a religious experience which was
primarily something that went on on the outside.
That's why in verse 20 of chapter 5 the Lord said,
"Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of
the scribes and Pharisees you will in no wise enter
into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is saying that it is
not a matter of what goes on on the outside; it's a
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