Standards of the Lord Jesus ChristLecture 112-3 (The Sermon on the Mount) (Matthew 5:1-13:48) (Part 1 of 2)

By Kathy L. McFarland

While Facebook friends argue back and forth about things like the different laws the Jews serve and how Christians may or may not have to follow them, it becomes confusing, doesn’t it? Old Testament following Christians have a difficult road to walk. Why make your Christian journey so tough? The Lord Jesus Christ took His time to teach the Disciples and all of us through His Word that capture His Sermon on the Mount. We have already studied the Beatitudes, which surprisingly are written for all of us Christians, and the things we are going through in this world. Now, let’s examine some of the standards of behavior that Christ wants His followers to emulate.

Every standard you are learning in this course and in the next course, Standards (Part 2) are the things of behavior you should be emulating to look like and walk like Christ. Every standard that we are studying is our rules of behavior as Christians. My hopes are that you are teaching young Christians these standards every day. Your Lord Jesus Christ expects Christian leaders to be displaying these standards of behavior in their own walk with Him and teaching them to those that are learning to be a Christian.

Now here is a very deep mystery that hardly any Christians realize completely. If you follow all the standards recorded in the New Testament, you will be following God’s law perfectly! We do not follow the law specifically. We follow the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ teaches us His standards, God’s standards, and His disciples pick up establishing and teaching standards where He left off when He left this earth. The Holy Spirit flows through each Christian so they can follow the standards of Christ. So instead of focusing on the law, let us focus upon the standards of Christ, and try to meet each of them. We don’t have time or the spirit to follow Old Testament law. Christ’s standards reflect God’s law in a different light, one that ultimately loves others as themselves. Let us begin again! Don’t forget to copy the database at the end of this course; it makes a handy reference when you are preaching, teaching, counseling, or admonishing about good and bad Christian behavior standards.

Matthew 5:13 (KJV 1900)
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Earth – 1178 γῆ (gē), γῆς (gēs), ἡ (hē): n.fem.; ≡ DBLHebr 141, 824; Str 1093; TDNT 1.677— 5. LN 9.22 people, inhabitants of the earth, mankind (Mt 5:13)

Savour – 3701 μωραίνομαι (mōrainomai), μωραίνω (mōrainō): vb.; ≡ Str 3471; TDNT 4.832—1. LN 32.56 (dep.) become foolish (Ro 1:22+); 2. LN 79.44 (dep.) lose taste, lose saltiness, turn into inert substance (Mt 5:13; Lk 14:34+); 3. LN 32.59 cause to become nonsense (1Co 1:20+)

1. Followers of Jesus Christ are the “salt of the earth.”

2. The Greek word for earth in this one instance of Matthew 5:13 is speaking of the “inhabitants of the earth.” Followers of Jesus Christ are the “salt of mankind.”

3. If the salt loses its savour (taste, flavor) and become inert, it is good for NOTHING. If a Christian loses their savour of salt, they become fools.

4. Followers of Jesus Christ must maintain their saltiness amongst mankind.

Luke 14:34–35 (KJV 1900)
34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Fit – 2310 εὔθετος (euthetos), ον (on): adj.; ≡ Str 2111—1. LN 66.3 suitable, fit, usable (Lk 9:62; Heb 6:7+); 2. LN 65.32 useful, of value (Lk 14:35+)

5. Salt is good; but if it has lost its savour, it’s not good.

6. Salt, once it has lost its savour, cannot be made salty again.

7. When salt loses its flavor, it has no value and is useless.

8. If Christians lose the flavor of Christ, their witness has no value and is useless. (Typology)

9. A Christian’s witness of Christ that has lost the flavor of Christ, has absolutely no value and is useless! The flavor of Christ is how a Christian emulates HIM! If you keep His standards, you have His savory salt.

10. Christian witness is of no use to anyone, in the land or in the dung hill.

11. Men will cast out all worthless and useless stuff.

12. When we see the words “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” we know that the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking deeper with a hidden message that only mature Christians can understand. Thus, we are alerted to the typological meaning of the discourse.

Mark 9:50 (KJV 1900)
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

13. Christians must maintain the salt, the flavor (the standards of conduct) of the Lord Jesus Christ, if they are to have peace with one another. Amen.

Matthew 5:14–16 (KJV 1900)
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Light – 5890 φῶς (phōs), φωτός (phōtos), τό (to): n.neu.; ≡ DBLHebr 240; Str 5457; TDNT 9.310—1. LN 14.36 light, in contrast with darkness (2Co 4:6); 2. LN 2.5 bonfire, firelight (Mk 14:54); 3. LN 6.102 torch (Ac 16:29); 4. LN 28.64 ἐν τῷ φωτί (en tō phōti), in public (Mt 10:27); 5. LN 11.14 people of God (Lk 16:8; Jn 12:36; Eph 5:8; 1Th 5:5+)

Hidden – 3221 κρύπτω (kryptō): vb.; ≡ Str 2928; TDNT 3.957—1. LN 21.12 keep safe, protect, hide (Mt 13:44; 25:18;l Lk 13:21 v.r. BAGD), for another interp, see next; 2. LN 24.29 made invisible, cause to be invisible (Mt 13:44; Col 3:3), for another interp, see prior; 3. LN 24.30 hide, for the purpose of safekeeping (Col 3:3), for another interp, see above; 4. LN 28.79 keep secret, cause something to not be known (Mt 11:25)

Candle – 3394 λύχνος (lychnos), ου (ou), ὁ (ho): n.masc.; ≡ DBLHebr 5944; Str 3088; TDNT 4.324—LN 6.104 lamp, a small vessel holding olive oil and a wick, used for lighting the dark (Mk 4:21; Lk 11:33; 12:35; 15:8; Jn 5:35; 2Pe 1:19; Rev 18:23; 21:23; 22:5)

Bushel – 3654 μόδιος (modios), ίου (iou), ὁ (ho): n.masc.; ≡ Str 3426—LN 6.151 container, a large bowl that holds about eight dry U.S. quarts (Mt 5:15; Mk 4:21; Lk 11:33+)

Standard of Being the Light of the World

14. Followers of Christ are the light of the world.

15. Look at that Greek word for “light.” φωτός (phōtos) is the Greek word that reminds us of “photographs,” right? What do photographs do? They take a picture of the actual image. If the surroundings are dark, no image can be seen. But, if that photograph is taken in light, the image of the actual person can be seen perfectly.

16. The world lives in darkness. Christians are the light. Light is always seen when darkness surrounds the viewer.

17. Jesus uses the example of a city that is upon a hill cannot be hidden. Once again, those bright lights atop a hill that light the city, the vibrant sounds of people within the city leave no doubt that it exists, and it is there on that hill.

18. The city cannot be kept secret from the world. It shines with the light and cannot be invisible.

19. Christian history records many times about Christians going underground, or into distant monasteries, often for the sake to avoid persecution, poverty, and illness. In today’s world, threat of nuclear war, famine, End Times, the Apocalypse, persecution, war, and the falling of government and nations has caused many, many Christians to seek refuge away from the world. They hide in holes they have dug in the ground, trees that conceal their presence, caves that darken their presence, and fortresses made to hide the Christians when trouble comes. These types of concealment are against the standards of Christ.

20. Men do not light a candle, then hide it inside a container where the light cannot be seen.

21. When men light a candle, they put it in a candlestick holder, where it can shine brightly and give light to all in the house.

22. Jesus says let your light shine! Let that light shine amongst all people so they can see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven! Do NOT hide your light of Christ!

Matthew 5:17–20 (KJV 1900)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 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.

Law – 1938 ἐννόμως (ennomōs): adv.; ≡ Str 1722 + 3551—subject to the law, or in possession of the law (Ro 2:12 v.r. BAGD); not in LN
Destroy – 2907 καταλύω (kataluō): vb.; ≡ Str 2647; TDNT 4.338—1. LN 20.54 tear down, destroy completely (Lk 21:6; Lk 23:2 v.r. NA26); 2. LN 20.55 destroy the works or efforts of another (Ro 14:20); 3. LN 13.100 put an end to (Ac 5:38); 4. LN 76.23 make invalid, abolish something in force (Mt 5:17); 5. LN 34.61 be a guest, be hospitably lodged (Lk 9:12; 19:7+)

Fulfil – 4442 πληροφορέομαι (plērophoreomai), πληροφορέω (plērophoreō): vb.; ≡ Str 4135; TDNT 6.309—1. LN 31.45 (pass.) be completely certain, be fully assured, convinced or persuaded (Ro 4:21; 14:5; Col 4:12+; Eph 3:19 v.r.); 2. LN 13.106 make happen, fulfill (Lk 1:1+); 3. LN 33.199 proclaim fully (2Ti 4:17+); 4. LN 68.32 accomplish, fulfill (completely), (2Ti 4:5+)

23. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to destroy the law of the LORD God. He came to fulfill it.

24. Destroy means to “abolish” and “make invalid.” Fulfill means to “accomplish it fully” and to “make it happen.

Teachings by Kathy L McFarland
That is why I said it was confusing to me why Facebook friends argue among themselves whether to follow the Old Testament laws. It is of no importance to focus on the singular laws without the teaching of God placed upon them. That would be going backwards in our developed Christian faith.

The Commandments, statutes and ordinance of the LORD God given to the Jewish people were the beginning of forming a relationship with humans. There were no teachings, per se, given to them. The law was absolute and unforgiving. Either you obeyed all the laws (often confused by the Pharisees and the rabbis) and adhered to all the LORD God’s rules, or you were in disobedience to Him.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came, he taught the meaning of those laws of the Old Testament given by the LORD God to mankind. No longer a black/white, obey/disobey stringent representation of the laws, they became open to the teachings of Christ. Remember this teaching:

Matthew 5:27–28 (KJV 1900)
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

We learn from Jesus that the Law said don’t commit adultery; but He added a new teaching, that adultery was more than just an affair with a married person. The Lord taught that with His coming to earth, He will teach the real meaning of the law, not just the absolutes. The real meaning of the law that the LORD God made was if you look lustfully upon a woman, you commit adultery with your heart! The standards have changed! Before it was the absolute law; now it became the fulfilled law with a need to fully understand not only the rule but also the reason, ways, and the consequences of breaking that law.

Christians that don’t understand that they should focus on Christ’s teachings, rather than on the Old Testament laws, never reach the higher standards that the Lord Jesus Christ has set for His followers. And if a Christian does not reach those standards, then that Christian is not walking the way of Christ. Period.

Footnotes:

James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).