"This is who I want you to be."
The process of salvation, of being born-again, is more than a matter of mental assent to the existence of God or of accepting Jesus of Nazareth. We are lost, selfish, unregenerate people. Our mission is to change. The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill." Wait, there’s more. We must do the works of God to and for our neighbors and our brothers. Jesus reveals the lifestyle expected of those who claim His name.
Chapter 19: The Sermon on the Mount
... You have heard that it was said to them of old time, You will not kill; and whoever will kill will be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause will be in danger of the judgment: whoever will say to his brother, Raca, will be in danger of the council: but whoever will say, You fool, will be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, You will by no means come out of there, till you have paid the last penny.
You have heard that it was said to them of old time, You will not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell. And if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.
It has been said, Whoever will put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce: But I say unto you that whoever will put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever will marry her that is divorced commits adultery.
Again, you have heard that it was said to them of old time, You will not perjure yourself, but will perform unto the Lord your oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither will you swear by your head, because you can not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these comes from evil.
You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That you repay not evil: but whoever will smite you on your right cheek, turn to him and offer the other also.
And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat forbid him not, let him have your shirt also. And whoever will compel you to go a mile, go with him two miles.
Give to every man that asks of you, and from him that would borrow of you, turn not away. And of him that takes away your goods ask them not again.
You have heard that it has been said, You will love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love them which love you, what reward have you, what thank have you? Do not even the publicans the same, for sinners also love those that love them? And if you salute your brethren only, if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have you, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans and sinners so? If you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again and your reward will be great, and you will be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Be therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. Take heed that you do not your charity before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your charity, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: That your alms may be in secret: and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
And when you pray, you will not be as the hypocrites are for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
But when you pray use not vain recitations, as the heathen do: for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him.
After this manner therefore pray: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us our daily bread, day by day.
And forgive us our sin debts, for we also forgive everyone indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face That you appear not unto men to fast, but unto your Father which is in secret: and your Father, which sees in secret, will reward you openly.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupts, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupts, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye were single, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than clothes?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one inch unto his stature? And why take thought for clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What will we eat? Or, What will we drink? Or, With what will we be clothed? (For after all these things do the nations seek) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself. What is sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.
Judge not and you will not be judged: condemn not, and you will not be condemned: forgive, and you will be forgiven. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged: and with what measure you mete, it will be measured to you again.
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? And why do you behold the speck that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how wilt you say to your brother, Brother, let me pull the speck out of your eye; and perceive not the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then will you see clearly to pull the speck out of your brother's eye.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it will be opened. Give, and it will be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete withal it will be measured to you again.
What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do even so to them Likewise: for this is the law and the prophets.
Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there. Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord: but every one that is perfect will be as his master.
For every tree is known by his own fruit. You will know them by their fruits. Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you will know them.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say? Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
Therefore whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will shew you who he is like, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came and the winds blew and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, but it fell not and could not shake it for it was founded upon a rock.
But he that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, will be likened unto a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, without a foundation, upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently and the rain descended, and the floods came and the winds blew, and beat upon that house and immediately it fell and the fall and the ruin of that house were great.
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
© Jesus Christ 30 AD Used by Permission