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Teachings from Two Mounts

John 1:14-18

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” ~ John 1:17

     On Mount Sinai God gave the Torah, that is, the teaching as summarized in the Law, the Ten
Commandments. If God’s people then - and those who were to become His people from among
the Gentiles - had been able to keep the Torah perfectly, salvation would have been theirs, and
there would have been nothing more for God to do.

     But we know that human beings cannot fulfill God’s holy will perfectly. Consequently, they face
severe punishment, as it is written, “ the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). But finding no
pleasure in the death of the wicked, God made provision for all of them to come to the knowledge
of the truth as revealed in His Son. This Son, Jesus the Messiah, declared that all who believe in
Him as the one who gave His life a ransom for all, shall have eternal life.

     Now, how shall those who believe in Him live? How shall they be and what shall they do - not in
order to be saved, but because they are saved? For a reply we must go to another mount, where,
as a counterpart to the Torah of Mount Sinai, Jesus delivered a body of teachings known as the
Sermon on the Mount. How gracious, our Lord’s words of truth and wisdom! The sermon begins
with the Beatitudes - 10 statements beginning with “Blessed” - for example, “Blessed are the
merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

     Jesus goes on to declare that Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. On
your own you can read more of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), comparing it with the
giving of the Law on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20). Note Jesus’ “Blessed” and the Law’s “Cursed.”
The more you compare, the more you will agree with what St. John has written, “For the law was
given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

By Pastor Edwards         

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