"These words of Jesus are for us, his disciples (see Matthew 5:1-16)," Dr. Brown continues. "They are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). They are to remain in our hearts (John 15:7). They are essential for being disciples and making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). They will outlast the heavens and the earth (Matthew 24:35)."
"I dealt with this serious error of dismissing the words of Jesus in my book Hyper-Grace," he added, "and I strongly encourage readers who are confused about this issue to review the material there carefully."
As for his narrow yet significant common ground with Pastor Stanley, however, Dr. Brown urges Christians to keep Jesus' words in Matthew close in our hearts:
"Let us reiterate that we are truly blessed when we are poor in spirit, mourning with the mourners, full of mercy, pure in heart, peacemakers, those who stand for righteousness and are persecuted for righteousness.
Let us emphasize our calling to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Let us remind ourselves that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the prophets but to fulfill, and that our righteousness must exceed that of the zealous religious leaders of the day.
Let us teach that we are liable to severe judgment if we hate and disparage others. That to look at another person with lustful intent is to commit adultery in the heart. That we should deal radically with anything that leads us into sin. That divorce can only be allowed under strict circumstances.
Let us preach clearly that our words must mean what they say. That we must not have a retaliatory spirit but rather must overcome evil with good. That we must love those who hate us. That our goal is to emulate the perfection of our heavenly Father.
Let us learn to practice our piety in private – our giving and our praying and our fasting, all of which should be normal occurrence in our lives.
Let us learn to pray aright and to forgive as we have been forgiven.
Let us be free from covetousness and greed, seeking first God’s eternal kingdom and righteousness and storing up treasure in heaven while living free from anxiety.
Let us not be judgmental, hypocritical, or condemning, but let us learn to judge righteously.
Let us ask, seek, and knock in full faith and assurance, and let us love our neighbor as ourselves.
Let us urge everyone to enter through the narrow gate and to avoid the broad road to destruction.
Let us warn against false prophets and teachers.
Let us make clear that not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord! Lord!” will enter his kingdom but only those who do the will of his Father.
And let us be reminded of the terrible consequences of hearing Jesus’ words but not acting on them – reminding both ourselves and others – speaking also of the fire of hell, as Jesus did."
"If we’ll do this," Dr. Brown concludes, "empowered by the Spirit and with grace and truth, it won’t be long before people say, 'If only we could go back to those Ten Commandments! They were far less demanding than Jesus.'”
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