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pure holiness.

ness"; it is, however, none the less holiness with which we are dealing when we speak of God's love. It is only necessary to see clearly what kind of love this Father love is which Jesus proclaimed.

Not all love is holy love. Sometimes love is unholy because it is impure, sometimes because it is foolish or weak. Such mistaken sentiment is often shown by parents and friends, and makes for moral harm and so for unrighteousness. The love of the Father, infinite and gracious and undeserved, is not the weak love of sentiment that men have sometimes thought it. It is a love that touches men to save men. Its least gifts go to all, the gifts of sun and rain. Its great gift, the gift of life, goes only to those who surrender themselves to it and enter the fellowship of God. But that fellowship is a moral fellowship. It demands obedience, it lifts a man from sin. It is God's way of overcoming evil

. The greatest power for righteousness in this world is not the threat of the law; it is this mercy of God as the power to destroy sin. God's love is

The Idea of Love and the Sense of Sin.-One question more needs to be answered. With this place given to mercy as supreme in God, are we not sacrificing the sense of sin and the fact of judgment? To this we must answer emphatically, No! First of all, this teacher of love, this Christ of mercy, has done more to deepen the sense of sin than all proclaimers of law and punishment. Not till we have studied Jesus do we see what sin really is. It is not the breaking of some little rule. It is not the failure of some sacrifice. It is man standing out against the love of such a God. He may do that in various ways, as we see from the Gospels. He may refuse to receive that love. “How often would I have gathered you together,” says Jesus, “and ye would not.” He may show the hard, unloving, selfish spirit in his own life, as did those who criticized Jesus for receiving sinners; these Jesus portrayed in the little parable of the elder brother (Luke 15. 25-32). Or else there may be definite refusal of God's loving purpose, and a life of opposition, such as was seen in the

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enmity to Jesus that culminated in the cross. case it is in the white light of God's love that we see the real blackness of sin.

Love and Judgment.-And there is place for judgment in this message of love. That follows from the very nature of the case. Such judgment is not torment which God inflicts upon the sinner; it is the sinner's own deed in shutting himself out from the love of God. If God's love meant merely the gift of health or other earthly good, it might be different; but it means a personal fellowship which God offers to man. From that personal fellowship man may shut himself out by selfishness and disobedience. And, though the love of God will follow him, we can see no reason why man may not shut himself out finally. If it be life eternal to know God, then such disobedience is death. Jesus himself does not discuss the doctrine of punishment and the future life, but he makes clear the principle of judgment. Sin has its consequences as well as righteousness. “These shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.”


Scripture references: Matthew 5. 43-48; 6. 9; 20. 1-16; 10. 28-31.

Read carefully the first three Scripture references and the whole discussion of “The King is Father.” Recall other sayings or parables in which Jesus brings out this doctrine. Going back to his life, recall how he illustrated it there.

Read the discussion of "The Father is King," and the last reference. Again refer to Jesus' life. Note his spirit of obedience, his reverence in prayer (Matthew 4. 4, 7, 10; 11. 25; 26. 39).

Study the unity of holiness and love. Here again it is the life and spirit of Jesus that will best show us, if we are perplexed, alike the unity of these two and the full meaning of each.

Discuss the following practical questions: The meaning of God's fatherhood for a man's faith and life; the meaning of God's holiness; how the idea of God's holiness suffers when we leave out his love; how the idea of love suffers when holiness is omitted.



ALL the teaching of Jesus moves about two great words: Father and sons. And these two words suggest the double task of his life: to show to men the Father, to lead men into the life of sons. Along these simple lines our study of the teaching of Jesus will move. We are to consider what sonship is, how men are to live as sons in relation to the Father, to their brothers, and to the world. Then we take up some questions about the Father's rule (the kingdom of God); and in our closing lessons consider the Son, in his character as showing us true sonship, and in his teaching concerning himself. In this lesson we study the higher righteousness which must characterize the sons of the Kingdom.

RIGHTEOUSNESS WITH THE JEWS The idea of righteousness belongs to all higher religions. It is the life that is demanded of men. The righteousness of man is his accordance with the standard set by God. That was what lifted Israel's religion above that of the nations about her; her God demanded more than sacrifices, he asked for righteousness of life. And never in all the history of Israel was there such a determined and systematic effort to fulfill this righteousness as in Jesus' day. There was a group of experts, the scribes, who gave their whole life to the study and teaching of just what was demanded by way of righteousness. Their word was law to the people. And they were backed by a party which included the influential leaders of the people, the Pharisees, who stood for the strictest obedience to the law. The Criticism of Jesus.—Jesus came with a new demand. All this is not enough, he says. "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The reason for the criticism is not far to seek. First of all, these leaders had passed by the prophets, who gave the highest message of righteousness to be found in the Old Testament and upon whom Jesus constantly built. Second, when they took the law, they did not try to get at its inner spirit, but simply added more rules to the rules which they found, until all religion was simply a keeping of these rules.

The Failure of Legalism.-Such a religion could not but fail. The young man was probably quite sincere who said to Jesus, "All these things have I observed from my youth.” He had lived up to his ideal, but his ideal was too low. On the other hand the keeping of rules cannot give life. Just as soon as some earnest Jew like Saul of Tarsus looked beyond the letter he found that he had, indeed, a commandment over him, but no power of life within. Instead, he found the war in his members, and could only cry, “Who shall deliver me out of the body of this death ?” (Read Romans 7.)

AN INNER RIGHTEOUSNESS Jesus' Demand for Higher Righteousness. The theme of the Sermon on the Mount is the higher righteousness of the Kingdom as contrasted with the righteousness of the scribes. Men sometimes think of Jesus as offering the easier way.

We realize that his gospel brings relief from burdens too heavy to be borne, like those of the Jewish law. We recall Jesus' own words when he says that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. But the Sermon on the Mount brings us face to face with the fact that Jesus demands not less than others, but far more. First of all Jesus declares that the righteousness of the Kingdom is an inner righteousness. With a sure hand he uncovers the faults of a mere righteousness of rules. Rules can control a man outwardly, but they may leave wholly untouched the

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real life of the man which is within. To show this Jesus takes up certain commandments by way of illustration.

The Spirit of Murder.—Here is murder. The law says, “Thou shalt not kill.” But that law does not touch the real sin, the spirit that lies back of murder and out of which murder proceeds, the spirit of contempt and anger. Murder was a little-known crime among his hearers. But he knew only too well the bitterness and hatred that were among them. He knew that those models of strict law observance, the Pharisees, were full of scorn for the common people. Jesus had been criticized for being so lax; now he shows how much more searching his demand is than that of the strictest scribe.

The Spirit of Impurity. From the sixth commandment Jesus turns to the seventh: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Here again he makes the contrast between the inner spirit and the outer act. There in the impure heart is the source of the sin; there, indeed, is the sin itself. Many a man is kept from murder or adultery or theft by the mere fear of consequence. The lustful glance, the impure desire—these are the sin against woman and self and God. The terrible evil of commercial prostitution is being curbed; but the great problem of the social evil is in the hearts of men, and the great challenge is to religion, not to the state. We must build up an inner righteousness, strong and pure, that shall show toward every woman the chivalry of Jesus.

The Spirit of Dishonest Speech.—The sin which Jesus condemns in Matthew 5. 33-37 is not ordinary profanity. The law made provision for the taking of oaths, simply insisting that an oath taken in the name of Jehovah must be kept (Leviticus 19. 12; Numbers 30. 2; Deuteronomy 23. 21). Many scholars hold that this is the meaning of the third commandment also, and that it should be translated : “Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God for falsehood” (Exodus 20. 7, margin). Jesus' meaning, at least, is clear. It is the same protest against an outer life that does not correspond with the inner, the same insistence that only the inner spirit counts. The Jews used

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