A good friend asked why I don't like the Sermon on the Mount. Shocking, but it bothers me. Many, especially, unbelievers honor Jesus's sermon as the so called high water mark of morality.
It sure is--very high. I can't live up to it, no one can.
Is this your rule of life? Is this your guide for living? It is not mine.
I am happy to say, that as a member of the church, I follow the church epistles. They are my guide. Paul and John, and James knew how we are able to live and advised us accordingly. Jesus gave a standard for the Jewish people that they could not fulfill. Only the cross could satisfy its demands.
When we read the church letters, we see our rule to follow. Granted it is a struggle. Paul said he had yet to obtain righteousness in living. Jesus did.
That is the big difference to me--the ideal versus the possible. The sermon drove people to God for forgiveness if they understood its righteous demands.The church letters are for those who have been washed in the blood and have imputed righteousness.
The sermon tells us what we cannot do. The church letters tell us what we can.