In his Sermon on the Mount he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God…Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Yes, a pure heart. Yes, righteous even if persecuted for it. Yes, a pure mind.
Second, I wish, by adding the J and the G to draw attention to the conclusion of Paul the Apostle set out in bold above about Jews and Gentiles in his day. The Jews had disobediently rejected the Son of the LORD God and put him to death on a cross. The Gentiles had always disobedient to God – they weren’t given the ten commandments (which were given to Israel) and they only ever did what was right in their own eyes – not in the eyes of the LORD God.
Third, I wish, by adding the A to include not only LGBT and M and all J and all G but also all human beings. Having brought all these together, may I draw your attention to one particular sentence written by Paul above? For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, that he may have mercy on all……
Mercy on all? None of us are what we should be. None of us – because each of us ought to be living in fellowship with the LORD God – as indicated in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said, “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….”
None of us are what we should be because of our disobedience towards the LORD God who, in sovereign love, wishes to show mercy towards us all. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
I must add something else which, to me, is full of meaning. This human world is and has always been self-seeking, self-exalting and rights-focussed. It’s always been me first. To climb the ladder I will tread on others.
Knowing what I now know, that is becoming not only unattractive but also to be avoided. Aware now of my rank failures and of God’s mercy through this man Jesus, I’m anxious to come closer in (at least) two more things he taught in his Sermon on the Mount.