In Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount He gives us twelve wisdom principles. Early in Jesus’ ministry, just after He had chosen His twelve disciples, He sat down on the side of a mountain and taught them. This teaching of His we have named The Sermon on the Mount. It remains to this day as a masterful sermon, in which Jesus showed the full meaning of the law; and He showed His disciples (and us) that it is humanly impossible to keep.
His intent was to tell them that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. This means to us that, since Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, we are able to keep the law and be perfectly righteous in Christ—through our faith in Him (in our salvation and justification).
Moreover, as we see at the end of the sermon, Jesus tells us that if we hear and do these says of His we will be likened to a wise man who builds his house on a rock (hence the title).
These twelve principles of wisdom, since they come after Jesus’ exhortation to us that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16), I think will help us to be just that; they will help us not to lose our salt, and to be a brighter light. And really, this is what wisdom is in its application: that we would help and protect people from evil (to be as salt); and that we would guide people (to be as a light). Here then are the…
12 Wisdom Principles – from Matthew 5:21-7:23
1. Try to always be at peace with people. Never hold a grudge against anyone. If someone has something against you try to be reconciled with him. (Matt. 5: 21-26)
2. Be pure in your thoughts as well as in your actions. A man who looks lustfully at a woman is no less a sinner that a man who physically commits adultery. (Matt. 5: 27-32)
3. In your speech, be careful what you say and always speak the truth in love. Never think that you have to make some believe you by swearing or speaking profanely. (Matt. 5: 33-37)
4. Do not fight back or take revenge against one who hurts you or uses you. Let God be the avenger. (Matt. 5: 38-42)
5. Love everyone, even your enemies, as God does. You are a child of God and should act that way. (Matt. 5: 43-48)
6. Don’t broadcast your deeds or your prayers to the world. Do your good deeds and pray in secret before the Father only. And pray as Jesus taught us: first for His will, and then for our own needs. (Matt. 6: 1-18)
7. Seek God’s will first before your own desires. Don’t worry about what you need in this life. If we are doing His will He will take care of us. (Matt. 6: 19-34)
8. Don’t be critical of others and judge them unfairly. Always evaluate the situation and get your own house in order before you instruct someone else. And instruct only those who are worthy—willing to learn. (Matt. 7:1-6)
9. Be dependent on God for everything, and be assured that for any good thing you ask for He will give it to you. (Matt. 7:7-11)
10. Do for others in love what you want them to do for you. This is the golden rule. Don’t look to others to do something for you. Instead do for them the very thing you want them to do for you. Examples: If you want a piece of bread, offer them a piece of bread; if you want friendship from someone, be a friend to them. (Matt. 7:12)
11. As for the decisions you make in life, always do the right thing, not the popular thing. Don’t follow the crowd (traveling on the wide road), follow God and all true believers (who are traveling on a very narrow path). If you go the wrong way (the popular way, on the wide road) there is danger ahead and you will fall into certain destruction (Gal. 6: 7-8). (Matt. 7:13-14)
12. Be on your guard against false teachers who will take you down the wrong path. Know that not everyone who says he is a Christian is a Christian. (Matt. 7:15-23)