Q. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus was explaining the physical sins of adultery, murder, etc. Then He explained that even if a man thinks these in his heart he has committed these sins. Was Jesus teaching us to live more purely or was He teaching us that it is impossible to live a sinless life and we need a savior?
A. Jesus began by saying in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we need to be more righteous than the Pharisees (Matt. 5:20) and ended by telling us to be perfect as God is perfect (Matt. 5:48). He was teaching us that we can’t meet God’s standards on our own and need a savior.
Later Paul wrote that believers have a righteousness imputed to us through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-22) that makes us as righteous as God (2 Cor. 5:21). He was showing us that Jesus is our Savior and through faith in His completed work we can meet God’s standards.