Performed in God
When Jesus was speaking in person it was to Jews who, up until that time, did not understand God’s grace. He was teaching them. Nine blessings begin Christ’s sermon on the mount. Blessings, promises to man from God, containing the power of hope and the strength of perseverance. For instance: “Blessed are the gentle (humble, meek), for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5 NASB) “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10 NASB) Truely, Holy Spirit Power for those saved by grace to do the works of God.
Again, to those under God’s Law
“Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished! Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:16-20 NASB)
The Law and the Prophets
Hmm. Words of the prophets are yet to be fulfilled. Today’s infatuation with eschatology is a testament to that fact. So, all has yet to be accomplished. Until then those saved by grace, and empower by the Holy Spirit, are called to true righteousness, the practice of truth. “But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” (John 3:21 NASB)
“Least” and “great in the kingdom of heaven” is clearly according to obedience. Salvation is by grace, and through faith it is secure because of Christ’s righteousness, but our behavior results in consequences or rewards “until all is accomplished.”