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Jesus, the Law, and the Prophets R1264

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2022 4:00 am

Jesus, the Law, and the Prophets R1264

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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Matthew chapter 5. Okay, maybe you can't remember exactly what's going on in Matthew, but we'll discover it together today with Dr. Wilton. So good to welcome you this time of studying God's Word together with Dr. Don Wilton, well-known author, evangelist, pastor, and so much more. Today he'll be taking us to Matthew chapter 5 for this message, Jesus, the Law, and the Prophets. Now this New Testament message is connected back to the Old Testament in wonderful ways.

You'll see that, you'll hear that in just a moment, but speaking of connecting, Dr. Wilton has created this wonderful network for us to stay connected 24 hours a day. We can pray together on the phone right now at 866-899-WORD, that's 866-899-9673, or meet us online at theencouragingword.org. We stand ready to encourage you.

Now today's message with Dr. Don Wilton. You're going to need your Bibles. We're going to be in Matthew chapter 5, and I want you to turn to Matthew chapter 5. I'm going to hold up my Bible here.

This is pretty obvious what I'm doing. This is the Bible. This is God's Word. This is the story. It's a beautiful book, and I want to make a statement to you today. I, as a Christian man, I believe that every word in the Bible is absolutely true.

It's without mixture of error. Now watch this. I want you all to get a hold of this. What I'm going to say to you is everything in this Bible is valid. It is relevant.

It's for you and for me. Now when I say that, I'm talking about from Genesis to Revelation. Have you ever asked the question, is the Old Testament really valid today? I'm sure you've asked that question.

I've asked that. I mean, Jesus came, and he died on a cross, and he's the new covenant, so where does that leave the Old Testament? What about all the laws, and what about the prophets?

Should we just read the Old Testament, and then when Jesus comes in the New Testament, nothing that we've read or that we understand has any kind of direct relevancy to us. Now you can imagine in Jesus' time, when you look at Jesus in the boat, you think about Jesus healing people, making the blind man to see, taking care of business, making people whole, and around Jesus were these people who still lived according to the law and the prophets, the Jewish people. They were very religious people, and for them the most important thing was what they learned about the law, and so the big challenge for them was trying to figure out, number one, whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, which he was, they wouldn't believe it. That's why they crucified him. Remember John tells us he came to his own, his own received him not, but to as many as did receive him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in his name.

Those who believed in his name believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he came, that he was born in Bethlehem, lived, was crucified on the third day, he was raised by the power of God, ascended to be seated at the right hand of the Father, and that Jesus literally and bodily is coming back again, coming to receive us unto himself. So here when you get into, for example, the Sermon on the Mount, which we find mostly in the beginning chapters of the book of Matthew, right kiplunk in the middle of that, all of a sudden Jesus addresses these questions, and we're going to find him saying this, and I'm going to read it to you in a moment, but I just want to unpack this because I want you to read. Jesus said, watch out, don't make assumptions about me. Now folks in our world today we make a lot of assumptions about Jesus.

I don't have time to get into that. We make an assumption that he really doesn't mind when we sin. We just assume that. We make an assumption that he overlooks things. We make an assumption that he's not concerned about how we live. We make an assumption that he actually accepts what we say over what God says.

And here's an assumption that he addressed. We make an assumption that the law of Moses, for example, the 10 commandments, let's pick on one of the 10 commandments, thou shalt not commit adultery. It's one of the 10 commandments that's in the law. We make an assumption that actually God said that to the children of Israel in the desert, but that it doesn't really apply to us anymore.

We make an assumption that in the Old Testament, God spoke about a man and a woman leaving and cleaving, marrying and becoming husband and wife. And we make an assumption that Jesus actually keeps up with the modern trends and that he actually says, well, it's okay for a man to marry a man. We make that assumption because he's God, you know? So we just assume, well, God's just this big, loving, benevolent God. And we just assume, we just make an assumption. We say, well, you know, God obviously keeps up with us and that stuff happened back there, but it's not relevant now.

All right, you all with what's happening here. Now, what we're about to unpack here, I'm going to speak to you about Jesus, the law and the prophets. Because in the New Testament, when Jesus arrived on the scene and he began to minister and he began to feed the 5,000 and show people how to live and what forgiveness was all about and to heal them. When Jesus spoke about himself repeatedly and said, if you've seen me, you've seen the father, which is in heaven because I and the father are one. All of these things, there was great confusion.

So look what happened. I'm going to pick up in Matthew chapter five and verse 17. Now friends, I'm going to stop while I read because this is action packed. In fact, my big challenge is just to get through this reading. This is, this is, you've got to really think.

Now friends, I'm about to teach you something that's gold here. Listen carefully, ask God to speak to you. This is what your Christian faith is all about. Okay, Matthew chapter five, right after the beat attitudes and verse 17, just suddenly Jesus says, do not think that I, that word do not think, literally in the Greek text is the word, don't make a wrong assumption about me.

That's what that means. Don't find yourself saying, well, after all, I'm an American. Jesus is an American or I'm an African. Jesus is an African or I'm Chinese. Jesus is Chinese. Jesus doesn't think like an American or like an African or like a Chinaman, he is God. Don't make an assumption, Jesus said, that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.

Now there's an assumption. Don't you sit there for one minute, Jesus said and say, ah, that's in the Old Testament. I have not come to abolish and the word there means to destroy. I've not come to destroy either the law, that thou shalt not, or what the prophets had to say, but rather I have come to fulfill them. Okay, everybody watch me.

Watch this guy. This, this is fantastic. Now what Jesus is saying is he's saying, wait a minute, I didn't come to replace or to destroy what the law says or what the prophet said. I've come to fulfill them. And then he goes on, I'm going to read it to you in a minute, but just listen to me for a second because it'll help you. He goes on and he says, so I want to tell you, if I'm not going to destroy it, I want you to know furthermore that not one letter of the law and not one jot of what the prophets had to say will be removed from absolute truth relevancy until the new heaven and the new earth. Now, by the way, he uses the word until the new heaven and the new earth. That is an eschatological statement. And you'll find it in Revelation chapter 21, where after the great white throne judgment, after the thousand year rain, the new heaven and the new earth begin. In other words, the old order passes away. God's original creation stops and everything becomes new. In other words, it's the beginning of all time and all eternity. So what Jesus is saying here, I'm going to tell you something. Not one iota.

Now, by the way, that little word jot or iota, i-o-t-a is a Hebrew word. Okay, watch this. It's the word yaht, yaht, y-a-h-d, y-a-h-d. All of you raise your hands. Raise your hands if you've ever used an apostrophe when you write, raise your hands. All right, everybody do an apostrophe. I want you to all say this after me.

No, no, I didn't hear it enough. One, two, three. That's an iota. In the Hebrew text, it is the smallest letter of Hebrew writing. Now, Hebrew goes backwards. So you feel very backwards when you read Hebrew.

Okay, so you start there and you finish there and you start there and you finish there. And the absolute smallest written letter in the Hebrew text is the jot. It's called a yaht or a yada.

It's like an apostrophe. And what Jesus was saying here is that not one little jot of what the law said or what the prophet said is going to be irrelevant until the new heaven and the new earth. Don't make an assumption about the law and the prophets.

And then he goes on and he really lowers the boom. He says, so what I'm telling you is if the law and the prophets are totally relevant to you as a believer, if you do not measure up to the law and to what the prophets say, you cannot go to heaven. So Jesus now, he says not one little jot is going to pass away. It's not going to be relevant. Everything is relevant until the new heaven and earth.

Uh-oh. He says, in fact, if you keep the law and the prophets, you will inherit the kingdom of heaven. And then in the final verse, before he goes on with his teaching, he says, so you've got a problem, don't you? That is why you need to give your life to me because I am the only one who can fulfill the perfectness of the law and the prophets. When you put your faith in me, you receive my righteousness. That's called the imputed righteousness of Christ. You become covered in my righteousness. So now in me, when you give your life to me in Jesus, I am the fulfillment of the law. I don't abolish it. I make it possible for you. Wow.

Okay, now let's read about it. Verse 17, I'm going back to the beginning. Do not think that I've come to abolish the law or the prophets. I've not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them for truly I say to you until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus looked at these people who regarded the law in such a high way and he said, they try to follow it by the letter, but they cannot do it. And unless your righteousness is greater even than the scribes and the Pharisees and the teachers and the rabbis of the law, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, trust me because in me, I am the perfect fulfillment of the law. And when you give your life to me, I am the one who makes it possible for you to be able to meet the standards of God's righteousness. Now, what was Jesus saying here?

Three things. Jesus said this about the law and the prophets, because first of all, the law tells us how to live. Why did Jesus say, I haven't come to abolish the law?

Why would Jesus say that? For one simple reason, because the law was given to teach us and to tell us how to live according to God's standards. Now, just as an aside, in the Jewish mind back there in the Old Testament, there were three kinds of law that it's very important for us to understand. First of all, there was the moral law. Moral law, morality that involves all our moral behavior. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not covet. There was the moral law. Jesus fulfilled the moral law because he was the only one who could keep the moral law perfectly.

When you give your life to Christ, his imputed righteousness, not because of yourself, but because of him is the perfect fulfillment of the moral law of God. So the moral law, second kind of law, ceremonial law. Boy, I'll tell you back there in those days, the ceremonial law was very important folks.

Right down to what they could do, what they could eat and couldn't eat, how they went about things, their washing and purification. If you take, for example, Shabbat on Saturday, when we were in Israel on Saturdays, the elevators don't work. You're not allowed to push the button on an elevator. There's even in some places they call it a Shabbat elevator. And a Shabbat elevator is designed for people who hold to a strict adherence to ceremonial law, because you cannot push a button on the Sabbath. You can't eat. You can't walk.

You can't do this. There are all kinds of ceremonial law. Jesus said, I haven't come to destroy the law.

I've come to fulfill the law. How did Jesus fulfill the ceremonial law? He fulfilled it because Jesus embodied the ceremonial law perfectly. He was the embodiment of ceremonial cleanliness.

He was the embodiment of everything that was right in the eyes of a holy and a righteous God. Moral law, ceremonial law. What was the third type of law back in this day and age? Judicial law, judicial law.

Judicial law has to do with justice, the law of the land, right? And boy were there laws about how to do right and how to do wrong, crime and punishment and all the things that went together with the judicial law of the land from the time the children of Israel were brought out of bondage and Jesus fulfilled every tenant of judicial law because he personified God's perfect justice. So no wonder Jesus said, I didn't come to replace the law. I came to fulfill it.

I came to make it work for you because you cannot make it work for yourself. You will never measure up to God's moral law. You will never measure up to God's ceremonial law. You will never measure up to God's just law.

You will never do it. His judicial law is absolutely way beyond anything, any human being. You will never be just in your own eyes, but Jesus Christ is because he's God.

Put your trust in him. So what did Jesus say? Jesus said this for one reason. Number one, because the law tells us how to live. Don't discount the law. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind is as 100% relevant today as it was then. Thou shalt not commit adultery has not changed. Jesus said this to these people right in the middle of all his sermonizing and all his healing and his teaching and his ministry.

He told them, don't make an assumption about me. Number one, because the law tells us how to live. Number two, because the prophets tell us what we should be aware of. Did you notice he included the prophets? So when you get into Genesis and Exodus and you start unpacking in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and see all these laws, I'm being very simplistic right now, but really in reality, the prophets come using the law, the moral law, the ceremonial law, and the judicial law as the foundation for what they are saying to present to those who belong to God, all that is necessary that they need to be aware of. So what did the prophets make us aware of? Everything about the coming Messiah. Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus and all the events.

In fact, Jesus even quotes the prophets later on down the road when you get to chapter 12 verse 18 through 20 of the book of Matthew, for example, Jesus quotes Isaiah 42 verse one through four, talking about judicial law and about how he is the fulfillment because he is the embodiment of the justice of God and the prophets tell us what we should be aware of. They tell us about the signs of the times. They help us to be able to understand our world. It's all here. Gog and Magog. You really think that this little annexing of Crimea is all that this is about?

You think the Russian bear is flexing his muscle for no reason? The prophets tell us what we should be aware of. What about mass communications? What about a cashless society? Do you know well over half of our church don't use checkbooks anymore? That's why we can give online. I can tell you 10 years ago when we first suggested that some of our people give online, some people nearly had a heart attack.

You remember the days when we used to come to church and someone would sit next to us and get out an electronic gadget and we thought that the devil himself was taking a seat in church? What about a cashless society? What about the European Union?

What about the United States of Europe? What about the rise of Antichrist? What about the so-called religious prophet? What about the unholy trinity? The devil, Antichrist and the false prophet. What about earthquakes? What about strange disappearances? Where is all this?

Does this fit in the script? The prophets tell us what we should be aware of. They tell us to look out, to watch out, to be aware of. Jesus said I didn't come to abolish them. I came to fulfill what they're saying. That's why the Jewish people missed him. He came to his own. His own received him not. But to as many as did receive him. To them gave he the power to become the sons of God. Even to those who would believe in his name. Why would Jesus do this slap bang in the middle of his sermon on the mount?

Why did he just suddenly stop? He's just talking about you need to be salt and light and then he just suddenly stops and he says don't you ever make an assumption that I've come to do a way to destroy, to abolish the law and the prophets. In fact the very opposite is true. I've come to fulfill. Said in fact you need to pay attention.

If you don't you got a problem. If you do you're going to be highly honored in my kingdom. Therefore I want you to know it's so relevant that unless you think these people who hold to the line of these things like the Pharisees and the Sadducees you think they've got it going as religious people. He said your righteousness better exceed them.

Which means you cannot do that. Which brings us to the third reason why Jesus said this. Now this is fantastic folks. All right let's just summarize because I want to lay this third one on you. You got to really get this. This is this is wonderful.

Watch this. Okay. Why did Jesus say this about the law and the prophets? Number one because the law tells us how to live. Number two because the prophets tell us what we should be aware of.

But number three because the Messiah tells us who we should trust. Jesus said come to me. I am the door. Am the door. Jesus turned to a group of his closest people and he said by the way who do people say that I am? Oh they said to him well seeing that you ask. Some people say that you're Elijah and some people say you're a great prophet. Some people say you're this and some people say you're that and I'm sure they would have added and some people say ah you're nothing like Bill Maher. You know some people go on television not just say you're nothing but say man you God all that you're a waste of time and people by the millions in America will just love Bill Maher and follow him all over the place and just flock to listen to him because he says man who's God and he'll blaspheme the name of God and probably the prophets had their Bill Maher of their day in their arrogance and their lostness just spewing out venom against a holy and a righteous God and they probably said you've got to understand something Jesus man there are people out here you know this is a free society I mean these people think you're this and these people think you're that and some people think you're that and he turned and he said but wait a minute who do you say that I am and Peter looked at him and said to him you you want to know what I think I believe that you are the Christ the son of the living God to which Jesus said you are a blessed one nobody revealed this to you but God by his spirit let me give you a summary your righteousness has just exceeded the righteousness of the Pharisees and the Sadducees because you've placed your trust in me you see Peter I'm Jesus and I can do for you what nobody else can do for you the law cannot do it for you the prophets cannot do it for you the church cannot do it for you and watch this you cannot do it for yourself for by grace are you saved through faith not of yourself it's the gift of God if the Lord spoken to you let's talk about it let's talk about the opportunity of what's next helping you find the local church helping you have resources it'll help you begin a daily quiet time our number is 866-899-WORD that's 866 8999673 and we would love to empower you to take that next step for Jesus 866-899-9673 or online at theencouragingword.org even though the world is becoming an increasingly challenging place to live in as a Christian Jesus's ultimate sacrifice on the cross remains a message of hope for everyone discover a deep understanding and appreciation for our Savior's death on the cross and Dr. Wilton's powerful sermon the cross along with the bonus book the cross of Jesus by Warren W. Wiersby which explores the entire crucifixion in detail these powerful resources are yours to have with your gift of support to the encouraging word thank you for listening today and thank you so much for many of you who are standing with us praying with us financially supporting us and you're becoming encouragers to the encouraging word hello my friends I want to speak to you personally today from my heart to yours I don't think there is ever a better or more important time for us to respond to our world by standing up for righteousness now with this in mind I would like to invite you to become an encourager ministry partner you see together we can impact lives both now and for all time in all eternity the encouraging word is a viewer and listener supported ministry and to know that you are standing with me financially enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work God has called me to do so please call the number on your screen and just simply say I want to become an encouraging thank you so much for helping me eight six six eight nine nine nine six seven three will connect with one of us 24 hours a day happy to talk to listen to pray to connect with great resources and you can connect with us online as well at the encouraging word dot o-r-g until next time take care and god bless
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 10:25:00 / 2023-03-13 10:34:51 / 10

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