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October 1, 2020 4:00 am
Contempt says our Lord is murder in the heart and the death penalty is equally deserved love and what Jesus is saying is what you feel what you feel inside is damn eternal hell you say I'm not as evil as that person. But what does Scripture say about comparing yourself with other people comparing your sinfulness, or for that matter. Comparing your righteousness with that of others. Today on grace to you. John MacArthur sounds a warning against having a smug attitude toward soon as John continues his series called the sinfulness of sin taken from Matthew five this study is a call to examine, not so much your behavior but your thoughts, your heart attitudes. The breeding ground for sin. So open your Bible, or the study Bible app to the gospel of Matthew. And here's John Matthew chapter 5 in verse 21 year heard it said by them of old, thou shalt not kill, where that come from what you know anything about the revelation of God. You know it came basically from Exodus chapter 21 God gave the Decalogue and said, thou shalt not kill, but Scripture has a lot more to say about murder than just that. And that's why Jesus goes on in verse 22 and says this but I say to you, let me tell you what God really meant by that word in Exodus.
Let me give you the right interpretation. Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother rock shall be in danger of the council and whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus simply says isn't the issue of murder alone. It's the issue of anger and hatred in your heart and uses three illustrations to reveal the sin in verse 22 three. Let's look at first, whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment. That's the first illustration Jesus is you want to show you how serious this issue is whoever's angry with his brother is in danger of judgment.
Now let me say this I think is a righteous anger. We need to talk, but that is not what Jesus means here now. There were times in Jesus took record right started throwing people around. There are times when God's indignation reaches its absolute limit and explodes. There are times when the vengeance of God bursts loosen people lose their lives for time and eternity. And there are times when a believer is a right to be angry.
In fact, I believe that the holier we get the angrier. We get about something right and I think we little more that you know it in a day when everybody wants to talk about love. Let's all get together and don't say any against anything we begin to get so mealymouthed about everything we will stand for anything.
I think maybe that some of us learn little bit about righteous indignation start get mad about something. There lots of things going in our country we gotta be mad about or be angry about righteous indignation some things going on our schools that we ought be angry about and have righteous indignation over some of things. Our children are exposed to well be angry about some of the trends in our society will be angry about what I get angry about some things will have righteous indignation B angry Ephesians 426 says with a kind of anger that is not sin. He says be angry and sin not.
There is a right kind of anger, but here he is talking about selfish anger, your angry with the brother something is happening, you are really hopping mad your angry they can be a slow burner can be a flaring thing. The word is or gives us line the route is or gay and/or gay is a sort of a brooding nurse anger that is not allowed. The diets is the smoldering long-lived kind of things for the most when you hold a grudge against somebody when you hold a bitterness against somebody when you hold anything no matter how small against somebody you are as guilty says Jesus as the person who takes a life, and you deserve the same judgment. If you are angry with your brother.
You are in danger of judgment shouldn't be any difference. It's just a serious, by the way, the judgment at the end of verse 21 that the civil court would give would be execution and he says the same thing right here if you're angry you were in danger of execution.
Capital punishment should belong to you for anger just as much. As for murder, this is a tremendous state devastating because it forces us inside isn't what we do so much as what we are what we feel. I don't know a civil court in a world that would give the death penalty to somebody for getting angry.
They may give it throughout history for murder, but not for anger but of God's call in the vertex, and God sitting on the throne, he is saying in effect that the one who is angry is as guilty as the one who to now wants and most the second illustration uses in verse 22, whosoever shall say to his brother rock, shall be in danger of the council.
What is this me while this person is also condemned as a murder.
This is another person want to go before the counseling at the same death penalty is saying to the Jews you are afraid of the definitely former on God's terms.
There are be the same penalty for anger under to be the same penalty for saying rock to somebody the rock because an interesting term. Really, it's very hard to translate. It is an untranslated epithet. In other words, it doesn't mean anything. It was sort of a term of derision that doesn't really translate it meant something in that time and they all knew what it meant is a malicious term.
Some of said it means brainless idiots. Some of said it means worthless fellow silly fool empty had block can rock had in a commentators go all over everyplace with what is is in a verbal expression of slander against the person. Contempt says our Lord is murder in the heart and the death penalty is equally deserved love and what Jesus is saying is what you feel, listen what you feel inside is enough that damn you to eternal hell as much as what you do on the outside here that that's the message as 1/3 illustration in verse 22, whosoever shall say, thou more us, which we get our word moron shall be in danger of hell fire. Now apparently this was even a worse thing to say to somebody, seems as though there is a rising level.
If you notice is the word moron switch get moron comes apparently from the Hebrew root Maharajah and mire means to rebel and in the Hebrew Bible of fuel was one who rebelled against God, and so to call someone a rebel against God.
Now, if it's true you did them a favor.
But if you're doing it as a as an epithet of hatred, then it is a sin showing the different Jesus said to the Pharisees, you fools, you moron us, only it wasn't wrong for them to say it because it was true, wasn't they were fools. They had rebelled against God. The fool said in his heart there is no God. It says in the Psalms. The fool according to the Proverbs lives against God.
The fool lives a life sin against God lives a life of self-will and self design and you do Amanda favor to go and say euro fee to live like that Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus said to those disciples, fools, and slow of heart to believe there is a time when we do people a favor to say your foolish what Jesus is trying to do and he does very well is absolutely destroy the system or self-righteous.
It can't stand that kind of examination. So our Lord gets to the core of the matter.
Now you notice the word hell fire at the end of verse 22 so very serious word. The word hell.
The Greek word translated hell here is the word Gehenna. I want tell you about it is fascinating. Gehenna is a word with a history. Gehenna is used and translated hell very commonly it's Matthew 522 2930. Matthew 1028, Matthew 18, nine 2315 and 2333 Mark nine Luke 12 it's used in James. It's a very common word means hell but Gehenna. Nellis is a reference to him. Gehenna is a form of the unit. It means the Valley of human we were in Jerusalem. It was pointed out to us where the Valley of Hingham was is south west from Jerusalem very easy to see there today.
It is a notorious place, regional of its history. It was the place where Ahaz had introduced into Israel. The fire worship of the heathen God Malik, to whom little children were burned in the fire. He burned incense in the valley of the son of Hingham, and he burned his children in the fire says. Second Chronicles 28, three further Joe's side of the reforming king had stamped out the evil worship of mold lack in the place of Hingham and ordered that the Valley should be for ever after an accursed place because of what had gone on because it had been defiled because in the Valley there had been the fire of mold in consequence of this, the Valley of Hingham bore that occurs throughout all of Israel's history. It became a place where the Jewish people dumped their garbage Valley of Hingham was the garbage dump of Jerusalem and what they had.
There was a public incinerator that burned all the time all the time all the time never would never win. And when Jesus referred to Gehenna or hell, and describe the eternal state of the wicked as Gehenna.
What he was saying is, is an eternal never ending fire in an accursed place where the rubbish of humanity will burn and be consumed vivid language always says the historian. The fire smoldered in Hingham and a pall of thick smoke lay over Hingham at all times and it read a little some kind of worm which was very hard to kill. That is what our Lord refers to a market where the worm dies not so Gehenna the Valley of Hingham became identified in people's minds is a filthy vial accursed place where useless and evil things were destroyed and Jesus used it as a vivid illustration of hell and he says if you're even angry. And if you ever say a malicious word to two sort of put down some person or worse than that of never curse them as it were, to hell you are as guilty and as liable for eternal hell as a murderer is. So Jesus attacks the sin of anger. The sin of slander and the sin of cursing and with it he destroys their self-righteousness's words have a second effect in verses 23 and 24 they affect not only their self-righteousness but the effect their worship of God and what you see this this is really powerful, very simple.
Now Jesus moves from the Pharisees and the scribes of the people to himself and for us. He takes us to the area of worship and I want you to see what he says. Worship was a major issue with scribes and Pharisees are all life was worship.
They were in the temple all the time doing their thing. Worshiping God making sacrifices carried out the law. Their life was a circumscribed life of worship, but our Lord here condemns that very worship with verse 23 therefore, therefore, in other words, that therefore means since God is concerned with internal things.
Since God is concerned with attitudes toward others how you feel about your brother you speak to your brother and whether or not you curse your brother. Since God is concerned with internal things. Listen to this. If you bring your gift to the altar, here you come for worship and there remember when you get there you remember your brother has anything against you, leave there, your gift before the altar. Go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift. In other words reconciliation comes before worship glowed a powerful point go away until it's right with your brother that's with the Lord to say no. The Lord brings us to a very fascinating point. Look at verse 23 again if you bring your gift to the altar and you remember that your brother has something against you. If you see that it isn't even that you're angry it is that he's angry at you, me, you see how important it is that we have right relations.
Now I believe that the implication here is that the one offering the offering has caused the anger or contributed to the anger of this other one, but you see in verse 22. He says if you are angry you're in danger of condemnation and in verse 23 he says if anybody's angry at you.
I don't want your worship go away, leave your gift be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. God doesn't want you angry if this will God doesn't want any buddy angry with you. That is rendering you guilty of murder. That's pretty strong stuff folks pretty strong stuff and sometimes we sit around see Hockley make up our church wallet out of the all you know people say we need greater people asked me to sometimes a safe. How can we increase our worship. How can we have a more worshipful time and you know they think will.
Maybe if we had more of certain kind of music or maybe if we had more aesthetics around us.
Maybe we had better him sore or better.
Special music or better sermons or whatever is listen if you want to enhance worship that everybody was got something against the brother Lee come back when it's right that will see the power of the spirit of God in our midst.
Payment. Thank you both so far. This is where we live is pretty tough, the tough listen. People who discuss what we can do to increase the worship always missed the point way to increase the meaningful worship is to get the people out who don't have any business being here because of some wrong. And also I believe that every Sunday their husbands and wives. The bitterness between the two of me try to worship God and God is wanting to do it.
I believe their families come where there's animosity from the kids toward the parents of the parents for the kids in God is an interest in their worship.
I believe that there are times when we come to church and there is that there's a feeling you get somebody else in the fellowship or neighbor in the street or somewhere and we know there's a bitterness we do absolutely nothing about it.
There's a fellow Christian that we don't typically care for sums happen. We let that thing settling the bitterness in the Bible says go away you offer nothing to God is not interested in your worship is a sham. Psalm 6618 says if I regard iniquity in my heart. The Lord will not hear me for 715 22 says has a Lord as great delight in burnt offering and sacrifice, as in obeying the voice of the Lord. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken is better than the fat of rams say John how I find that person designed with well I think the implication of the text is that you know this person's angry with me. Obviously there people angry at me. I don't even know I can't run around, just ask everybody and there are other times when I know somebody's angry men. I try to reconcile with them and I I do my best and I asked her forgiveness that try to make it right and they don't forgive me, but I've done the best I can, is nothing more I can do, then I'm free to worship God. I can, I try to be reconciled with some people it's very hard. There are some people I know I should reconciled with but I don't even know that they feel that way but listen when I do know it and when I can do something I must says Jesus. So Jesus words are devastating.
They affect our own self-righteousness. They affect our worship of him. Finally, they affect our relations with others. He says now that you've taken care of the worship part and you've left.
Here's what to do now that you've left to get it right so you can worship God finding your adversary agree with him quickly while you're in the way listed anytime the adversary deliver the to the judge and the judge the liberty to the officer and be cast into prison and truly, I say into the thou shalt by no means come out from there it's all dollars paid the uttermost farthing the last quarter of a cent. The Greek is that what you say. The imagery of our Lord is graphic. He is saying you better go and get it right with your brother and uses an illustration borrowed from the old legal method of dealing with debtors in Jewish society. Jesus here is saying settled out of court reconcile before it severe judgment and you can't reconcile at all. What is the meaning or does he mean that the time will come when the personal Dido never made it merely reconciled as he mean the time will come when God will chasten you and judge you and will be too late.
Possibly both of those things he doesn't really explain what he does say is this, you can't worship me, unless you relations a right so hurry, hurry and make them right. Don't let them go to the place where there will be a civil judgment made and somebody loses in the end.
Don't let it go too far is the idea though I know the place where God in judgment moves in act before then. I believe in the final analysis he saying that God is the real judge and hell is the real punishment if you don't think make things right.
You may find yourself in an eternal hell with a debt that never could be paid what he saying get me some and upright you Pharisees and scribes were depending on your own self-righteousness. Just because you don't kill you think your holy we taste if you're angry if you ever set a malicious word about somebody's character.
If you've ever cursed anybody.
You're like a murder.
If you've ever come to an altar to worship God and had something against your brother, you are in danger of such judgment, such hypocrisy would be enacted in your worship that you leave that gift and run the make it right and when you get into a conflict with somebody immediately as fast as you can resolve that issue because you two are in danger of hell. The parties telling them is this the fact that you don't murder is a little piece of the iceberg. You've got grudges that you've never settled you worship in hypocrisy you curse you malign your angry and the same judgment comes upon you for that. Death and hell are what you deserve.
That's what he say so does Jesus speak to their self-righteousness, speak to the issue of worship and speak to the issue of relationships with others devastates their comfort, their confidence, the smugness of their self-righteousness. I watch by setting a standard so high that nobody keeps and so you say will how to escape, when for all murderers and no murder will inherit the kingdom before all murderers and we all deserve death and hell escape worship in hypocrisy and angry. We will set malicious things we all thought a curse reset occurs when logging on, reconciled to a brother we will done that what we got to do that is exactly what Jesus is after he wants to drive them to the fact that they cannot be righteous on their own, which will drive them to their knees at the foot of the cross to accept the imputed righteousness that only Jesus Christ can give everything that he says here is to drive them to frustration and inadequacy so that they come to him. He died our death. He entered our hell that we might have righteousness, you deserve death.
I deserve death, you deserve hell I deserve hell are all murderers of the Pharisees were the scribes were in everybody's so Jesus went to the cross died our death suffered are held in offers us the gift of his own righteousness. That's the meaning of the gospel. We are completely dependent on Christ for salvation is a gift that encouraging truth is at the heart of John MacArthur's current series here on grace to you. It's titled the sinfulness of sin you hear John each day on this broadcast.
He also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary in Southern California.John we just heard you use that word imputed imputed righteousness and that I know from experience is a word that many people in churches have never heard, and yet the whole gospel hinges on it in a way explain to our listeners.
Why is this idea of imputed righteousness so vital to the gospel, but just a little anecdote. I remember having conversations with my dear friend RC Sproul years back and he was always saying to me John we have to come up with a new word for for our movement. We can't use fundamentalists because that has overtones of legalism. We can use evangelical because that could mean anything. It's so broad we've got to come up with a word we got come up with a word so one day he said to me, I got it where it was going to call ourselves. Imputation is set so I said imputation is so I sit RC people are going to think we amputated limbs. That word is not the work so he laughed. Obviously, of course, but he understood that nothing was more definitive of what we believe about the gospel than that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us what is that mean credited to us to impute something to someone is to give them something that's not their own. Paul says to the Philippians look I I don't have a righteousness of my own.
My righteousness is, as Isaiah said, filthy rags by the deeds of the flesh, and no one will be justified by can't come by works. I don't have a righteousness of my own so he says I have that righteousness, which was imputed or credited to me.
The righteousness of God credited to me in Christ that is the gospel core that salvation comes to those who believe in Christ because the perfect righteousness of God is credited to them.
I like to think of it this way God treats the believer as if he lived Christ's life. The very robe of righteousness that is true of the son of God, is credited to the believer in Christ that's imputed righteousness and by that we are saved right and friend to enrich your understanding of the glorious truth in the gospel and to help you better explain those truths to others. Let me suggest John's book, the prodigal son. It's a compelling look at Jesus most famous parable. Order your copy when you get in touch today.
The softcover book is available for 1250 and shipping is free to order call toll-free 855 grace or visit our website TTY.org if you have questions about the extent of God's grace maybe wonder if God is willing to forgive you. Make sure you get this book. It's a stunning look at God's mercy and his willingness to forgive those who repent the title again.
The prodigal son order a copy when you call 855 grace or shop email@example.com and while you're at TTY.org.
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TTY.org now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for making grace to you part of your day and be here tomorrow when John continues to show you how to root out the scenes in your life, especially the hidden ones that no one else sees it's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time wasting