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The Fulfillment of the Law

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
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May 18, 2022 12:01 am

The Fulfillment of the Law

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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May 18, 2022 12:01 am

God's law tells us how to live before Him, but the law cannot empower us to do so. Today, Sinclair Ferguson establishes how Jesus both fulfilled the law and subsequently enables us to keep it.

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Jesus is the one who fulfills all these Old Testament pictures the people, 1000.2 them to how their sins would eventually be forgiven through one great sacrifice made by a high priest, you must remember that Jesus said that he had come to fulfill the law, it's doubtful that the people listening that they really understood the profound nature of Jesus were. But as we continue Dr. Sinclair Ferguson series on the sermon on the Mount will understand why Jesus declaration is a crucial aspect of the gospel know we are coming to our son started in the sum of the month.

I think on this particular study. It would be helpful for us. If I read the text on as we begin to think about the teaching of Jesus were going to be looking at a relatively short passage in the great Solomon. This is Matthew chapter 5 in verses 17 through 20 do not think that I've come to abolish the law of the prophets have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them for truly I say to you, until heaven and pass away nothing. I will try not to adopt will pass from the law, until all this accomplished. But, for 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 Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You know, sometimes not the end of a Solomon someone will come up to the preacher and say but you didn't say anything about and it's usually their hobbyhorse wasn't. You didn't say anything about this point in the sermon. It wouldn't surprise me, but most of Jesus healers were thinking, but you haven't said anything about the law and of course we need to understand that the people who were listening to Jesus.

The people who lived in and under the law of Moses. Their days were graduated by the law that jeers were regulated by the law. There passage of years was regulated by the law there religion was regulated by the law. The city of Jerusalem as it was used of God's law and sacrifices virtually as a clock by which the people could tell what time of day it wants. Absolutely everything about life was regulated by the law that God has given through Moses, and of course as you know, those regulations say they believe that one well over 300 off from those regulations being detailed by the Pharisees, you know how it works.

If I'm going to keep that law then I need to do this in order to keep that law and very soon what you need to do another to keep the law itself becomes a law unto the people were not on Lake living in the law of Moses, but they were living in a culture that if you really wanted to be spiritual and just in parenthesis the same matter has sometimes been made by Christians present it if you really want to be spiritual.

You need to go for the but God has told us to go and so a very natural thing to listen to to all these words about blessed and to think wisely, not saying anything about the law thing for the example of the very first son but introduces the whole sulfur, but what is the blessedness of the first time is the blessedness of the man who meditates on the law of God day and night unto lives within the law. So why is Jesus not say anything about the law.

Well now he's going to say something about the law said anything about the law. So far because he understands the law can tell us how to live, but it cannot empower looters to live the law can tell us what to do. But the law does not have the energy to enable us to do it. Remember how Paul puts lesson Romans eight verses three and four. What the law couldn't do God did through his son sending him in the likeness of the flesh of sin to be a sacrifice for certain, he condemned sin in the flash and author of that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flash, but according to the spirit. Paul was adamant but rather than destroy the law, the gospel gives us the power to fulfill the law and makes the law. Our delight, and he learned that from the teaching of the Lord Jesus because this is what Jesus is saying here.

I want you to notice several things that he has to say about the relationship between the Christian and the law. First of all, notice how heat underlines the ongoing role of the law in the Christian life. He says it has a continuing significance. Don't think for a moment, but because I have said the law cannot bless you because the law doesn't have power to transform your own think that I'm saying it has no significance.

I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law. Actually, we might grasp the significance of what he is saying if we put it this way. I have not come to destroy the law, I have come to fill fool the law and of course he does this in himself, doesn't take it doesn't destroy the law, you look at Jesus and you see all of that is the life to which the law of God pointed this is another interesting thing here that you notice he says no.

He says if if anyone takes away from God's law teaches people that they can ignore God's law, then they are they are stretching to the margins of the kingdom of God to question whether there really is a place for them in the kingdom of God. So the law functions as a kind of spiritual litmus test of teaching where the law is despised dog ignored or where people say we can jettison the law because we are the New Testament Christians interesting will not wait a minute here how you think about the law and its ongoing role in the Christian life is actually a litmus test of how you think about me and how you think about Christian discipleship and then the third thing that he says so she underlines the role of the law which must've been mindbending for his hearers was less you see these policies and all the rectitude should apparently of their lives.

Unless your righteousness exceeds fair righteousness. There will be no place for you in the kingdom of heaven know his hearers at that point must've thought, who then can be saved. We see these men. They are practice intimidates us. They are so disciplined and Jesus saying we is he saying we need to be better than they are. Does that mean the that we must fulfill the law in ways that they don't and that's exactly what Jesus meant by you see what he wants to say is the path the Pharisees have chosen will never lead to the fulfillment of the fool nurse of the law and the lives but the path of the gospel will always produce that fill fool in remember years ago having an experience that struck me as something of a parable of this I was flying from Newark airport in New Jersey to Tel Aviv in Israel.

There were many Orthodox Jews, Hasidic Jews that came onto the plane.

I was sitting in my seat that was there was a spare seat which I hoped would be a spare seat the whole way there and there was a secular Jewish lady sitting in the window seat and I saw Hasidic Jew you recognize an image of a donor came onto the plane and I could see he was looking at his seat number and I hung up the seats and I could see from his eye movements. He was the man in seek the undersea loop to the secular Jewish lady on this obviously Gentile Protestant.

I could see consternation come over his face. He troubled the cabin staff until they placed him in a different seat. It was to me. It was such a striking experience since he was only three rows in front of me and I don't usually sleep in transatlantic flights. I wish I did but I don't. I cut my eye on him all night long and all night long. He had his finger on Toyota and I thought to myself what an illustration of Paul's teaching when they read Moses there is a that is available over the face.

I thought this man could've been sitting beside me talking about his Messiah. We could've been talking about the blessedness of belonging to the kingdom of God and that he was fulfilling righteousness.

Apparently, in his own eyes being the mind of the first son, but not knowing the one to whom the first sound pointed. Who would've transformed the whole of his life and filled fool for him. The promises of the Old Testament, but people would come to the Messiah from all over the world and here was one of them sitting three rows behind him and he could have been sitting beside him that he was fulfilling his righteousness, but not being filled fool of the righteousness of Jesus Christ and Jesus wants to emphasize no Christians do not dispense with the role of the law, but they understand the filling fool of the law in our lives takes place not talked of our own strength but only because the kingdom of God has broken in, and given his new affections and empowered us in new way. So this is what Jesus was teaching he is underlining the role of the law. In the 2nd Pl., Jesus is emphasizing that he is actually come to fulfill the law. Don't think that I've come to abolish the law.

I have actually come to fulfill the law. Does he mean he has come to fulfill the law. Below is a long story doesn't hurt to be clear, I think in the Bible that the law that was given through Moses at Sinai was a kind of negative expression of the law that had been written in Adam's heart as the image of God is the image of God he he function we might say instinctively in a way that conforms with the real purpose of the law of God than when he fell eyes blind as the story goes on people understand the law less and less we find even the patriarchs living in a way that doesn't conform to the law that was written in the heart and soul.

God now publishes it on tablets of stone and largely in a negative form because his people are such spiritual children when you're when you're little fellow is two years old. You don't sit down and explain to them how electricity works. You say don't talk that into those holes in the wall because it made amateur so by and large, the easiest way to teach children is just to tell them what not to do that will keep them safe in a way that's what God was doing and so most of the 10 Commandments are expressed in a negative rather than in a positive foreign although they are sent in the negative insights and negative is a summons to God's original purposes for us, but this law we fail. And so Jesus come and he does two things. The first is key {where we have disobeyed and the second thing is, he bears the punishment of penalty for our breach of God's holy law, and he does not. In order to cleanse our hearts and to set us free from bondage and guilt, and in that sense Jesus fulfills the law is another sense in which Jesus fulfills the law. The law not only gave commandments model Commandments the law made provision for what would happen if you brought close command. All of those sacrifices every single day sacrifices for certain every year, the day of atonement, when the high priest would go into the very presence of God and offer a sacrifice. There your whole life under the law was a life live within what I call a kind of pop-up picture book version of the gospel release sacrifices reminded you that you needed forgiveness on the sacrifices pointed you to the forgiveness that God would give remember the argument that the author of Hebrews uses he says you know, the priests stood at the altar every single day, every single day making sacrifices for certain and if you been a believing Old Testament person coming into the temple in Jerusalem watching this. It should have dawned on your if these sacrifices need to be repeated.

These can't be the sacrifices that really take away certain they must only be pictures of those sacrifices otherwise they would never need to be the Peter and God has promised us a sacrifice that really will take away our sin. So these can't be the sacrifices someone is coming who will be back sacrifice and he has come in. So Jesus fulfills not only the model that I mention of the law in our place.

But Jesus is the one who fulfills all these Old Testament pictures that the people were given pointed them to how their sins would eventually be forgiven through one great sacrifice made by a high priest after the altar of Melchizedek. Not a high priest after the daughter of Aaron no and the disciples didn't understand this for several years. I suspect, but clearly there remember that Jesus and Santa and that he had not only fulfilled the model part of the law but he fulfilled the ceremonial part of the law and this was the reason why I in the hourly charge.

All of those sacrifices and rituals were laid aside. It was as though the noonday sun had risen, and so is John Calvin says that they didn't strike matches in order to be able to see because Jesus had fulfilled the law.

And there's another sense in which Jesus fulfilled the law. Given the law through Moses for a particular group of people and a particular nation because it was in one nation. He plan to place for the promise that the Messiah would come. The seed of the woman who would cruise and crush the head of the serpent. And that promise was going to be was going to be kept in in one nation. It was going to be process of their and so his monologue was applied to the civic life of that one nation was it was never meant to be a permanent arrangement, sacrifices were not meant to be permanent and particular applications of the law of God to this particular society will those women tended also. Until the Savior came and he became the king of an international society, one can put it this way. Being an Old Testament to work only in one country in the world under by because the sacrifices were in Jerusalem. The feasts were in Jerusalem. If you were an Old Testament to somewhere else. You had to come back to this one country. This one nation but no longer no longer slept through it's almost as though what Jesus does member, he commanded the man who was paralyzed for His bed and wall. I sometimes think that when Jesus rose again in the garden. What he did was seek.

He took all all those applications of Moses law and he just rolled them up and he counted them away know of course the many things that our societies come from the different ways in which God's law was applied to civic life in terms of justice as the Westminster confession says in terms of the general equity of the law.

But you see what Jesus is saying is saying.

I not only fulfill the law school in your life but I fill the law fool because the one to whom the law was pointing and as a result in me. You see all these Old Testament pictures fulfill and in me because I am God King, the application of the law of God to one particular society has not come to an end because the Christian life can be lived anywhere. It's true, is an astonishing fingers into you know I would instinctive sometimes to think that you know unless society as well. But it's really difficult to live the Christian life. It would be hard to persuade the Chinese Christian of the last 50 years of that was true, isn't it a striking thing than that. But Jesus has come in on the but the Christian life could become an absolutely international reality. And then there's another way in which Christ fulfills the law fulfills the law by his obedience to it and by his dying to pay as penalty and then in addition, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He comes in he fills out fulfills fills fool the law in the lives of his people and that's actually what the rest of Matthew chapter 5 is taken up with Jesus at this astonishing thing unless your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees will have no part in the kingdom. And of course his computer so asking the question, how can that possibly be the case in we've always looked to these fallacies and their intimidating obedience to God's law and we thought, I can never get talk about high and he's telling us going to get up higher. Here is the great message that Jesus enables us to fulfill the law of God at a much deeper level than the scribes and the Pharisees because he enables us to keep the law of God that much deeper level. Remember the promise of Jeremiah, God will come by his spirit and feels like the law right down into your hearts and so all regions will arise from your heart.

You will love God's law of affection for God's law and God's ways because he is become your heavenly father you'll begin to discover yourself say will of course. Of course I'll do that because it is you are perfectly suited beings from the law to be filled. The only way our righteousness can exceed the legalistic ritualistic righteousness of the Pharisees is if we obey God from the heart.

I hope today's message by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson has been a help to you were grateful that he's been able to join us these past few days teaching from his series sermon on the Mount in 12 messages. Dr. Ferguson shows us how this teaching by our Savior equips us to live a godly life in this fallen world.

You can request this to DVD set when you give a donation of any amount to regular ministries. You can reach us by phone at 800-435-4343 or you can make a request and give your gift securely equipping you to know what you believe and why you believe it is why we exist.

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We've done that through the years is with the Reformation study Bible. And now, thanks to the generous support of ministry friends like you. We are pleased to announce that the Reformation study Bible has been translated into Portuguese. Just like its English counterpart. This new translation elevate Scripture on every page so we thank you for your ongoing support of this ministry of the sermon on the Mount is an example of the kind of teaching that Jesus did when he was in public with the people. What kind of things that he teach his disciples when they were alone. Join us tomorrow for message from Dr. Ferguson series lessons from the here on Renewing Your Mind

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