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April 27, 2020 12:08 pm
Matthew is presenting Jesus as the King arcane who not only comes to save us, but to then calls us to follow him in a life of personal and continuous commitment.
This new life begins. As we repent of our sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm now in this magnificent sermon on the market contained in Matthew five, six and seven, Jesus is explaining what it means to follow him. We are to follow Jesus, but what does that mean in our daily lives. In the first 12 verses of Matthew chapter 5 Jesus first deals with our actions with our other actions, but rather attitudes. What we ought inside what kind of people we are those who are poor in spirit. Those who are merciful are those who are peacemakers.
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. But then what we are inside becomes apparent outside the last time we thought of our Lord Jesus Christ who says to those who follow him. You are the salt of the you are the light of the world salt permeating the corruption light illuminating the darkness.
Now, as Matthew was rising particularly to a Jewish audience and Desi is unfolding his teaching and Desi sitting down with his disciples and telling them what it is to follow him, but have some might think. Why doesn't Jesus simply tell us to follow the Mosaic law. After all, it is God-given or perhaps Jesus has come to abandon the old Mosaic covenant to say that has not gone and something new has come in our verses today in Matthew five, first of all, in verses 17 through 20. Jesus summarizes his relationship to the Mosaic law and then he gives examples as we will see in the sermon on the Mount begins in his interpretation of the law. So let's first read together. Matthew chapter 5 verses 17 through 20 in your home plans you want to send up, and perhaps use a family were you on your own say these words with me for something dynamic, as we actually speak out the word of God do not think that I've come to abolish the law of the profits. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them for truly I say to you, until heaven on earth pass away, not on iota… 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 Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven will be can I be seated.
Though these verses are not easiest to understand but are very very important in this. I've studied them over the last few weeks. They really have impressed me and I trust that you will listen attentively is a site not the easiest to understand but I think you'll have a fresh understanding as Jesus comes and deals with the law that when we talk about the law. I think that are two extremes and each of us, probably in our own lives swaying between these two extremes. First of all that is what I would call the legalist legalist measures spirituality by how strictly the laws or observe the legalist like flaws and he measures his own spirituality and in the spirituality of others by Harlan closely the form to the law. Some legalist believe that the law and fact is the way of salvation, if you obey most of the Commandments most of the time. At the end of the day God will reward you by your obedience to the law by admitting you into heaven, into the kingdom of heaven. That is the way of religion.
Religion basically say do this don't do that. This of course salvation by works, salvation based on what we do and that is totally contrary to the word of God from Genesis through Revelation no.
We have learned. I trust that salvation is not by us doing things, but salvation is by grace alone. God's grace alone received through faith alone in Christ and Christ alone. So, while religion says do true Christianity authentic Christianity says Don, not what we are doing, but what our Lord Jesus Christ has done the garden great love has sent his son to die for our sins and to accomplish salvation as he cries on the cross is finished the work is finished. It's all done and it extends to us in the grace of God and is to be received simply by faith so little body a little girl content from their say and then look to Christ and receive him as their Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world yes were saved by grace alone.
But even those of us who believe in salvation by grace alone. I can still be characterized by legalism. Legalist always trying to put other people rights.
Their concerns are almost obsessed with the externals. The outward appearance that we drive us how we affect how closely we conform to the rules and the regulations they love looking at others, scribes and Pharisees in the Gospels are prime examples of the legalist, the scribes and Pharisees were meticulous.
Yes, meticulous in their observance of the law. They either their own interpretations.
We added their own traditions and judged others by whether or not they conform to that idea of the law of the traditions of the fathers legalist like the scribes and Pharisees tend to be harsh, hypocritical, very pedantic, very self-serving and judge mental. Have you noticed in life but sometimes those who are the most judgmental of others are the greatest centers themselves there judging others that if yours is at work to judge themselves.
That's why Jesus said in the Gospels of the scribes and the Pharisees on Tuesday to notice I'm very pious reciting very spiritual, but there's an in the hollowness and and then the barn and this is the legalist. Then, on the other extreme is what we could call the anti-Norman anti-Noman anti-in Greek is against going forward law is number so we have this word anti-Norman met someone who wants to be totally free of the law of the legalist. On one hand it meticulous observance of the law and loves the fine points of the law. On the other hand, it was the anti-Noman Mr. anti-Noman.
Not only does he like not like laws.
He lives as he likes that we may call himself a Christian but he can't live like the devil on Saturday night and come to Gentile recharge and sing like an angel on a Sunday morning. That's the legalist sent doesn't seem to bother him a tall's got no time for the loss, no time for the commandments, and against false comfort by saying well Jesus excepts me. Why would I do. Jesus loves me. I believe in God's grace and whatever I do, God still loves me and judge me and he lives his life as if there were no commandments tall.
The anti-Norman presumes on the grace of God. They look on God's laws.
Not as commandments but her suggestions commandments.
That's for the Old Testament I live in the life of grace. Don't talk to me about commandments two extremes. Both totally contrary to the word of God, but according to Jesus, what is the place of the law now versus will help us tremendously. This morning I'm going to say Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and is also the interpreter of the law.
First of all, the law is not abolished by Jesus, but fulfilled.
That's verse 17 do not think this is Jesus speaking that I've come to abolish the law of the profits that it is Jesus did not come to abolish the law by the law, he means the Mosaic law. He didn't come to disregard the profits. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. The law is not abolished by Jesus but is fulfilled by Jesus not when Jesus refers in verse 17 to the law and the prophets. He's referring to all of the Old Testament Scriptures, they can be summarized in this law and the prophets. Jesus is saying I can come to abolish them but rather I came to fulfill them by the question. The rather difficult question. This what does Jesus mean when he says, I didn't come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Well, Jesus sadly fulfill the law by living in perfect abrasions to the law of God unlike us not one of us could obey the law of God perfectly so.
Jesus, sadly, fulfill the law by living a perfect life. Every single detail was obeyed by Lord Jesus Christ also all of the prophecies. All of the messianic promises of the Old Testament find the perfect fulfillment in Jesus Christ. I come to Jesus not to abolish them but to fulfill them. But I think there's more here Jesus fulfills the law not only by explaining the full meaning of the law and were going to see that this morning but by declaring that its completion.
The completion of the law is in him person of Jesus in a fresh way that is all of the law. All of the prophets were anticipating the coming of Jesus and Jesus brings the law and the prophets to perfect fulfillment. For example, the beginning of March gospel when Jesus begins his public ministry really demonic one verses 14 and 15 now after John was arrested John the Baptist, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God and saying the time is fulfilled, is not interesting John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus comes beginning his ministry proclaiming the kingdom of God.
First thing he says is this the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the gospel so Jesus is both the fulfillment of Scripture and the interpreter of Scripture that is all of the Old Testament must be viewed through the person through the ministry and the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, Don Carson says I think very helpfully. Jesus shows the direction in which the law points you're wondering about the law we could Jesus. Jesus shows the direction in which the law points putting it another way, all of the law.
All of the prophets points to our Lord Jesus Christ so followers of Jesus cannot be anti-Noman Jesus is saying I didn't come to abolish the law of the province. I came to fulfill them. So the law is going to continue. But understand this, the law is going to be continued to be taught.
But here's the point.
Jesus teaches it not as the law of Moses, not as the old covenant, but as fulfilled and interpreted in and by themselves. That is Jesus is the culmination of the Mosaic law and the prophets, so their 74 statement about the law. The law is not abolished by Jesus but fulfilled. Secondly, verse 18. The law is not passed away until all is accomplished. For truly I say to you, but is the importance of this truly I say to you, Jesus is teaching his disciples until heaven – passed away. Not an iota, not that dogs will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Jesus as come on, the law is going to be seen in a different light is not going to pass away until everything is accomplished down to the minutest detail here. Jesus refers to the iota and the dogs of the law. I was brought up in the King James in the King James here refers to the charts and the tensile of the law that what is there iota. There iota that it is that is the Hebrew alphabet from right to left and you see there the central that is I got it is the smallest land of the Hebrew alphabet very much like an' we have an English. And so Jesus is saying that the that heaven, as will not pass away, not a iota, not yours, of the law will pass until all is accomplished.
And then we have the dogs or the two. What is that the dogs yes we fiddle using King James refers to the tiniest part of the leather in the Hebrew alphabet that your Dick is a letter, a single is a difference tiniest part of the letter in the Hebrew alphabet, so you can see one light out at the top and then the other one blindside hardly any difference at all. That is the total you get the point. The smallest stroke in the Hebrew alphabet, which distinguishes one letter from another will not pass away until all is accomplished is amazing is Jesus believed in the enduring validity and inspiration of the Old Testament as the word of God is going to say in John 10 verse 35 Scripture cannot be broken. What view does Jesus have of Scripture of the highest subscription Scripture even one little letter.
The smallest letter, even one little part of the alphabet is part of the word of God done to its minutest detail the Old Testament Scripture is the word of God and endures forever, and people asked me what you make so much of the Bible. Jesus made much of the Bible, as we just read. This is the word of God.
Yes, every letter, every stroke every part is the inspired word of God.
And so Calvary church. We believe in the verbal inspiration of Scripture we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, we honor the whole of Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament as the word of God. Jesus then sitting. He is the fulfillment of all of Scripture, and he also is is in its authoritative interpreter. Notice how he begins by stating, for truly I say to you, he fulfills Scripture and he interprets Scripture so first laws not abolished by Jesus, but fulfilled their 70. Secondly, the law is not passed away until all is accomplished. Verse 18 verse 19. The law is not to be relaxed, but is to be obeyed and taught verse 19.
Following this, please concentrate. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so, the same shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of God's interesting fascinating isn't it the one who relaxes one of the least of the commandments is good release of the kingdom of heaven, the person who humbly obeys the word of God and teaches the word of God will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. I don't know about you but that makes me stop and think you see who is Jesus is he who is he to say this, that's applying these God incarnate, fulfills the law and interprets the law who is a he's the king.
Matthew's been telling us the king must be obeyed and followed of the king rejoice the day that your sins are forgiven, that your peace with God, but you be saved by grace, how wonderful. Here's the question. Are you obeying the king to those who enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do the will of my father were going to see in Matthew chapter 7 letter the last day of people going to say Loblolly centenarian Jesus is going to say to them, no, no, I didn't know you your workers of lawlessness, your disobedience, who are the ones Jesus says in Matthew seven who enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who do the will of my father.
So asking why do you disregard the commandments of Jesus, why are you so casual, in your view of the word of God. What makes you think that you greater than the king is giving us his teaching who was explaining to us what it means to live in the kingdom and how we are to follow him. Are you saying in terms of the Old Testament law that the very smallest letter the very smallest part of the letter is part of the word of God. In Luke six, verse 46 Jesus asks a penetrating question I meant to ask you. He says why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I tell you is that why do you call Jesus Lord. And then, as it were. Turn your back on him and live your own life.
No followers of Jesus seek to obey his commands feeling convicted with more verse 24 I tell you, Jesus is going to use that expression over and over again in Matthew five I tell you speaking with authority day here at the end of the settlement on the minds. In chapter 7 verses 28 and 29.
We need that when Jesus finished the sayings that chapter 5, six and seven.
The crowd were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as described yes he has perfect authority. He's the king, the fulfillment of the law and the interpreter of the law. Look at verse 24 I tell you it is the is the flash interpreter of the law. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven as I as I read and studied that that that that shocked me. Wouldn't that mean that my righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees on the face of it is us is an astonishing statement as the Pharisees and the scribes were well known for the for them at the careless observance of the law, so can my righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, I challenge you Boston-we prayed regarding your giving perhaps you gave 10% of your income this morning. You know, the scribes and the Pharisees that not only did the times of their money. They tied of the heritage they had. Jesus says in Matthew 23 you tie up of the mints in the Dylan acumen mentioned that by payment that continuous that you actually giving up time either of her slick with a ream. Think about it, righteousness, greater than that Jesus is saying that if a righteousness does not exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. We will never enter the kingdom of heaven. I want to enter the kingdom of heaven. Now Jesus was back up a little bit here Jesus is not teaching salvation by works is Jesus speaking to. That's what he's talking to is the site to those who have repented, to those who have believed in him.
Might I say again, salvation is not by works is not by keeping the law, none of us could do that and you salvation is entirely through the pure and free grace of God based on the person and the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus.
We receive his righteousness. We sang about that breast in his righteousness. Salvation is a gift. As we receive the righteousness of Christ.
But then, having been saved is a point Jesus is making that we must now re-live righteous lives. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be satisfied. Seek first says Jesus. The kingdom of God and his righteousness, but listen is very very important. God never intended a relationship with him to be a matter of fulfilling his laws through the discipline and determination of it on wills. That's what the Pharisees tried to do here is the law we added to its spirituality was measured by their meticulous observance of the law no what does God seek God seeks a love relationship with us, not just an outward legalistic observance of the law. That's the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is interpreting the law by dealing as we will see not so much with the external action but with the internal and with the personal love of our hearts and we see the outworking of this in verses 21 through the end of Matthew five will see one example of this morning. Let me illustrate it this way. Over the years I've had more than one husband who's come to me who's been struggling in his marriage and says give me some help.
How can I improve my marriage I could get through to my wife that he's thinking of me prescribing thing you got to have a date night given flows. Every other week given a box of chocolates or are planning a vacation with her. Another words he wants to do certain things to please his wife.
I think of one case many years ago where the couple were in fact separated. There were members of the church when I was pastoring in. They had separated because of the difficulties between them and the man was trying to reestablish a relationship with his wife. What is his wife because of her heart to the pain was very very slow to respond to him so I did. I said to him one time. Is it well that's asking and perhaps in a in a restaurant a different atmosphere, you can begin to speak to her. I said I know you want to stop living with her in the home but but you won't have that. So this is an ascent towards that was fairly good advice and and he said his try that and the so after some time I met with his wife separately and I said how are things going and she said she said that he tell you that he could marry Tyson on this great said that you get a chance to talk over things and she said he took me to McDonald's. There is a very romantic man.
You know over your big Mac not big tumbler of Coke talking no, he was totally on the wrong track. What that wife wants and whatever he wife wants is not so much a husband to do certain things. Yes, there's a place for the doing of the seven things, but what the wife wants is the love of her husband's heart when the heart is right and when there is not love relationship. These things follow course is nothing wrong with giving clouds is a good idea or a box of chocolates or whatever. But marriage is not very heart of the marriage is not the doing of things. It is a love relationship. And these things then flow north out of a sense of Judy not the sense of taking the box without over heart of love so but the passage those who simply trying to obey the rules to check the box of the miss of the mist of than that will never enter the kingdom of heaven must appoint the scribes and the Pharisees were so concerned with the outward little in minute observance of the law that they missed old points. We will see that Jesus is not only concerned with the specific sins such as murder and adultery in the other ones mentioned in Matthew five's primary concern is do we love him. Are we following him obediently. That's why this interpretation of the of the law in the following verses are so brilliant and also so convicted questioners do you love the Lord Jesus love someone you seek to please them. If you love Jesus, you will obey him. Jesus says that if you love me you will what will keep my commandments. You'll do what you're told. You will humbly follow me. This is the righteousness of the true believer that we seek righteousness we hunger and thirst after righteousness and then flow that godly desire that we have, to follow Jesus and to please Jesus flows from a relationship of love for and trust in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ together in the following verses 21 through the end of the chapter. We have six examples of a righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is the authoritative interpreter of the law of courses is God all of the Scriptures, pointing to Christ and now he comes and notice the occurrence of an expression. For example, I read in verse 24 I tell you look at verse 21, you've heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not murder.
Verse 22 by C to you. Verse 26 truly I say to you. Verse 21 you have that we said, you shall not commit adultery but I say to you, verse 31 it was also said their 32 by C verse 33. Again, you've heard that it was said of old verse 34 but I see you. Verse 38. You've heard that it was said in 94902 for the truth but I say to you. Verse 43. You've heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, get the point Jesus in verses 21 through 26 gives an example of his interpretation of the law and all very quickly deal with is one example. I will think of the others later. Verse 21 Toles's relationship to the law know he's going to demonstrate his brilliant interpretation of the law.
You have had was said to those of old, you shall not murder serves the sixth commandment is right. You shall not murder and whoever murder shall be liable to judgment that verse 22 but I say to you ready for this to everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. Whoever insults his brother will be liable to the console and whoever says you fool will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift come to terms quickly with your accuser while you're going with him to court last year to choose her hand you over to the judge and the judge to regard you be put in prison. Truly I say to you will never get out until you paid the last penny here is Jesus during his interpretation of the sixth commandment you shall not murder one of the 10 Commandments. One of the big ones as murder wrong, of course, it is murder is an attack on the sovereignty of God is God who gives life and God, who takes life goes. Murder is wrong and sinful. Jesus was reaffirming that Abbott notice how Jesus interprets this commandment and brings it to fulfillment. But I say to you, yes you had to hold you shall not murder, but I see you. What does Jesus do, he goes beyond the outward observance not only must you refrain from killing someone shall not murder ready for this. If you angered in your heart if you insult your brother if you show contempt to someone if you call someone an idiot stupid foe you're liable verse 22, you're liable to the hell of fire by think is a soft is a serious this is how you can commit murder and if you do that if that's the way you treat people you're liable to end and how just as much is the individual who actually takes the life she Jesus is saying that the commandment of murder is not just an act, but as in attitudes is a mode that is anger and if you got this anger, Jesus is saying seek peace with your brother whenever there's an angle between you know the importance of treating people with love, respect, dignity and mercy is fundamental to the teaching of Jesus. This when you're angry with your brother when you treat them with contempt. You need to resolve that anger as quickly as possible.
Jesus is saying what Jesus is doing the abolishing the law of knowingly abolishing the law murder is still sinful residence. He's giving a fresh interpretation of the law is the authoritative interpreter of the law because the law was pointing forward to Jesus and no Jesus comes and says yes, you found that of old Buddhist teaching lose all of us wondering do I have anger in my heart, not just an outward action of murder, so don't actually kill someone, but I treat them as if I want them excluded. I may have such hate in my heart again. Someone I never want to see the myth that stripper therefore will always know what dad go away, shouting insults curse words we weirded on the roads with drivers weirded people sheltering a referee's during a sports event people shunting abuse law enforcement officers become the speech of some politicians. Perhaps in your own family colleagues at work. Bosses treating people with contempt. William Barclay gives this illustration. He says there's a rabbinic tale of a certain rabbi, Simon and Eliezer was coming from his teacher's house and feeling uplifted at the thought of his own scholarship, erudition, and goodness puffed up plywood a very ill favored passerby gave him a greeting that up I didn't return the greeting, but said you Russia and Greek in verse 22 of her text of the word is records translated in his views, insults so the rabbi insulted the man you Russia ugly you are all the men of your time is ugly as you spoken to someone know how to passerby response.
That said, the passerby I do not know go until the maker who created me how ugly the creatures he has made brilliant response contempt. Just think of our world received on his Facebook. We hit it on the news really even from leaders and how our language has come down and people are so angry that everyone says Jesus that's murder, the law, you shall not murder is no fulfilled in Jesus as he gives this interpretation.
You do not treat people like that are made in the image of God. God has made them however they look. However, they are made in the image of God and the apostle John, following the interpretation of Jesus teaching here rights everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. Jesus then you hit your brother, your mother and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him know this is serious so as we conclude with Jesus doing Jesus is not abolishing or abandoning the law and the prophets, we see that Jesus is interpreting the law and fulfilling the law in light of his own person and ministry. So as a follower of Jesus are not under the Mosaic law as an external code of conduct.
Very interesting. At the end of Matthew when Jesus commissions his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations to baptize them in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit, and many says teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. He doesn't say teach them the law and the prophets. He says no I want you to teach everything. I commanded you would know under the law of Christ with the love our neighbor as ourselves bosses in Galatians 5 verse 14 that we fulfill the whole law. When we love our neighbor as ourselves.
He says we fulfill the law of Christ. In Galatians 6 verse two. When we bear one another's burdens only free from the law. No, I'm not free from the law, I'm following the king, I'm following the interpreter of the law and I demonstrate my love for him by obeying him humbly following his commandments are not under the law of Moses under the law of Christ.
The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have repented of their sins. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have received the righteousness of Christ and now here my my dear brothers and sisters, we must characterized by righteousness. Organize your banking business that like in your life you bring him, he said, what does that look like looks like this. Not only do we not murder were not angry and insulting. Not only do we not commit adultery as well as next week. We do not lust after someone's wife or husband or another woman or another man. Not only do we love our neighbors. We love our enemies. Jesus going to say say this is too much can this be accomplished on. I'm overwhelmed with this budgeted yes we come short come short of the glory of God. But listen to the gospel is the gospel. The gospel is that you broken the law you broken the Mosaic law you broken the law of Christ does not have anger who has never had lost. As always, love their enemies's would all sinful world, broken men and woman and Boys and Girls Club dance of the gospel is calm, the Christ knowledge of brokenness and asking for mercy and forgiveness and he'll forgive you is the one who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again calling to him and not only please hear me. Not only will Jesus Christ forgive all your sins. That's a medical another miracle is the very spirit of Christ will live in you. So Paul says is not me, was living, though it is Christ living in me. What is the law. Jesus is asked with the great commandment is you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. That's all of the Lord do that love God, love your neighbor's. The spirit of God.
If you're a follower of Christ who indwells you to give you strength to give you insight to give you an increasing desire to obey your mass that are magnificent Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Galatians 8 that the righteous requirement of the law as interpreted by Jesus, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flash, but according to the spirit of the very spirit of God lives in us convicting us giving us the strength and when we sin, we asked for forgiveness in here that is what I must do. I must love Christ with all of my heart. I must trust Christ with all my heart and I must obey him to trust them to love him and obey him, and that will have a tremendous impact. Think of it, brothers and sisters of the impact we will have when we follow Christ and we humbly obey the commandments of King Jesus, help us, we asked her father to do that, we think of this righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees we could never attain that by trying to obey the law within the law of Moses or the law of Christ will come short. Thank you for the Savior of magnificent Savior. Not only is the king but is the Savior, and who loves us and forgives us and his blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness was no love, humble ourselves that we will love Christ with all of her heart that we will trust him and obey him. This precious name we pray