Sermons and Talks

Loving The Law (Matthew 5:17-20)

Darrell Hershberger, June 22, 2014
Part of the Sermon On The Mount series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Tags: Law, Old Testament, righteousness

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This section of scripture might seem rather strong, and Paul talks a lot about living under grace, not being bound by the Law. We often think of having to follow details as being oppressive.

Jesus was not necessarily a "qualified" speaker to his audience, but he was a good teacher. He taught a new doctrine of grace. He taught two main ideas:

1. The Old Testament is good.

2. The Scribes and Pharisees have got it wrong.

The Old Testament is good. Jesus was not destroying the Law, but fulfilling it. He did that by living it out perfectly. The Law was trying to demonstrate the character of God. Detail can be annoying and burdensome, but anything successful pays attention to detail.

There are many Old Testament characters who loved the Law and lived it out. In Psalm 119, David expressed repeatedly his love for the Law of God. In Nehemiah 8, Ezra and the people were eager to obey the Law. In 2 Kings 22, Josiah rent his clothes when he heard the Law. Are we listening to the Bible for what it is saying and not becoming dead to it?

We love Jesus because He is an expression of the Law. Jesus was radical, which means "to the root". Radical does not mean "careless", but knowing about the root of something.

Our righteousness needs to be more than that of the scribes and Pharisees. They missed the point by trying to make up their unrighteousness with more acts of righteousness. Are we missing it? We should not totally throw out the Law, but try to see God's heart in it.

Matthew 5:17-20

17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

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