Matthew 5:17-20 (2)

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Good morning and welcome to FCC, where we worship God in Spirit and in Truth, one verse at a time, one book at a time.
Before we get started today, I wanted to ask if anyone has the church cleaning extension pole that we use to clean the cob-webs around the ceiling tiles?
We have come as far as Matthew 5:17-20 and I am hopeful that we will close out this section of Scripture today and leave here today with a balanced view of law and grace and more specifically how the moral law applies to us.

Read Matthew 5:17-20

Matthew 5:17–20 NKJV
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.


Lord, thank you so much that we can gather together freely to worship you in song and in Word today. We lift up our brothers and sisters around the world that do not have this freedom, but worship you any way like Daniel. We ask that you stregthen them and give them, as well as us a double portion of your Spirit. Lord as we study Matthew 5:17-20, we ask that you would open our eyes, or ears, and hearts to receive with meekness what you have for us this day. Lord, many of us have struggled with law and grace for years, may today, we leave here today with a clear and concise view of there subjects and may we realize it takes the whole Bible, to make a whole Christian. Please Father, help me to rightly divide your Word now, for your glory, for your honor, and praise.
In Jesus Name, we Love You! Amen


Looking back we learned that that Jesus clearly did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.
And we also learned that there are 3, maybe 4 divisions of the law, and today we will discuss those so we can have a better panoramic view of the law and thus understand our need for grace...
May today, be the day church that we get set free from the confusion we have have had over this subject over the years.
And may we come to Know the Father of the New Testament is not the God Father of the Old Testament, but rather the same Father who loves us.
I totally understand the difficulty with reading the OT with all the wars, killing, law, and sacrifice.
This is why we must read the OT, looking for Jesus and the Gospel.
The Bible Jesus read was the Law and the Prophets...
The Bible Paul read was the Law and the Prophets...
The Bible Peter read was the Law and the Prophets church, because the NT was not written yet.
However, let us not forget that Jesus was the living Word in flesh, Amen!
And the Word is still living today!!!
Matthew 5:17 NKJV
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Last week, I mentioned that the Lord knew what was going on in the hearts of his listeners and he knows our hearts.
And how we know he knew this is by the first few words of of verse 17
He knew what was in their hearts and minds and this had to be reveling to all those who were listening.
And church, it is important for us to glean this nugget of truth for our own lives, God knows our hearts and minds.
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Psalm 139:1–2 NKJV
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
Matthew 12:25 NKJV
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
Luke 5:22 NASB95
But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?
So Jesus, knew their thoughts and that they were thinking he came to destroy or nullify the law, but he did not.
But, suddenly, here was a Man who did not belong to their schools, who not only taught, but also denounced their authoritative teaching. Then, over and above that, He did not spend all His time in expounding the law. He preached an extraordinary doctrine of grace and of the love of God which introduced such things as the parable of the Prodigal Son. But, even worse, He mixed with publicans and sinners, sitting down and eating with them. Not only did he not seem to observe all the rules and regulations; He actually seemed to be deliberately breaking them. In His words He criticized their official teaching, and in practice He did the same.
So questions began to arise at once because of His theory and because of His practice. ‘Does this new Teacher not believe the Holy Writings?
The Pharisees and the scribes claim to be the exponents and the expounders of the Holy Scripture; does this Jesus of Nazareth, therefore, not believe it?
Church, since Jesus showed up, this is the first mention of the Law and the Prophets.
For the JEW, this was something new and revolutionary that was challenging their thinking , because every time they heard a message it had to do with the Law, the Law, the Law...
When we think of the prophets we need to remember that they actually taught the law, and they applied and interpreted it.
They went to the nation Israel and told them that the trouble with them was that they were not keeping God’s law, their main endeavour being to call the people back to a true understanding of it. To this end they caused it to be read again and expounded.
But, in addition, they did foretell the coming of the Messiah....
Matthew 5:17 NKJV
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Jesus came not to destroy church, but to fulfill.
How did Jesus fulfill the law?

He kept it perfectly, absolutely kept it perfectly church!!!

What is the Law?
For the sake of time, we are going to break the Law down into 3 divisions and although some scholars say there or 4 or even more divisions, I want to hone in on the controversy that surrounds us today.
*Judicial/ Civic
*denotes no-longer binding
God gave the ceremonial and dietary laws to Israel to not only protect them, but also the sanctify them form the pagan nations they were surrounded by.

Ceremonial Law

The ceremonial laws are called hukkim in Hebrew, which literally means “custom of the nation”; the words are often translated as “statutes.”
These laws seem to focus the adherent’s attention on God.
They include instructions on regaining right standing with God (e.g., sacrifices and other ceremonies regarding “uncleanness”), remembrances of God’s work in Israel (e.g., feasts and festivals), specific regulations meant to distinguish Israelites from their pagan neighbors (e.g., dietary and clothing restrictions), and signs that point to the coming Messiah (e.g., the Sabbath, circumcision, Passover, and the redemption of the firstborn).
Let’s look at a few of these more closely.
Leviticus 19:27 NKJV
You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.
The reason why God said this was that the pagan nations surrounding Israel would shave the sides of the head as an act of worship and God wanted his special people to be set apart.
The Hassidic (Jews that migrated from Western Ukraine in the 17th century) and some of the Orthodox Jews still uphold this.
Truth be told church, God says we are in the world, but not of thew world.
Should we look like the world? Should we act like the world?
Deuteronomy 14:8–10 NKJV
Also the swine is unclean for you, because it has cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud; you shall not eat their flesh or touch their dead carcasses. “These you may eat of all that are in the waters: you may eat all that have fins and scales. And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.
So here, if you follow the dietary laws God gave to Israel, you cannot eat pork.
This means no bacon, not pulled pork, no ham sandwiches...
And as we look closely at this text we discover that the Jews do not eat:
Does anyone know what pigs and bottoms feeder eat?
Church, even though all the ceremonial laws and festivals pointed to Jesus, there is some truth in eating healthy, because after all God is the one who created us. But we are no longer bound to these laws.
Colossians 2:16–17 NKJV
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Christians are not bound by ceremonial law. Since the church is not the nation of Israel, memorial festivals, such as the Feast of Weeks and Passover, do not apply.

Judicial/ Civil Law

Judicial law is mixed throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.
These concerned things like property ownership and borders marriage vows , cities of refuge for suspected murderers, business transactions, and other legal situations.
These were to regulate the society and to help those in positions of mediation to settle disputes, determine crimes, and mete out punishment.
This by no means is an exhaustive list.
Here is just one illustration...
Deuteronomy 4:41–43 NKJV
Then Moses set apart three cities on this side of the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun, that the manslayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without having hated him in time past, and that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live: Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.
There is wisdom in the judicial and civil law that we could find for our life today, but again these are not binding.

Moral Law

The moral laws, or mishpatim, relate to justice and judgment and are often translated as "ordinances." Mishpatim are said to be based on God’s holy nature.
This means that the Moral Law, is God’s character.
Exodus 20:1–17 NKJV
And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Therefore, when God said thou shall not murder, He was saying this because he is the author of life!
When God said not to bear false witness, which means Thou shall not lie, it is because he is Truth.
When God tells us in his word to not be impatient, it is because he is patient...
When God says do not hold grudges, resentments, or be unforgiving, it is because he is forgiving church....
When God says not to hate, it is because he is love and the list goes on.
As such, the ordinances are holy, just, and unchanging. Their purpose is to promote the welfare of those who obey. The value of the laws is considered obvious by reason and common sense. The moral law encompasses regulations on justice, respect, and sexual conduct, and includes the Ten Commandments. It also includes penalties for failure to obey the ordinances.
Modern Protestants are divided over the applicability of mishpatim in the church age. Some believe that Jesus’ assertion that the law will remain in effect until the earth passes away (Matthew 5:18) means that believers are still bound to it. Others, however, understand that Jesus fulfilled this requirement (Matthew 5:17), and that we are instead under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is thought to be "love God and love others" (Matthew 22:36-40). Although many of the moral laws in the Old Testament give excellent examples as to how to love God and love others, and freedom from the law is not license to sin (Romans 6:15).
Moral law does not point people to Christ; it merely illuminates the fallen state of all mankind.

A great illustration of this would be a thermometer.

Does anyone remember the thermometers of old with the mercury?
If I was sick and it was a good day for mom, the thermometer would go under my tongue, but if she was in a bad mood, does anyone know where it might have gone?
Praise God for the thermometers of today.
A thermometer tells us that we are sick, but it cannot cure us church.
And the law works the same way, the Law tells us we are sick, that we are broken, that we have sinned and Jesus is our remedy.
Romans 7:7 NKJV
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
Here we see commandment 10..
Romans 7:12 NKJV
Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
The bottom line is that all the law does is points out that we are sinners, it like aa police officer with a radar gun church and when we speed, we are found guilty.
The only person that ever followed the law perfectly is Jesus, this is something we all fall short in attempting to do.
This is why God sent his only begotten son to die in our place.
So the great exchange could take place.
He takes away the sins of the world or our unrighteousness and gives us his righteousness church!
1 John 3:4–5 KJV 1900
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
It is He that justifies us, it is He that sanctifies us, and one day church we will be glorified.
I close with two texts:
Galatians 3:24–25 KJV 1900
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
If we indeed walk in the Spirit and do not fulfill the lust of the flesh church, no law is needed because we have love, we are walking in love.
Notice that the Fruit of the Spirit is singular it is love!
Who is love?
Each piece of this fruit is God’s character church and these are the attributes he desires for us.
If we have these in our lives, would we fulfill the moral law?
Jesus said not one jot or tittle of the Law will pass away until all is fulfilled.
He is using a play on words here church as he is talking about the smallest markings in the Hebrew and Greek alphabet.
Jesus is talking about the dot that makes an i an I, or the cross bar of a T, or the F and the bottom line on the E.
NONE, absolutely none will pass away, until all is fulfilled!
Matthew 5:18–20 NKJV
For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
I think it is important that we see that Jesus talks about the commandments here and remember he did not put the law down, only the traditions of the religious leaders of the day.
Here, we can see Jesus talk about teaching and doing, and the mercy of God is exhibited.
The consequences of someone practicing or teaching disobedience of any of God’s Word is to be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
And I believe He knew we would struggle with the concept of Law and therefore was gracious.
Finally, the Pharisees and Scribes tried keeping God’s law, but fell short like you and I.
The Pharisees tried to soften the law’s demands by focusing on external obedience church.
Our righteousness is but filthy rags, however because of the Great Exchange, because of the Cross we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!
Praise God the Law came through Moses, but Grace and Truth cam through Our Lord!
Next week, Jesus begins to unpack the moral significance of the law.


Lord, in all honesty, I do not feel like I did justice to your word, please use our time together to grow us in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to understand the law, but grasp the need for grace each knew new day. Lord as we close out this section, may we fall in love with the Whole counsel of God which includes both the Old and New Testaments.
In Jesus Name, we love You! Amen!!!!
Romans 13:8–10 NKJV
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
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