Reading today from Matthew 5 – 7.
We can be a fickle people; those of us called human being. When asked about God and the Bible or especially being Christian some have responded with “Well I observe the Ten Commandments” or “I try to live by the Sermon on the Mount”. I haven’t done it yet, but I would venture to guess, that those who say they live by the Ten Commandments do go to tell you how many commandments there are; and more seriously could not tell you what they are. Those who say the other, “I try to live by the Sermon on the Mount” are only kidding themselves. It is a noble endeavor to be sure, but the requirements of the Sermon spoken by Jesus are more difficult than the Ten Commandments.
Hear what our Lord says,
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For 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. Whosoever 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. For 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.” Matthew 5:17-20 (KJV)
There are many who believe and think that when Jesus came he did away with the law. What did Jesus say above? “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
Let’s look at this idea of keeping/obeying the Sermon in comparison with the law. First of all the Ten Commandments only deal with the outer experiences of life; for example, the seventh commandment says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) yet Jesus says in verses 27 and 28 of Matthew 5 that to look at a woman to lust after her is adultery. Let’s look at another; the sixth commandment states, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Look at Matthew 5:22,
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” v. 22
So, if you can live by the Sermon then you are doing quite well with yourself. If you think you are you are only lying to yourself, and deceived of the devil.
Jesus did not do away with the law, He lived it, He fulfilled it by complete and faithful obedience to God the Father.
In our opening verses above Jesus says, “…Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” That would mean complete faithfulness to God and His commandments. That would mean complete faithfulness to keeping the sermon on the mount. Can I do that? Can you do that? The answer for us both is, NO! We are condemned and dying unless we come to God by Someone else’s righteousness.
That righteousness that is given to us by God is from Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross He gave those who believe Him His own righteousness, and took our own unrighteousness upon Himself. The law and the prophets are fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He lives in those who are His, enabling and empowering His own to live lives that honor and glorify GOD; when we trust Him by faith alone.
Matthew 5 – 7 for today’s reading.
-Tim A. Blankenship