Summary: Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 20 – FULFILLING THE LAW]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Last time we looked at what the Sabbath day pictured for the Israelites under the Mosaic Covenant.
• We saw that it looked back to the perfect rest God enjoyed with his creation prior to the introduction of sin.
• But it also looked forward into the future when that perfect rest would be restored through the saving work of Jesus Christ, the Lord of “spiritual rest.”
• We concentrated on the three words, “rest,” “work” and “remember.”
Today, we will be looking at a couple more aspects of the Mosaic Covenant that have implications for what follows
• These revolve around the question of the laws given to the Israelites as part of the Mosaic Covenant and their relevance for Christians today.
• Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
• This verse is another one used by Sabbatarians to prove we are to obey the Sabbath command today.
• They use it in the sense that Jesus was confirming His support for the continuation of the Mosaic Law especially the Ten Commandments including the command to observe the seventh day Sabbath.
• We have already discussed how the Mosaic Covenant that included the Ten Commandments was cast aside because of the failure of the people (Hebrews 8:6-9).
• Any talk of dismissing the Ten Commandments immediately raises the question as to what happens to righteousness if one does away with their observance?
• Of course this is a legitimate question and one we need to address.
• In response to this question the first thing we need to do is reassure everyone God has not suddenly gone soft on developing holiness or righteousness in His people.
• But we need to understand that just because the Mosaic Covenant was cast aside, this in no way cancels God’s higher Law of Love as this is based on God’s very character and nature and this remains the same for all eternity.
• It’s just as impossible to do away with God’s higher law of love, as it is to do away with God.
• So we have to understand that some aspects of the Mosaic Law continued because they are the ones that have existed for all eternity because they define who God is.
• These are those principles that are consistent with God’s nature of love and reveal His will for mankind.
• God is in the process of creating us in His image, so there has to be a process whereby He teaches us to think, act and love as He does.
• So the laws and commandments God reveals to His people at various times need to be evaluated in this context.
• But there is another consideration that has to be taken into account and that is the maturity of the recipients (Hebrews 5:12-6:1).
• When we look at the Ten Commandments within the context mentioned above, we need to concede they were a very rudimentary level of God’s law of love.
• We know this because when Jesus came along he raised the bar even higher with his radical teachings, such as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-6), and His new command to “love as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
• Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.
• Jesus raises the bar of the sixth commandment to a whole new level, sin at the thought, attitude and heart level.
• The law, whether it is spelled out in its most basic form in the Ten Commandments or expounded and lived out by the teachings of Jesus are given for three reasons.