Summary: The contrast between enough, being good enough to be righteous in God’s eyes & understanding the true source of righteousness.
EPIC-9/14/03-Are You Good Enough?-Matt. 5:17-37
Clip from movie Ground Hog Day-early on where Bill Murray realizes he is reliving the same day over and over about 2-3 minute clip that shows various events from those days that he is reliving.
Stuck in a day-list of all the good things he can think of to do in a day-possibly a way out
If you haven’t pick up on it that’s our theme for tonight-contrast between enough, being good enough to be righteous in God’s eyes & understanding the true source of righteousness.
Matt. 5:17-37-Christ confronts a group, the dominant religious voice, teachers of the time-the Pharisees
In the OT God gave law to point people to Him. Show them their sin and their need for Him.
The Pharisees had taken the law and tried to make it attainable-they had relaxed the commandments of God to make them manageable-
Christ comes and once again elevates the law to the place God intended for it to be, not a list for us to achieve-but a standard to show us how far short we fall of His righteousness and how much we need Him to live as He has called us to.
Read Vs. 17-20-He is not here to do away w/ the OT-Sabbath controversies, etc.
Here to fulfill it-didn’t just obey the law Himself; in the following verses He explains what it means for us as His followers to obey. & in doing that He rejects the superficial interpretation that the Pharisees were teaching. He is not changing the law that was given in the OT, rather He is revealing it fully, it’s full depth. He is fulfilling the law.
6 examples-look briefly at 4 tonight
Vs. 21-26-Anger-You heard-Don’t murder
I say-Don’t be angry w/out cause, Don’t degrade
Be in right standing in your relationships w/ others.
27-30-Adultery-you Heard-Don’t commit adultery
I say-don’t look w/ lust-
(metaphor-exaggeration-if it is causing you to sin-STOP, DON’T DO IT)
31-32-Divorce-You Heard-Divorce for any reason-give a certificate
I say-Not any reason-unfaithful-God’s plan one man-one woman together for life
33-37-Oaths-You Heard-Don’t break your vows, carry out those you have made to the Lord
I say-don’t make any vows (frivolous)
Pharisees had made taking a breaking oaths an artform-interpreted the Law to say that the only oaths you had to worry about keeping were those where you invoked the name of the Lord, All others could be broken-X is saying be people of your word, don’t make frivolous vows to back up your word, say what you mean and mean what you say. If you have to make a vow to someone to prove your credibility there is a deeper issue.
So what is the point of this-X elevates the law to where it belongs-it was designed to point us to God-Righteousness comes not from our fulfilling the law (we can’t)- comes from X who has already fulfilled the law (perfect life) and then gave himself as a sacrifice for our sin.
Even now it is only through X that we are righteous-can’t earn more or lose it. Not trying to earn love or favor, we live righteously through the power of X, to serve and glorify God. But it is only by His power that we can live the life that He is calling us to. As we worship, go to Him in prayer connect w/ the God who gives us the power to live as He has called us to. Give up your list, give up your attempts to earn His love, be filled w/ His spirit, ask Him to give you His power to live holy & righteously-meditate, journal, confession.