Summary: What you believe always affects how you behave. How you live your life shows what you believe about God.
This morning we continue looking at the greatest sermon ever preached, by the greatest preacher Who ever lived. A great sermon has 3 elements:
1. Explanation—you explain the principles you want to get across. We all need to have the right principles in place in our lives. People who go wrong in practice usually had the wrong principles behind it all. What you believe always affects how you behave. How you live your life shows what you believe about God.
2. Illustration—you paint a word picture to help open the eyes of the listeners. It’s like a window that shines the light of truth into people’s hearts.
3. Application—you make it relevant to the people listening. Jesus did this, because He knew our human nature, that we will listen to explanation and illustration, but we resist making personal application to ourselves. We may apply it to others, but we need someone else to help apply it to us! It’s during application that many people go I sure do hope so in so hears this. People don’t mind me explaining Biblical principles or illustrating them, but when it comes to applying them, well we don’t like our toes step on.
I’m thankful for a group that doesn’t mind having their toes stepped on, realizing it’s God and His Word applying pressure, not His me.
Ill.—I heard about a preacher, who had a very vocal congregation. He preached to them, and they preached back to him. He used all 3 elements above to teach the principle of getting the church to grow. He illustrated church growth by the growth of a child:
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to crawl.”
And all the people responded: “let her crawl, preacher, let her crawl.”
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to walk.”
“let her walk, preacher, let her walk.”
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to run.”
“let her run, preacher, let her run.”
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to fly.”
“let her fly, preacher, let her fly.”
All was at a fevered pitch, so it was time to make his application. He said,
“If the church is ever gonna walk, run, and fly, it’s gonna take lots of money!”
And they all said together, “she’ll be alright crawling preacher, let her crawl, preacher, let her crawl!”
If you haven’t noticed were are going through the Sermon on the mount. We’ve already covered the beatitudes and Jesus calling us to be the salt and the light of the world.
Now let’s look at the next part of Jesus’ sermon.
I. Fulfillment of the OT
The OT is divided into the 2 parts Jesus mentioned in v. 17: The Law & The Prophets. Jesus is saying, what I say will be in harmonious agreement with the teachings of your OT. I won’t contradict it, diminish the importance of it, or destroy it. But then He goes a step further, and says, not only will I not destroy it, I’ve actually come to fulfill it! Jesus is saying, I am the very fulfillment of your scripture.
How was Jesus the fulfillment of the OT? Well, the OT law can be divided into 3 parts: The moral law, the ceremonial law, and the civil law.
The moral law is God’s holy demands for His people, such as the 10 commandments, the “thou shalt not’s”, which, by the way, are still in effect today.
The ceremonial law is the OT system of sacrifices, offerings and feasts.
The civil law was their actual government as a nation.
Jesus fulfilled all 3 elements of the law.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.
He was the God-Man. And though he was wrapped in human flesh and subject to the same temptations as we are, He never sinned, and so He fulfilled the moral law…He kept the law to perfection in a way we cannot! Why so that he could also fulfill the ceremonial law.
Even in His trial and death, no fault could be found in Him, and the Roman soldier said, Truly this man was the Son of God. Even His enemies had to admit that He had done what none other had ever done…fulfilled the moral law of God!
2 Cor. 5:21
Hebrews 4:14; 7:26
About the ceremonial law: what is the meaning of all these slain animals, blood, feasts and offerings? Simply this: they are all types and pictures of the death of Christ. Everything in the OT points to Christ. And just as Jesus fulfilled God’s moral law in His perfect life, He fulfilled God’s ceremonial law in His sacrificial death!