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Summary: God's Son explain the law, Christ fulfills the law.

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I. Introduction

A. An Amish man answered a knock on his door one morning. An electric company worker handed him a piece of paper stating that the electric company would like to run a power line through his pasture. The Amish man said, "No." "Legally, that paper says we can." replied the worker. As he turned and left returning to his co-workers in the field, the Amish man went to his barn and turned his bull into the pasture. As the bull rumbled toward the workers in the field, the Amish man hollered, "Show HIM your paper!"

B. In this and a few other verses in this chapter we see that Jesus fulfills the Law

1. This is God's Son explaining the law of God.

a. Christ confirmed God's law, all the Scripture of the Old Testament

(1) Christ said He was not destroying the law or the prophets

(2) The term "the law and the prophets" was a reference to the whole Old Testament

(3) What Christ said was that He, as God's Son, came to fulfill the law; and His teaching was just as binding as the Old Testament law

b. Christ illustrated God's laws, explaining the broad principles which were and still are to be applied to everyday life

(1) He took a few practical laws and showed how a person was to take the broad principle and apply it to his own daily behavior

c. Christ condemned the oral or Scribal Law

(1) He condemned it rather strongly

(2) When Jesus Christ and the other New Testament writers condemned the law, it always referred to the oral or Scribal Law, not to God's Law

C. Introduction

1. Jesus was accused of destroying the law of God

a. He has always been accused of minimizing God's law

b. Every generation has its proponents who feel that Jesus emphasized love and de-emphasized the law

c. Many have felt that the thrust of Jesus is love and forgiveness, and the afterthought is law and justice

d. As a result, many have felt less obligated to follow God's law

e. They have felt freer to live a looser life and to do as they wished

f. The feeling has been that if they keep the law of God in the back of their mind, they have the Christian liberty to interpret behavior as they see fit, within some reason

g. After all, it is argued, the "priesthood and security of the believer" are two of the basic teachings of Scripture

h. Therefore, the law's clear restrictions and obligations and its demand for obedience are minimized, and what is called love and forgiveness are emphasized

(1) Our Lord pulls no punches and comes straight to the point

(a) In verse 17 He says, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law

(b) In verse 19 He says, "whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments

(c) And in verse 20 He says, "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees

2. We will outline our passage this way

a. A person must know that Christ came to fulfill the law (v.17-18)

b. A person must do and teach the law in order to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven (v.19)

c. A person must have more righteousness than a religionist to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (v.20)

(1) So lets begin by turning to Matthew 5:17 - 18

II. Body

A. A person must know that Christ came to fulfill the law

Matthew 5:17-18 (NKJV)

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. {18} "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.

1. Jesus said He was neither contradicting nor destroying the Old Testament Scriptures nor standing against them

2. He was fulfilling them, completing them, bringing out what was implied

3. He was showing what the real meaning of the Old Testament Scripture is, its full meaning-all that God intended the Scripture to say

a. As God's Son, He is the Revelation of the truth

b. He is to reveal the true and complete meaning of the Scriptures

c. There are several ways in which Jesus Christ fulfilled the law

(1) Lets turn to John 1:14 and Hebrews 1:3

(2) Before Christ, the law described how God wanted man to live

(3) The law was the ideal, the words that told man what he was to do

(4) But Christ fulfilled and completed the law; that is, God gave man more than just mere words to describe how He wants man to live

(5) He gave man the Life, the Person who perfectly pictures and demonstrates the law before the world's very eyes

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