Sermons

Summary: All parts of the law which have not been fulfilled are as equally binding and applicable today as they were for the nation of Israel. The law was never meant to save—it was meant to be a schoolmaster, showing people their ineptitude before a holy God. T

1. The first lesson is the presence of the law fulfilled (5:17-18)

2. The second lesson is the consequence of the law fulfilled (5:19)

3. The third lesson is the requirement of the law fulfilled (5:20)

4. The fourth lesson is the impossibility of the law fulfilled (5:48)

Yesterday morning, we went on a Quest for Blessedness as we looked at the Beatitudes. Last night we went on a Quest for Purpose as we looked at Jesus’ role for believers in the world today. For the next two nights Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount takes us into looking at God’s standard. We’ll look at His requirements for us as we go on a Quest for Perfection. We’ll only get to God’s first requirement in our Quest for Perfection tonight as we look at perfection according to the Law. Tonight is going to be difficult. It’s going to be difficult because we’re going to be looking into things that we don’t like to talk about. It would be much easier for me to stand up here and talk about God’s provision and blessing and never get to the difficult things. But if there wasn’t any need to confront the difficult things—the things we can’t fix or don’t want to fix in our lives. If we don’t need to face those things that we can’t deal with on our own, then why did Jesus come? Why did He preach on the difficult things? Why did He deal with the things we’d rather sweep under the rug and not talk about? Why can’t we just forget about God’s law like so many today want to? Look with me in Matthew 5, starting with verse 17 to see what Jesus had to say about it.

MATTHEW 5:17-20, 48

One of the choruses we like to sing says “Lord, You are more precious than silver. Lord, You are more costly than gold. Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares with You.” We sing that about the Lord, but what about His law? Psalm 19:7-12 says:

PSALMS 19:7-12

Cleanse me from secret faults. We, as human beings, have a natural tendency to hide our faults and our flaws. We use make-up and hair dye. I’m sure nobody here uses hair dye, but some other people use hair dye. Men, we’re not off the hook either. Most of the time instead of trying to cover up our flaws, we just ignore them. As soon as I quit exercising and started gaining weight, I quit even acknowledging there is a scale in my house. But ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away. They say that one of the first things an alcoholic has to do is admit that he has a problem. And most of the time, the only time he will admit that he has a problem is when he reaches rock bottom. When he begins to see himself as others see him. The thing about sin is that the first thing it affects is our eyesight. It causes us to be blind. It makes it so we can’t see ourselves as God sees us. That’s why God gave us the Law. The Law is like a mirror. Except it’s a perfect mirror that always tells us the truth. Here’s the problem though. It always tells the truth, but we don’t like to hear the truth. So we do like what I’ve done with my bathroom scale. We keep it in a place where we don’t have to look at it. Where it won’t remind us of our problem. But here in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the people He wasn’t going to hide them from the Law. He said that He didn’t come to do away with it, but to fulfill it. He then told them that the law involved even more than they had ever imagined. In fact, the law demands complete and total perfection—an impossible standard. An impossible standard that can only point one place. The need for grace. I want each of here this evening to see ourselves in the perfect mirror of God’s law. And as we see ourselves there, I want us to fully appreciate our need for grace. The grace that only a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will provide. In order to do that, we’re going to look at Jesus’ teaching on the subject. We’re going to look at four lessons Jesus teaches us about the Law fulfilled. The first lesson He teaches is the presence of the law fulfilled. Look with me again to verses 17-18:

MATTHEW 5:17-18

The first lesson is the presence of the Law fulfilled. Have you ever noticed what happens when you see a Wet Paint sign? I don’t know about you, but any time I see a Wet Paint sign it seems like I just have to reach out and see if that paint’s really wet. I saw a story one time about a hotel that overlooked a river. The first story of the hotel was a restaurant with a big, plate-glass window that overlooked the river. There were rooms right above the restaurant. Each room had a balcony and each balcony had a sign that said, “No fishing from the balcony.” Well, every few weeks, the restaurant had to replace their big window because a fishing line with a big, heavy lead sinker would come crashing through. Eventually, they got tired of replacing windows, so, you know what they did to stop the problem? They took down the No Fishing signs from the balconies. The problem wasn’t that people had this overwhelming desire to fish. It wasn’t like they were really hungry and needed food. The problem was that, ever since the fall, people have a natural bent toward rebellion. God put it this way through the prophet Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” Jesus says that He didn’t come to appease that wicked and deceitful heart. He didn’t come to give in to it by getting rid of the Law. Jesus didn’t come to take the sign down. Not only did Jesus come to leave the sign up, He came to show us our problem isn’t fishing. Our problem is rebellion against a holy God. First, Jesus tells us how important Scripture is to Him. It is so important that everything we see around us—everything in the sky and on the earth around us will disappear before even the smallest part of the Law is put aside. If Jesus feels that way, then how can we be so bold as to say the Law doesn’t apply to us today? It applies to us today every bit as much as it did when God first spoke it 3400 years ago from the top of Mount Sinai. Every bit of it applies, it’s just that some of it has been fulfilled. Jesus came to fulfill the Law. He fulfilled some of it on the cross. He’ll fulfill the rest at the end of the Millennium when the heaven and earth as we know it passes away. The Law that Jesus has already fulfilled is the Jewish political law, the Jewish ceremonial law, and the Sabbath law. We don’t execute people for adultery because God’s direct government of Israel ended when they rejected Jesus as their Messiah. We don’t follow Jewish dietary laws, because those restrictions applied specifically to the Nation of Israel—to set them aside from the other nations around them and make them different. Those dietary laws were set aside when God put His plan for Israel on hold because they rejected Jesus. The Sabbath laws were fulfilled when Jesus rose victorious from the grave on Sunday morning. The Book of Hebrews tells us that now we find our Sabbath rest in Him. We worship on Sunday, not because it is the Sabbath. But because it is the Lord’s Day—a celebration of His resurrection and our rest in Him. Those are the only parts of the Law that have been fulfilled. Jesus will not fulfill the rest of the Law until He gives us a new heaven and a new earth. When his children are residents of the New Jerusalem. So what does that mean? If Jesus hasn’t done away with the Law and has only so far fulfilled part of it, what does that mean? It means it is still in effect. And if it is still in effect, iolating it will have consequences. So if the first lesson is the presence of the Law fulfilled, the second lesson is the consequence of the Law fulfilled. Look with me to verse 19:

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