Summary: Verse by verse study of the book of Matthew: Jesus shows us that the New Testament law actually expands on the Old Testament Law; It is a reminder that God examines our hearts and intents and that sin is not restricted to the external.

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The Christian Righteousness: Jesus’ Expansion of the Law

Matthew 5:21-32

OUTLINE: The Christian Righteousness: Jesus’ Expansion of the Law

Matthew 5:21-32

I. Jesus’ View of Murder (Jere. 17:10, Matt. 15: 18, Luke 6:45)

A. ANGER or an unforgiving heart is a crime of HIGH TREASON in God’s Court.

B. Character assassination is committed with murderous thought AND words.

C. Your ACTIONS are the externalized by-product of what is actually in your heart.

D. Two little parables to prove Jesus’ Point

1. Followers of Jesus pursue reconciliation. (5:23-24)

2. Anger and love cannot coexist and anger and worship cannot coexist.

3. Settle differences quickly and before trial. (5:25-26, 1 Peter 5:8

II. Jesus’ View of Adultery (5:27-32)

A. Two ingredients for committing adultery without ever touching someone:


B. Jesus demonstrates the seriousness of sin externally as well as internally.

1. Sin is destructive.

2. “Sin” should be understood apart from “sins”.

3. Sin must be “torn out” with the help of the Holy Spirit.

4. Recognize the price that was paid for “sin”.

C. Divorce is not legal: Marriage is to be the unity, not only of a husband and wife, but the very picture of Christ and His Church.

We live in a world which has changed so dramatically over a very short time, and often we have seen how “law” actually changes when the Supreme Court “interprets the law”; they can actually CHANGE the intent of the law. In our text today, Jesus, Himself, broadens the spectrum of the Old Testament law and shows, not the Supreme Court’s version, but the HIGHEST COURT’S VERSION…God’s INTERPRETATION and INTENT.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill (the law).” He now gives concrete examples of how the Old Testament interpretation of the law was inadequate.

Jesus’ View of MURDER

Matthew 5: 21"You have heard that the ancients (Old Testament prophets) were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.'22"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court ; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court ; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

We are so quick to apply SELF-righteousness to ourselves, while being judgmental toward others. We are quick to offer a guilty plea to a murderer without seeing the sin of anger or bitterness WITHIN OURSELVES as sin. There certainly are so-called “degrees” of sin in society: For instance, you won’t be jailed for not forgiving or being angry with your brother, but you WILL BE tried for assault or murder. Jesus in no way justifies murder, but if it only takes one sin for a person to become UNPERFECT and so be condemned to hell, then even ANGER or an unforgiving heart is a crime of HIGH TREASON in God’s Court. In God’s framework, anger is punishable by eternal death as well as murder.

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