Friday – December 15, 2017 – Matthew 5:17-20
So, after reading these verses and especially our focus verse, how do you feel about reading about the Law and the Prophets? Are they important? Jesus says they are and He further says that He came not to destroy them but to fulfill them! How can this be so? I have heard some people state that we do not need the Law any longer since we are to live by grace through faith. Then they try to differentiate between the moral law and all the regulations concerning the Law as presented in the pages of the Old Testament. Jesus says, however that He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. Are the Ten Commandments now passé? What did Jesus mean? Verses 18-20 make it clear that this is not the case. So how are we to interpret Jesus’ teaching on the Law and the Prophets? Obviously they are still important and still in force so how does that work? Do I have to perfectly keep these things? Am no better than the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees who were trying all the time to do the Law perfectly? Jesus’ coming that first Christmas was God’s way of fulfilling the Law through His Son.
Let me point out that those who depended on themselves doing what the Law commanded for them to be in right standing kind of “missed the boat” with the emphasis on doing rather than on the believing part of their relationship with God. They thought that what they themselves did was sufficient when what God was really looking for was their obedience in faith more than obedience in action only. It led to them declaring themselves righteous because of what they did rather than the spirit in which God wanted them to fulfill the Law. They were to show their love for the author of the Law by fulfilling the Law out of love rather than duty. In the same way, we Christians are to fulfill all the commands of Christ, which includes the Ten Commandments, but we are to do it because we love God and His Son Jesus Christ and not because it is a duty to be performed before we can get into heaven. Living the Law/Commands of God/Jesus in love supersedes simply doing to be doing and thinking that is sufficient.
We have an advantage that the people before the Christ’s coming did not have. Each believer instantly receives the Holy Spirit Who is the Enabler/Helper in fulfilling all the Law so we do it in His strength and not ours. Because of Jesus’ Birth Day forgiveness, redemption and righteousness are ours.
Thank You Father that we can be post-crucifixion believers who have the Holy Spirit within to enable us to live the way You want us to live. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the written word now available for the Spirit to use as we grow in our relationship with You. Help us to use the various means of grace You have made available to become all that You want us to be. Amen.