Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lesson 5: Jesus, the Fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets

Brief 2-to-3 Minute Teaching Lesson

Why? and What is the Purpose? in My Life SERIES

Previous Lesson | Return to Home Page | Next Lesson

Return to Key2Changes.com

Lesson 5 of the Discipleship Making process.

I left you last time with these two questions, “Who makes the laws?” . . . and . . . “Why do you think we have laws?”

Jesus introduces His next subject in the Sermon on Mount by talking about the Law and the Prophets.

It is in Matthew 5:17-20, that we find Jesus’ next command, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”

Many in the Church today are saying that Christians are no longer under law but grace . . . but for Jesus, he does not want His disciples to think that He is doing away with everything they have been taught in order to establish His own religion. He isn’t doing that! But like parents towards their children He wants them to gain in wisdom and understanding.

When Jesus spoke concerning the Law and the Prophets He was talking about the sum total of all that was written in Scripture. Jesus was referring to everything that His Father had established (the Law) and everything that His Father wanted brought to pass (the Prophets). And Jesus declared that He alone would fulfill them!

The Scriptures are the revealed ideas and plans of our Father in heaven; it is up to the Word of God to bring them to pass. We know the Word of God by the name He was given at birth, Jesus or Yashua or Joshua. The meaning of the name is “I Am Salvation” or “God’s Salvation”. He is the Son of God, the creator of all things, and one with God, His Father. He is the expression of all that God is. He is Immanuel or “God With Us”.

Jesus goes on to say, "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Did you notice something interesting in His statement? A person can be in the kingdom of heaven and not keep the commandments and even teach others to do the same thing. The keeping or not keeping of the commandments is not the requirement of remaining in the kingdom of heaven. The observance of them only determines a person’s stature within the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus’ next statement is a blockbuster! “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Entrance into the kingdom of heaven cannot be gained by keeping the laws and commandments. Jesus said righteousness greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees, who tried to keep, each law perfectly, was required.

What is this righteousness? The Apostle Paul answers the question: “‘ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,’”(Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6). Abraham believed the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God. Abraham trusted God and His Word, the Father and the Son. This trust, belief or confidence is called faith.

The point of the lesson is, Jesus Christ fulfills all the requirements of the Law and the Prophets. An individual does not gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven by fulfilling those requirements, but by a belief in and dependence on Jesus Christ, the Word of God.

The question regarding the Law then is simply based on love and obedience and not salvation, to grow in our relationship with the Father and boldly proclaim the power of that relationship to others, as we find in Jesus’ statements in John 14:15-15:10.

With that, allow me to leave you with this question to consider, along with a little homework assignment until my next posting:

“How long do you normally stay angry?”

. . . and the homework assignment . . .

Be motivated by love to do something for God or another.

Until next time . . . Godspeed!

Previous Lesson | Return to Home Page | Next Lesson

Return to Key2Changes.com

No comments: