The Law Is Good

A Sermon preached at Riverview 798 Santa Fe Pike Columbia Tn
On the Evening of February 5 2017

matthew_5_17t20_sermon_otm_law_is_good

Since the start of His Church many people have made many mistakes about the Law of God. Some have even started teaching that you can be saved by Grace in Christ and then can violate God’s Law with impunity. Jesus was very clear, though. He said:

Matthew 5:18 (KJV)   For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Until Heaven and earth passes away not even the smallest part of the Law will cease to be. Jesus speaks of a jot or tittle that will not pass from the Law. The word “Jot” is the Greek ἰῶτα iōta a word we brought into the English language to mean “an extremely small amount”. In the Hebrew language the “Jot” is the smallest Hebrew letter, the ninth letter of their alphabet. The “Tittle” is the tiny horn that was part of the Hebrew letter. In our example the lack of a “Tittle” – a tiny extension – changes the Hebrew letter “Beth” to the Hebrew letter “Kaph”. I know this is early in the morning to expect you to have to think (grin) but what Jesus was emphasizing was that the Law must be fulfilled – it cannot be nullified. This is what Jesus told John the Baptist at His Baptism. John did not want to baptize Jesus because he said “I am not worthy to do so”. Jesus told John:

Matthew 3:15 (ESV)… “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for US TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

The Law MUST BE FULFILLED.

WE must fulfill the Law.

The Law of God – His Commands – can only be circumvented by God Himself.

Jesus declared …

Matthew 5:17 (KJV) THINK NOT THAT I AM COME TO DESTROY THE LAW, OR THE PROPHETS: I am not come to destroy, but to FULFILL.

Jesus came to this earth to fulfill the Law and to fulfill Prophecy. He did not come to wipe out the Law. He never said He did.

Misunderstanding Number 1 – The Law Is Negotiable

There has always been a Law of God. When God put man in a perfect Eden – where the weather was always so nice you walk around nekkid (that’s Southern for “naked”).

Eden, where food was plentiful.
Eden, where there was no killing.
Eden, where Adam worked at cultivating a Garden that never grew weeds.

Eden. Paradise. How beautiful it would be to be in Eden. And yet there was God’s Law in Eden. God gave man everything, but told man:

Genesis 2:16-17 (ESV) … “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The Law said to Adam “You can have everything BUT the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. Adam, you can tend it. But Adam, you cannot eat it. This is non-negotiable. The devil slithered into the Garden and told Adam and Eve:

Genesis 3:5 (ESV) For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

God is trying to keep something good from you. He knows if you eat of that tree you’ll be just like Him. He’s trying – jealously trying – to rob you of your fun.” The devil convinced Adam that the Law given was negotiable, that man could somehow redefine what God had said. But when man defied the Law man lost Eden.

We always lose Paradise, the blessing of God, when we break His Law. Sin is the breaking of God’s Law (1 John 3:4) and the Wages of sin is ALWAYS DEATH (Romans 6:23)

The Law is not Negotiable.

You Are Saved By Faith In God, But Breaking The Law Can Kill You

The Law was never meant to be a means to salvation.

You cannot be saved by keeping the Law, but you can die from not keeping it.

God illustrated this with Israel. God placed Israel in Egypt, giving His chosen people time to grow into a mighty nation. Israel and his twelve sons went from a small tribe to a mighty nation over a period of four hundred years (Genesis 15:13). God raised up Moses and had Moses go to Pharaoh. God told Pharaoh:

Exodus 5:1 (KJV) … Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

Exodus 8:20 (KJV)… Let my people go, that they may serve me.

Pharaoh refused to let Israel go. Then God gave Moses a Law to give to the people. Exodus 12:3-13 is a Law from God, and it is not negotiable.

  • Take a Lamb without spot or blemish.

  • Keep the Lamb in your home from the tenth to the fourteenth day of this month.

  • Kill the Lamb in the evening.

  • Put it’s blood on the side and top posts of your doorways.

  • Roast the flesh of the Lamb and eat it all.

None of this is negotiable. None of this is debatable. This is God’s Law. God said:

Exodus 12:12-13 (KJV) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.  [13]  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Israel was Israel whether they obeyed this Law or not BUT if they disobeyed they would have died with the unbelievers. God never gave the Law as a means of salvation. Even in the Old Testament Law the Bible tells us:

Habakkuk 2:4 (NKJV) “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

A person who considers his own law to be greater than God’s Law is proud, unrighteous, not right with God. Those who love the Lord live by faith. The Bible tells us that the Law tells us what God considers right or wrong – and shows the lost person WHY THEY ARE LOST.

The Law Diagnoses The Unbelieving Sinner

The Apostle Paul declared in Romans 3:9-12 (NKJV) … For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is NONE WHO DOES GOOD, NO, NOT ONE.”

The Law says that ALL ARE SINNERS, that ALL have violated God’s Law. The Law said “Do this and live” but gave no power to “do this”. Paul declared:

Romans 3:19-20 (NKJV) Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that EVERY MOUTH MAY BE STOPPED, AND ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The Law shows that we are all guilty, that we all fall short. The only Man Who has ever perfectly kept the Law of God is Jesus Christ. Jesus came to fulfill the Law.

Romans 10:4 (NKJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

We who are fallen humans could not fulfill the Law of God. We fall short. The Apostle said:

Galatians 3:21-26 (NKJV) Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore THE LAW WAS OUR TUTOR TO BRING US TO CHRIST, THAT WE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. 25 But AFTER FAITH HAS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A TUTOR. 26 FOR YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.

The Law was a Tutor, given first to Israel at Sinai then given to the whole world. The Law started with Ten Commandments written on two Tablets of Stone. The First through the Fourth Commandments were on the first Tablet, telling us that we must love God. The Fifth through the Tenth Commandments were on the second Tablet, telling us that we must love our neighbor. The Commandments were given, but God gave us no help in fulfilling these commandments.

Christ Fulfilled The Law And Died In Our Place
So That We Can Become Children Of God

When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior, you receive everything that Christ did for us. We were law breakers, due to be punished, but Jesus took our punishment. We were dead in trespasses and sins, but Jesus died so that we could be made alive. The Law diagnosed as sinners showing us that we needed the Savior. Christ is that Savior.

  1. The Blood Sacrifices Of The Law Are No Longer Necessary. Christ is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Christ is the Atonement or covering for sin (1 John 2:2). The Bible says that Jesus Christ …

    1 Peter 2:22-25 (KJV)  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  [23]  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  [24]  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  [25]  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

  2. The Priests Of The Law Are No Longer Necessary. Under the Law the children of Aaron were High Priests and the other priests were the descendants of Levi. When Christ fulfilled the Law He became the High Priest for His people.

    Hebrews 7:23-27 (NKJV) Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But {Jesus}, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

    Jesus is not just our High Priest, but we who believe are now “Kings and Priests unto God” (Revelation 1:6). We have direct access to God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord any time we want.

  3. The Physical Temple Ceased To Be The Only Place Of Worship. The Jew had to go to the Temple to worship God. Today we worship God not just in Church, but where ever we are, for …

    1 Corinthians 3:16 (KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV) .. do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

  4. The Food Laws That Set Israel Apart Are Now No Longer Necessary. Jesus said:

    Mark 7:18-19 (NASB) And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (THUS HE DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN.)

    and God showed Peter …

    Acts 10:11-15 (NASB) … an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13 A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” 15 Again a voice came to him a second time, “WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED, NO LONGER CONSIDER UNHOLY.

By when Jesus died on that Cross and rose again He opened the door to Heaven. When you receive Christ as Savior you are no longer UNDER the Law. The Law does not crush you. The Law does not step on you. The Law does not condemn you. The Law does not bring you guilt. When the Law says “thou shalt” and “I cannot” then I cling to Jesus.

Jesus paid it all.

All to Him I owe.

Sin left a crimson stain.

He washed it white as snow.

If I Am Not UNDER The Law, Does This Make Me Lawless?

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW.”

WE who are saved ESTABLISH THE LAW. Now that God’s Holy Spirit lives in me I am more lawful. The Law is the Word of God. Though you are not saved BY the Law but BY faith in Christ. God told Israel through the Prophet Jeremiah ….

Jeremiah 31:33 (ESV) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Israel had the Law of God written on tablets of stone, but not written on their hearts. God promised that He would one day “put My Law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. AND I will be their God and they will be My people”. Those who are save by faith in Christ have God the Holy Spirit inside. God writes His Law on our hearts.

Under the Law God was to be first. God said (Exodus 20:3) “You shall have no other gods before me”. That has not changed. Saved, you are not free to worship other gods. God said (Exodus 20:4) “You shall not make for yourself an idol to worship or serve it”. That has not changed. God said (Exodus 20:7) “You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain”. Just because you’re saved you are still to love God and not curse Him. This has not changed.

You are still to set one day in seven apart to worship God.

You are still to honor your parents.

You are not free to murder anyone because you are saved.

Stealing and adultery are still just as evil as they ever were.

Bearing false witness is still a violation of God’s Law.

And no one should try to take what their neighbor has.

The Christian is not lawless, but a Law abiding Child of God.

What was evil in the Old Covenant is still evil under the New Covenant.

C.H. Spurgeon wrote: “I should like to say to any brother who thinks that God has put us under an altered rule, “Which particular part of the law is it that God has relaxed?” Which precept do you feel free to break? Are you delivered from the command which forbids stealing? My dear sir, you may be a capital theologian, but I should lock up my spoons when you call at my house. Is it the command about adultery which you think is removed? Then I could not recommend your being admitted into any decent society. Is the law as to killing softened down? Then I had rather have your room than your company. Which law is it that God has exempted you from? That law of worshipping Him only? Do you propose to have another god? Do you intend to make engraved images? The fact is that when we come to details, we cannot afford to lose a single link of this wonderful golden chain, which is perfect in every part as well as perfect as a whole. The law is absolutely complete, and you can neither add to it nor take from it”

The Difference Is That Now The Law Is Simplified For The Saved

Someone asked Jesus “What is the Great Commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied:

Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV) …. Thou shalt LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.   [38]   This is the first and great commandment.   [39]   And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.   [40]   ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.

You do not need to memorize the Ten Commandments to keep the Law.
You need to love as you have been loved by God!

The Law told a loveless people “Do this and live”,
But Jesus tells us “If you are alive by faith in Me, do this”.

Preach This Love sent Jesus to Bethlehem to be born in a manger.

Love sent Jesus to Nazareth to grow up.

Love sent Jesus to John to be baptized.

Love sent Jesus to walk among us, suffering as we suffer.

Love sent Jesus to surrender to sinful men.

Love sent Jesus to stand before Pilate and be condemned.

Love sent Jesus to carry His Cross, beaten and shamed.

Love sent Jesus to Calvary, nailed to that Tree.

Love held Jesus suffering, crying, pleading.

Love said from the bloody Cross “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”. Love said “It is finished”, then gave up the ghost.

Love was laid in a borrowed grave, guarded and alone.

Love rose on the Third Day, triumphing over the grave.

Love redeemed us.

Love justified us.

Love sent us the Spirit of God.

God’s Law is Love.

The Law is all about love. If you are saved, born of His Spirit, then you WILL keep the first Table and Love God with all you have. You WILL love your neighbor, keeping the second table. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law being made a curse for us. The Law is not a curse, but now what we do in love toward God and others. The Apostle Paul said:

Romans 13:8-10 (NASB) Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

God has written love on the heart of the Christ follower. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he SHALL BE CALLED THE LEAST in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH THEM, THE SAME SHALL BE CALLED GREAT IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

To break God’s Law is to lose reward in Heaven, and those who are loveless and lawless may actually be unsaved. Jesus declared:

Matthew 5:20 (KJV) For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The Scribes and Pharisees loved neither God nor their fellow man. They loved THEMSELVES. They outwardly kept the Law, but inwardly had a heart of stone. Keeping the Law will not save you but if you are saved you love God and love others – and are not lawbreakers.

A Quick Example, Then We Close

Matthew 5:21 (KJV)   Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

This is the Sixth Commandment. “You shall not kill”. This is what is written on the Stone Tablets of the Law. But Jesus takes this one step further:

Matthew 5:22-24 (KJV)   But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.   [23]   Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;   [24]   Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

It is uncontrolled anger that leads to murder.

Love demands that we forgive our brother, that we reconcile to him, THEN serve God.

We who are saved by love are to love.

We who are children of Grace are to extend Grace to others.

Do you know Him? Do you know my Jesus? Have you received Him as Lord and Savior? Then love as you have been loved.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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