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RED: A Kingdom of Righteous Sinners

RED: A Kingdom of Righteous Sinners

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Published by Danny Davis

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Published by: Danny Davis on Aug 21, 2013
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RED: A Kingdom Of Righteous Sinners
Danny W. Davis
August 4, 2013 (AM)
Good Morning! Today we will be looking at Matthew 5:17-20 as we continue our series RED:Teachings From the Words of Jesus.
If you do not have a Bible you can look inside the Sunday Bulletin for the Scriptures.
Shirt tags...mixed fabric...broke the law!
―The biggest cop out for spiritual failure and the most common excuse for deliberate sinfulness
are these words
"I‘m not under law but under grace!" and with those seven words we seek to
absolve ourselves of any spiritual responsibility we might have for our behaviour. And when weare confronted about our actions we get all huffy and tell people to mind their own business.
Actually it‘s more like ―Don‘t judge me, you know what the bible says about judging.‖
So is that reality? Does grace give us an eternal get out of jail free card? Does grace really trumpthe law? Somehow we have gotten the notion that Jesus stamped the Old Testament with big red
letters that say ―Null and Void‖. We have drawn the faulty conclusion that the OT no longer matters, that it really doesn‘t apply to us, it just a collection of historical books. Except for 
maybe the 10 Commandments and most people are now working on an abbreviated version of 
them, they‘ve kind of narrowed it down to ‗thou shalt not kill.‘‖
As New Testament believers in Christ we do live in a time of grace. It is by the grace of God thatwe are born again and empowered for service. But if we are under grace does that mean that we
can then become ―lawless?‖ Do we have to live under ―The Law?‖ What does Jesus mean when
Well, the first thing we ne
ed to understand is what Jesus means when He talks about ―The Lawand the Prophets.‖
Dennis Guptill, ―24:6 The Why of Rules,‖ July 2007 fro
When Jesus uses this phrase it has more than one meaning...
It refers to the 10 Commandments2.
It also refers to the commands given in the first 5 books of the Bible (Torah)3.
When Jesus says, ―The Law and the Prophets‖ He is speaking of the whole OT
But there was also a fourth meaning that referred to the ORAL or SCRIBAL LAWThe ORAL or SCRIBAL law is also called the MISHNAH. Now basically the Mishnah is a
collection of writings ABOUT ―The Law‖ (800 pages in the English translation). For manyRabbi‘s it wasn‘t enough to say, ―Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.‖
They had to createrules about how to obey the rules.
In the context of our passage today Jesus is probably referring to the whole OT in general. Jesussays,
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets
[the OT]
: I have not come toabolish them BUT to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until 
everything is accomplished”
(vv. 17-18 emphasis mine)
Jesus uses two contrasting words in this passage: 1) abolish & 2) fulfill
First he says that His teaching and His presence on the earth DOES NOT mean that TheLaw (10 Commandments or the commands of the prophets) has gone away. Insead, Hecame to be the only human who could actually fulfill The Law & the Prophets.
 Notice also that He does not say that He has come to OPPOSE The Law either.Jesus is not telling us that we can, because of grace, become LAWLESS
People were accusing Jesus of breaking the law - but in actuality Jesus wasfollowing the law the way God had intended -
from the heart. He wasn‘t
following the law the way the Scribes and Pharisees had interpreted it.Jesus is telling us that the OT (The Law & the Prophets) - is necessary even for those who have placed their faith in Christ. Not one of the tiniest commands (jot/title) will be removed from theLaw even after His death, burial and resurrection.
 Now how can that be? Does that mean I have to bring a bull or a goat to church to be sacrificed?Before you parade your finest Jersey cow into the sanctuary let me explain a couple of things.
The Law can be broken down into 3 types:
Ceremonial Law
: these were the laws pertaining to how Israel was to worship God
through sacrifice and ritual. We are, because of Christ‘s sacrifice, no longer bound to
offer animal sacrifices.
Civil Law:
these were the laws pertaining to normal daily living in Israel (like makingloans or borrowing something from a neighbor or handling human waste). These lawswere specific to the time they were written and have little do with us today
in principle - and in conduct.
 Moral Law:
these were laws like the 10 Commandments requiring absolute/strictobedience. The moral law is still in effect for us today. (We will see that as we work 
through the rest of Jesus‘ sermon he talks about our obligation to the moral law. As a
matter of fact Jesus will help CORRECT some misunderstanding of the law that waskeeping people from being free to worship God).
Look at what Jesus says,
“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and 
teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever 
 practices and teaches these command will be called great in the kingdom of heaven”
(v. 19).
The Apostle James tells us (2:10) that even if we keep every single law on the books EXCEPT 1- we are guilty of breaking all the laws.
Folks, in ourselves we are incapable of perfectly keeping the law (i.e. mixing of fabrics). And
 because we are incapable of doing that WE ARE THEN WORTHY OF GOD‘S WRATH
Jesus fulfilled every part of the l
aw and took on God‘s wrath for us. Now, through our faith inChrist, we can live without fear of God‘s wrath. Now if we commit sin, we can bring our 
confession and repentance to Christ who has taken the penalty.
Jesus fulfilled every aspect of the Law. Because of this when we put our faith in Christ wereceive the power to live lives that are blessed.His fulfillment of The Law paves the way for usto not only live in the blessing of God but also to be salt & light to a world where morality hasnot righteous standard. That does not mean we live arrogantly - we live differently - because wehave the power by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony to overcome the world.BUT WE MUST BE CAREFUL NOT TO SEE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO BECOMELAWLESS - I WILL JUST SIN AND GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF IT ALL IN THE END - - NO!!!
John tells us (1 John 2:1), ―
 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will 
 sin. Bu
anybody does sin, we have an
with the Father--
 Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
The goal is NOT TO SIN - but IF we do - we can then come to Christ who advocates for us tothe Father.

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