Study Text: Matt 5:17-20
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matt 5:17)
We are now entering Jesus' teaching on the law in Matthew 5:17-20. Up to this point he seems controversial in the Sermon on the Mount, because Jesus has not spoken of the law. But Jesus shows that his teaching on the law and gospel go hand in hand. So much so that he actually fulfills the law and prophets, although that does not mean the law passes away. Instead the law is still to be used as a standard for Christian living. We will note three things this week: 1) Jesus does not abrogate, that is to tear down piece by piece, the law. Rather his teaching is a continuance of previous Old Testament teaching. 2) The law for Christian living demands meticulous observance. We often call these people nit-picky legalists, but Jesus shows us the importance of adhering to all the law including parts we might consider minutiae. 3) There is a complete distinction between the righteousness of the Pharisees and Christians. The Pharisees so called righteousness was not enough to earn entrance into God's kingdom, rather our God demands much more righteousness that can only be had in Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is a fascinating text that drums up many questions. I hope to see you there this Lord's day as we examine this foundational teaching on the law and the gospel.