Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Handout - Matthew Chapter 5 - The Law

Matthew 5:17 - Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

Jesus's relationship to the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ as He readies to address the Oral Law of the scribes and Pharisees in Mat 5:21-48. Some terms follow:

"oral Law" refers to the "Talmud" and the "Mishna". They are legal commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures explaining how the commandments are to be carried out.

"abolish" means to "throw down, demolish, or destroy".

"Law or the Prophets" refers to the entirety of the Old Testament, also commonly known as the Hebrew Scriptures. There are two parts to the Hebrew Scriptures, the Law, and the Prophets.

"Law" portion was contained in first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures, and contained the civil Law. Since Israel was a theocracy ruled by God, there were many religious laws in the "Law".

"Prophets" rest of the Hebrew Scriptures, which were written by various prophets of God.

"fulfill" means to bring about the purposes and goals of the Hebrew Scriptures, and thus bring about the completion of the demands upon the Jewish people and mankind in general.

Law of Christ” is the eternal law of love, which Jesus defined as love God and love neighbor (Mat 22:36-40). See also Gal 6:2 and 1Cor 9:21.

The "fulfillment of the Law" by Jesus revealed the true meaning of the Law, showed how it was to be kept, from the heart. Jesus established the “Law” rather than abolished it and showed that we were to live by the Spirit above the written law (2Co 3:2-6).

The “fulfillment of the Prophets” by Jesus of the Hebrew Scriptures with regards to "the Prophets" meant that He would bring about the completion of all prophecy contained in the Hebrew Scriptures (Mat 26:53-56, Joh 19:28-30).

Matthew 5:18 - The Persistence of the Law

The "Law" that will not change until "heaven and earth disappear" is the eternal law of love (Mat 22:36-40), quoted from Lev 19:18, Deu 6:5-9). Seen in (Gal 5:22-23, Gal 6:2).

The “Law” that will not change until “all is accomplished” is the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses was a temporary Law given to Israel as a tutor or guardian to teach them the principles of the spiritual law (Gal 3:19, Gal 3:24-27, Heb 7:18-19). The written Law of Moses to Israel did indeed change, when all was accomplished. What was accomplished (Rom 8:4)

Matthew 5:19 - Don't Set Aside the Law

John points out that Jesus's "greatest commandments" (the eternal law), loving God and loving our neighbors is nothing new. It has always been the same commands that were to be kept and the Law of Moses pointed Israel to them (1Jn 3:11, 1Jn 2:7-8, 1Jn 4:21). This is what we are to keep and teach. The Law of Moses as a tutor for Israel has been permanently set aside, and by the Spirit we are to now be transformed into people that demonstrate the spiritual fruit of love.

Matthew 5:20 - The Righteousness Required

The system of religion whereby we are spirit led is to be greatly superior to that of being under a tutor of written laws. The Pharisees were into rote ritual, checking boxes off, and the requirement is much greater, that of love.

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