121021 sm 06 good enough

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Lesson 6 in a series on the Sermon on the Mount. Adapted from a lesson with the same title by Chip Bell at www.Bible.org. Presented October 21, 2012, at Palm Desert Church of Christ, by Dale Wells.

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  • You’ve probably heard this question before: If you were to die today and stand before God and he said to you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would you say to him?Some might say, “I would tell him that I think I’ve lived a pretty good life. Hopefully the good I’ve done will outweigh whatever bad I’ve done.” Maybe some of you feel the same way. Here’s the problem: Just how good is good enough? How good do you need to be to get into heaven? What exactly is the cut off point? It is not just a question that we ask today. It was also a question that people in Jesus’ day were very interested in. Knowing that, he answered it very clearly. Today, we’re going to look at his answer.
  • We’re continuing our study of the Sermon on the Mount, a lesson that Jesus taught to his followers. It’s a Disciple’s Handbook. In our first five lessons, we studied what kind of people Jesus expected his disciples to be, as we examined the Disciple’s Character.
  • Today we come to the beginning of a new section: The Disciple’s Code of Conduct.When we left off, Jesus had just said that we should let the world see our goodness and that will have a profound effect on the people of the world. We are like salt in a corrupt, unpalatable world; we are like light in a world of darkness.In this section, Jesus goes on to describe what goodness looks like.
  • Exactly what did Jesus mean? What kind of goodness was he looking for? And exactly how good is good enough? Jesus begins by saying that he’s not starting over with a blank slate.
  • “Law and Prophets” was typical way of referring to the Scriptures, what we call “The Old Testament”. The “Law” or “Torah” refers to the first five books of the OT, while the “Prophets” includes the rest of the OT, all of which was held to have been written by prophets.Jesus is trying to head off any misunderstanding. Someone might think that if the spiritually bankrupt belong to the kingdom of God, then Jesus must be saying that it doesn’t matter if you’re good—that it doesn’t matter if you obey the law. But Jesus is saying, “I am not doing away with it, I am fulfilling it.”
  • Difficult questions – each answer arguably correct, but neither tells the whole story.My idea about multiple choice questions comes from Bar exam. 200 Multistates over 13 areas of law (Federal, Majority, Minority, CA). What JDN was being looked for. Set up as a story with four answers – sometimes all were correct, depending on JDN. (Evidence – Federal; CP – CA; Torts – Majority) It would have been an interesting mental exercise, if the stakes weren’t so high.61% - Jesus was going to make the OT Messianic predictions come true39% - He was going to give the true scope and meaning of the OT requirements. (Mike Young – justify answers; Dave Sexson – 100%)Meaning of fulfill is disputed. πληρόω means to fill up something, as a jar with water. Two possible meanings here: 1) 'fulfill' i.e. actions or events that are required by the Law or predicted by the prophets2) 'fill up' i.e. making complete what was not yet complete.Jesus “fulfills” OT. It all points to him: (1) specific Messianic predictions, (2) sacrificial system, looked to his sacrifice, (3) Israel’s history foreshadowed his life, (4) laws which only he perfectly obeyed, (5) Wisdom Literature, sets out conduct he modeled.Gospel does not replace OT but fulfills it as Jesus' life and ministry, coupled with his interpretation, complete and clarify God's intent/meaning in entire OT.
  • Jesus’ High View of Scripture (Matthew 5:17- 18) Jesus’ view of Scripture did not simply accommodate his culture, a fact that has implications for theview of Scripture Jesus’ followers should hold. Jesus responds to false charges that he undermines the law. In v. 17, when Jesus says that he came not to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them, he uses terms that in his culture would have conveyed faithfulness to the Scriptures.Here (v. 18), Jesus illustrates the immutability of God’s law with a lesson from contemporary Jewish teachers. Refers to the Hebrew letter yod which Jewish teachers said would not pass from the law. They said that when Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah, the yod removed from her name cried out from one generation to another, protesting its removal from Scripture, until finally, when Moses changed Oshea’s name to Joshua, the yod was returned to Scripture. “So you see,” the teachers would say, “not even this smallest letter can pass from the Bible.” Jesus makes the same point from this tradition that later rabbis did: even the smallest details of God’s law are essential.
  • 20% - OT Law will be binding on disciples till history comes to an end80% - OT law would cease to be binding when Jesus died on the Cross.Both arguably correct.COC teaching historically: 1) When Jesus said “It is finished” – he put an end to OT law. Colossians 2:14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.2) We were told that the only OT laws that remained are those that were repeated in NT.That’s not what Jesus says here.It might help to remember that:1) Some commandments were given to the Jews and never applied to Gentiles (e.g. Sabbath – Deut 5:15 – you were slaves and God brought you out) 2) Even some of those commandments were abrogated by Jesus (e.g. unclean food – Mark 7:19 – not what goes in, but what comes out - “In saying this Jesus declared all foods clean”)3) Some commandments were rendered useless because they were replaced (e.g. Heb. 10:10 – sacrifices ended with the “once for all” sacrifice of Christ)4) But the moral law has never changed. If anything, as we see in coming weeks, Jesus has made the abstract law personal.
  • Better translation for λύω“breaks” is “relaxes”. The idea is that some commands are to be interpreted strictly, while others are to be interpreted more loosely.The Disciple takes ALL of God’s commands seriously and teaches others to do so, too. They will be recognized as the great ones in the kingdom.
  • 25% - God regards some commands as more important than others75% - It is not God, but men, who treat some as “light” and others as “weighty”The rabbis made a distinction between “light” commandments (such as tithing garden produce) and “weighty” commandments (such as those concerning idolatry, murder, etc.). Jesus demands a commitment to both the least and the greatest commandments yet condemns those who confuse the two (cf. 23:23–24). Matthew 23:23-24 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.Jesus recognizes that some commands are weightier than others.Nevertheless, the entire OT is the expression of God's will but is now to be taught according to Jesus’ interpretation of its intent and meaning.
  • 14% - Understanding God’s commands4% - Teaching God’s commands82% - Obeying God’s commandsThere’s only one right answer – obeying.Matthew 7:21 NIV84 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.He goes on to talk about building on rock or sand, and the difference is not understanding, but doing.The Disciple’s Code demands obedience.
  • The Pharisees were theological conservatives. They believed God. They believed his word. They wanted to live lives that demonstrated their devotion to God. So they were very careful about their behavior. They went to great extremes to make sure they were not disobeying God’s law. To the people of the day, there was no one more righteous than the Pharisees. But Jesus says, “If you aren’t better than them—the most righteous people you know—then In essence what that means is that no one is good enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. How good is good enough? Perfect. 100%. Better than you are. More righteousness than you have. Even the most righteous people are not qualified to enter the kingdom. If you’re thinking that when you’re standing at the entrance to heaven, you’ll be hoping that you’ve been good enough to get in, then Jesus says here in these verses that you’re in for a big disappointment. No matter how good you are, it’s not good enough. That leaves us all in a tough spot. It means that no one is qualified to enter God’s kingdom. So…where does that leave us?
  • 42% - He was setting an impossibly high standard that we can never live up to58% - He was setting a very low standard, because the Pharisees and teachers of the law were hypocritesJesus condemned the Pharisees and teachers of law as hypocrites in Matt 23. But that just means that they didn’t live up to what they knew God expected of them. Look how he started that chapter.Matthew 23:2-3 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.Their problem is not the knowing, but the doing.Here, Jesus is setting an impossible standard that we cannot live up to. Our only response is to say “God, be merciful to me, a sinner”, as we keep trying to live up to God’s demands.
  • It means that we need something. These verses tell us four things that we need when it comes to being good. I’m not righteous enough to enter the kingdom. Correct.I need someone else’s righteousness.
  • When we trust and obey Jesus, he gives us his righteousness. In God’s eyes, he makes us completely righteous.
  • The law has not been abolished. It’s still there and it still reveals God’s will. But through Jesus, I have met all its requirements.
  • The Old Testament
  • This is speaking of the Old Testament. It is still God’s guide for us. It is still a revelation of his righteous character.
  • We don’t need to do the right thing in order to win God’s love and acceptance. We already have that. God’s love and acceptance are based not on what we do, but on what Jesus did for us.We don’t need to do the right thing in order to look good to others. It doesn’t matter what other people think of us.
  • First, the best reason to do the right thing is because it is good for us.
  • Second, doing right is what we were made for. Good is what we were meant to be. He gave us righteousness (that means he forgave us and declared us righteous) so that his righteousness would change who we are, affecting every area of our lives. Christ saved us so we could become like him, not just in right behavior, but also in right thinking and believing.
  • Third, and perhaps most important, when we do right, we are preparing a gift to bring pleasure to the most important person in our life, Jesus. If you have been forgiven and you understand what Jesus has done for you, how can you not love him and want to show him that love? We often show love to people by giving them gifts. Do you know how we show our love for God?
  • What are you going to receive from him on that day? It will largely depend on what you have done for him here.
  • Jesus said, “Your righteousness must be greater than that of the Pharisees. Pharisees and teachers of the law were on very good behavior, but Jesus criticized them for being hypocrites.
  • Play acting vs. sincerity. Academy Award for best performance as a righteous person
  • External performance vs. Internal reality. This is followed by six specific examples or applications. What does it look like to be genuine in our obedience? We’ll leave that for next week. But for today, I leave you with the question: Has God imputed Jesus’ righteousness to you?If you are actively following him as his disciple, then he has.If you are not, then he hasn’t.
  • 121021 sm 06 good enough

    1. 1. GOOD ENOUGH? Matthew 5:17-20THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOKStudies in the Sermon on the Mount
    2. 2. THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOK Worship Economy Code RelationshipsCharacter Disciple’s Choices
    3. 3. THE DISCIPLE’S CODE Matthew 5:17-48
    4. 4. THE DISCIPLE’S CODEGood Enough? (5:17-20)
    5. 5. Matthew 5:17-20"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law orthe Prophets; I have not come to abolish them butto fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven andearth disappear, not the smallest letter, not theleast stroke of a pen, will by any means disappearfrom the Law until everything is accomplished.
    6. 6. Matthew 5:17-20Anyone who breaks one of the least of thesecommandments and teaches others to do the samewill be called least in the kingdom of heaven, butwhoever practices and teaches these commandswill be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For Itell you that unless your righteousness surpassesthat of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law,you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
    7. 7. Matthew 5:17"Do not think that I have come toabolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
    8. 8. 1. When Jesus said he came to "fulfill" the Law and theProphets (verse 17), which do you think more fully expresses what he meant? He was going to make the Old39% Testament predictions about the Messiah come true 61% He was going to bring into clear light the true scope and meaning of the Old Testament requirements
    9. 9. Matthew 5:18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallestletter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
    10. 10. 2. When Jesus said no part of the law would disappear "untileverything is accomplished," which do you think more correctly expresses what he meant? 20% The Old Testament Law will be binding on disciples until history comes to an end The Old Testament Law 80% would cease to be binding when Jesus died on the Cross
    11. 11. Matthew 5:19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of thesecommandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    12. 12. 3. What did Jesus mean when he referred to the "least" of the commands? 25% God regards some commands as more important than others 75% God regards all commands as equally important, but men treat some as "light" and others as "weighty"
    13. 13. 4. Which of the following choices is most important? 14% 4% Understanding Gods commandments Teaching Gods commandments 82% Obeying Gods commandments
    14. 14. Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that ofthe Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
    15. 15. 5. When Jesus said, "Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven," which do you think better expresses his meaning? He was setting an impossibly 42% high standard that we can never live up to58% He was setting a very low standard, because the Pharisees and teachers of the law were hypocrites
    16. 16. These verses show me that I need…Righteousness
    17. 17. Romans 3:20-22No one will be declared righteous in his sight byobserving the law. … But now a righteousnessfrom God, apart from law, has been madeknown, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.This righteousness from God comes through faithin Jesus Christ to all who believe.
    18. 18. Romans 8:3-4What the law was powerless to do …God didby sending his own Son …to be a sin offering…in order that the righteous requirements ofthe law might be fully met in us.
    19. 19. These verses show me that I need…Righteousness The Old Testament
    20. 20. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting andtraining in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    21. 21. These verses show me that I need…Righteousness The Old Testament To Do Right
    22. 22. Reasons we need to do the right thing It’s good for us
    23. 23. Reasons we need to do the right thing It’s what It’s good we were for us made for
    24. 24. Reasons we need to do the right thing It shows It’s what love for we were Jesus It’s good for us made for
    25. 25. 1 John 5:3This is love for God: to obey hiscommands. And his commands are not burdensome,
    26. 26. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10So we make it our goal to please him, … [10]For we must all appear before the judgmentseat of Christ, that each one may receive whatis due him for the things done while in thebody, whether good or bad.
    27. 27. These verses show me that I need…Righteousness The Old Testament To Do Right To Be Genuine
    28. 28. Matthew 23:25"Woe to you, teachers of the law andPharisees, you hypocrites! You clean theoutside of the cup and dish, but inside theyare full of greed and self-indulgence.
    29. 29. AM I GOOD ENOUGH? ARE YOU? No, but thank God that Jesus is!

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