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09 September 9, 2012 Matthew 5;17 48 High Expectations


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09 September 9, 2012 Matthew 5;17 48 High Expectations

  3. 3. Matthew 5:17-19 HCSB 17 “Don’t assume that Icame to destroy the Lawor the Prophets. I did notcome to destroy but tofulfill.
  4. 4. 18 For I assure you: Untilheaven and earth passaway, not the smallestletter or one stroke of aletter will pass from thelaw until all things areaccomplished.
  5. 5. 19 Therefore, whoeverbreaks one of the least ofthese commands andteaches people to do sowill be called least in thekingdom of heaven.
  6. 6. But whoever practicesand teaches thesecommands will be calledgreat in the kingdom ofheaven.” Matthew 5:17-19 HCSB
  7. 7. Because we’re saved bygrace and not by keeping theLaw, are we expected tokeep the Law?
  8. 8. Jesus warned that He didnot come to destroy theLaw or the Prophets(meaning the OldTestament Scriptures).Jesus solidly affirmed theauthority of Old Testament
  9. 9. Scriptures by announcing Hehad come to fulfill them.
  10. 10. The overarching predictivemessage of the OT relates tohumanity’s sin and God’spromise to bless all nationsthrough Abraham’sdescendant (Jesus Christ).
  11. 11. Jesus fulfilled that promiseby coming as the Saviorthrough Whom God offersthe blessing of redemption toall who will receive Him.
  12. 12. Hebrews 10:11 Since the law has only ashadow of the goodthings to come, and notthe actual form of thoserealities, it can neverperfect the worshipers by
  13. 13. the same sacrifices theycontinually offer yearafter year. Hebrews 10:1 
  14. 14. Hebrews 10:16-1716 “This is the covenant Iwill make with themafter those days,”says the Lord:“I will put My laws ontheir hearts and write
  15. 15. them on their minds,”17 He adds:“I will never againremember their sins andtheir lawless acts.” Hebrews 10:16-17
  16. 16. Jeremiah 31:33-3433 “Instead, this is thecovenant I will make withthe house of Israel afterthose days”—the Lord’sdeclaration. “I will putMy teaching within them
  17. 17. and write it on theirhearts. I will be their God,and they will be Mypeople. 34 No longer will oneteach his neighbor or hisbrother, saying,
  18. 18. ‘Know the Lord,’ for theywill all know Me, fromthe least to the greatest ofthem”—this is the Lord’sdeclaration.“For I will forgive theirwrongdoing and never
  19. 19. again remember theirsin.” Jeremiah 31:33-34 (Hebrews 10:16-17)
  20. 20. Christ’s atoning death andresurrection also fulfilled orcompleted the purpose oflaws associated with animalsacrifices and the priesthood,which simply foreshadowedHim (so we no longer need
  21. 21. to sacrifice animals or havehuman priests to mediatebetween God and us).Furthermore, Histeachings did not displacethe Law but rather obeyedor filled it full of its
  22. 22. intended meaning.Jesus is on every page ofthe Old Testament!
  23. 23. Hebrews 11:1 HCSB1“Now faith is thereality of what is hopedfor, the proof of what isnot seen.”  
  24. 24. Hebrews 11:1 KJV1“Now faith is thesubstance of things hopedfor, the evidence of thingsnot seen.”
  25. 25. Genesis 6:14 (God told Noah)14 “Make an ark of gopherwood. Make rooms in the ark,and cover it with pitch insideand outside.”
  26. 26. The ark was sealed withpitch (Gen 6:14), making itimpenetrable by thejudgment waters.We are sealed in Christ bythe Holy Spirit of God. 
  27. 27. 2 Corinthians 1:22  22 “He has also sealed usand given us the Spirit asa down payment in ourhearts.”
  28. 28. Genesis 6:15-1615 “This is how you are tomake it: …16 … You are to put adoor in the side of theark.”
  29. 29. Gen 6:16 tells us the arkwas designed with onlyone means to enter. Jesus Christ alone is theway to the Father (John14:6).
  30. 30. John 14:66 Jesus told him, “I am theway, the truth, and thelife. No one comes to theFather except throughMe.”
  31. 31. John 10:9  9 “I am the door. Ifanyone enters by Me, hewill be saved …”
  32. 32. The ark was a shadow ofGod’s plan of salvationfrom the comingjudgment and it wasplanned entirely by theFather, not one element ofdesign was left for Noah.
  33. 33. Genesis 7:16  16 “Those that entered,male and female of allflesh, entered just as Godhad commanded Noah.Then the Lord shut himin.”
  34. 34. The eternal security of thebeliever.Noah may have fallendown in the ark but hecould never fall out of theark!
  35. 35. Psalm 23
  36. 36. Exodus 12  5 “You must have anunblemished animal, ayear-old male6 slaughter it  21 slaughter the Passoveranimal.
  37. 37. 7 take some of the blood22 Take a cluster of hyssop,dip it in the blood that is inthe basin, and brush thelintel and the twodoorposts with some of theblood in the basin.
  38. 38. According to Ceil &Moishe Rosen in"Christ in the Passover",the basin in Exodus 12:22was not a container in thesense that we use theword today.
  39. 39. The word comes from theEgyptian "sap" meaningthe threshold or ditch wasdug in front of thedoorway to the house toavoid flooding.
  40. 40. People placed a containerin the ditch to preventseepage.The Israelites killed theirPassover lambs right bythe doors where theywere about to sprinkle
  41. 41. blood and the blood fromthe slaughterautomatically ran into thedepression (basin) at thethreshold.Thus the blood wasalready at the "foot" of the
  42. 42. door when it was struckonto the doorposts andlintels.
  43. 43. 1 Corinthians 5:7b7b “for Christ ourPassover has beensacrificed.”
  44. 44. MannaExodus 16:15-1615 When the Israelites sawit, they asked one another,“What is it?” because theydidn’t know what it was.
  45. 45. Moses told them, “It is thebread the Lord has givenyou to eat. 16 This is what the LORDhas commanded: ‘Gatheras much of it as eachperson needs to eat.’”
  46. 46. John 6:30-3530 “What sign then areYou going to do so wemay see and believeYou?” they asked. “Whatare You going to perform?31 Our fathers ate the
  47. 47. manna in the wilderness,just as it is written: Hegave them bread fromheaven to eat.”32 Jesus said to them, “Iassure you: Moses didn’tgive you the bread from
  48. 48. heaven, but My Fathergives you the real breadfrom heaven. 33 For the bread of God isthe One Who comes downfrom heaven and gives lifeto the world.”
  49. 49. 34 Then they said, “Sir,give us this breadalways!”35 “I am the bread oflife,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes toMe will ever be hungry,
  50. 50. and no one who believesin Me will ever bethirsty again.” John 6:30-35 (Exodus 16:15-16)
  51. 51. Medical Caduceus
  52. 52. Numbers 21:99 “So Moses made a bronzesnake and mounted it on apole. Whenever someonewas bitten, and he lookedat the bronze snake, herecovered.”
  53. 53. John 3:12, 14-1512 “I have told you aboutthings that happen onearth and you don’tbelieve, how will youbelieve if I tell you aboutthings of heaven?
  54. 54. 14 Just as Moses lifted upthe snake in thewilderness, so the Son ofMan must be liftedup, 15 so that everyonewho believes in Him willhave eternal life.”
  55. 55. Jonah and Matthew 12:4040 “For as Jonah was in thebelly of the huge fish threedays and three nights, sothe Son of Man will be inthe heart of the earth threedays and three nights.”
  56. 56. Jonathan Edwards identified an examplein Daniel 3:25, when thefourth man in thefurnace is described as"like a son of the gods."
  57. 57. Joseph as a picture of JesusRead through Genesischapters 37, 39-41, and 45-46and make your owncomparisons.
  58. 58. So, is the Old Testamentfinished, over, done?Should we ignore it?Not according to Jesus.
  59. 59. Not even a dot over an ior a cross-mark of a t willbe set aside until all thingsare accomplished(Matt. 5:18).All Old TestamentScripture pertaining to
  60. 60. Christ’s first coming hasbeen accomplished, butthe prophecies related toChrist’s return have not.The ethical and moralprinciples of the Law arenot only still in force but
  61. 61. also are echoed in theNew Testament.Jesus’ words instruct us totake the Old Testamentteachings seriously.Those who dismiss themand encourage others to
  62. 62. do so will miss blessingsin this life and in the lifeto come—they will becalled least in thekingdom of heaven(Matthew 5:19).
  63. 63. This kingdom is the realmin which Christ ishonored as Lord andKing, that is, the realm ofthe redeemed.Those who obey andteach the Law will be
  64. 64. called great (v. 19).Determine to be a faithfulstudent of the OldTestament, allow God’sSpirit to speak to youthrough it and to lead youin applying it without
  65. 65. becoming enslaved to itsritualistic provisions. Law vs grace. 10% vs 100%
  66. 66. Matthew 5:20 20 “For I tell you, unlessyour righteousnesssurpasses that of thescribes and Pharisees,you will never enter thekingdom of heaven.”
  67. 67. Matthew 5:4848 “Be perfect, therefore,as your heavenly Fatheris perfect.”
  68. 68. Scribes and Phariseeswere viewed as spiritualgiants in Jesus’ day (v. 20).You can almost hear theaudience murmuring,We have to be morerighteous than them?
  69. 69. Scribes were viewed asexperts at interpretingand applying God’s Law.They knew the OldTestament teachings up,down, and sideways.
  70. 70. Pharisees were known totake extreme measures toensure they kept each ofGod’s commands.They even tithed herbsgrown in their householdgardens (Luke 11:42)!
  71. 71. Who could ever hope totop these groups on therighteousness chart andenter the kingdom ofheaven, or experience thereign of God?
  72. 72. Jesus was not talking hereabout God’s imputingChrist’s righteousness tosinners who believe inHim (justification).Here He meant doingright by others, saying the
  73. 73. right words, making theright choices, doing theright things—all theattitudes and actionslabeled right in Scriptures.
  74. 74. Scribes and Phariseeswere convinced they wererighteous, and mostpeople agreed with them.Their lives literallyrevolved around keepingreligious rules, traditions,
  75. 75. and rituals. Rabbis overcenturies had beendebating and defininghow each Biblicalcommand was to beobeyed and how it couldbe broken.
  76. 76. This resulted in amultitude of rules thatformed a tradition theyviewed as having as muchauthority as theScriptures.
  77. 77. Why, then, didn’t Jesuscommend them for theirconscientious andscrupulous efforts to obeythe Law?Here’s why: Theirsupposed righteousness
  78. 78. was based on outwarddeeds rather than inwarddevotion (see Isa. 29:13).13 The Lord said:“Because these peopleapproach Me with theirmouths to honor Me with
  79. 79. lip-service –yet their hearts are farfrom Me,and their worship consistsof man-made ruleslearned by rote.” Isaiah 29:13
  80. 80. Don’t be too quick to smirkat the scribes andPharisees.Have you ever “done yourduty” as a Christian whenyour heart wasn’t in it?
  81. 81. Have you merely gonethrough the motions whenattending worship (with allits elements, including theoffering), or praying—atmeals or during personaldevotions;
  82. 82. or showing up for churchvisitation, or fillingvarious volunteerpositions or assignments?Did any of that so-calledobedience please God?Have I repented?
  83. 83. Am I seeking to do better?We should be seekingmore consistently to obeythe greatest commandment—to love God with ourwhole heart.
  84. 84. This is the only way ourrighteousness can exceedthat of the Pharisees.Jesus is never satisfied withmediocre discipleship.
  85. 85. He set the highest standardpossible —high expectations!“Be perfect, therefore, asyour heavenly Father isperfect.” Matthew 5:48
  86. 86. Wait a minute, even if ourrighteousness exceeds thatof the scribes and Pharisees,this exhortation still sinksour ships!
  87. 87. Our personal experience,observation, and Scripturessuch as 1 John 1:8 (whichaddresses believers) provethis is a shore we’ll neverreach in this life(1 John 3:2-3).
  88. 88. 1 John 1:88 ”If we say, ‘We have nosin,’ we are deceivingourselves, and the truth isnot in us.”
  89. 89. 1 John 3:2-32 Dear friends, we areGod’s children now, andwhat we will be has notyet been revealed. We know that when Heappears, we will be like
  90. 90. Him because we will seeHim as He is. 3 And everyone who hasthis hope in Him purifieshimself just as He ispure.” 1 John 3:2-3
  91. 91. “perfect”- means havingreached the goal, the endor limit, thus complete,full or perfect.Nothing less than perfectobedience is the goal ourLord has set before us.
  92. 92. The standard formeasuring this is God’sown perfection asrevealed in the Lord JesusChrist(Eph 4:15).High expectations!
  93. 93. Ephesians 4:1515 “But speaking the truthin love, let us grow inevery way into Him Whois the head—Christ.”
  94. 94. Even so, Jesus expects usto take this commandseriously.He has given us His Spiritto guide and empower usfor Christian living andservice.
  95. 95. While we may never inthis life complete thejourney toward godlyperfection, we can staythe course.So let’s continue to pursuethe goal of becoming like
  96. 96. our Lord in our attitudes and actions.This will benefit us in at least three ways:(1) it will keep us on the right course,(2) it will remind us how
  97. 97. foolish we are to measureour discipleship by otherbelievers, and(3) it will foster humilityand compassion in all ourrelationships.
  98. 98. Matthew 5:21-2221“You have heard that itwas said to our ancestors,Do not murder, andwhoever murders will besubject to judgment.
  99. 99. 22 But I tell you,everyone who is angrywith his brother will besubject to judgment.And whoever says to hisbrother, ‘Fool!’ will besubject to the Sanhedrin.
  100. 100. But whoever says, ‘Youmoron!’ will be subject tohellfire.” Matthew 5:21-22
  101. 101. One example is worthmore than a dozengeneralities.Jesus, the Master Teacher,gave six examples thathelp us see how to movebeyond the Pharisees’
  102. 102. kind of righteousness(v. 20).In each example, He setforth a common religiousteaching, sometimesloosely based onScripture, and then added
  103. 103. what obedience to thatlaw actually involved.He did not refute Biblicalteachings, but He pointedout how superficiallythose teachings werebeing understood and
  104. 104. practiced.In each example Jesusillustrated how to applythe principle behind theparticular law.We often call this keepingthe spirit of the law rather
  105. 105. than just the letter of thelaw.Jesus’ first example wasthe law against murder(v. 21).He showed that obeyingthis law meant not having
  106. 106. murderous hearts as wellas not having murderoushands.
  107. 107. The spirit of this law is torespond to personaloffenses with forbearanceand forgiveness ratherthan with anger andviolence.
  108. 108. That makes keeping thislaw a lot tougher.It’s easier to choose not toput an offender in theground than to foregoanger and seekreconciliation.
  109. 109. There is an account of twowomen in a small churchthat sat on opposite sidesof the sanctuary andnever spoke to each other.
  110. 110. According to Jesus, theiranger put them in thesame boat withmurderers.Early in their dispute theyhad called each othercontemptuous names,
  111. 111. similar to fool or moron(v. 22). Those aredisparaging terms thatinsult one’s moral choices(character) andintellectual ability (goodsense).
  112. 112. Jesus was saying thatobeying the commandagainst murder meanssetting aside anger anddoing everything possibleto restore fellowship.
  113. 113. He also was showing thepenalty for disobedienceis quite severe (subject tohellfire).
  114. 114. Matthew 5:27-2827“You have heard that itwas said, Do not commitadultery.28 But I tell you,everyone who looks at awoman to lust for her has
  115. 115. already committedadultery with her in hisheart.” Matthew 5:27-28
  116. 116. Jesus next cited thecommand againstadultery (v. 27).This command means toremain faithful to one’sspouse.
  117. 117. Keeping the spirit of thislaw includes avoidingadultery in one’s heart bylusting for a non-spouse(v. 28).
  118. 118. Men and women bothexperience attractiontoward certain membersof the opposite sex towhom they are notmarried.
  119. 119. When we dwell on thatattraction, however, andallow it to lead us intoimmoral fantasies, wecommit adultery in ourhearts.
  120. 120. A seminary student askeda faculty member wellpast “retirement age” howold a person had to bebefore lust was no longera problem.His honest answer?
  121. 121. “Older than me.”So we ask along with thePsalmist,“How can a young man[plus men and women,married and single] keep… pure?”
  122. 122. The answer is, “Bykeeping Your word” (Ps.119:9).A more mature pastortold me long ago,“It takes more than lovingone’s wife to stay faithful
  123. 123. to her.”He went on to explainthat a dead-seriouscommitment to be faithfulto the Lord is required.Again, we believers arenot left on our own;
  124. 124. we have the promise ofthe Holy Spirit to help usobey the Lord from ourhearts.
  125. 125. Matthew 5:31-3231“It was also said,Whoever divorces hiswife must give her awritten notice of divorce.32 But I tell you,everyone who divorces
  126. 126. his wife, except in a caseof sexual immorality,causes her to commitadultery. And whoevermarries a divorced womancommits adultery.Matthew 5:31-32
  127. 127. The next example is,“Whoever divorces hiswife must give her awritten notice of divorce”(v. 31; read Deut. 24:1-5).The written noticedemonstrated eligibility to
  128. 128. marry again, enabling thewoman to become legallyattached to anotherprovider.The Pharisees had longand loud debates aboutthe legitimate causes for
  129. 129. divorce.(See Matt. 19:3-9—Jesusexplained the permissionfor divorce was aconcession to men’shardened hearts andemphasized God’s
  130. 130. intention that marriage bea permanent union.)Jesus always put thespotlight on the sanctityof marriage, not onbreaking the marriagewith divorce (vv. 4-6).
  131. 131. In other words, the bigidea here is marriage.The spirit of the law callsfor me to focus on beingthe husband my wifeneeds me to be, and for herto focus on being the wife
  132. 132. I need her to be.Any spouse can findfaults aplenty in his or hermate, and to dwell onthose faults fostersbitterness and buildsbarriers.
  133. 133. To dwell on how wemarried folk can be betterspouses to each otherbuilds marriages.Notice that even thoughJesus recognized sexualimmorality as a
  134. 134. permissible reason to breaka marriage, He did notcommand divorce in suchcases (5:32), contrary toprevailing Jewish law ofthe day.
  135. 135. This is no knock againstbelievers who haveexperienced the pain ofdivorce.In some cases, divorce canbe the lesser of two badoptions.
  136. 136. God’s unfailing love andredeeming mercy are asavailable to divorced andremarried persons as theyare to all of us who fail tolive up to godlystandards.
  137. 137. Certainly we are touphold the Lord’sstandards for marriageand strive to live up tothem.At the same time, those ofus who know we are poor
  138. 138. in spirit can reach out inlove, compassion, andacceptance to believerswho have suffereddivorce.
  139. 139. Matthew 5:33-3433 “Again, you haveheard that it was said toour ancestors, You mustnot break your oath, butyou must keep youroaths to the Lord.
  140. 140. 34 But I tell you, don’ttake an oath at all:” Matthew 5:33-34
  141. 141. Jesus’ audience often hadheard the law aboutkeeping oaths.Scribes and Phariseeswere well aware of thetraditions that defined inwearisome detail what
  142. 142. forms of oaths could orcould not be broken (seevv. 34b-36; also 23:16-22).Jesus brushed all thatnonsense aside byadmonishing,
  143. 143. “Don’t take an oath atall” (5:34a). (No, this doesnot prohibit oaths taken incourts of law.)Jesus stressed the spirit ofthis law, namely, alwaystell the truth.
  144. 144. We are followers of Himwho identified Himself as“the truth” (John 14:6).When we are known forconsistently telling thetruth, we demonstrategenuine faith in Him.
  145. 145. In addition, peoplebelieve us without anysort of “may God strikeme down” assurances ofour honesty.Misleading statements orclaims demolish
  146. 146. credibility, underminerespect, destroy trust, andnegate a Christianwitness.We should determinealways to represent Christby speaking the truth in
  147. 147. love and by refusing tomisrepresent the truth inany way at all.
  148. 148. Matthew 5:38-3938“You have heard that itwas said, An eye for aneye and a tooth for atooth.39 But I tell you, don’tresist an evildoer.
  149. 149. On the contrary, ifanyone slaps you on yourright cheek, turn theother to him also.” Matthew 5:38-39
  150. 150. “An eye for an eye and atooth for a tooth” is asfamiliar a command to usas to Jesus’ hearers (v. 38).This law was intended asa guide for judges to usein legal settlements,
  151. 151. not as a license formeasured personalrevenge (see Ex. 21:22-25;Lev. 19:18).Jesus’ telling His followersnot to resist an evil doer(Matt. 5:39) did not mean
  152. 152. to permit mean andlawless people to run wildin our communities.He again was dealingwith personalrelationships, insistingthat the spirit of this law
  153. 153. teaches to exercise gracerather than retaliation.When we argue with thisand raise possibleexceptions, we fall intothe Pharisees’methodology.
  154. 154. Instead, let’s hold fast theprinciple of non-retaliation, exemplified byJesus as He was vilified,tortured, and crucified.Let’s trust the Spirit toreveal how we are to
  155. 155. apply this principle inparticular situations.All vengeance belongs tothe Lord, not to us(Rom. 12:19).
  156. 156. 43 “You have heard thatit was said, Love yourneighbor and hate yourenemy. 44 But I tell you,love your enemies andpray for those whopersecute you,” Matt 5
  157. 157. Jesus’ final example ofcommon teachings is,“Love your neighbor andhate your enemy,”although an explicitcommand to hate one’senemy is not in the OT.
  158. 158. This is not the fuzzy-warm-feelings kind oflove, but rather theselfless, sacrificial lovethat seeks the best forothers.
  159. 159. Scribes and Phariseesendorsed the popularunderstanding that lovingone’s neighbor meantfellow Jews, not Gentiles,and especially notenemies.
  160. 160. They narrowed the scopeof love, but Jesusbroadened it to includeeven one’s enemies (v. 44).He knew believers wouldexperience painful anddeadly persecution, but to
  161. 161. hate the persecutors orother enemies wouldgrossly misrepresentChrist to the world.To pray for those whopersecute us, as Jesus didon the cross, demonstrates
  162. 162. we are “sons of yourFather in Heaven”(vv. 44-45).
  163. 163. All six of Jesus’ exampleslead us to look for and tokeep not only the letter ofcommands but also theprinciples they embody.
  164. 164. They are not so much alist of rules to follow asthey are examples thatillustrate that we are to berighteous in every area oflife—righteous as a matterof heart, not mere external
  165. 165. obedience.Keep in mind what theLord expects of us.Don’t be misled byreligious traditions orsidetracked by those whodilute His requirements.
  166. 166. While recognizing thoserequirements aredemanding, we shouldrenew our commitment totrust the Lord to guideand enable us more andmore to live up to His
  167. 167. expectations.The one who hurlsinsults is as guilty as theone who murders?The one who lusts hascommitted adultery inhis heart? Ouch!
  168. 168. If Jesus were to preach inyour church the next timethe pastor is out anddeliver this sermon, whatsuperficial obediencemight He step on yourtoes with?
  169. 169.   Biblical Truths of This Lesson in Focus• All Scripture points toJesus, Who fulfills it.• Study both Old and NewTestaments to discernGod’s expectations
  170. 170. • Truly righteous actionsare rooted in heartfeltdevotion to God.• Discern the principlesbehind God’s commands;apply them as broadly aspossible.
  171. 171. • Practice mercy ratherthan murder, faithfulnessto spouses in thought anddeed, and marriagebuilding rather thanmarriage breaking.
  172. 172. • Be known fortruthfulness rather thandeception, forgivenessrather than retaliation,and love rather than hate.
  173. 173. Jesus’ expectation andstandards obviously areexceedingly high.Ask Him to help you liveby the spirit of Hisstandards, not the letteronly.
  174. 174. Next week: Matthew 6 RIGHT MOTIVES