Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Brief Study of Matthew 5:17-20

For the next few weeks (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), I am going to present a small class Bible study looking over Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. 


QUESTION: Do rules matter and what would life be like without them?

The Old Testament gave the Jewish people a whole list of rules. Some may have hoped that Jesus was going to throw out all the rules but Jesus said his coming wasn’t designed to throw out the rules but to do something far different.

READ Matthew 5:17-20

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So, if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Though there has been much argument over what Jesus fulfillment of the law means as far as keeping the Ole Testament commandments, what cannot be argued is that Jesus was by his own admission come to fulfill the law.

Some want to believe this means that Christians have the right to live however they want but Jesus did not leave us with that option he calls us to something deeper. Jesus wants us to live a life more perfect than the religious leaders (Pharisees) of his day. Jesus doesn’t just say that we need to have a “better righteousness” than those people but without it then we are not a part of his kingdom.

QUESTION: The Pharisees of Jesus day were self-righteous, what does it mean or what does self-righteousness look like?

If you said that being self-righteous mean you are trying to save yourself, you are correct. We have already discussed that Jesus made it clear we can’t save ourselves or make ourselves pure. Jesus wants to give us his righteousness (salvation) Part of having Jesus’ righteousness is we have been what the Apostle Paul “made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:21) which was given to us on accepting Jesus as Lord of our life, but it doesn’t end there. Christ’s new life in us begins to change us not just on the outside but on the inside. Jesus later in the Sermon on the Mount will talk about the real sin starts on the inside, but we will get to that later.

There is more in this scripture but today’s study is coming to an end. The question you must ask yourself is; are you trying to be “Self-righteous” or are you trying to live in “Christ’s righteousness?”

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