Notes from the Gathering 3.29.14, Matthew 5: 17-20
THE PRESENT GROWS OUT OF THE PAST:
COMPLETING GOD'S LAW
Welcome to River Market Community Church!
We are a church plant. We are a variety of people from different backgrounds and places in life... If we are honest this is the last thing most of us thought we would be doing together...starting a church.
But, We have encountered the gospel and it has changed us...
Gospel- simply put
Sinner saved by Jesus works and not your works. Embrace, repent, and believe.
We exist to glorify God by the gospel of Jesus; as a family joined by the Spirit, transforming the City.
Where we(the plant) are currently: verbal explanation
Where we(the plant) are headed: verbal explanation
Where we see God working in and around the Church: verbal explanation
--PRAY first, PRAY now--
THE PRESENT GROWS OUT OF THE PAST:
COMPLETING GOD'S LAW
Where scripture falls in entirety thru the word. Creation, fall, redemption, restoration.
We have been walking thru the Gospel of Matthew...(expound)
“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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20 NIV)
1)While reading, what jumped out at you?
2)What do you know about this passage?
3) Question: What are scripture objections? Intellectual, moral??-a) god doesn't exist & b) the Bible is just a story book not Gods words.
-Jesus is a rebel and broke the law how can he put so much importance on it?-I thought the Pharisees made it their purpose to lived by the Bible. If anyone lived by the Scriptures wasn't it the Pharisees.
What do you know/believe about the Bible(the Word)?-is it a bunch of rules and regulations of what not to do?-is it general principles to guide and live ou life by?
What do you think about Christianities claim of the Bible??The Bible is God's Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error. 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 1:13, Psalms 119:105, 160; 12:6, Proverbs 30:5
(There will be a little more teaching than usual because it will help us understand the bible/Jesus and the significance of what Jesus has done. BUT at the end we will tie it together with an application piece.)
I. ETERNAL CHARACTER OF THE LAW
Looking at the bible and reading through it...there may seem to be conflicting statements and actions but if looked at in its entirety(in a panoramic view) we are able to get clarity and begin to understand what Jesus is saying here.
This was an astonishing statement by Jesus. Jesus lays down the eternal character of the law & yet Paul can say, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." (Romans 10:4 NKJV)
How can Jesus out such an emphasis on the law, when All throughout Jesus' life he broke what the Jews called the Law.-handwashings required--healing the sick on SabbathIn the end, he faced trial, was condemned and crucified as a law breaker.
By here we see him speak of theLaw with a reverence and sacred awe that no person or teacher could exceed. V18- law so sacred, not the smallest detail of it will pass away. (Jot- it was like an apostrophe. Tittle- it was like a serif.)
Some people/scholars are so baffled at the saying they suggest Jesus couldn't have said it. Some say that Matthew put this saying in Jesus mouth to win Jews over to the faith. After study of the Scripture, I flip that upside down: it's such an unlikely saying I doubt Matthew would have thought of it and only Jesus would have said it.
Jesus says, 'the law and the prophets.' What is your understanding of this?
The Law- Jews Used Expression in 4 Ways
1) to mean the Ten Commandments
2) 1st 5 books of the bible known as the Pentateuch(The Five Rolls), to them most important part of Bible
3) The Law and the Prophets- phrase meant the whole of Scripture, we know as the Old Testament
4) Oral or Scribal Law[What Man had Made It]- --this meaning was the most common in this time period of history---the Scribal Law is what Jesus and Paul so adamantly condemn
What is the Scribal Law? (The current judicial system on steroids...but where a group of men became defendants, prosecuting attorneys, jurors and judges)-O.T. Had very few rules and regulations BUT broad principles which must be interpreted and applied to a persons life by the individual. The 10 Commandments aren't specifically laid out of do's and don'ts.--for the Jews this wasn't enough. So a race of men called the Scribes made it their business to take the general principles and break them down into literally 1,000s and 1,000s of rules and regulations. ---Scribes held that if something wasn't stated explicitly in the Law it is there implicitly. ----they argued that it must be possible to deduce a rule and a regulation for every possible person in every situation. They spent hours upon hours/daily, their entire life debating and arguing to work out the Oral/Scribal Law.
Example: Sabbath Day is to be kept holy, and that on it no work is to be done. It is a great principle and should be lived out. -the Jewish legalists had a passion to define what that meant. --What is classified as work? Many things were listed. Like to carry a burden.--then, define a burden? Scribal law says, "food equal in weight to a dried fig, enough wine for mixing in a goblet, milk enough for one swallow, honey enough to put upon a wound, oil enough to anoint a small member, etc etc and on on it goes....---to write, to heal, to etc etc were classified as actions classified as work.
History of the Scribal/Oral Law-for generations it was never written down and was an oral law. It was handed down by the memory of the Scribes.--in the middle of the 3rd century A.D. A summary of it was made and codified known as Mishnah; in English the book is 800 pages.---then commentaries where written to explain the Mishnah. Jerusalem Talmud had 12 printed volumes & Babylonian Talmud had 60 printed volumes.
Scribes were the ones who worked out these rules and regulations.
Pharisees, whose name means the Separated Ones, were the men who had separated themselves from ordinary activities of life to keep all these rules and regulations.
In the time of Jesus' religion, to the strict Orthodox Jew, serving God was about keeping 1,000s and 1,000s of rules and regulations.-Clearly, Jesus wasn't speaking of these rules as he broke these rules and repeatedly condemned them.
II. THE ESSENCE OF LAW[What Jesus Meant & Fulfilled]“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. (Matthew 5:17 NIV)-when Jesus came to earth, he brought out the real meaning of the law.
Scribal and Oral Law- Mistaken Principle: in all things a man must seek Gods will and that, when he knows it, he must dedicate his whole life to obeying it.-they were right in seeking Gods will and right in wanting to dedicate their lives to obeying it. But their method was faulty.
REAL PRINCIPLE BEHIND THE LAW?-Ten Commandments are the essence and foundation of all law. Their meaning can be summed up: reverence and respect. Reverence for God and respect for for others and self. Reverence and respect Jesus came to fulfill.--1) reverence for God--2) reverence for the name of God--3) reverence for Gods day--4) respect for parents--5) respect for life--6) respect for property--7) respect for personality--8) respect for truth--9) respect for another persons good name--10) respect for oneself so that wrong desires may never master us
The reverence and respect which are the basis of the Ten Commandments can never pass away; they are the permanent stuff of man's relationship to God and to others.
III. THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL OF GRACEthere are some principles which can be gleaned from looking at how Jesus spoke of the Law and the Gospel.(i.) The Present Grows Out of the Past(missional)-never look at life as a battle between the past and the present.--law had to exist before the gospel could come...---men had to learn a sense of sin & unworthiness & inadequacy(human inability to to cope with demands of the law/commands of God)
"As Jesus saw it, it is man's duty neither to forget nor to attempt to destroy the past, but to build upon the foundation of the past. We have entered into other men's labours, and we must so labour that other men will enter into ours." -William Barclay
(ii.) Christianity Is Not Easy(v20 unless righteousness surpasses Pharisees)'Some may be tempted to say, Christ is the end of the law; so I can now do what I like."-Motive of the heart- Love or Law--Law. Scribes and Pharisees lived by the law. --Love. Christians. Show gratitude for love by/thru Jesus Christ.The Claim of Love- (there is no limit in time or eternity). It is theoretically impossible to satisfy the claims of love. -to 'love with all our hearts'- bound to feel if we give a lifetime's service/adoration, if we offered sun, moon, and stars we would still not have offered enough. For Love- the whole realm of nature is too small an offering.
That's why it is important to look at God as father. A perfect father leads, protects, sets the standards, etc.A perfect balance of grace and love. Develop this thought...
"Love God, and do what you like." ~Augustine
When we realize how much God has loved us, the one desire of life is to answer to that love, and that is the greatest task in the world, for it presents a man with a task the man who thinks in terms of the law never dreamed of, and with an obligation more binding than the obligation of the law.Augustine of Hippo Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine orSaint Austin, was an early Christian theologian whose writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria) located in the Roman province of Africa. Writing during the Patristic Era, he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in theWest. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to be read widely today.
THE BIG PICTURE and gospel application- There is much to learn from this passage and what Jesus is teaching us. But when boiled down it wraps around the gospel and is gospel centered.'but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.'
Jesus speaks once again of the 'kingdom of Heaven.' Jesus us eternally focused. And just like the bible is "all about mission" from creation to re-creation, Jesus is all about mission.
Jesus knows that when we die it is not the end, there is an afterlife...& what we have done in regard to reverence of God and respect of others and ourselves will have eternal consequences.
Jesus says, the Scriptures are real and true and that He came to complete them. He came to complete the old covenant and make a new covenant.
Look at the Pharisees, the self proclaimed most righteous to ever have lived who have tried to complete the Law in their own power and failed miserably. If you follow them and their way of thinking and acting, you too will not become righteous enough to enter the kingdom of Heaven. If you think you can revere God and respect others/yourself as the way you were created to, in your own power, you are mistaken.
I will complete what they could not, what you cannot. I will make a way for all to enter the kingdom of Heaven. I will be righteous for the unrighteous and make it available to all. I will be freedom for those who are imprisoned. I will do what you yourselves cannot do. I will suffer and be punished for all sin so you don't have to; I will die so that you may have life, I will raise from the dead defeating death to live eternal so that you have freedom over death. I will make the way and guarantee your access to the kingdom.
So believe me, follow me, live with reverence of God and respect of people, teach others what I taught you and show them how to follow me, usher them into the kingdom. I, my Spirit, will empower you to do so.
& that/this is the Gospel of grace:We are sinners saved by Jesus works not our own.
The Church exists both through the gospel and for the gospel.The gospel is a word; so the church must be word-centered.The gospel is a missional word; so the church must be mission-centered.The gospel is people focused; it creates the Church and the Church is a family that is community centered.We the church are to be gospel centered.
PRINCIPLES APPLIED-Becoming Gospel Centered-For personal thought:
THE PRESENT GROWS OUT OF THE PAST
Being Word-centered and missional:
Word-centered-Don't ask: "where does God fit into the story of my life?"-instead, ask: "Where does my little life fit into this great story of God's mission?"
Missional-Don't ask: "how do I apply the Bible to my life?"-instead, ask: "what would it mean to apply ourselves to the Bible instead, assuming the Bible to be the reality--the real story--to which we are called to conform ourselves?"
CHRISTIANITY IS NOT EASY
People focused, community centeredLiving in community:-get coffee with someone and share about the above.
“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working. “Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom. (Matthew 5:17-20MSG)
So, I hope we all have a little better understanding of this section of Scripture. And that you have gotten answers to questions you may have or at least were able to refine your questions.
End of gathering. who are we praying for? Add to list... & Close in prayer.
Jesus is not condoning "cheap" grace...as Bonhoffer makes the distinction between "cheap" and "costly" grace.
One of the most quoted parts of the book deals with the distinction which Bonhoeffer makes between "cheap" and "costly" grace. But what is "cheap" grace? In Bonhoeffer's words:
"cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."Or, even more clearly, it is to hear the gospel preached as follows: "Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness." The main defect of such a proclamation is that it contains no demand for discipleship. In contrast to this is costly grace:
"costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." "