September 28, 2018
Matthew 5:17-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
Last month, our LIFE Lesson Study was based on the foundational principles written in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. In his sermon, Jesus got very specific about the reasons he left heaven for his First Coming: to accomplish the purpose of the Law and prophetic writings. In other words, Jesus lived without sinning and he fulfilled the Law with his life. No one had been able to live a sinless life, as commanded by God, before the coming of Jesus Christ. As well, Jesus fulfilled the writings of the prophets because they spoke of God sending a Messiah who would come and lay down his sinless life and take upon himself the sins of the world. By believing Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and the prophetic writings, we connect to Christ, receive forgiveness of sin, and enjoy a relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Now, Christ in us becomes the teacher of God’s heart regarding the Law and prophecy. Because of Jesus, we can know the heart of God, his purpose for our lives, and have the power to actually live for him. Righteousness is spiritually imparted (begins invisible) by Christ and is worked out to be seen (made visible) in our daily lives. As Christians, we are the visible manifestations of the difference the invisible God has made and continues to make in us. So, according to Jesus, it isn’t enough to just receive his righteousness and talk about faith in God; although that is good. If we are really going to live for Christ’s purpose in us, we must live what we say we believe every day so our lives will teach others about the presence of God in us. It is how Jesus lived for our benefit. Will we allow the Spirit to help us live the same way for the benefit of others?
Matthew 5:17-20 Teaching about the Law
17 “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. 18 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. 19 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.
20 “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!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making me righteous. Please don’t let me take your righteousness for granted, but help me live each day with conviction and appreciate for all you have done for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.