17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
There have been many voices in our day that proclaim the law is for the Old Testament and that grace if for the New Testament. In this Matthew passage Jesus had the perfect opportunity to set the argument strait once and for all. Instead, Jesus confirmed the opposite. God’s law, given to Moses, was not a temporary ideal for a people who could never keep it. No, God’s law was given to show us His holiness and His desire for us. In the law we learn what God loves and what God hates. We learn what pleases God and what displeases God.
Jesus then reiterates the law of God telling us that it will not ever be done away with and that there are still blessings upon those who keep it and curses on those who don’t. As we read the law of God we are convinced by that law of being transgressors of that law. We can never keep God’s law as God intended. But wait, Jesus kept the law, every part of it. He never disobeyed his parents, he never coveted what anyone else had, he never bore false witness, he always remembered the Sabbath the keep it holy, and so forth.
What does the fact of Jesus keeping the law have to do with us as lawbreakers? Well, it has everything to do with us. For when we trust Christ as Savior and follow Him as Lord, he sends his Holy Spirit to live in us, “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” What happens when the One who perfectly kept God’s law lives in us? First, we are given his righteousness by God. This is called imputed righteousness. So when God the Father, the Judge of all the ages, looks at us, He sees the righteousness of the Son. Secondly, the law-keeping Lord Jesus now enables us to live His life through us. Paul put it this way, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me…”
Day by day then we are able to enjoy “the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” The perfect law of God which brings pleasure to Him is fulfilled in us when we walk according to the Holy Spirit living within us.
“Thank you God for giving us the law and then for providing a way through your sinless Son for us to please you even with your law.”
I must apologize for these devotionals being so hit-and-miss. As you may know, I took a class a couple of weeks ago. By today, the 31st, I had a research paper to complete for that class. Between preparing for church and writing the paper I have been completely distracted from writing the devotionals. Next Monday, Bobbi and I leave for Indonesia and will be gone until the 14th. I plan to get devotionals out to you but the clock there is 13 hours ahead of ours so the devotionals may come at seemingly odd hours. I also do not know how well the internet will work so if you don’t hear from me then the internet did not work so well.
Tonight is our regular services and prayer time. Tom and I recognize the need of our church for prayer and long to have more of you join with us for prayer. The early apostles elected deacons so that they could give themselves over for prayer and the ministry of the word. Let us follow their example and give more time to prayer.
Have a great day in the Lord,