Do You Fight the Law?
A popular song in the 1960s was “I Fought the Law”. The line I remember from the chorus was “Breaking rocks in the hot sun…I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and law won.” You can be glad this is not an audio blog! Very few people fight the law and win though there are some exceptions. But no one fights “God’s law” and wins. And those who try to fight the law and lose, often end up with far worse consequences than breaking rocks.
In Matthew chapter 5, verses 17-48 Jesus shifts the focus a little bit to a very important discussion. The entire Jewish religious system was wrapped up in one word, “Law”. There were over 600 different commandments of things to do and things not to do. There were not that many commandments from God, but the religious leaders added to and “clarified” God’s commandments; and not always with proper motives.
Jesus says very plainly in verse 17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Jesus was the only person to ever walk the face of the earth who kept all of God’s law perfectly. He affirms the validity and importance of the law, or at least the portion of the law which we refer to as the “moral law”. Other parts of God’s law which pertained to the nation of Israel in a civil or ceremonial way were no longer applicable. Then, Jesus goes on to give six examples of the moral law and how it should be used as a guideline for living. We’ll look at those six examples over the next ten days or so.
What I’d like you to think about today is what you think about God’s law? Do you take seriously what God has to say? God’s law is rooted in the 10 commandments, but there is much more than that to consider. Many people think of God’s law as restrictive or “binding”. But that is definitely not the case. God’s laws or guidelines are given to us to avoid being bound by the consequences of our sin. We will look at how this works in detail as we look at Jesus’ six examples.
Now, if you think that God’s law is a way to gain favor with God or to gain entrance to His kingdom, you are greatly mistaken. “Tune in tomorrow” for a thought about that.