FOR THIS SUMMER, I WILL BE WRITING A DEVOTION ON THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
THIS WEEK, I WILL BE SPEAKING ABOUT THE LAW, WHICH WAS GIVEN ON PENTECOST
17 “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. 18 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.
Thoughts: Christ did not come to eradicate, destroy the use and profitability of the Old Testament or the Law contained in it. This is important. I heard one political official lecture the crowd as he basically said we do not need to "Remember the Sabbath" anymore, by saying we live by grace and not by law. I don't know that he would like to apply that same criteria to collecting taxes for his government. I wonder if that criteria would work with speeding tickets? The Law was given for our benefit- that we may know who God is, know God's will for us, and be able to keep the faith. It is not that the Law is invalid for us anymore. That is not what grace means. It is not that holiness no longer has a place in our lives. Rather, 1) we need grace to keep the law and ; 2) when we fail to keep the Law- and we all will fail- then we need God's mercy and grace to forgive us- so we may try again.
Jesus said this right after he had said the Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-11). The Beatitudes are not a new Law, but a compliment to the Law. The Beatitudes tell us how to be blessed of God- which was in some ways the point of the Law (we are blessed when we do what God says- thus pleasing, glorifying, and uniting with Him).
Christ also says that the smallest part of it will not disappear. Christ was prophecying its continual relevance, and His desire to fulfill it. "Until everything is accomplished" was not a reference to His life, death and resurrection, but the fulfillment of all prophecy- meaning the end of the world. The Law and Prophets last until the end of all things- when all things will be fulfilled in God's purpose for us.
Today there are some who are legalists- missing God's grace; there are others who are anti-nomianals (against the law). In American culture today the pendalum has swung hard to those who do not keep the Law and thus think the Law is not valid for them. Calvin said the Law was a guide for us- to show us how to please God and know Him better.
Prayer: Give me ears to hear and a heart to respond to you, O Lord, and your will for me.