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[thoughts] Fulfilling the Law (November 1-7, 2004)

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  • Mark Roth
    ... I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above. ... New at Anabaptist Bookstore: http://www.anabaptistbooks.com/added.html ... This edition
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2004
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      FULFILLING THE LAW
      (Matthew 5:17,18,21,22,27,28,31-35,38,39,43,44)


      PROBING YOUR OWN HEART

      What is your heart disposition toward God's laws and precepts?

      Do you believe every aspect of today's lesson is for us in our day?

      Is faithful obedience too much of a sacrifice, or is it legalistic?


      BUILDING ON SOME FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS

      Jesus gives the Law its substance.
      Without Jesus, the Law is incomplete. So Jesus came to fulfil
      both the Law and the prophets. Remember who appeared with Jesus on
      the Mount of Transfiguration: Moses (the Law *bearer*) and Elias
      (the Message *bearer*). The Father then spoke from heaven, direct-
      ing that now Jesus should be heard and heeded -- Jesus, the Law
      *Giver* and the Message *Giver*. Since the Shadow Caster came, we
      now fix our eyes on Him rather than on the shadows (Colossians 2:17).

      God's laws stand, waiting to be fulfilled.
      As long as time lasts, no unfulfilled element of God's will and
      laws shall cease to apply to us. For example, He no longer requires
      animal sacrifices because Jesus fulfilled that aspect of His will.
      But what about "Thou shalt not commit adultery"? There is a limited
      sense in which even that law passes -- when Jesus transforms it
      from an exterior command to an inward motivation and state of
      being. When that moral standard becomes such a part of us, Jesus
      has fulfilled it in us. When the grace of Jesus works that incred-
      ible work in us, we would no more think of committing adultery than
      we would think of killing a lamb as a sin offering to God.
      Caution: Do not allow yourself or your students to be led
      astray by carrying the above concept too far. Jesus' fulfillment of
      the sacrificial system was a clearly-defined, irreversible
      historical event. Jesus' fulfillment of moral law is a lengthy,
      individualized, reversible process -- so it requires that the moral
      code itself remain in place.


      QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES

      Since I'm guilty for *thinking* it, why should I not go ahead and
      *do* it?
      In the eyes of the Judge, even a lustful look ranks as
      adultery. God sees and judges our spiritual activity just as
      tangibly as we see and judge our own physical activity. "But I say
      unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath
      committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
      Hence the lie from the Deceiver: "Since you are already guilty of
      adultery for merely looking and thinking, it will make no
      difference if you go further by acting. You are guilty anyway --
      you just as well get some further fun out of it. Not doing it will
      not make you any less guilty." Don't accept it!
      Acting out your thoughts affects other people much more
      directly. Had David not compounded his sin by acting on his lustful
      thoughts, Bathsheba, Uriah, the whole nation of Israel, and David's
      own family would not have suffered the effects they did.
      Acting out your thoughts adds more sin to your record. David
      looked where he shouldn't have and he thought what he shouldn't
      have. So far so bad. Then he sends for Bathsheba. This is getting
      worse; add another sin. Then comes the adultery. Add yet another
      sin. Could it possibly get worse? It did!
      Acting out your thoughts brings more bondage and
      accountability. Even if David had gone no further than his lustful
      thinking, that alone could have kept him in mental and spiritual
      bondage. But he would have been accountable only for that. His
      subsequent deeds put him further into bondage and led to greater
      and greater accountability.
      Acting out your thoughts produces a greater impact on your
      testimony. David's lustful thoughts were known only to him and to
      God. That alone is enough. But at least no one else knew that the
      man after God's own heart had sinned in this fashion. His deeds
      first tainted his testimony before those in the palace, and then
      with his general, and from there it spread far further.

      How far does God expect us to carry the practice of nonresistance?
      Why would I wish to limit the scope of my nonresistance?
      Additionally, consider these three boundaries for
      nonresistance: love, grace, and identity.
      When you no longer have or know God's own love and grace in
      your heart, and He will not supply you with more, then you can
      ditch that whole nonresistance notion. When you no longer wish to
      be the child of your heavenly Father, then you may fight back.


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