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New School           Matt 5: 20 – 47

The momentum generation was a period in surfing history that seemed to change many things. Fuelled by the surfing of Shane Dorian, Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Pat O’Connell, Ross Williams, and others. But there were generations before with Curren and Occy or Mark Richards and Shawn Thompson and on we go back and back into surfing history. It’s safe to say that there are people who redefine things for the masses. These pioneers see things differently. They have shaped the sport by walking to the beat of a different drum or drawing different lines on the wave. 

This is not what Jesus is doing he is not reshaping the law not re-inventing it. Through his authority as the son of God, he was defining it more clearly. Many people were talking about the relationship between His authority and the authority of the law of Moses. It was clear the scribes were submissive, bound to be teachers of the law. Interpreting the law claiming no authority but the law they quoted. Jesus however would introduce his conversations around righteousness and the kingdom with statements like ‘Truely I say to you’. Speaking in his own name and with his own Authority. 

Matt 5: 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.   

Fulfil (plērōsai) literally means ‘to fill’. “Christ’s sayings were no repeal to the former (law), but a drawing out and filling up of them.”  Chrysostom 

To better understand the far-reaching implications of this statement of Jesus we need to grasp the  various kinds of teachings contained in “the law’

1. the Old Testament contains doctrinal teaching, ‘Torah’ usually translated Law.  really means reviled instruction. yet it was only partially revealed as Jesus ‘fulfilled’ it. 

2.  the Old Testament contained predictive prophecy, much of which looked forward to the days of the Messiah. It either foretells of him in word or foreshadows him in type. This anticipation was again fulfilled in Jesus. (Matt 4:14 1:22 2:23 3:3 & Mk 1:14) The peak of this fulfilment is is his death on the cross in which the whole ceremonial system of the Old Testament priesthood and sacrifices found its perfect fulfilment.

3 the Old Testament contains ethical precepts or the moral law of God. These were often misunderstood and even more disobeyed. Jesus fulfilled them by obeying them for he was born under the law and was determined to fulfil all righteousness. (Gal 4:4 Mt 3:15)

 He has in fact nothing to add to the commandments of God except that he keeps them. Bonhoeffer

18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Jesus’ fulfilment of the Law does not mean that we can do away with it but rather that obedience is not enough but faith through grace is the good news. 

Rom 8: 1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 

So the law is enduring but no longer condemning. It is there to point out our obvious need for a saviour and our inadequacy via our own efforts. Indeed the Law bears witness to the accomplishment of Jesus.

Rom 3: 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. eFor there is no distinction: 23 for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Law or Grace which way does your pendulum swing?

Christ is no Moses, no law-giver, no tyrant, but the Mediator for sins, the Giver of grace and life. Martin Luther 

The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out. – Billy Sunday

“We are much more concerned about someone abusing his freedom than we are about his guarding it. We are more afraid of indulging the sinful nature than we are of falling into legalism. Yet legalism does indulge the sinful nature because it fosters self-righteousness and religious pride. It also diverts us from the real issues of Christian life by focusing on external and sometimes trivial rules.”  Jerry Bridges

“Do you view God’s moral precepts as a source of bondage and condemnation for failure to obey them, or do you sense the Spirit producing within you an inclination and desire to obey out of gratitude and love? Do you try to obey by your own sheer will and determination, or do you rely on the Spirit daily for His power to enable you to obey? Do you view God as an ogre who has set before you an impossible code of conduct you cannot keep, or do you view Him as your divine Heavenly Father who has accepted you and loves you on the basis of the merit of Christ? In other words, in terms of your acceptance with God, are you willing to rely solely on the finished perfect work of Jesus, instead of your own pitifully imperfect performance?” Jerry Bridges

The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out. - Billy Sunday