From The Master's Table Web Site
Change from With-in
For those that dogmatically say we should keep ALL the Laws that God has ever spoken should read this because many misguided people think that when I say the Law of Moses has been done away with through the New Covenant that I mean we are free to "sin"... Now please take this into consideration as I NEVER TEACH we can sin at will because Jesus died and shed His blood for our redemption.
The fact is that Jesus showed throughout Matthew chapter five He was changing the law from “physical to spiritual,” meaning we are to change from with-in because we see the light of God's goodness, not because of a law in itself. He also made this point clear when He stated, in Matt 15:11 "It's not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Meaning that we need to change from with-in, which is a spiritual change that can only come from the cleansing blood of the Messiah, and through the power of the Holy Spirit from the Holy Father!
Now let's look at what we read concerning Jesus statement that He came to "fulfill the Law." Paul shows the true intent of the term "to fulfill" in Rom 10:3-4. "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." Did you really get what Paul recorded here? Remember, Jesus did not come to establish a religion, but to establish a relationship because He loves you and wants you to be a part of His Kingdom. God has given us all we need to succeed but He will not take our free will from us. He wants us there because we get it and want to live the way that produces the good fruits not because we could strictly keep the law.
Now let’s address the statements recorded in Matthew 5:17-20
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
The wording people focus on is “Not to destroy” however the fact is Jesus answers the objection people have that he was making a contemptuous remark by denying any effort to annual or abrogate the Law, but to fulfill the law. Why would He state He came to “Fulfill the law” if He was not going to change the rules? If He did not intend to change the Covenants as we read in the book of Hebrews then He would not have added “To Fulfill.” The Messiah fulfilled the law by obeying the Old Testament Laws perfectly as He fulfilled its types and prophecies, and by paying the full penalty of the Law as the substitute for sinners therefore by “justification” Christians obtain righteousness.
When Jesus stated; “Your righteousness should be distinguished from the righteousness of scribes and Pharisees” which consisted in mere outward, unspiritual conformity to the Mosaic code. The Christian that believes and obeys the New Covenant according to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, righteousness is based upon that “imputed righteousness” of the Messiah and is obtained by faith, which means reliance on, as we read in Rom 3:20-26 which enables the believer to live righteously in the flesh which could not be achieved with the Old Covenant as admitted by the apostles. Only believers in this may enter into the kingdom the Messiah proclaimed so where is your salvation? In the Law of Moses or the Grace of God?
Let’s read it for ourselves and truly note Paul’s intent here.“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Paul makes his point very clear by the next statement in verses 27-28. “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law." End quote.
Now let’s look at how Jesus changed the Law from a “physical to a spiritual fulfillment of the law” meaning we are to change from with-in because we see the light of God's goodness, not because of a fear of the law. We will examine the scriptures in Matthew 5:21-26 to see the intent of the Messiah here.
You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall do no murder; and whosoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.”
Jesus shows how his fulfillment of the Law went far deeper than mere outward conformity to the law. If anyone shall murder marks a traditional enlargement of Exo 20:13, but it still deals only with the act of murder. Many manuscripts omit "without a cause," although to kill with cause is consitant with the word of Solomon in the seven things God hates which stated “One who is swift to shed INNOCENT blood although the scripture in Eph 4:26 indicates that some restriction may properly be inferred.
The word Raca or fool is from an Aramaic word meaning "empty one" or you fool. Some scholars believe and teach that Raca is a word used as contempt for a man's head, and fool as contempt for his character. The research I have done on the word Raca or “nurse maid” as written in the Peshitta which is from the Aranaic states "Whoever says to his brother, you are “effeminate” is condemned to hell fire. The Aramaic word "coward" which was replaced for "fool" means to say someone is weak or has contempt for his character.
Now let’s look at Matthew 5:27-30 that states… You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: Jesus indicated that the sin described in Exo 20:14 lies deeper than the overt act. Every one that looks at a woman with lust Jesus stated characterizes the man whose glance is not checked by holy restraint, and who forms the impure purpose of lusting after her as a sinner because the act will follow when the opportunity occurs. If the man blames the sin on his eye, Jesus shows the logical procedure to follow. As we amputate diseased organs to save lives, so an eye (or a hand) so hopelessly affected needs drastic treatment. Of course, Jesus wanted his hearers to see that the real source of sin lies not in the physical organ but in the heart as He stated it is not what goes in the person but what comes out which comes from the heart. A man's evil heart must be changed if he expects to escape final eternal destruction.
Meaning as stated above that we need to change from with-in, which is a spiritual change that can only come from the cleansing blood of the Messiah, and through the power of the Holy Spirit from the Holy Father! The point many Christians miss concerning this is that God wants us to quit sinning because we have come to understand what sin is. Because we understand that sin destroys all in its path and when one comes to truly understand what that means then one overcomes sin because they have changed with understanding and not just because of a law. Like "giving" for example; if we give only a tenth because of what we believe is a current command from God then we only have conformed to the letter of the law, however if we give (Even more than a tenth) when there is no command to do so, and most importantly when no one is watching, then we have become what is intended, loving others like Jesus and the Holy Father.
In conclusion let's not forget that Jesus stated we should hang ALL the Law and Prophets on two great commandments in Matt 22:36-40 which states; "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Law vs. Grace at http://www.masters-table.org/studies/grace.html
The New Covenant at http://www.masters-table.org/studies/covenant.html
Just what is sin? at http://www.masters-table.org/studies/just_what_is_sin.htm
Unpardonable sin – Just what is it? at http://www.masters-table.org/studies/unpardonable.htm
Timothy M. Youngblood
The Master's Table