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September 1, 2002 AM



Mt 5:17-20

INTRO: The way in which our text begins leads me to believe that Jesus is anticipating some of the false charges which will be made against Him. Ultimately, the religious establishment charged Him with blasphemy and sent Him to the cross. It was not His view of the Law which sent Him to the cross as much as it was their rigid traditions and customs from which they would not move. Finally, Jesus plainly speaks of two righteousnesses: one of the scribes and the Pharisees; the other which was to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.


A. He did not come to destroy the law and the prophets

1. but there were those who would accuse Him of it

2. they would believe Him to be teaching disloyalty ... but it was their own system which was threatened

3. Jesus answered their trial questions and arguments with great respect for the law

B. But He did come to fulfill the law

1. fulfill means to complete, to accomplish purpose

2. would the Jews understand this? not likely

3. so, Lk 24:44 - Jno 19:28 - Acts 3:18 - Acts 13:29 - ... He did!

C. In Jesus the Law of Moses had fulfilled its purpose

1. Gal 3:24-27 it did exactly this

2. Rom 8:3,4 its inherent weakness was completed in Jesus

3. when fulfilled, its intended purpose as a law ended


A. He could hardly have been more emphatic

1. not the smallest detail of the law would He criticize

2. nothing about the law would change ... and He would not be seeking to do so

3. still, here is the qualifier: till all be fulfilled

4. clearly, if all should be fulfilled, the law would cease to be law to observe as revealed religion

B. And He warns against handling the word carelessly

1. one has said, Disobedience is a habit

2. disobey in small matters, and you will disobey in great matters .. no commandment of God, no matter how small we think it is, is to be left undone

3. and those who handled Moses law carelessly would likely handle the law of Christ carelessly!

4. sadly, some do and teach carelessness ... but 2 Tim 1:13 and Lk 19:17


A. The righteousness of the Pharisees

1. they were superb law keepers

2. yet, when they wanted their way, they could find religious justification for changes

3. for example, Mt 15:1-6

4. certainly, theirs was a righteousness with a personal agenda - Mt 23:5-7

5. Rom 10:1-3 is an excellent commentary

B. The righteousness which was to exceed

1. certainly, obedience to Gods revealed word is absolutely necessary ... Mt 7:21

2. the difference? true righteousness is from within - so,

Mt 22:34-40 and unexpected answer? yes

3. so, in Johns gospel: Jno 14:15,23

4. Rom 6:17 helps us understand true righteousness

5. from Jno 4:24 worship is inside and outside - from inside out is the nature of righteousness which exceeds that of Pharisees

6. careful obedience out of a heart of love ... for love can do no less!

CLOSE: The kingdom of heaven is populated by people whose lives conform to Gods revealed will ... in love!

Cecil A. Hutson

01 September 2002

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)