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Lesson # Matt. 5:17-20
Study Material - Matt. 5:17-20
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
17 'Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 'For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. 19 'Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 'For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus did not come into this world to introduce and promote some entirely different religious philosophy. Perhaps some thought that this was going to become a new regime with all new standards and rules to govern by, but here Christ makes it clear that the Law (the Mosaic Law) and the prophets (all the rest of the scriptures), then the entire Old Testament with its rules, commands, and prophecies will remain intact until the end of time.
Though there have been and no doubt will be again, attempts to remove or distort the Bible, but these attempts will fail as far as positive believers are concerned. God makes all scripture clear to those who are positive, to those who pursue a daily study practice. Though we may not understand some things at any given time, if we are patient and persevere in our study, then those confusing things will clear themselves up. Also, those things which are clearly not correct though taught by some religious organizations, will be revealed as well. But remember this refers to the positive believer only. Any negative person, any one who really is not interested in Bible study, but just sort of goes through the motions or even rejects Gods word, to those people, God allows the distortions to fool them and lead them even further into their chosen negative path. They in effect trap themselves.
The scriptures have but one topic - Jesus Christ. This subject is taught from the standpoint of mans need for deliverance from his slavery to sin and death - salvation. And this subject is taught with respect to mans need for a relationship (an on going relationship) with God - fellowship. Also, this subject is taught with respect to mans need for surviving in this world and attaining spiritual maturity - daily study.
When people think of the Law, they generally think of the ten commandments, but that is only a very small aspect of the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law contained directions for all of the Levitical offerings and sacrifices and feasts, for governmental rules, for social rules, for hygiene rules as well. All of these had an obvious lesson of practical daily use - like washing of the hands to remove the dirt etc., but they also had spiritual lessons which were their primary function.
Jesus Christ came to fulfill all of these rules and commandments in the daily application sense of His life, but He also came to fulfill the prophetic need for a savior for the human race. Without the Cross our lives would have absolutely no purpose or value.
To distort the purpose of the scriptures is the fools path and here we see that there will be two classes of persons in heaven - the least and the great. The least will include believers who were not interested in Bible study during their life. The least will include those who sort of know some doctrine but really did not care to learn much during their lives. The least will include those who totally rejected God after they were saved. The least will include those believers in Christ who pursued false teachings of misleading religions, who pursued the false teachings of human philosophies. In short, the least will include those peoples who have very little if any spiritual growth in their soul.
The great's will be those believers in Christ who patiently and persistently study their Bibles (properly) on a regular daily basis. It will include you if you stick with your study everyday throughout your life. As you should know by now, Bible study does not really take much effort or time out of your day. As you study a little each day, you begin to add together all those little study tidbits. Your thoughts begin to ponder the things that you learn. You begin to look around in life for examples of Gods work or of examples of the various types of people and personalities described in the Bible. Usually you do not have to go very far to see lots of examples in life (without judging of course). Observation is not judging. Your prayer life increases as you grow up. You begin to memorize various verses to help you with your problems and to help stabilize your thoughts. You perhaps become less serious about the little things in life. You become more bendable and flexible, more tolerant with people and situations.
Since you have already believed in Christ, you do not have to worry about having the proper righteousness for eternal life - Gods righteousness. The Pharisees and scribes, etc., were unbelievers. They relied on their own human righteousness. And we already know that human righteousness is several steps below used menstrual rags and vomit (Isaiah). Gods righteousness is the only means by which we can enter heaven, by which we can enter into fellowship with Him. This righteousness is available to each one of us only when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Entry into heaven has but one door, one set of pearly gates, and that entry is by means of faith in Jesus Christ.
To attempt to enter into heaven by means of mans own energy, by mans own ingenuity, by some man made philosophy, or just trying to be good in life and working hard all day long, is nothing more than chasing after shadows. There is nothing to catch.
There are three types of people in this world - unbelievers, negative believers, and positive believers. Apart from these three categories, everything else is meaningless. Culture is meaningless, ancestry is worthless, education is worthless, social status is worthless, wealth is worthless, everything in life is worthless if you reject Jesus Christ either in salvation or in spiritual advancement. Better to have Christ inside of you, and then have these many things of life, because then your life will be more comfortable perhaps but these things then, will not be a distraction and not a source of misery. Sooner or later your life here on earth will come to an end. And that is the very real issue you need to face head on.
Eternity is coming whether you want to acknowledge it or not. So where will you be? In the 'least' line, or in the 'great' line.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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