Compass: What Salt and Light Looks Like
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Matthew 5:17-30 (NKJV)
1. Why I’ve Come
Vss 17-19 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
A. Law or the Prophets refer to the Old Testament
B. Jesus explained his purpose was not to make the OT irrelevant but rather to “keep and fully explain its original intention”
C. Fulfill – “to fill out, to expand”
2. What You Should Do
Vs 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
A. This was a troubling verse for the hearer for in Judaism, the pharisees were considered to be the most righteous and if they couldn’t make it to Heaven, no one could
B. Jesus’ teaching was that since He had come to fulfill, simply following the law was no longer enough.
3. So, Let’s Do Better
A. Get rid of anger
Vss 21-26 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
- His teaching pointed out we must value others as God does and fulfill the OT command of loving God and loving others.
- He does not state that righteous anger is unacceptable
B. Get rid of lust
Vss 27-30 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
- Jesus clearly teaches that the overt act of adultery is not the only way to sexual sin. Sexual sin is a condition of the heart.
- Outward sin will never take place without a starting point within the heart and mind of the person.
1 Cor. 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
- The Old Testament is not an outdated collection of books which have no value to today’s believer.
- Living in fellowship with others is far better than living in conflict. If at all possible, make things right with those you’ve done wrong or with those who’ve done wrong to you. (Rom. 12:18)
- Be diligent in removing tempting images and people. Be quick to seek the forgiveness of God when you fail.