Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Law Fulfilled

And the people when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the Kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. (Luke 9:11)

Kingdom principles taught by Jesus were both old and new. Jesus called them "old and new treasures." The law given by God to Moses and recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy became the foundation for the new principles of life in the Kingdom. The Old Testament law was specific and concerned with outward actions. The new Kingdom principles taught by Jesus were more inclusive and concerned with inward attitudes.

One of the examples Jesus gave of the Kingdom of God stressed the combination of old and new in Kingdom principles:

Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. (Matthew 13:52)

Jesus' teachings did not eliminate the law, but fulfilled it:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)

And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.   (Luke 24:44)

Jesus expanded the principles of the Kingdom on the Old Testament foundation. He did not eliminate the old principles. He simply stripped them of the outward trappings of religion which resulted in the tendency to miss the inner reality of the Kingdom.

The teaching of Jesus was in harmony with the Old Testament, but it was in disharmony with the religious leaders of the time. The Scribes and Pharisees added their own traditions and interpretations to God's law. They were concerned with the "letter of the law," that is, keeping every detail of the law, in addition to their own man-made traditions and interpretations. Jesus emphasized the "spirit of the law," the general principles behind the laws.

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.   (2 Corinthians 3:6)

These Kingdom principles taught by Jesus could not be contained in the old religious structure. Jesus told two parables illustrating this. He spoke of old and new garments:

No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment and the rent is made worse.   (Matthew 9:16)

No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.  (Mark 2:21)

And He spake a parable unto them: No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. (Luke 5:36)

He also spoke of old and new wine:

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. (Matthew 9:17)

And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. (Mark 2:22)

And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.  (Luke 5:37-39)

The old religious systems could not contain the "new wine" of Kingdom principles. The new wine must be poured into new vessels. This is why entrance into the Kingdom was by spiritual rebirth.  It was necessary to allow time for these old religious structures to change because those who had experienced them would say, "The old is better."

Jesus did not destroy the old religious structure. He allowed it to be preserved while at the same time pouring "new wine" into the new spiritual vessels of men and women reborn in Christ Jesus. He allowed time for the transition from the old to the new.

This is an important key in introducing the Gospel of the Kingdom into societies with pre-existing religions. Emphasis should be on pouring the "new wine" into new vessels, not expending effort on destroying traditional religious structure. The old will be eliminated as men and women find the "new wine" to be better.

Throughout the Gospels you can identify the "old and new treasures" by watching for the following pattern:

>       Jesus introduces these teachings with the phrases "It has been said," "It is written" or "Have ye not read?"

>       The Old Testament law is stated.

>       Then Jesus adds, "But I say unto you."

>       The New Testament Kingdom principle, expanded on Old Testament law, is then stated.

Some of the "old and new treasures" of the Kingdom revealed by Jesus:

Old Treasure
New Treasure
"It has been said"
"But I say unto you"

Thou shalt not kill.                      
Anger without cause is the same thing.
Matthew 5:21-26

Worship depends on outward actions.
Worship depends on inward attitudes.
Matthew 5:23-24; 6:1-8; 23:14,23-27
Mark 7:6-8; 11:25-26
Luke 18:10-14

Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The Thought is the same as the act.  Matthew  5:27-32

Do not swear by thyself.
Do not swear by anything.  Matthew  5:33-37; 23:16-22

Return evil for evil.
Return good for evil. 
Matthew 5:38-42

Love thy neighbor.
Love thy enemy. 
Matthew  5:43-47
Luke 6:27-35

Holiness comes by following traditions of man.    
Holiness is keeping God’s 
Matthew  15:3-9                                        
Mark  7:7-13

Man was made for the Sabbath and must keep its detailed laws.                               
Sabbath made for man.
Matthew 12:3-14           
Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-6;
Luke 6:1-11;
John 5:1-47

Emphasis on outward holiness.
Emphasis on inward holiness.
Matthew  15:10-20;
Mark 7:14-23

Divorce for every cause.
Divorce not originally God's plan but permitted only for limited causes.
Matthew  5:31-32; 19:1-9                
Mark 10:2-12

 Biblical Studies


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome and encouraged!