Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6th - The End of the Law

Prayer Requests
Tyler's Family
Keith Gardener's Health
William's Leg
Bethany's friend Melissa's family and house
Summit at Christmas
Christmas Parade Outreach - December 12th
Dave and Brooke and Eden

Text – Hebrews 10:1

Challenge – Memorize John 1:14 and 18:37 about Christmas.

Beloved, today I can't justify why I picked this topic except that I had very little preparation time and so you're getting a rehashed lesson on the law. The law is vitally important to know, so we're going to spend the class on it. This is also sort of Christmassy, because it points at why Christ came.

There are 613 laws in the Old Testament, they can be summarized in two, can anyone recite them?

Matthew 22:36-40 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

We're specifically going to look at the 10 Commandments today, but as we've looked at them in the past was pointed at you and me, today we're going to look at them through Jesus, using Hebrews 10:1 as our guide.

Hebrews 10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

The law is just a shadow of the good things to come. Who do you think it is a shadow of? Jesus Christ, Let's see where it explicitly says that;

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

The law is good, in fact in Psalm 19 it says it is perfect, and Romans 2:20 really sums up why it is so good,

Romans 2:20 ...having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth...

It is the embodiment of knowledge and truth. I like that word, "embodiment", does it remind anyone of anything?

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus Christ, who was God from everlasting, was a spirit until Christmas two millennia ago, when he put on flesh, became the embodiment of God on earth, and the law points to him perfectly, it was a shadow of his coming, it shows us his perfection.

I'm going to teach you two Latin phrases today. Before we do that, who remembers what Post Tenebrae Lux means? Out of darkness, light. Two words in Latin which are going to deal with our law and our king, they are "Lex" which means "Law", and "Rex" which means "King."

Our two phrases are Lex Rex, and Rex Lex. They sound like the same thing, but they are not, they deal with progression and so the order they appear in is important, as to which one came first and which one is superior. Is the king supreme and therefore makes the laws, or is the law supreme and therefore is king?

Lex Rex means that the Law is King, or the Law makes the King. It is wrong in theology, but right in government.

Rex Lex means that the King is Law. It is right in theology, but wrong in worldly government.

We want earthly kings to abide by the law, not them to be able to be the law. Samuel Rutherford stood against the monarchy of England, stating that Lex Rex is the way to run a country, and Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were greatly impacted by it, and Rutherford's book, Lex Rex, was instrumental in the formation of the Constitution of the United States, even though it was written 150 years earlier. When Charles the Second of England read that he wasn't the law, he ordered the book burned and cited Rutherford for high treason, but Rutherford died before they could do anything about it.

The law is good and right because it is a shadow, a pointer, to Jesus Christ. Jesus didn't keep the law because it was something he had to do, the law was given to show that Jesus is perfect, the law proceeded from the King. Everytime there is a law in the Bible, it isn't to just keep you from doing something, it is to point at the perfection of Jesus Christ. For example,

Leviticus 11:6-10 And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you. "These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you.

The passage goes on to talk about birds that eat carrion as well. The point of the passage is that all of these things named either eat manure or dead things, and by their consuming of filthy things, you will become filthy by association, and therefore couldn't be allowed into the presence of God. Jesus Christ is neither a sinner by action nor by association, he is holy perfect and undefiled. The dietary laws were a hard law to keep, and fortunately Christ has shown us that it is not what goes into a person's mouth, but what comes out of it, that makes them unclean.

Matthew 15:17-20 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.

So without further adieu, let's look at how Jesus fulfills the 10 Commandments and the Shema, which is what the summation of the law is called, which means literally "Hear!"

1. Love the Lord your God

John 14:31 I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.

Jesus proved he loved his Father by keeping his commands, and doing everything he was sent to do.

2. You shalt not bow down to idols

Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"

3. You shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain

Romans 2:23-24 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Jesus never broke the law, because he bore witness to the truth, and bore the weight of condemnation, he showed that God is both totally just in punishing sin, and totally graceful in saving sinners, but only by sending his Son to bear the wrath which justice demands in our place, so that we receive the righteousness of God by grace.


Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak...

When we speak idle words, like "ummm" or "like" or any gossip or thing that is not eternally important, then we tell the world that every word God has spoken is not eternally important. For example, I've probably said um a few times in this class, would this class be worse off or the meaning changed if I hadn't said um? No, because you just ignore the "um"s, but with Christ you can't ignore even a word he said, because he spoke no idle words. We know how Christ is set apart from sinners, and in one more way he is more righteous than us, we know that he never said um or like or ya know.

When representing the name of God, he was perfect in every way, totally righteous, totally perfect, and he never took God's name in vain in either word or action. As God's original apostle, he was a perfect ambassador from Heaven.

I want to show you something pretty neat, we're created in God's image, right? Here is how you write God's covenantal name in Hebrew: יהוה If you stack those up, you get a little human stick man...err...person. That is not all it means to be created in God's image, but the main point is we are God's representatives to earth, visual representations of him, and so when we sin, we tell the world that God is a sinner, but Christ never sinned, so he perfectly represented God.

4. Honor the Sabbath Day, To Keep it Holy

Jesus Christ said that man was not created for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath created for man. (Mark 2:27) He was the Lord of the Sabbath, Sabbath meaning rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Some of these, actually all of these, we could really dig into and spend a whole class on, so this is just the overview. Read Hebrews 3 and 4 to see Jesus being the total fulfillment of the Sabbath, that we have eternal rest in him and not just one day in seven.

5. Honor your Father and Mother, the first commandment with a promise, that you may live long on the earth.

Did Jesus honor his Father? Yes he did, did he honor his mother? Yes he did. An off-topic point, as Christmas comes around you will probably hear Mary referred to as the Theotokos, the mother of God. She is the mother of Jesus, but she is NOT the mother of the Father or the Holy Spirit, so to call her the Theotokos is way wrong. Poor James and Jude must have had a terrible time growing up with a brother who was perfectly obedient to his parents. I wonder if Joseph ever asked, "James, why can't you be more like your brother Jesus?" James could come back and say, "It's because you're a sinner dad, and your genetics have made me a sinner."

Hebrews 5:8 ...speaks of Jesus' obedience to his Father, Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

6. Thou Shalt not Murder

It would be easy to skip past this one and say that murder is when you take someone's life unlawfully, and Jesus, as King and Sovereign and the one who is offended, takes everyone's life lawfully and with due evidence, but I want you to recognize that he never took anyone's life while he was here, he left all vengeance up to his Father. He was spit upon, he was beaten, he was slandered, his own neighbors tried to throw him off a cliff, and just as he can give life by a word, he could have taken life by a word as well, yet he restrained himself and did not take any lives.

James 4:12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy.

7. Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery

Who is Jesus' betrothed? The church. He loves her and laid his life down for her, she is his only bride, in Heaven will be that marriage of the Christian church and the Son of God, a perfect union.

Jesus never looked at a woman with lust, he never considered dating one, he was and is totally focused on his bride Israel, which in modern days encompasses the church and leaves out national Israel. He is not eloping with the Muslim religion, or the Zoroastrian religion, or the Jewish religion, he is totally faithful to his beloved, the church. And this point proves there is no life in outer space, lest Christ would have some other girlfriend in some other galaxy.

Isaiah 61:10 As a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

8. Thou Shalt not Steal

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

When Christ was on the cross, he prayed this;

Psalm 69:4 What I did not steal must I now restore?

9. Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness

Titus 1:2 hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began...

God never lies, in fact, it is impossible for him to lie, because his will is only for good. When Jesus came, it was to tell the truth, in fact, he is the truth (John 14:6), and is called true. (Revelation 19:11)

John 18:37 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."

10. Thou Shalt not Covet

Jesus Christ, who is the creator and owner of EVERYTHING, doesn't need anything, and the Bible says even if he did, he wouldn't tell us.

Psalm 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.

Yet he emptied himself, he left the riches of Heaven to become the poorest of poor, in that he was thankful for the provision that God gave him, he didn't covet anything during his life on earth, even though he could have reached out and taken anything, because he owns everything, but did not esteem himself to that level.

So we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. We see that Jesus loves God totally, how did he love his neighbor?

Matthew 5:43-35 You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Jesus laid down his life for his enemies, that while we were in willful rebellion against him, breaking all 10 of these Commandments and probably 600 more, Christ died for us. He was the only man to deserve Heaven, the only man who never sinned, the only man who would have never died, if he hadn't given his life for his sheep as the Good Shepherd. We'll talk more about this shepherd language when we get back to Peter, which might not be until January.

So Jesus is Rex Lex, our King is the law, we don't have these commandments for just moral reasons, but to point to Christ, and show that he is totally perfect and we are totally not. He is the end of the law for all those who believe, he was perfect, yet he faced a sinners' judgment, so that we who are sinners can face a perfect judgment.

We are required to repent and confess all of our sins, it is a command of Jesus in various places, but how many of us have kept this commandment? Have you repented perfectly? Have you confessed every sin you have ever committed perfectly? Every one? If you miss one, it will condemn you.

But Jesus, our perfect Saviour, even kept that command for us. On the cross he took possession of our sins, he called them his own, and he confessed to his Father our transgressions, which he called his own, so now we can be totally perfect, not on our works, but because Christ has done all of the work for us.

Psalm 69:5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.


Go home and read Psalm 51 from the vantage point that this is Jesus Christ confessing your sins as his own. Meditate on this fact and think about all that Jesus has done for you. Think about how hard it must have been for Jesus to confess these sins that he hadn't committed.