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New Testament Survey – Introduction and the Gospel of Matthew January 4, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Matthew, New Testament, Religion, Sermon on the Mount.
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We begin on Sunday night a new series surveying the New Testament. Here are the notes from this weekend’s lesson. The second follows in three weeks. The reading plan reflects that. 

WHERE DOES A SURVEY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT FIT INTO YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH? 

The base of the mountain is Genesis with the lower heights being the Old Testament books. The New Testament books are the upper parts of the mountain. When you get closer to the top, you are looking at things from God’s perspective, Bible Doctrines. Seeing the universe as God sees it. The pinnacle of spiritual maturity, i.e., being like Jesus Christ, is based on what is in knowledge of God’s Word and understanding of His truth.

 WHAT IS A BIBLE SURVEY? (ADAPTED FROM JENSEN’S SURVEY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). 

How we study the Bible, that is, the method used, largely determines the fruit of our Bible study. There are two primary methods, survey and analysis. Survey is observation. Good observation results in correct interpretation and profitable application. Also, analysis is difficult to make without first doing survey.  

1.     With survey you see the emphasis God wants to make.

  • By observing the total structure — Example: Ephesians 6:2 “The first commandment with promise.”
  • Learning not only what is said but also how. A sermon is different from a song, a story different from a list of laws, a genealogy different from a proverb.
  • Get a feel for the book’s atmosphere. Galatians is at times angry. Philippians is a joyful book.
  • The lessons we will learn come from this emphasis. We learn to emphasize what God wants to emphasize and not set our own agendas during Bible study.

2.     With survey you see the relation of the different books to each other.   

Reading Plan for the Survey through the end of Mark’s Gospel.

January 7 Matthew 1-2
January 8 Matthew 3-4
January 9 Matthew 5-7
January 10 Matthew 8-9
January 11 Matthew 10-11
January 12 Matthew 12-13
January 13 Matthew 14-15
January 14 Matthew 16-17
January 15 Matthew 18-19
January 16 Matthew 20-21
January 17 Matthew 22-23
January 18 Matthew 24-25
January 19 Matthew 26
January 20 Matthew 27-28
January 21 Mark 1-3
January 22 Mark 4-7
January 23 Mark 8-10
January 24 Mark 11-13
January 25 Mark 14
January 26 Mark 15-16

MATTHEW

I.     Date – between 50 and 70 AD; Author – Matthew

 II.  “Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism” {Origen (ca. A.D. 185-254) quoted by Eusebius (ca. A.D. 265-339) in his Ecclesiastical History}.

  • Matthew quotes Old Testament prophetic passages more than 60 times emphasizing how Christ is the fulfillment of all those promises.
  • In contrast to other gospels, Matthew cites Jewish custom without explaining it.
  • He constantly refers to Christ as the “Son of David”.
  • He shows a strong interest in the Messianic kingdom mentioning the “kingdom of heaven” 32 times. His use of this phrase is unique in Scriptures. 

III.   Is Matthew applicable for the church today?

  • The recipients lived in the “church age”.
  • The purpose of the book is primarily doctrinal and secondarily practical. James’ epistle is a good example of how the doctrine taught in Matthew can be applied in our lives.
  • It is a mistake to treat the teachings of Jesus in the same way as we treat the law which was supplanted by the cross. Understanding the kingdom context should help us to know how to apply its teachings in today’s context rather than excusing us from taking the teachings seriously.  
  1. Matthew has five major teaching sections:  the Sermon on the Mount (5-7), the commissioning of the apostles (10), the kingdom parables (13), a discourse about the childlikeness of the believer (18), and the Olivet Discourse (24-25).
  2. The beginning of the book (1-4) establishes Jesus’ credentials and credibility.
  3. The ending of the book (28:16-20) shows how the disciples as well as the recipients of the gospel are to apply the truth of Christ.
  4. Key turning point:  Matthew 16:21, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
  5. Matthew emphasizes the credibility of the historical Jesus as the Messiah. 
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How God Reveals Himself in the Old Testament Through Jesus Christ August 12, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Character, False Teachers, Inspiration, Law, Matthew, Messiah, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Righteousness, Sermon on the Mount, Sermons, Special Revelation.
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JESUS AND OLD TESTAMENT ERRORS

Did Jesus Contradict the Old Testament?

Matthew 5:17-20

Last Sunday I was asked about an apparent contradiction between the Old Testament command to stone false prophets and the command that Jesus gave in John 8:1-11 that those who were without sin should cast the first stone. This is such an important question that Jesus Himself in His most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, addressed this issue of His relationship to the Old Testament.

One of the earliest accusations against Jesus was that He opposed the Law of Moses. Now if this was true then He should have been stoned according to the Law. In fact, in John 10:30-39 when Jesus told them that He was one with the Father, making Himself to be God, they tried to stone Him but Jesus escaped from them.

So today, we are going to see what Jesus has to say in his defense to the accusation that He tried to correct the Old Testament law.

JUDGE ME BY MY WORDS AND ACTIONS.

Jesus says, “Listen to me and be convinced” (verse 17). The gospel of Matthew is the only one of the gospels written specifically with Jews in mind. The Jews of that day were divided about the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. Many believed and followed him, many others did not, but there was a number of Jews who wanted to believe but needed more evidence. Just as there are questions of doubt in these days, there were questions of doubt in those days.

Jesus said to the doubters, “Think outside of the box! Do not jump to conclusions based on the normal way of thinking. Listen to me and see if I am telling you the truth. Do not suppose you know the answer. Listen and think!”

SO WHAT ABOUT THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN? 

We have an excellent example of this in the story of the woman who was to be stoned. John 8:6 says they brought the woman to Him to ask what they should do. Now there were Jewish courts for such a trial but they had decided to see if they could trap Jesus into contradicting Moses. Also, although apparently the woman was guilty, the man with whom she had been caught was not brought before Jesus. These men were obviously not interested in keeping the Law but rather in entrapping Jesus. Jesus could have easily said, “Stone her!” He would have been within His rights. In fact, He did say stone her but He did it in a way that was definitely outside of the box. He said to the men, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

These fellows knew each other. They knew what kind of men they were. Suddenly they lost interest in the case. Beginning from the oldest to the youngest they walked away. They had been exposed. After they left, Jesus said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Where are the witnesses against you?” She said, “I have no accusers!” At that, Jesus wiped the dust off His hands and said, “I cannot condemn you unless you have accusers. You may go but do not sin anymore.”

This is a good example of how Jesus thought outside the box and He wants us to do so as we examine Him. He wants us to think, of course, but He does not want us to think the way the world does but with spiritual thinking, thinking which is outside of the box of our humanity.

THE ANALOGY OF THE HOUSE

Jesus then said, “I did not come to take the house of God down.” That is what that word “destroy” means. “I did not come disassemble God’s Word.”

Jesus then said, “I came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.” I came to move in new furniture. Look at my life, look at my teaching! There is not one thing that I do or teach that takes away from the Law (the first five books of Moses) or the Prophets (which is the rest of the Old Testament). I did come though to add meaning and clarity.

IF THE OLD TESTAMENT IS TRUTH, THEN JESUS  IS TRUTH.

Jesus says, “Listen to the Old Testament and be assured (verses 18). The Old Testament is an established standard by which to measure Jesus.

Almost every Easter and Christmas we hear expressions of doubt about the truth. We have heard about the DaVinci Code, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, the gravestone which supposedly has Jesus’ name on it. Although we may not appreciate these expressions of doubt, they are crucial. They are “…crucial… because on the surface there seems to be no great difference between Christianity and the religions of the world. They have great leaders… and so do we. They have written Scriptures . . . and so do we. They have miracle stories . . . and so do we. They have high ethical standards . . . and so do we. They have a long and rich history . . . and so do we.

One might ask, ‘How can I know which religion is the right one?’ That’s a fair question. The average person today faces a… supermarket of religions from which to choose. He sees the well-stocked shelves and wonders, ‘Which one should I choose?’ There is only one problem. All the bottles have been poisoned except one. How can he find that one right, pure and safe bottle?” (RAY PRITCHARD)

The Old Testament is our answer. If Jesus can knowingly attempt to fulfill every letter of every page of every book of every section of the Old Testament, then we have a way to judge if He is really who He said He is.

The Old Testament points to the coming of a specific person. That is one of the key messages of the Old Testament. Jesus reveals Himself to be that person. Jesus fulfilled completely the book written about Him, the Old Testament. This book was completed four hundred years before His birth. Others before and after Him claimed to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament but only Jesus has fulfilled the holy book written about him.

No other man can make such a claim.

A COMPARISON 

Mohammed wrote the Koran to correct the Bible not to fulfill it. He claimed inspiration but he could not claim to fulfill the written prophecies of the Old or New Testaments.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible but he was not the fulfillment of one word of Holy Scripture.

Buddha wrote many words and like Jesus challenged others to evaluate his words but he never fulfilled the written prophecies of others.

Confucius wrote but like the others could never point to other holy writings and legitimately claim that he fulfilled them.

Jesus Christ said in John 5:39-47, “Search the Scriptures! They speak of me. If you believe Moses, you will believe Me because he wrote of Me. There is no other case in all of history where you can take a book and then take a person hundreds of years in the future and say, “This is about Him,” but in the Old Testament you can.

THE OPPONENTS OF JESUS

Jesus says, “Look at the False Teachers and be instructed (verse 19). “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments…” – Every person is responsible before God because of the truth of the Old Testament. If Jesus had not yet come, or if He had come but God had chosen not to give us the New Testament, we would still be responsible to God based on the Old Testament. It is the inspired Word of God.

BUT JESUS OPPONENTS BELIEVED THE OLD TESTAMENT, DIDN’T THEY? 

Verse 19 – “…and teaches them so…but whoever does and teaches them…” Jesus is saying that you cannot separate doctrine and deed. If in your teaching you cause someone to break “one of the least of these commandments…” you will find yourself on the bottom of the spiritual pecking order, last in the kingdom of God.

THE WARNING FOR TODAY 

Finally, Jesus says, “Look to Yourselves and be warned” (verse 20). The authority for the warning comes from the phrase, “For I say to you…” How did Jesus get this authority? – Look back at verse 17. By fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. From whom did He get this authority? – Look at Matthew 7:21. He got His authority from God. Continually in the Sermon on the Mount He repeats the phrase, “I say unto you…” After awhile one might ask Himself the question, “Who does this Jesus think He is?” In Matthew 7:21 He tells us. He is Lord, and whoever obeys Him is doing the will of the Father.

The Purpose of the Warning (…unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees…) Their lives were to reflect true righteousness which can only be found in following Jesus Christ. He goes on to teach them what to do. There is a huge difference between teaching righteousness and being righteous. Jesus was demanding that they become righteous by following Him, by becoming His disciple. Becoming a disciple speaks of a personal relationship to the teacher. This is what these fellows had. Of course, obedience is the natural result of being a disciple but you still have to learn what obedience means and that was what Jesus was teaching the disciples. First of all, that they might obey and secondly that they might be different from those who only taught righteousness but did not practice it themselves.

When God presents us with truth, He expects us to do something with that truth. Jesus presented in this sermon the truth of His Messiahship. He expected them to live accordingly. He expects the same from you.

THE HORRIBLE EXAMPLE OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

He, however, will have nothing to do with you…unless…unless you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone as the Savior of your eternal soul. This message is eternal but useless without trusting Christ as your Savior. Judas heard the same message as the rest of the disciples but he lived for earthly things. Yes, it was a temptation for the other disciples also but Judas was the only one that stepped over that line and said, “I’m driving my stakes down right here. I am living for this world. This kingdom that Jesus keeps promising, never comes. I’m going to get while the getting is good.” That’s why he could so easily betray Jesus.

You have the opportunity to become a disciple. Look at the claims Jesus makes for Himself and decide to follow Him and live or turn and go your own way. Whether you trust Him or not, He holds your future and you can enter His kingdom but you must trust Him and Him alone. He died for you according to the Old Testament Scriptures, He was buried, He rose again according to the Old Testament Scriptures, and He ascended on high to the Father’s throne (according to Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1:3-6) but you must turn to Him and to Him alone for salvation.

PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS. 

Believer, are you living for Christ or are you just talking. Do you mouth the right words or do you live as you know Jesus wants you to. You may not know everything you are supposed to do to honor God but are you doing what you do know?

Some of you are struggling with doubts. You wonder if you are saved, if God really loves you, if you are good enough to please God. Are you going to live in the assurance established by the Old Testament Scriptures? They will never pass away. They will be fulfilled. Jesus Christ will do that. If you are in Him, in Jesus Christ, then you are just as assured of heaven as God’s Word is settled for all eternity.

Are you going to live, conscience of Christ’s commands everywhere you go? If you do, are you going to obey those commands. If you look in these chapters you will find the command to love your enemy, to forgive, to have confidence in God, the command to be pure, the command to be honest, the command to pray, the command not to judge, the command not to be proud, the command to live a mature and godly life. Will you live like your king or will you live like Judas for this world?

Links to Sermons on Matthew 5:17-20 August 10, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Inspiration, Law, Matthew, Promises of God, Prophets, Religion, Righteousness, Sermon on the Mount, Sermons.
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Three Sermons from Arthur Pink.  I’m going to try to cover this passage in one 🙂

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_06.htm

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_07.htm

http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_08.htm

Not a well-known name but this is an excellent sermon on this text:

http://pastorsteveweaver.wordpress.com/2007/03/26/the-righteousness-which-the-king-requires-exposition-of-matthew-517-20/

And from Ligon Duncan

http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/matthew/mat%20vol%201%20&%202/matthew%201%20&%202/08amatt.htm