(Read Matthew 15:1-20)
This morning we continue our series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing our mini-series entitled, “Grace Based Success (Prosperity)”. We have been studying the life of the Apostle Peter and our study has brought us to Matthew chapter 15. For the past few days we have been looking at the attitude the Pharisees and teachers of the Law had towards Jesus (when they were upset with Jesus for not washing his hands before he ate), and the attitude of Jesus towards the Father. Jesus loved the Father and He did everything He was instructed to do. The Father knew Jesus’ heart and He knew it was tender towards Him. This led to an intimate relationship between Father and Son; a relationship NOT BASED on external rules. When Peter asked Jesus for clarification concerning the scolding He gave the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Eating without washing their hands will never make people unacceptable to God.” Yesterday I shared a message with you about rules and those who focus too much on rules, instead of having a relationship with Jesus. Today’s message flows in the same vein.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. The Law made you wrong. Look at these three verses:
(1 Cor 15:56) For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
(James 2:10) For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.
(Rom 3:20) For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
a) Without the Law you would have no rules to break. That is why the Bible says “the law gives sin its power.”
b) Rules could never make you right. All rules can do is show you how wrong you are. The Bible clearly states, “The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”
c) Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are “mostly” good. James made it clear that if you keep 99% of the Law, and then break just one of the rules, you are as guilty as the person who broke them all.
d) The rules came from God and they are holy. So holy, as a matter of fact, that no mere human could ever keep them. Jesus was the only perfect human and He did, FOR US, what we could never do.
2. Breaking the Law led to the fear of death. The Bible says, “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (Heb 2:14.15).
a) Jesus came as a human, He lived as a human, and He died as a human, to free humanity from the power of sin and death.
b) Prior to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, satan had the “power of death”.
c) People all over the planet, Christians and nonbelievers alike, live their lives under the bondage of the fear of death.
d) People say, “I’m afraid of flying”. But they are not actually afraid of flying, they are afraid of dying. The fear of death has kept countless people from living in God’s best for their lives.
e) Jesus conquered death to deliver us from the fear and bondage of it.
f) You have no need to fear death. If you are Born-Again, you are already dead in Christ; you have done all the dying you are going to do.
3. Jesus freed us from the bondage of the Law. The Bible says, “Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ” (Gal 3:19-22).
a) The purpose of the Law was to show you that you cannot rely on your own ability; to drive home the fact that you NEED a Savior.
b) That Savior came, His name is Jesus, and He saved you from both sin and death.
c) Jesus fulfilled the Law for you (Mat 5:17,18).
d) Now God sees you through Jesus – you are credited with everything Jesus did.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith. You gave a Law to Moses, written by Your own hand, on tablets of stone. That Law is perfect and holy Law. Humans throughout the ages have attempted to fully comply with Your holy Law. However Father, as You know, we are human and flawed. You are divine and flawless. No human could ever fully comply with Your Law. Every human, except for one, who has ever walked the planet, has broken Your Law. Because we broke Your Law, we are guilty and we deserve punishment. The reality of the impending punishment has led many to live their lives under the bondage of the fear of death. However, there was ONE PERFECT HUMAN. You sent Your Son Jesus to walk this earth, to be the perfect human, and to fulfill Your perfect Law. Jesus never sinned. Jesus did not deserve death, because He lived a perfect life. But Jesus willingly accepted my punishment in my place. Jesus paid my debt, and He paid it in full. I am in Christ and Christ is in me. I have been Born-Again. I am dead to self, sin, and satan. I have done all dying I am going to do. Jesus made me free from the power of sin and the fear of death. I am not afraid of flying, because I am not afraid of dying. I am free to FIND, FOLLOW and FINISH my purpose in life and I declare by faith that I will. I will accomplish all I was born to accomplish and I will do it by Your grace. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.