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Matthew 5: Rules of Engagement

Matthew ch 5 latter half (verses 17-end)

Jesus says that he has not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it and that until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. HE is the the accomplishment of that law!! HE is the fulfillment of that law!! The law is our guide but if we are Christ followers, we are not bound and sentenced by that law. He continues in vs 20 with “for I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” WHAT 😱 Hold up. The scribes and Pharisees were the most well respected and clean of the bunch. Actually, if you want to get technical, that was their claim to fame. And Jesus doesn’t offer a quick disclaimer here. You have to skip ahead three chapters to get a clear view of his thoughts on them (Matthew 23:23-25 if you are curios). But what he does do is give us examples and a glimpse. Ever the teacher (and the greatest to walk the earth, one to be emulated) He tells us….

1. The law says don’t murder. I’m telling you anger in your heart is just as damaging.

2. The law says don’t commit adultery. I’m telling you if you look at someone with lust, you are committing adultery in your heart and it’s just as damaging.

3. The law allows for divorce. I’m telling you now, if you divorce for any reason other than for sexual immorality, you are making your spouse commit adultery and her future spouse as well (granted - you can opt to not marry a divorced person). Not to mention all the problems it really does cause the kids - news flash, they aren’t as resilient as you think.

4. The law tells you not to swear on something if it is a lie. I am telling you, just don’t swear to anything. Why complicate it? Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Be so honorable that no one will ever even require you to swear on anything.

5. The law allows for retaliation but I’m telling you it will only keep the cycle of hatred going. So if someone harms you, shock them with love. If they take something from you, give them more (who knows the back story, they most likely need it more than you). If someone is unkind, be kind and not snarky back.

Your Father in Heaven makes the sun rise and set on the evil and good in this world. It is not for you to judge. And if you only love those who love you, how are you any better than those who are evil? We are called to a higher calling as those who follow Christ. He has given us the Holy Spirit to help. By no means are we perfect but every day is a new day and we are being transformed daily to be more like Him. We are changing and growing and we are working toward the goal of becoming more like Christ to others. That is our calling.

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good and what the LORD requires of you: to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

I would like to add here that if you are in a relationship where you or your children are being abused, the Bible does not say anything about divorce and that person. But the Bible also does not say to stay with person either. PLEASE LEAVE, GET OUT. There are many good agencies and people who are willing and able to help. If nothing else, please contact me and I will gladly help.

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