The "constitution" of Jesus — the word of god — matthew 5:17-20
Some say the constitution of the United States is the most valuable asset we have as Americans. What is your personal "constitution"? ("Constitution" — establishment, structure, basics, essentials, ones make up, subject to, dependent on"). What principles do you live by: 1)the traditions of your family, friends and/or church; 2)your own reasoning; or 3)the Word of God? Unbelievers sometimes even mock us for believing the "fairy tales" of the Bible – Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark, Jonah and the fish, etc. But Jesus spoke of all of these and affirmed them as being historically true and examples for us to learn from. Satan wants to keep us from God’s Word (busyness) and if we read it to cause us to doubt it: "Did God really say" (Genesis 3:1). What is your ultimate and final authority for how you choose to live your life as a person, a husband or parent, as a friend, as a businessman?
Jesus Christ was a "Man of the Book". He read, studied, memorized and obeyed God’s Word. To be like our Lord we too must be "men of the Book". "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance (obedience) of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." (Ezra 7:10)
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matthew 5:17-19) Contrary to what the scribes and Pharisees believed, Jesus was not some heretic distorting God’s Word but in fact He corrected their misinterpretations of God’s Word. They had made God’s Word a complex system of burdensome rules (e.g., the ridiculous and unloving rules regarding the Sabbath) versus life-giving truths to guide us. Yet Jesus showed us that even the Old Testament taught that the Law could never save us (Psalm 51:16-17; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27) but was meant to reveal the holiness of God and the sinfulness of all mankind and thus our need for a Savior. "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20) Paul says I want "to be found in him, (Jesus) not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, (i.e., a self-righteousness like the Pharisees) but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." The law drives us to Christ and the gospel draws us to Him and converts our soul as we see from the Old and New Testament Scriptures:
Psalm 19:7 "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul."
Heb 9:22 "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
Leviticus 17:11 "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life."
Exodus 12:13 "The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."
Heb 10:11-12 "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God."
Mark 14:24 "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them."
1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin."
"All that is essential for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". (Edmond Burke) The Scriptures tell us that we are in a battle against the world, the devil and our flesh every day and that our most powerful weapon is the Word of God. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5) Jesus won every battle as He knew and obeyed the Word of God. "It is written" was His constitution and battle cry from the wilderness temptation to the garden of Gethsemane. And Paul reminds us that the Word of God is part of our armor both the "belt of truth" and the sword of the Spirit". The greatest good we can do then is to know, live by and teach others by our life and lips the Word of God: "but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (v.19)
Living in the kingdom of God means that every facet of our lives is under the rule of the King as seen in the Word of The King — the Scriptures: personal growth in Christlikeness, in our marriages, parenting, friendships and business practices.
Psalm 1:1-3 "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."