Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Christ in the Gospel of Matthew I

Instead of going through the gospel of Matthew chapter by chapter, I will focus on certain things that Christ presents in this gospel, in a broad overview, of course everything our Lord taught is worthy for us to consider, so this may extend over several of the next studies.

Christ came to fulfill the Law Matthew 5:17
Christ states that He had come not to abolish the Law and the Prophets but to fulfill them. Some may think that the Old Testament is not for us today. When Christ states that He fulfilled the Law He is saying that the righteousness that the Law required, He had. That the absolute obedience it required He was going to accomplish. What no one had been able to do He was proclaiming, He was going to accomplish. When He says that He was going to fulfill the Prophets, He was the ultimate reality that all the prophecies spoke to, He was the fulfillment of all the promises of God. Christ is saying that everything that God was speaking about from Genesis to Malachi, He was who God was talking about. Everyone else that had come along and served the plans and purposes of God pointed to Christ. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, all these were types of Christ yet none of them where able to accomplish all that God required, none of them were able to bring about God's promise to rescue His people from their sin and remove them from under His wrath, they all failed in that capacity.  Our Lord comes on the scene and states that He will bring God's plan of redemption to it decreed place. He will accomplish God's will for His people. So the Old Testament is still for us today, it is still the Word of God and we can learn about the faithfulness of God as we read how God remained faithful as He dealt with successive men to bring His plans to their appointed end. Seeing His faithfulness in the lives of the men of the Old Testament gives us courage and faith that God will be faithful to us when we believe and trust in His promises, just as the Old Testament saints found out.

Christ taught us how to Pray Matthew 6:9
The Lord's Prayer. With it Christ taught His disciples how to pray, when they asked Him to teach them. This prayer which is a pattern for us to use to construct our own prayers, is also a prayer that we can pray. It is a prayer that is based on the Word of God, as our prayers should be. Christ tells us to call God "Father" signifying that we have been adopted into the family of God, once we have trusted in Christ for our salvation. Then He tells us to pray that God's name would be hallowed - this request is of course, stating that we should reverence God and treat Him as Holy, but it is also a request that God, Himself would hallow it by being the holy Judge and Savior (Reformation Study Bible).  We sometimes do not consider the wickedness of not respecting God. Our culture totally disregards God, it is normal to use His name as a curse word, and to reverence Him is considered out of touch. But just listen to what Jude says; "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (Jude 14-15) This is one aspect of what we are praying when we pray "hallowed be your name" God coming as Judge and Savior will hallow His name. We are also told to pray that God's kingdom will come, we are praying that God would consummate everything and bring about the Day of the Lord, when the only thing that will remain standing will be the kingdom of God, we are to pray for that day to come. We are also to pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven, this is pretty much that same as praying for His kingdom to come. In heaven, every being there is obediently doing the will of God, it is only here on earth where there is disobedience, we are to pray for that to change. For the earth to come in line with heaven. We are to pray for God to meet our daily need. We are to pray for God to forgive us our debts (our sin debts). Just as we are to pray for God to give us our daily bread we should also pray for daily forgiveness. If we want God to forgive us our debts we must be willing to forgive others. We are to pray not to be lead into temptation and for power from God to deliver us from Satan's wiles and schemes.  Christ also tells His disciples and us also that if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us.

We will continue this next time.


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