How the Sermon on the Mount Contributes to God’s Intent in Giving the Law

The giving of the law to the nation of Israel was not merely a set of restrictive regulations to provide a layer of burden upon the nation of Israel. Rather, the main goal of the giving of the law was for the nation of Israel to love God with their entire being (Deuteronomy 6:4), as well as to love other human beings (one’s neighbor).

Jesus Christ affirmed this dual-pillar love of God and love of others emphasis both in His direct conversations (such as in Matthew 22:38-40), as well as He elaborated on this emphasis in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. While Jesus Christ did not come to abolish, but to fulfill, the law, He went further in His exposition of the law by showing how believers must transition from mere outward obedience to the letter of the law to an inward transformation of obedience to the spirit of the law.

Jesus Christ ushered in a higher ethical standard than what was given during the original giving of the law. His higher ethical standard is not in opposition to the law, but it goes above and beyond the original law. This ethical standard is a type of “kingdom ethics” that can be somewhat practiced by believers in this present age (the main practicing comes as believers spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world), while believers await its complete fulfillment in the eschaton when the Kingdom of God is fully present and complete. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

About Nathan Parker

M Div Graduate, IT Consultant for Earth Networks, contributor at WeatherTogether and Focusing on the Mark Ministries, as well as anything else the Lord has in store for me! "Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him" -Charles Stanley