If we don't break God's Law are we sinless? Jesus shows that many had taken this view in His day and yet sinned greatly as hypocrites. We must take action to show love toward God and love toward others. Only then will we fulfill the spirit of the law.
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There is a fish that lives at the bottom of the ocean. Unique looking. Swims in complete darkness. Light doesn’t penetrate to those depths. It has an arm that comes over the back of its head and dangles a light in front of it. That light is a great contrast to the darkness around. Other fish are attracted to the light. In the ocean depth of blackness, there is a beam of light. When the little fish get near, the bigger fish has dinner. That fish has action. It does something to get its food. I’ve been on 3 safaris in East Africa. The lions don’t lounge around all day ever day and expect the gazelles to lie down and say, “Eat me!” When they are hungry, they take action to get dinner. Little children learning to walk have lots of action. They fall, but they don’t give up. Finally, they get it and learn to walk. As a continuation from our sermon from last Sabbath, consider this: 1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×When was the last time you sinned? Did you mull over the concepts we discussed last week? Sin is the transgression of God’s law. Let’s take it further: What is God’s law? Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 are certainly God’s law. What about Leviticus 23? That speaks about the Sabbath; we are doing that today. It also talks about the holy days.
Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. The clean and unclean meats law. Those chapters give us the clues. Does it chew the cud? Does it divide the hoof? You may think of God’s laws as a bunch of don’ts. If we don’t break God’s laws are we sinless? Will we be accepted into the kingdom? Will we hear, “Good job! Great job, servant!”? The Pharisees were very good at not breaking God’s laws. Christ had stern things to say to them. Matthew 23:1-3 Matthew 23:1-3  Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
 All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not.
American King James Version×, 13-15, 17, 19, 24, 26, 29, 33 We will spot read this chapter. Vs. 1 – These seats were considered seats of honor. This is where the doctors of the law sat. These were before the Ark of the Covenant. They were eagerly sought because they showed what they were and what they knew. Vs. 3 – On one hand, if the Pharisees tell you not to break a law, do that. But don’t do according to their works. Go to Vs. 13. Vs. 13 – Here we break down the question. Here is a group of individuals that if they tell you not to break a law, do it. But He totally slams them. Vs. 14 – Hypocrites! Vs. 15 – Same. Vs. 17 – Same. Vs. 19 – Fools and blind. This is what He says about those that don’t break God’s law. Vs. 24 – They were very good at not breaking God’s law. Vs. 26 – Vs 29 – Hypocrites! Vs. 33 – Christ is putting the screws to this group that was very good at not breaking God’s law. So, if we don’t break God’s law, are we sinless? What do you think? They were intent on keeping the law so much they built fences around God’s law.
Christ healed on the Sabbath, and they went after Him for working. God’s law says honor the Sabbath. They put a fence around it. You can only walk so many feet on the Sabbath. If you walked further, you were breaking the Sabbath. If you put food out at that maximum distance, you could walk there, eat, and then return on the Sabbath. They put in exceptions. James 4:17 James 4:17Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
American King James Version×If we know to do good and don’t do it, that is a sin. Back to the question. If we don’t break God’s laws, are we sinning? According to James, absolutely. If we know to do good and don’t do it, it is sin. UCG booklet: Transforming your Life. Some transgressions involve sins of omission. If we recognize the need to do some things, and fail to do them, we miss the mark. We sin. Last week, we talked about sins of transgression and missing the mark. Today we will expand that. We must exceed the minimum. Not breaking God’s law is not good enough. We must do something with what we believe. Matthew 5:17 Matthew 5:17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
American King James Version×Christ’s own words: He did not come to abolish the law. You know those crazy OT laws; you don’t need to do them anymore. That is not what He is saying. Society has Christ nailing all the laws and morals to the cross. That boundaries are not important. That is not true. He didn’t come to destroy them.
“Destroy” means to abolish. G2647 καταλύω kataluō kat-al-oo'-o From G2596 and G3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), that is, (by implication) to demolish (literally or figuratively); specifically (compare G2646) to halt for the night: - destroy, dissolve, be guest, lodge, come to nought, overthrow, throw down. Thayer Definition: 1) to dissolve, disunite 1a) (what has been joined together), to destroy, demolish 1b) metaphorically to overthrow, i.e. render vain, deprive of success, bring to naught 1b1) to subvert, overthrow 1b1a) of institutions, forms of government, laws, etc., to deprive of force, annul, abrogate, discard 1c) of travellers, to halt on a journey, to put up, lodge (the figurative expression originating in the circumstance that, to put up for the night, the straps and packs of the beasts of burden are unbound and taken off; or, more correctly from the fact that the traveller’s garments, tied up when he is on the journey, are unloosed at it end) Part of Speech: verb A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G2596 and G3089 Citing in TDNT: 4:338, 543 “Fulfill” means to magnify. G4137 πληρόω plēroō play-ro'-o From G4134; to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
Thayer Definition: 1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full 1a) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally 1a1) I abound, I am liberally supplied 2) to render full, i.e. to complete 2a) to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim 2b) to consummate: a number 2b1) to make complete in every particular, to render perfect 2b2) to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking) 2c) to carry into effect, bring to realization, realize 2c1) of matters of duty: to perform, execute 2c2) of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish 2c3) to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfillment Part of Speech: verb A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G4134 Citing in TDNT: 6:286, 867 How many remember your science classes and looking under a microscope? You put the sample under it and focused, and it was gigantic. It was life size. When you used it to look at little bugs and flies, you could see all the detail God put into their wings and antennae. Christ did not come to destroy the requirements, but to magnify them. Think of taking God’s laws and slipping it under a spiritual microscope. Christ came to magnify. Matthew 22:36-40 Matthew 22:36-40  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
 This is the first and great commandment.
 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
American King James Version×Now these two commandments are very difficult to do. It is difficult to love each other like God wants. This is not brotherly love like we have for family members. This means that regardless of what they can do for you, I’m going to show compassion. Our human nature wants something in return. We have to pray to God and ask Him to help us with this task. We have to ask Him to help us show His kind of love to others.
1 Timothy 1:5 1 Timothy 1:5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
American King James Version×Vs. 5 – The goal, the purpose of keeping the commandments is to show agape godly love. That should come from clean thoughts and moral convictions and faith. Faith is belief plus action. We can have belief, but if we don’t take action, what good is the belief? In Toronto, you can go up the CN Tower. You can walk out on a piece of glass. Hundreds of feet below you is the city. It is a gigantic piece of glass. They have tested that it will hold with 12 elephants. But it takes faith to walk out on the glass. The tower shakes in the wind. It takes faith to step out. You have to have faith in the plaque that says it will hold 12 elephants. If you put some action behind that belief, you take one step forward. You look down and there is nothing below you. Until you take that step and step out on that glass, you are not exercising your faith. The goal of the commandments comes from these things. I like the Amplified Bible on this. The object and purpose of our charge is love that springs from a clear heart and a clean conscience and the sincere faith. You have to have the faith that the guy that wrote the plaque wasn’t joking – that it really will hold 12 elephants. Luke 18:10-14 Luke 18:10-14  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
American King James Version×The Pharisees were very good at not breaking the law. Two men went to pray. One never broke a law. The other was a tax collector. Vs. 11 – I’m not unjust. I haven’t slept with anyone else’s wife. I haven’t stolen. I fast twice a week. I’m not stealing Your tithes. I’m tithing the smallest grain.
Vs. 14 – It is not just about not breaking God’s law. We have to do something more. WE have to have a humble spirit. We may not break a law, but what action do we have? Are we like the lion? Are we like the fish that does something? Or are we just sitting back trying not to break a law. Transforming Your Life: Sometimes we lose sight of our purpose: Showing love to and concern for other people. Christ wasn’t on them because they were breaking God’s laws. He was on them because they failed to understand the principles involved. We must be careful to actively apply the principles of the law. They were good and not breaking God’s law, but bad at keeping the law. They didn’t keep the two great commandments. I want to read one law and put it under the microscope and see how Christ fulfilled this law. We will slip it under the microscope. Exodus 20:13 Exodus 20:13You shall not kill.
American King James Version×You shall not murder. I hope that no one here has ever shot and killed anyone. I am new in the area. (Laughter.) On the surface, the Pharisee would get rid of all the guns and knives. Christ came to magnify the laws. What is the principle here? What should we be doing? It is easy not to kill someone. It is easy not to break this law. But how do we keep it? From our booklet, “Ten Commandments”, Christ amplified the meaning of murder to include hateful hostility to others. Harboring hate violates the sixth commandments. Why? This is mental warfare. The desire to see someone else suffer. This goes to our feelings. Do we despise someone? Do we cut through the aisles so we don’t have to see them? Using words and speech to emotionally attack others is equally wrong. With words we damage their reputation.
The Pharisees didn’t break the command, but they failed to keep the principle. Christ called them a brood of vipers. They were intent on not breaking the law but failed to keep the law. Homework. Go through the laws of God. There are a lot of them. The Ten Commandments. The holy days. Study them. It is more than a list of 10 don’ts. What is the underlying principle? Study them. If all we do is concentrate on not breaking these laws, we won’t be in the kingdom. Guaranteed. God expects more. God expects us not to break these laws, and to keep them. Matthew 25:14-30 Matthew 25:14-30  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.
 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
 But he that had received one went and dig in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
 After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them.
 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
 His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are an hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strewed:
 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: see, there you have that is yours.
 His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed:
 You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury.
 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents.
 For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has.
 And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
American King James Version×Parable of the talents. The man gives a measure of money to each of his servants. He expects them to do something with the small investment. The first two have action. They do something with it. The servant with 5 brought back 10. The servant with 2 brought back a profit too. Matthew 25:24-28 Matthew 25:24-28  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are an hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strewed:  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: see, there you have that is yours.  His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed:  You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury.  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents.
American King James Version×Vs. 26 – This servant was intent on not breaking God’s law. He hid it. He failed to apply the principles. The other two had action. They did something. Luke 12:16-20 Luke 12:16-20  And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?
American King James Version×Vs. 18 – I’ll pull this down and build a bigger empire. What did he do with those things? Nothing. God said he was a fool. Vs. 20 – He didn’t take what he had and share it. He didn’t say my barns are too full; I’ll give whatever is left to others. I’m going to practice agape love. He said sit in the Lazy Boy chair and relax. You have done well. Relax. God says he did not break His law, but failed at keeping it. We can’t sit back and take care of ourselves. That is not the expectation of God. James 2:18-20 James 2:18-20  Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
American King James Version×We can’t just believe; we must have action. Vs. 18 – Seems like a tongue twister. Let’s replace “works” with “action”. God expects us to do something. He doesn’t expect us to sit back and take our ease.
Vs. 19 – We can’t just believe. That is not good enough. Vs. 20 – Faith without action is useless is not faith at all. We can’t concentrate on not breaking God’s law and neglect the love aspect. We have to do something. WE have to be like that little fish that God designed to have a light bulb. We have to be like the lions and cheetahs. We must take action. Let’s read about some that had action. That did something with what God gave them. Hebrews 11:7-8 Hebrews 11:7-8  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went.
American King James Version×, 23, 31 What kind of action do you think Noah had? He hired people. He had to cut down trees. It was a gigantic boat. It was huge. What kind of action do you think he had? He could have said he believed in the flood and then waited. But that is not what he did. He did something about it. Vs. 8 – What kind of action did Abraham have? When he was told to offer his son, did he tell God that he believed it could happen? No, he exercised his faith. Vs. 23 – Moses had action. He stood up and told Pharaoh what he was doing was wrong. Vs. 31 – Rahab had action. She did something with her beliefs. Here are some actions for us. It is difficult to sacrifice our time. We lead busy lives. But to be in God’s kingdom, we must keep God’s laws, not just not break them. Practice showing God’s love. This next week, sacrifice your time for someone. Practice that outgoing concern. Be a contributor. Give something back. Don’t just be a sucker that takes. Start with families and close friends. But don’t stop there. It is easy and nice to do nice things for them. But it is more difficult when we get out from our close friends and family. James has strong words about being two faced. Acting one way to your friends and family, but differently to others. They are weird; they don’t shower often… Let’s be sure we aren’t hypocritical when it comes to showing godly love. Don’t claim to be a follower of Christ and fail to show godly love. Don’t be a Pharisee.
Romans 12:9-21 Romans 12:9-21  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; hold to that which is good.
 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
 If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.
 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord.
 Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.
 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
American King James Version×In my Bible, there is a heading here: "Behave Like a Christian". Vs. 15 – Can you extract the actions that are in there? Our Christian life should encompass these things. Vs. 21 – This is a section of scripture that is full of action. Things that we should be keeping. Read Matthew 25. There is a parable where Christ separates people into two groups. One group He says He doesn’t know. They say they didn’t break His commands. He says, yes, but you didn’t keep my commands. Don’t be like that first group where Christ says I don’t know you. Put action into our lives. Show it by the things we do and say for people. Matthew 25:31-40 Matthew 25:31-40  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in:  Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you an hungered, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink?  When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you?  Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came to you?  And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.
American King James Version×Vs. 36 – Where does Christ say, well done, you didn’t covet. You didn’t lust. You didn’t commit adultery. VS. 37 – If Christ came in the door, how many of us would give him our coat if He was cold? We should be doing that for others as well. Pray and ask God to reveal our sins. Ask to recognize sins of omission. We know we should be showing compassion. By not thinking it through, we are sinning. We are missing the mark. Ask God to help us show godly love. By doing that, we can have action behind our belief.