Matthew 5:19, KJV: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
CONTEXT: The Pharisees were accusing Jesus of setting the Law aside, while they endeavored to keep it in their own power. Jesus condemned the Pharisees and anyone else who tried to follow their example by saying that unless they could keep the Law even better than the Pharisees kept it, they could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This was a daunting challenge because the Pharisees were scrupulous followers of the Law. If the Pharisees did not have enough righteousness on their own to enter Heaven, then who could? Obviously, Jesus was alluding to that answer. No one can earn their way into Heaven because no one is righteous enough to make it through works. Righteousness comes by faith in Christ. Romans 3:20-26. This is precisely why Jesus came to fulfill the Law on our behalf, so that his perfect work could be credited to us on the basis of FAITH. Now that the Law has been completed by Jesus on our behalf, we are no longer obligated to keep it ourselves. That is not to suggest that the Law itself has gone away, but only that our obligations to keep it is gone, because Jesus has already kept (i.e., fulfilled, completed, accomplished) it on our behalf as our advocate!
Likewise, anyone who discounts the importance of God's Word will suffer loss. Jesus alone is the One who kept and taught the Law, and as a result, JESUS will be the One who is called *greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven! (Matthew 5:19). On this side of the cross, we should not teach that we must keep the Law of stone to earn or maintain eternal life, but neither should we teach the law no longer reigns and rules in the Kingdom of God! The law is good and forever lives and exists in God’s economy; however, Christians are dead to the law and alive in Christ! Christ is the end of the law of all WHO BELIEVE! Romans 10:4. Rather, now we teach that the Law has been fulfilled by CHRIST’S CROSSWORK, and believers now can REST in Jesus’ perfect accomplishment of the Law rather than look to our works which are as FILTHY RAGS! James 2:10, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:20.
No FLESH can earn their way into Heaven because no one is righteous enough to make it through works. (Isaiah 64:6). This is precisely why Jesus came to fulfill the Law on our behalf, so that his perfect work could be credited to us on the basis of FAITH. We see clearly from this scripture that Jesus has declared that He has come to complete the purpose of the Old Testament, not to discard it (Matthew 5:17–18). The law will not pass away until all is accomplished; until heaven and earth pass away. The “passing away of heaven and earth,” is simply another way to speak of the END OF THE OLD COVENANT. Therefore, if we do not understand the biblical use of "heaven and earth", it will follow that we also will not grasp what the verse is saying in regards to the end of the law of stone! To prove this from the Scripture, let us look at the follow scriptures:
Hebrews 1:10-12 (NKJV) And: "You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail." These verses are a word for word quotation from Psalm 102. If all we had was the prophecy of David in Psalms 102, we might think that this is referring to the physical earth. But the New Testament gives us insight and illumination to the Old Testament. How is the world or the heavens and earth of old going to perish? David said, in Psalm 102:26, "They shall grow old like a garment," and then they would be "changed." Is it just a coincidence that the Bible speaks of the passing away of the old covenant using the same language? No!
Hebrews 8:13 (NKJV) In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The same Greek word palaioo which means: "to make worn out or declare obsolete" is used in Hebrews 1:11 of the heavens and earth and 8:13 of the Old Covenant. The writer of Hebrews teaches us that the "Old Covenant" and the "Heavens and earth" are SYNONYMOUS!
John Brown (1722-1787) of Haddington was a leading Scottish minister in the early eighteenth-century. He was a devout Christian, a gifted preacher, and prolific writer of theology. God favored him with unusual gifts and an enormous capacity for hard work. Reverend John Brown said, " 'Heaven and earth passing,' understood literally, is the dissolution of the present system of the universe, and the period when that is to take place, is called the 'end of the world.' But a person at all familiar with the phraseology of the Old Testament Scriptures, knows that the dissolution of the Mosaic economy, and the establishment of the Christian, is often spoken of as the removing of the old earth and heavens, and the creation of a new earth and new heavens."
According to the words of Jesus, believers are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, (John 3:16) and his word shall never pass away! In his first advent, Jesus fulfilled ALL (not some, or 2/3, or half, every jot) THE LAW, (ONE LAW, ONE LAWGIVER) AND brought in the NEW Covenant at THE CROSS, which is an everlasting covenant! The OLD has passed away (vanquished, decayed and waxed), and BELIEVERS live in the *NEW* Covenant age UNDER GRACE by the LAW OF LIBERTY which is by faith. James 1:25, SEE ROYAL LAW, James 2:8 and Law of CHRIST: Matthew 22:36-40, Hebrews 10:16. IT IS FAITH THAT SAVES US! Romans 4:5-8, Romans 3:20-26, Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:31, Galatians 2:16, Romans 3:20-26, John 3:16. In wisdom with understanding, we can say that the application of Jesus' teaching throughout the New Testament is that believers in Jesus are not required to follow the law of Moses in order to be welcomed into the family of God because we are saved by GRACE through faith in Christ. As the apostle Paul will write to believers in Jesus in Romans 7:4–6:
"You also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code."
Some bible scholars suggest Jesus was emphasizing that the law remained fully in effect AT THAT MOMENT, so obedience to God in every aspect of Jewish life and practice was still relevant because Christ’s death for the sins of humanity, and His defeat of death through the resurrection had not yet taken place! Hence, the NEW Covenant OF GRACE would come into effect AFTER the *death of the testator! SEE Hebrews 9:16. We must understand that the law of Moses had a specific purpose: to reveal sin and need for a savior; and was given to a specific audience: THE JEWS! And this truth does not change! Once all things are completed, those commandments are not "abolished," they are "fulfilled" (Hebrews 9:10–11; 10:1–4). Jesus' intent is not to abolish any part of God's commandments but to fulfill them. HOWEVER, ON THIS SIDE OF THE CROSS, LOVE FULFILLS THE LAW. SEE ROMANS 13:8-13. It is called the Law of Christ, known as the Royal law, see James 2:8, John 13:34, Hebrews 10:6, Matthew 22:36-40. Believers are to simply LOVE God and to love our neighbor as ourselves! LOVE FULFILLS THE LAW AND A BURDEN, IT IS NOT! 1 John 5:3, 1 Corinthians 13:13. AMEN!!
Credit to sister in Christ for post; Bee Bernette follow her at facebook
In conclusion, come to Christ now before it is too late. For Jesus was crucified on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose on the third day and is coming back again. This is the good news or gospel that he brought to us. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and wages for these sins is the death penalty (Romans 6:23). No one is righteous (Romans 3:10). Above all, we have been pardoned and given the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, as he paid the price in FULL (Romans 6:23). Have Hope in Jesus Christ for your eternal being by following what I call the ABC's of Salvation. (Romans 10:9-10, Romans 10:13). This is the greatest gift given to us.