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#39045 - Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:57 AM The "Law" in Matthew 5:17  
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olpo25 Offline
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Thanks again for taking my questions, everyone.

I'm curious what some of your thoughts are concerning the fulfilling of the law in Matthew 5:17.

It's to my understanding that the greek term used for "Fulfill" here is "Plesori," a term that greek scholars have had some difficulty with, though the general consensus is that it means to "Fill up/fill full" or, "To complete."

There are some basic theories about this among various theologians-
1)That Jesus was only referring to the 10 Commandments. That doesn't make sense to me, personally.
2)That Jesus was referring to the entire OT and the prophets, to include the actual Torah laws. I think this one makes a lot of sense.
3)That Jesus was specifically referring to the law itself, this to include all 613 of the ancient laws God gave to the Jews, and He fulfilled the spiritual intent of such, which of course validates a certain premise with #1 and 2 as well.

For whatever reason I went through a tremendous struggle with certain portions of this, though with the help of many dear Christian friends along the way, certainly Jesus Himself, I've managed to resolve each and every emotional conflict and source of confusion concerning the OT laws to the best of my ability-I actually got through it where I can definately say now with all honesty that I fully believe this all adds up and that every Word in that OT was inspired by God.

I went into such a panic for well over a year as I attempted to get through all of the pathways within the law itself, but again, I can say with complete certainty now that I feel it all adds up and that Jesus did indeed fulfill the spiritual intent of the law, that goes without saying.

In terms of the final question I have for all of you, which is the second question I ask you here, if I can use capital punishment once again for example's sake, how does one specifically substantiate some of God's evolving perspectives concerning such, which plays into a larger sub-theme of the Bible itself-

By this I mean, Christians will point to Romans 13 and the law itself to substantiate the necessity for the death penalty. Despite not ever wanting to see people put to death like this from the heart, I understand that this is a Biblical reality now so we must respect God's Word in such case.

At the same time, however, and this remains a source of mass confusion for me, what if there's a King David sitting on death row right now, a gentleman who might have snapped or something and ended up killing somebody but whose heart might be completely right with God.

While God did indeed punish David for the strategic murder he was involved with in relation to the affair, He did not go about justice in the same way that the law would demand-in this case, David's own life, not his child's. Something like that has to be the most confusing thing to sort out in the head I could ever think of, and this is the one final area I'm still trying to resolve.

In such case, was David the only single person in history that quite literally broke God's law from the standpoint of what he did which would have called for his own death, only for God to take the matter into His own hands and overide the very rules He Himself gave for the entire nation?

A person can try to justify this all they want, but the simple fact of the matter is that David clearly broke the "Do not murder" law, that which called for the death penalty-that of his own life-but God went about a different plan of sorts, taking the life of an innocent child in place of David who should've been put to death for the offense according to God's own law.

Well, alright-take a case of a 3 yr old molestation victim coming from an altogether broken home that goes on to kill a man that tries to rape her once she's 21, 22. From the age of 3 to 21, she had done everything in her life to get through the emotional trauma of her childhood, then once she's in college at a college party a boyfriend betrays her and tries to rape her on a first or second date, and she kills him. In between it all, however, she had spent her life volunteering at the church to help rape victims, the poor, selfless service all around.

My uncle, a devout Christian down in GA, couldn't stand Bush from day one because he put to death a woman while governor in TX because of a similar story I can't recall right now, but he felt that she could've done a lot for those in prison to find Christ because this lady had evidently been raped as a child and killed a man later in life that had attempted to rape her. Once she was in prison, though, she found Christ, and it was legitimate-she became an Evangelical while in prison but evidently Bush still pulled the plug on her despite having taken this man's life during an attempted rape.

Well, it would be my guess that most Evangelicals would support Bush based on that Romans 13 passage, but how do we get around what God did w/ King David?

The key question is, do we isolate that as a strictly personal "Overide" of sorts between God and King David? If so, how then do we justify the passage in Genesis where God unequivacly says that those shedding blood will have their own blood shed (Gen 9:6), not to mention the direct language in the law itself as well as Romans 13.

King David did, in a sense, have his "Own" blood shed through the death of his child for his sin, that needs to be pointed out, but at the same time such did not take place within the realgms of the eye for an eye philosophy, we know that.

The final question is pretty simple, therefore-how possibly do we make sense of this type of thing (Including Balaam-who was used by God in the OT days and whose life would have been spared, presumably, had he not betrayed God in the end, despite the call for all sorcerers to be stoned to death under the law, the OC having been in effect during Balaam's life).

Is it a case where despite all of these laws being in place under the NC itself that we just simply turn a blind eye when a convict is mysteriously pardoned after having been given a 25 year sentence after 2 or 3 years and presume that to be God's hand at work?

I'm basically lost on this issue, so I'm hopeful at least one of you can help here again. Thanks so much.

As a final note, I TRULY am thankful for this website and for all of the regulars that participate here to help out all of those that are seeking Him. I would recommend this venue to many others, and plan to once the opportunity arises. Thanks a bunch.

#39046 - Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:52 AM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: olpo25]  
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Robin Offline
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Quote
olpo25 said:

In terms of the final question I have for all of you, which is the second question I ask you here, if I can use capital punishment once again for example's sake, how does one specifically substantiate some of God's evolving perspectives concerning such, which plays into a larger sub-theme of the Bible itself-


God's perspective does not "evolve," first of all. It is eternal, having no beginning nor end. Nothing changes it, it doesn't improve or soften over time. That is true only of humans, but not the Creator.

Perhaps Numbers 35:6 and following is relevant to your question. The Levites had no designated land, but were instead to be given land - even whole cities - from among the other tribes. Six of those cities were designated "for the man-slayer to flee to" for safety from kinsman avengers until trial. This was for unintentional killings, accidents, self-defense, etc. Yet it seems an exception to the strict "eye for an eye" mindset we usually associate with ancient Israel and Old Testament law.

The death penalty does not go unpaid!

The difference is in who pays (or has paid) that penalty for sin. David was spared, as all believers are, from God's justice because a Substitute bore the penalty in our stead. His sacrifice is the basis for every "exception" to the death penalty requirement. Every one of us has committed murder in our hearts, and every one of us is no less guilty of murder than Moses, David, or Paul.

#39047 - Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:26 AM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: Robin]  
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Thanks so much for the reply, Robin.

I think you made an excellent case here, but David's murder was intentional-certainly it wasn't committed at his own hands, but it might as well have been. According to Ex 21:12, Rom 13 and Gen 9:6, his OWN life should have been taken for this crime.

I'm convinced that the only reasonable conclusion to make in this case is that God can and sometimes will overide His own law in an individual case. What applied for King David certainly did not apply for the masses even though punishment was certainly inflicted here by God having taken the life of David's infant child.

To be honest, very little of this part of it all makes the least bit of sense to me, but maybe that's the way that some of this is supposed to work, too.

#39048 - Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:40 PM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: olpo25]  
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Johan Offline
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Quote
I'm curious what some of your thoughts are concerning the fulfilling of the law in Matthew 5:17.


Quote
Matthew 5:17(NASB)
17"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.


To me this means that everything (including ceremonies) in the Law that pointed toward the Christ and that was prophesied about the Christ was fulfilled in Christ. Quote from MacArthur study Bible on this:

Quote
Jesus was neither giving a new law nor modifying the old, but rather explaining the true significance of the moral content of Moses' law and the rest of the OT. "The Law and the Prophets" speaks of the entirety of the OT Scriptures, not the rabbinical interpretations of them. fulfill This speaks of fulfillment in the same sense that the prophecy is fulfilled. Christ was indicating that He is the fulfillment of the law in all its aspects. He fulfilled the moral law by keeping it perfectly. He fulfilled the ceremonial law by being the embodiment of everything the law's types and symbols points to. And He fulfilled the judicial law by personifying God's perfect justice


As for your question about David. I agree that these sort of things are hard to understand. As for the commandment "You shall not murder", Jesus opened our eyes that murder is not restricted to physical murder. You can also murder through what you think! Thus, all of us are guilty of breaking this commandment. Is the history about David indirectly killing someone but not being punished by himself be killed, not also about God's endless grace? Thus in spite of David's action, God still keeps His promise that the Christ will be a decendant of David (Ps. 132:11). Also the words spoken by Isaiah in Isaiah 11:1-10 could not be fulfilled if David was himself directly to be punished for the murder of Uriah. None of Jesse's other sons were chosen by God to be the king of Israel. God remains true to His promises in spite of us not being faithful.

But I don't think you're right when you say that God sometimes overrule His own law (if I understand you correctly). His law is a reflection of His attributes and He cannot go against that. If He could it would not have been necessary for Christ to carry God's wrath against sin. I agree with Robin's explanation.

Johan

Last edited by Johan; Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:50 PM.
#39049 - Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:47 AM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: olpo25]  
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Robin Offline
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Quote
olpo25 said:

I'm convinced that the only reasonable conclusion to make in this case is that God can and sometimes will overide His own law in an individual case.


I don't think it's fair to say that He "overrides" His own Law. But I do think it may be fair to say that there are higher laws that trump lower ones. The law of gravity is not repealed to allow an airplane to fly. Rather, it appears to "break" the law of gravity because other laws apply.

Murder is never God's will! Yet before creation, He ordained the murder of His own Son:

Quote
...this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men... (Acts 2:23)


He was put to death before the foundation of the world, to allow "airplanes" (sinners) to "fly" (be justified).

#39050 - Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:51 AM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: olpo25]  
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olpo25 Offline
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Thanks so much for the kind reply, Johan.

For whatever reason I've taken a lot of interest in the life of King David and God's involvement throughout, specifically in terms of what might have been going on behind the scenes in such case.

Even w/ the overwhelmning complexities involved w/ this pre-Christ issue, the secular would not be able to make the argument that God did not fulfill His requirements in Ex 21:12 because the life of David's child was taken from him, this having been his own blood.

In fact, it might provide further evidence that the "Letter of the law" mentality and/or the philosophy of strict, binding legalism was never the intent from the earliest stages.

That's not to endorse any notion of non obedience or to say that God did not follow through on justice in all such cases because the stories of failure in the OT can always be traced back to the individuals having disobeyed God's law, and the punishment always took place, despite the fact in certain cases you would almost be convinced it was the natural course itself that delivered the punishment (The self imposed defeats in the lives of Balaam and King Solomon, etc).

Even if you try to make the argument that there wasn't direct Divine Intervention in the life of Solomon to inflict that punishment, that's precisely what happened in the end-but it was largely self inflicted, the result of having not obeyed the Lord in numerous areas leading up to his downfall.

#39051 - Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:17 PM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: olpo25]  
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Quote
olpo25 said:
I'm convinced that the only reasonable conclusion to make in this case is that God can and sometimes will override His own law in an individual case. What applied for King David certainly did not apply for the masses even though punishment was certainly inflicted here by God having taken the life of David's infant child.

olpo,

We should not confuse/impose those laws which pertain to how man is to conduct himself in the world with God's eternal moral law. God forbids murder, which He Himself cannot do, but the command to execute a murderer within society is not applicable to God. He may intervene and take the life of any man since "life" only exists as God sustains it. Case and point, there are a couple of obvious examples where God, the Lord Christ, did not demand the death penalty where the civil law clearly demanded it. 1) The Samaritan woman (Jh 4) who was living in adultery and 2) the couple caught in the very act of fornication/adultery (Jh 8). <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/idea.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#39052 - Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:26 PM Re: The "Law" in Matthew 5:17 [Re: olpo25]  
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olpo25 Offline
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Pilgrim, Robin, thanks again, both of you, for your responses, and this really helped put it into perspective for me all the more.

Again, I must apologize if some of my terminology has been hit and miss like it has in some of my posts. I will do my best to get the grammar down into a more appropriate context from this point forth when addressing these issues-still a rookie here, unfortunately.

The specific term I used, "Override," that's not the exact thing I meant to say, obviously, but it didn't look right and you were both right to correct me about it.

Thankfully, you were able to determine what I was getting at, but in the event the Lord someday wills a comprehensive understanding of His Word and one might come to try to help out others like all of you have done for me, this would clearly be an issue I would have to address between now and then.

I thank everyone here once again for your willingness to help ever so much. I've said this all along-I took a lot of comfort in the gentleman that referred me here, his heart, who is now a theologian himself among the Reformists.

While I understand the term "Traditional" is a little bit of a dangerous word to use in this area, there is something unique about the Calvinists/Reformists, something different that generally feels right about your approach, certainly w/ the demeanor.

As I continue to make my way out of this "Code red" panic state I fell into for months after having studied the OT in depth for the first time in life, despite the fact I still feel like a rat crawling up out of the sewer at this point for whatever reason, it feels like I'm back into recovery now a little more as the days go by.

I still don't know exactly what happened during this experience, it's very difficult to put into words. I was raised in a traditional Lutheran church and always had a deep love for Christ, but the faith was highly childlike in nature previous to this, despite being a male in my late 20's when I started this two years ago.

If you go back in time, it was about two years ago to this day that I read the book of Matthew for the first time in my life, and there He was, you know-He was everything and anything that you had ever loved from the beginning. Then I went into the Old Testament, and I think it was the shock more than anything because it seems that our congregation did such a remarkably good job at portraying all of this in the best possible way from the standpoint of having avoided every conceivable aspect of the necessary fear. I don't know how I ever made it to this point in life without having understood one element of the fear aspect within the Faith itself, that's inconceivable to me.

I was a college graduate, no mental health history, nothing like that to speak of, but for whatever reason the concept I had of Christ had remained so childlike through the years where you understand now it's almost like you had this all made out to be like a childhood fairy tale story.

Again, it was that overwhelming love for Jesus the Person from the heart itself that I think led to all of this, but such had previously been in line with the type of gentle love a child has for his mother. Thus, when it came to the in depth study of the OT, I went into a state of shock, an out right code red ensued.

I attempted to explain it to my pastor this way-two years ago, it was as if you had finally met the Jesus you had always known and loved and followed after Him into the backdoor of a house like a little kid w/ joyous smiles and laughter all around, etc. A year and a half later, however, you emerge from the front door of the house with your face covered in soot, clothes blown to shreds, this after having accidentally broken through on the gas line down in the basement. For your life, you just can't figure out what happened, how it ever got from point A to point B.

The fear took hold to such an extent that I eventually came to question Jesus, and that had to be the most heartbreaking part of it that you could ever experience so that only added to everything.

Six months ago, I definitively thought that it was all over, I thought for sure I'd be living out the remaining years in a psych ward or something because I just couldn't get it to add up and the stress state had become unbearable.

As the months went by, however, things settled down a little more day by day. Only in recent weeks has it felt like there's been hope again, I think at this point now it's just about letting the head get settled again and letting this digest so I can start living for my Lord the right way through Faith.

All said, I couldn't ever be more thankful for the help from all of you along the way, I couldn't mean that more. You're very nice people here that are dedicated to Christ your Lord, so this was a big gift.

As a final note, I should point out the fact that a good portion of the personal experience was to blame on no one else but myself, for the simple fact I lost hold of my faith during a portion of the struggle.

Though I do certainly believe the Lord requires us to fear and respect Him, it is still the type of fear centered on love itself, perhaps based in large part on His desire to keep us on the right track in this life.

I'm not the only amateur/beginner that's had a certain struggle w/ the OT like this, but He brought me through it, and the Jesus I knew and loved before all of this is still right there-it all turned out in the end.

I am reasonably convinced that I now know what hell itself is like because it couldn't possibly get much worse than what took place over the course of the past year, year and a half, I'm convinced of that-and again, to the extent I fell into that trap, it was only because I lost my grip on maintaining Faith for that brief while in the One we love, I know that to be true.



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