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Bible verses about Spiritual Intent
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 5:17-20

Jesus is saying, in plain language, that His teaching does not contradict the Old Covenant law, but it is the ultimate fulfillment of its spiritual intent. Even in the smallest matter, the smallest statement—the jot and the tittle—the law must be fulfilled.

Notice where His statement appears. Matthew places it immediately after Jesus' exhortation, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works" (Matthew 5:16). What if our works are good? Are we supposed to hide them? Then comes His statement regarding law. Is there a connection between good works and keeping the law? One would have to be quite obstinate to believe there is no connection between them. It is obvious that He is connecting good works with lawkeeping.

To strengthen the argument, He mentions righteousness in verse 20. What is the Bible's definition of righteousness? Psalm 119:172: "All Your commandments are righteousness." Thus, sandwiched between righteousness and letting one's light shine comes an explanation that He did not come to do away with the law but to fill it to the full, to help us understand its ultimate application—its spiritual intent.

Is it possible to keep the law in its spirit without also keeping it in the letter? It cannot be done. One must first keep it in the letter before learning how to keep its spirit.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 14)


 

Matthew 5:17-18

People go around saying that the law is done away, including "rituals." No, it is not! Jesus says here very plainly that these things are not done away. We must understand that, though we may not have to perform them physically, their principles (God's intent behind them) is still binding upon us. Many laws deal with physical cleanliness. These same laws, in their intent, have to do with spiritual cleanliness. Their intent is still binding upon us.

We no longer have to make sacrifices at a physical brazen altar. True! Under the New Covenant, we become the sacrifice! We are the burnt offering. We become a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).

John W. Ritenbaugh
New Covenant Priesthood (Part 2)


 

Matthew 23:23

What is Christ saying here? These people should have tithed; there was nothing wrong with that. The Expositor's Bible Commentary, concerning this verse, says, "Jesus does not condemn scrupulous observance in these things." Jesus instituted the tithing law and knew what it was intended to do for the ministry. He knew the purpose for it, even as we do now, but the Pharisees did not understand the spiritual intent. They knew to tithe, but did not understand the rest.

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Tithing


 

 




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