The Active Obedience of Christ in Matthew 5:17 and 10:34


This essay has approached the text of Matthew 5:17 in a very deliberate way. Beginning in parts one and two demonstrating how intertwined 5:17 is with the broad contextual structure of chapters 5-10. Afterwards, showing how that thematic context guides the interpretation of the many disputed concepts in 5:17. From articulating how the terms νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται refer to the self-contained covenantal law document, which is the Sermon on the Mount, to using the broader scheme of Baptist covenant theology and typology to show how the Sermon on the Mount functions as a renewal of the covenant Adam broke. The final examination of this essay was in how the infinitive verbs of 5:17 and 10:34-35 functioned in a causal relationship and need to be interpreted as such. Abolishment causing peace and fulfillment bringing division. The conclusion showed that had Christ abolished the standard of justice demanded by the Covenant of Works, he would have brought peace in a way other than the cross, making God, the righteous judge, unjust. Instead, Christ met the standard of righteousness required to merit the eternal blessing of the inheritance that is the Kingdom of Heaven, thus definitively in history he divided the saved from the damned. Matthew, in his presentation of these five chapters, is offers to the church the fundamental ground of their identity as a covenant people with an alien righteousness, as well as their role in following in the ministry of preaching the good news concerning the nearness of the Kingdom of Heaven.

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