Scripture Reading: Isaiah 53
Matthew 5:21-22—righteousness that exceeds Pharisees—not just external
Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
The judgment—by the court or council. Could all be referring to same thing, distinction only in external killing with internal anger.
Raca—fool, silly man, trifler. Shows contempt for a person. Hebrew slang of the day, refers to any slang putdown. Hell fire—much worse than merely losing physical life.
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
--religious game playing is not more important than love—love fulfills law. Get your brother to dismiss his grudge against you.
Reconciliation through love is the highest form of worship, nor external religious formality.
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Agree with—consent to, well-minded, reconciled.
In the way—on the way to court, or just instantly, before going anywhere else. Resolve disputes before they go to law and you end up being sentenced.
1 Corinthians 6:5-8
I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Shame—uses shame to deliver them from their confusing actions. Judge—decide, arbitrate.
Goeth to law—lawsuits, to secular courts instead of arbitration by someone in the church.
Fault—falling short, inferiority, not living up to their privileges as members of the Body of Christ.
Take wrong—suffer yourself to take wrong. The most self-righteous are the ones least likely to take wrong. Nor is it all about doing good alone, it’s also taking wrong.
Defrauded—rob of one’s due.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:27 Neither give place to the devil.
Truth—Ephesians 4 is about the church. Truth and Love reign here. Everyone must deal truthfully with each other and in accordance with the truth of God’s Word. Truth is a source of unity—usually people lie to keep unity!
Anger—provoked, can be ok if directed at sin and evil. But don’t let it simmer into hating people and letting evil get a grip in your life.
Wrath—irritation, exasperation, immediate feeling, whereas anger simmers. The nursing of wrath to keep it warm is forbidden by:
Sun go down—immediate reconciliation, don’t lose even a day to it.
Give place—give occasion. Keeping anger longer will do bad things in you. The more you delay in setting things right, the more grip the devil gets in you.
But won’t people take advantage of us?
This is all about the Gospel—you offend Christ, you were His enemy, yet He laid down His life for you. You can’t lose a couple bucks here and there?