Friday, October 24, 2008

More Sermon on the Mount & Hughes


Here are three more in our series on The Sermon on the Mount:

Part 12: The King of the Kingdom

Brief Sermon Overview:

Having introduced and described the subjects of His kingdom, Jesus turned His attention to Himself as its King. Verses 5:17-20 contain Jesus' first reference to Himself in the Sermon on the Mount, and His self-introduction notably focuses on His relationship to the Scriptures: Jesus declared that He had come to fulfill the Scriptures, which told His audience that the kingdom whose presence He was proclaiming is the kingdom promised by God in all the Old Testament. At the heart of the Sermon on the Mount is the overarching biblical principle of christological fulfillment; in His person, words, and work, Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament - the Law of Moses itself as much as the rest of the Scriptures. This comprehensive fulfillment in Christ and its fruit in the new creation is the framework for interpreting the entire discourse, especially Jesus' forthcoming treatment of the ethic of His kingdom. In a word, the ethic of the kingdom of heaven is grounded in and expresses the fact and power of the new creation that is the focal point of Christ's fulfillment of the Scripures. To miss this is to miss the meaning of the sermon, which is precisely why Jesus prefaced His instruction in 5:21ff with verses 17-20.

Part 13: The Ethic of the Kingdom-Overview and Introduction

Brief Sermon Overview:

Jesus' self-introduction in verses 5:17-20 is the centerpoint of the Sermon on the Mount. In the broadest terms, this passage highlights the promise-fulfilment relationship between Himself and His kingdom and the Old Testament scriptures. More narrowly, it introduces and provides the framework for interpreting the next section in which Jesus articulates the ethic of His kingdom. This promise fulfillment dynamic is the key to understanding Jesus' instruction in the balance of the sermon, and especially the meaning of His formula phrase, "You have heard it said... but I say to you." This sermon considers the general views and interpretive issues associated with 5:21-48 in the hope of laying a proper foundation for reading and understanding this crucial passage.

Part 14: Enmity and the Ethic of the Kingdom

Brief Sermon Overview:

In verses 5:21-48 Jesus employed a series of discrete example cases to uncover for His audience the ethic that defines and governs HIs kingdom. Most importantly, He did so by comparing and contrasting the ethic of His kingdom with its Old Covenant counterpart. Each of His example cases draws in some way from the Mosaic code, and each highlights the fact that His kingdom and its ethic are the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and the kingdom it presided over. Thus His formula phrase, "You have heard..., but I say to you..." simply reiterates His framework declaration that He didn't come to abrogate the Scriptures (including the Law of Moses), but to fulfill them. In showing how that is the case, Jesus appropriately began His treatment with a law that was at the very heart of the Mosaic Code, namely the sixth commandment prohibiting murder. This sermon examines how the Mosaic prohibition against murder has been transformed in Christ and found its fulfillment in the New Coverant "kingdom of heaven."


And here is a link for a short, two-page Philip Hughes article: "The Millennial Reign: Climax or Anti-climax?" Make sure you click the arrow to go to the second page and finish the article. Obviously it could take a book length manuscript to fully set forth and interact with the Biblical evidence against Premillennial Dispensationalism; but Hughes' short article brings up some key elements in what I consider the faulty understanding of my dispensational brothers--an understanding that I once shared not so long ago. :-)


satire and theology said...

From a literal reading of Eze. 40-48, Dispensationalists conclude that with the so-called rebuilt Temple, the Jews will once again perform all service of the Levitical Priesthood. Obviously they don't believe "Christians" will participate. But the problem still remains: According to Dispensationlists, Jesus Himself will be presiding over the nation of Israel as King, yet the nation will be operating as if their Christ never came. This, in my opinion, is blasphemous and "anti-Christ". And it violates the Scriptual principle of the One Body that now exists "in Christ". There are not two separate "plans" of God.

From last article: That is a good point and I have always thought that the dispensationalist position of some on the point of the temple being rebuilt seemed unlikely to be true.

The restoration of the Old Testament sacrificial system would run clean counter to the emphatic teaching of the New Testament that the Levitical order of priesthood has been abolished and that now the only priesthood is that of the order of Melchizedek, with but one priest, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who because he continues forever is a priest forever, and but one sacrifice, that offered by him once for all on the cross, with the result that there can be no further sacrifice for sin and no redeeming blood other than the blood he shed for us at Calvary (see pp. 76ff. above).

I agree with Hughes. Hebrews makes this clear and Hughes is a scholar on Hebrews. But, of course not all premillenialists are dispensational.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

"But, of course not all premillenialists are dispensational."

That's true--thanks for pointing that out, Russ. I probably should have mentioned that myself, but then there would be even less "controversy"...and I couldn't have that now, could I? "-)

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