Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Love Worth Keeping - Decision, Dependence, Devotion, and Development by Adrian Rogers


Love Worth Keeping Podcast: 

Some wonderful marriage advice and spiritual teaching from Adrian Rogers and Love Worth Finding (
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:34-35)
Some wonderful marriage advice and spiritual teaching from Adrian Rogers and Love Worth Finding (
Let me give you some words to remember to help you keep your marriage on track.
The first one is decision.
Make a decision that you’re going to live for God.
God will not force His will on you. Listening to sermons will not change you unless you decide to obey the Word of God.
“Choose . . . this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
Give your heart to the Lord.
The next word is dependence.
It is not enough to decide, because you do not have the strength in your own power to live for God.
But God can deliver you if you will depend on Him.
The third word is devotion.
Begin to love the Lord with all your heart and all your soul, and love your wife as yourself.
After this decision and after this dependence, let God pour His love through you.
You are to love each other, not if you feel like it, but because God commands it.
Love for one another comes primarily from Almighty God.
Fourthly, development.
Continue to feed your love daily.
You must nurture your love. It is a growing thing. It’s like a flower that needs to be cultivated. It needs to be protected, and its full beauty can be developed through life.
When have you had to depend on God in order to love someone else?
What does it look like to make an intentional effort to love another person?
If you are married, find an intentional way to nurture your marriage.
If you are not married, find an intentional way to love someone else the way Jesus loves.'

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

God’s Gifts to the Faithful - Purity 944

God’s Gifts to the Faithful   - Purity 944

Purity 944 01/18/2023 Purity 944 Podcast

Purity 944 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo a large sunflower being bathed by a brilliantly shining sun under blue skies comes to us from TammyLyn Clark who shared this photo along with a bible verse on social media a couple of days ago before the launch of her new blog ( which she created to have her own space where she could archive her previous messages and to share her photography, bible verses, and new messages.  2022 proved to be a busy year for TammyLyn as she will be using 5 W2’s for this year’s taxes as she was moved through a series of 4 different full time jobs and had a part time job.   She will be sharing that testimony soon so I’ll let you read all about it. 

TammyLyn’s story will undoubtedly demonstrate how God blesses those who are faithful to follow Him although there may be many a dark valley we may be called to walk through when we decide to “come and see” all that the Lord has for us.  

The Bible verse that she shared with today’s photo was: 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

While there are many a snarky bible scholar that would point out that this “word” was given to the nation of Israel as they were facing dark days with the Babylonian Exile and that if we try to apply this verse to our lives as Christians we are taking it out of context, I would challenge them by asking:

So God doesn’t have plans for us? God doesn’t have plans to prosper us, to not harm us, or to give us a hope and a future?   

Sometimes it seems learned Christians like to be “right” and appear intelligent rather than being encouraging.  

As far as I’m concerned the context that we as Christians should most be concerned with when it comes to the word of God is “how can God’s word help me to love Him more and be faithful to follow Him.”

So as far as I’m concerned if Jeremiah 29:11 or any verse to the Bible encourages you to seek the Lord, to trust Him, and to follow Him with the way you live your life, I would say you got “the message” the Lord was sending you.  

As much as we want to know the proper context of scripture historically, we should also be concerned with applying God’s word to our lives to empower us.  

As Christians, I am sure that God has plans to prosper us, to not harm us, and to give us a hope and a future. Christ said as much to His apostles, which they felt encourage to share with us, in

John 14:1-2 (NKJV) where Jesus said:
1  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

That sounds like a plan to not harm us and to prosper us to me! That sounds like a hope and a future to me!  

But just like a salesman with an amazing offer I would say, that’s not all that God has for us!

The word of God is filled with precious promises and I am sharing a link on the blog to open bible dot info if you want to look some up, but I would point out that these promises, these gifts from God are for the faithful.  So be sure to make Jesus your Lord and Savior and be faithful to follow Him to redeem those promises, to receive God’s gifts for you.      


My walk as a Christian has not always been easy. I had some deep valleys to walk through after coming to Christ. I had to overcome all of my ignorance concerning the gospel and walking in the Spirit, which is probably the biggest struggle – renewing your mind.  But I also had to emerge from the struggles of broken relationships and addiction too. That was no walk in the park but I received my victory and freedom because I remained faithful to the simple directive to surrender and seek the Lord and His will in all things.   

I’m still on that path of Christian Discipleship of course and still have more to learn I am sure but this morning I wanted to point to how the Lord blesses the faithful and I really set you guys up.   

I have shared the story before of how God literally brought my wife TammyLyn into my life by directing her path to the Community Freedom Ministry I was doing at my local church back in 2021 because God put it in me to start the mt4christ247 podcast.  Through a friend, she heard about the classes I was teaching, listened to the podcast, and then faithfully answered God’s call to travel an hour to start attending the classes in person, where we met, became friends, were engaged, and married on January 1st 2022.  I thoroughly believe that my wife, TammyLyn,  was  the answer to my prayers for a faithful Christian wife. She was and continues to be God’s gift to me for my faithfulness.   

I was originally going to call today’s post – “The Box of Love” because on our first anniversary surprised me with a gift that will continue to bless me and humble me for all of 2023.   I’m sharing photos of the “Box of Love” that TammyLyn gave me.  It is decorated with sweet sentiments about the love of a married couple and inside the box TammyLyn included a message a day, or so, for each day of year of our marriage during 2022.  Unbeknownst to me, each day she was putting in a Bible verse, a message, or a photo, into an envelope sealing it with the date and putting it into the box.  So for this year I have an envelope to open each day, that will remind me of how much my wife loves me and how truly blessed I am by God who has gifted her to me.  

Today’s message from TammyLyn from January 18th 2022 , stated:  

“One day someone will walk into your life and get it right where everyone else got it wrong. One day you won't have to wait for a call or a text back. One day you won't be the only one giving your all. One day you'll finally meet someone who wants to help you grow in life. One day you will finally meet someone who isn't afraid to give love another chance. One day you will finally meet someone you can trust with everything. One day you'll have your best friend, your biggest supporter, and your teammate all wrapped up into one person.


Thank you for being my “one person”. I am so grateful I found my one day...”

With notes like that, you can see why I believe that TammyLyn is a gift of God to me!  

As much as I am humbled and grateful for TammyLyn’s unbelievably kind words, I would like to point out that the “ONE PERSON” who meets all of these criteria is the Lord God Almighty.  

I have and undoubtedly will continue to disappoint my wife from time to time but the Lord is the one who meets all of those criteria perfectly, all the time, and He truly blesses those who are faithful to follow Him.  

Before Christ my life was a fruitless search for meaning and satisfaction,  but then my one day came. I heard the message of God’s love that saved my soul and put me on a course to know the ONE who would be my best friend, biggest supporter, and teammate all wrapped up in one, the Lord.  He will never leave me or forsake me. He has plans to prosper me, to not harm me, and to give me a hope and a future.  

And He knew that it was not good for man to be alone, and so the Lord brought TammyLyn into my life to give me someone to love and to walk through life with.  

After a meandering path of confusion in 2022, The Lord has blessed TammyLyn with a new job as a special education teacher, that will likely be her career going forward.  She was faithful and God had a plan to prosper her.   

TammyLyn and I are reasonably intelligent and have some skills and talents but before we both made the decision to faithfully follow the Lord, I think we would both admit that our lives were somewhat of a mess.  But after we both individually decided to live by faith, the Lord’s plan to prosper us became clearer and led to our marriage. 

So let me encourage you, God has gifts for you. God has plans for you. God has the ultimate hope and future for you that should fill you with joy and peace: eternity with Him. 

But let me also encourage and assure you, that if you are faithful in making the daily decision to seek the Lord, to know and love Him more, and to follow where He leads, He will give you the peace that goes beyond all understanding here in the land of the living regardless of circumstance and you may very well see the goodness of the Lord here on earth as He works all thing together for good.   

So keep walking and talking with God and see what plans He has for you.    


Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Today’s verse reminds us of the nature of the Spirit that God has given to all those who place their faith in Christ.      

When we walk in the Spirit, we pay attention to what we think and how we feel. If we are taking every through captive to the obedience of Christ, we should notice a big difference in terms of what we feel emotionally and what we think about.   

A Christian mindset would be one of contentment, gratitude, Biblically based reason, and love.   

If you notice fear is not on that list.  

God’s love which is shown for us through Christ’s sacrifice, death, and resurrection casts our all fear. 

In Christ we have victory over death and sin.  So there is nothing to b a afraid of.  Death is the worst case scenario for those on earth but if we have Christ, we have eternal life.  Nothing to be afraid of there.  

As for sin, if we are afraid of making mistakes – we are covered by God’s love there too. Through God’s grace and faith in Christ, we are forgiven for all of our sins, even the ones we haven’t done yet!  So we don’t have to fear punishment.  

But we also have been given true power over sin, when we abide in Christ and let Him live through us our hearts will be on living in His peace and not violating God’s Law and acting out of the character of our new life in Christ.  

God’s love will work in and through us to make all things new.  

And even though the world may say that living for God is “crazy”, His word assures us that the spirit that leads us to follow the unseen God is of sound mind.  

So do not fear and choose to stop the “insanity” of a secular life by choosing to live by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.  


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.





2. The Sovereignty of God the Son in Salvation

For whom did Christ die? It surely does not need arguing that the Father had an express purpose in giving Him to die, or that God the Son had a definite design before Him in laying down His life—“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). What then was the purpose of the Father and the design of the Son. We answer, Christ died for “God’s elect.”

We are not unmindful of the fact that the limited design in the death of Christ has been the subject of much controversy—what great truth revealed in Scripture has not? Nor do we forget that anything which has to do with the person and work of our blessed Lord requires to be handled with the utmost reverence, and that a “Thus saith the Lord” must be given in support of every assertion we make. Our appeal shall be to the Law and to the Testimony.

For whom did Christ die? Who were the ones He intended to redeem by His blood-shedding? Surely the Lord Jesus had some absolute determination before Him when He went to the Cross. If He had, then it necessarily follows that the extent of that purpose was limited, because an absolute determination of purpose must be effected. If the absolute determination of Christ included all mankind, then all mankind would most certainly be saved. To escape this inevitable conclusion many have affirmed that there was not such absolute determination before Christ, that in His death a merely conditional provision of salvation has been made for all mankind. The refutation of this assertion is found in the promises made by the Father to His Son before He went to the Cross, yea, before He became incarnate. The Old Testament Scriptures represent the Father as promising the Son a certain reward for His sufferings on behalf of sinners. At this stage we shall confine ourselves to one or two statements recorded in the well known fifty-third of Isaiah. There we find God saying, “When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed,” that “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied,” and that God’s righteous Servant “should justify many” (vv. 10 and 11). But here we would pause and ask, How could it be certain that Christ should “see His seed,” and “see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied,” unless the salvation of certain members of the human race had been Divinely decreed, and therefore was sure? How could it be certain that Christ should “justify many,” if no effectual provision was made that any should receive Him as their Lord and Saviour? On the other hand, to insist that the Lord Jesus did expressly purpose the salvation of all mankind is to charge Him with that which no intelligent being should be guilty of, namely, to design that which by virtue of His omniscience He knew would never come to pass. Hence, the only alternative left us is that, so far as the pre-determined purpose of His death is concerned Christ died for the elect only. Summing up in a sentence, which we trust will be intelligible to every reader, we would say, Christ died not merely to make possible the salvation of all mankind, but to make certain the salvation of all that the Father had given to Him. Christ died not simply to render sins pardonable, but “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). As to whose “sin” (i.e., guilt, as in 1 John 1:7, etc.) has been “put away,” Scripture leaves us in no doubt—it was that of the elect, the “world” (John 1:29) of God’s people!

(1) The limited design in the Atonement follows, necessarily, from the eternal choice of the Father of certain ones unto salvation. The Scriptures inform us that before the Lord became incarnate He said, “Lo, I come, to do Thy will O God” (Heb. 10:7), and after He had become incarnate He declared, “For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me” (John 6:38). If then God had from the beginning chosen certain ones to salvation, then, because the will of Christ was in perfect accord with the will of the Father, He would not seek to enlarge upon His election. What we have just said is not merely a plausible deduction of our own, but is in strict harmony with the express teaching of the Word. Again and again our Lord referred to those whom the Father had “given” Him, and concerning whom He was particularly exercised. Said He, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.… And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:37, 39). And again, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.… I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word.… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.… Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:1, 2, 6, 9, 24). Before the foundation of the world the Father predestinated a people to be conformed to the image of His Son, and the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus was in order to the carrying out of the Divine purpose.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 65–68.

Friday, October 21, 2022

The Myth of “The One” - Purity 868

The Myth of “The One” - Purity 868

Purity 868 10/21/2022 Purity 868 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a circular ripple on Hiawassee Lake from the vantage point of the Hanging Dog Recreational Area in Murphy North Carolina comes to us from a friend who posted this scene on social media back on October 12th with the following poem: 

“Sunlight starts the day anew

A lifetime I have searched for you

Eyes like the ocean

Reflect sky blue

Hair like the sun

With a golden hue

I've searched in the desert

I've searched by the sea

I came to the mountains

Where you might be

Now I sit by the water

With a mountain view

Watching ripples on the water

Fade away like you

Waterfalls turn into streams

And day turns into night

I’ll only see you in my dreams

Where I will hold you tight.”  

Well it's Friday again, Thank God,  and while our friend’s poem touches the heart as it portrays the reality that life can sometimes be the desperate but fruitless search for loves lost, but fondly remembered, I am thanking the Lord for showing me His love and for bringing me the love of my who just happens to have “Hair like the sun.” because I can well remember several times in my life that I was obsessed over gaining the love of someone I desired or was lamenting over the loves I had lost. 

Before I was shown the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I thought that was the meaning of life: finding your “soul mate”.  With that romantic world view, the world was a cold and lonely, albeit beautiful, place. But all the splendor of the world or the good things of life, were rendered meaningless without “THE ONE” who was somewhere out there with whom only a man could enjoy the other fruits of life with.  

But after a many broken relationships where I had hoped to find fulfillment, and in the midst of a troubled marriage where I couldn’t seem to make a “happy life” or a “happy wife” no matter how much I tried to appease and surrender to another’s will, the Lord revealed to me the truth about the meaning of life and death by opening my eyes to the BIG PICTURE that included the creation of the universe, , the God who authored it, the history and purpose of man, what went wrong, and how we can be made right because of Jesus Christ!

Everything I had tried to find meaning or satisfaction had failed me and in a moment of divine grace and clarity, I saw that everything that I had heard about Jesus Christ was true but I also saw the truth that being right with God wasn’t about me “doing everything right” it was about simply putting our faith in Jesus and surrendering to His Lordship and I discovered that it wasn’t about God’s desire to dominate or control us. Life was about the Creator trying to save His creation and it was motivated by love.   

God made us in His image and without Him, we suffer a feeling of inadequacy, that something is missing.  We each instinctively know this but the world, the flesh, and the devil come in and offer us alternatives that they promise will “complete us”.  One of those lies is of “The ONE” – the myth that there is one perfect person out there that will complete you and make you happy.  

But that myth is short sighted.  Even if there is someone out there that is perfectly compatible with you who can support and love you all the days of your life, they don’t answer the question of death.   To be focused on the search of “THE ONE” is to be blinded of the reality of your spiritual separation from God.  

Other myths out their do the same thing: The myths that life is:

·       “ALL ABOUT FAMILY” or

·       “Having ENOUGH MONEY” or

·       “BEING HAPPY” or



·       “BEING SMART” or

·       “BEING HEALTHY” or


·       “BEING LOVED”

Equally all fail us.  They all ignore the LORD, as if He was somehow not important? I mean how could we be so deceived to think that the One who gave us life is just some minor portion of our lives that can be given homage once a week or a couple of times a year? How can we think we can find the “meaning”, purpose, or a good strategy for life if we haven’t considered the One who made us?

But I know we can, because most of my life that’s what I did. My life philosophy was a composite of all the above myths and even though I was able to support myself financially and have a family and some fun in life if I am honest there was always that sense of absurdity or lack of satisfaction when I looked at my life and thought: “This is IT?”  

When those myths are your focus, the spiritual issues are either a sidebar to your life, that we will just have to hope for the best, or we deny the spiritual altogether and say “Yeah, this is it!” as in we blink out of existence, thus we better selfishly live it up!

But God wants us to know that this world and our ideas of it are not “IT”.  The idea of “The ONE” – or a soul mate is not IT.   Or at least not the way we thought it was.   

Because there is ONE who can fulfill us. One that can make us right. And that ONE is Jesus Christ and God sent Him to tell us the truth and to pay for our sins that separate us from God.   Christ answers all the questions of meaning and purpose.

 We are made in the image of God. Creation was broken by man’s sin and rebellion. SO God, out of His love for us sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him and it is only through Him that we can find peace.    

Just like we thought that the world was a pretty cold and lonely place that lacked the ability without our perfect = “soul mate” -  We discover that the reason why we have never been satisfied is because that only One that can complete us is Christ alone!

And the wonderful news is that when we put our faith in Jesus, we can truly live.  Through Christ we overcome death and sin, and have the power to enjoy our lives in his acceptance, security, and significance. 

In Christ we “become somebody”, we are adopted as royal ambassadors to the kingdom of God. We receive the knowledge of the wisdom of how to live and have peace with God.  

In Christ we need not fear, for God is with us and for us, forever.     

In Christ we are loved by God and have the mission to live out His purpose for us.  

Before Christ, I considered my self to be a Jack Kerouac searcher for meaning, good times, and love as I tried to make sense of the world with just the things of the world. I would wax on philosophically and poetically about all the wisdom I had gathered from my wild experiences of life.  But although I considered myself somewhat Kerouacian, I didn’t know JACK!  

In all my wanderings I dismissed the Bible, forsook the fellowship of the saints, and it was only through the grace of God, and a gospel radio message, that the Lord led me to the truth. 

So, don’t lament about the past, the Christian disciple’s orientation is to be forward looking and to keep our eyes on Christ, to follow Him with the way we live our lives, to meditate on the word of God, and to enjoy His presence in prayer and as we walk through this world.  

So keep walking and talking with God, IT turns out that JESUS is THE ONE we should have been looking for all along. And when we know His love, we can discover the new life He has for us and if the Lord wills it He will lead us into relationships with others, maybe even a spouse, that we can share our lives with, lives that are defined by the fruit of the Spirit because no matter what we do, our relationship with God will be the center of our existence and will provide us with the meaning, purpose, and love that we were always searching for. 







Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 51:17 (NLT2)
17  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Today’s Bible versesdescribes our condition when we give up those myths and lies of the world and finally repent and surrender to the Lord. 

The spirit of broken man is the spirit of rebellion and self-sufficiency. We try to live independently from God and forge our own destinies, as if we could control anything in an ultimate sense.  Or we will try to please God with “good works” thinking if we just perform the right “sacrifice”, God will accept us.  

But today’s verse indicates the God desires us to submit to Him and repent. Our surrender to the Lordship of Christ not our sacrifice is the only thing that God wants or will accept.  

So remember what God desires and give Him wants by living a life that is repentant and surrendered to His will.   


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Chapter Six

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5

On theExtraordinaryof Christian Life

The Righteousness of Christ continues

Jesus, the Son of God, who alone stands in full communion with God, renews the validity of the law by coming to fulfill the law of the Old Covenant. Because he was the only One who did that, he alone could truly teach the law and how it is fulfilled. The disciples would know and understand this when he told it to them, because they knew who he was. The Jews could not understand it as long as they did not believe him. That was why they had to reject his teaching of the law as blasphemy against God or, rather, against God’s law. Thus, for the sake of God’s true law, Jesus had to suffer at the hands of the advocates of the false law. Jesus died on the cross as a blasphemer, as a transgressor of the law, because he put into force the true law against the misunderstood, false law.

The fulfillment of the law, about which Jesus speaks, could therefore come about only through his being nailed to the cross as a sinner. He himself, as the crucified one, is the perfect fulfillment of the law.

This means that Jesus Christ and only he fulfills the law, because he alone lives in perfect communion with God. He himself steps between his disciples and the law, but the law does not come between him and his disciples. The disciples’ path to the law leads through the cross of Christ. Because Jesus points the disciples to the law, which he alone fulfills, he thus binds them anew to himself. He had to reject lawless allegiance apart from God’s law, because this would be enthusiasm, and, therefore, would mean a disrupture of all bonds instead of being bound to him. The disciples’ anxiety, however, that being bound to the law might separate them from Jesus was dispelled. Such anxiety could only arise from misunderstanding the law, which did, in fact, cut the Jews off from God. Instead of this, it became clear that true adherence to Jesus is granted only together with adherence to God’s law.

But if Jesus stands between his disciples and the law, it is not to release them from fulfilling the law. Instead, it is to enforce his demand that the law be fulfilled. The disciples’ adherence to him requires the same obedience of them. Also, fulfilling the law to the iota does not cancel that iota for the disciples from then on. It is fulfilled; that is all. But that fulfillment is precisely what really makes the law valid, so that now anyone who does and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “Do and teach”—it would be possible to think of a teaching of the law which dispenses with doing it by explaining that the purpose of the law would be merely to let us know that its fulfillment is impossible. Such a teaching cannot claim to be based on Jesus. The law demands to be done, just as surely as he himself did it. Those who in discipleship follow Jesus, who fulfilled the law, do and teach the law in their following. Only those who do the law can remain in the community of Jesus.

It is not the law which distinguishes the disciples from the Jews. Instead, it is ‘better righteousness’. The righteousness of the disciples “towers over” the scribes. It surpasses them; it is something extraordinary and distinctive. This is the first time that the concept of περισσεύειν appears, which will assume so much importance in verse 47. We must ask, what did the righteousness of the Pharisees consist of? What does the righteousness of the disciples consist of? The Pharisees certainly never succumbed to the antiscriptural fallacy of believing that the law should be taught, but not done. The Pharisees intended to be doers of the law. Their righteousness consisted of their immediate, literal obedience to what was commanded in the law. Their righteousness was their action. The goal of their righteousness was complete conformity of their action to what was commanded in the law. Nonetheless, a remnant always remained, which had to be covered by forgiveness. Their righteousness always remained incomplete. The righteousness of the disciples could also consist solely of their doing the law. No one who did not keep the law could be called righteous. But the disciples’ action surpasses that of the Pharisees in that it really is perfect righteousness, as opposed to the imperfect righteousness of the Pharisees. How can this be? The superiority of the disciples’ righteousness is that Jesus stands between them and the law—he, who has completely fulfilled the law, and in whose community they live. Instead of a law not yet fulfilled, the disciples confronted a law which had already been fulfilled. Before they even began to obey the law, it was already fulfilled; its demands were already satisfied. The righteousness required by the law is already there; it is the righteousness of Jesus, who went to the cross for the sake of the law. But because that righteousness is not only a good deed to be performed, but complete, true, and personal communion with God, Jesus not only has righteousness, he is righteousness personified. He is the disciples’ righteousness. In calling his disciples, Jesus granted them participation in himself; he gave them community with him; he let them participate in his own righteousness; he granted them his own righteousness. The disciples’ righteousness is the righteousness of Christ. Jesus begins his talk about ‘better righteousness’ by referring to his fulfillment of the law in order to make this point. The righteousness of Christ is really also the disciples’ righteousness. In a strict sense, it remains righteousness freely granted, granted through the call to discipleship. It is that righteousness which consists precisely in following him. It is that righteousness which received the promise of the kingdom of heaven in the Beatitudes. The disciples’ righteousness is righteousness under the cross. It is the righteousness of the poor, the mournful, the hungry, the meek, the peacemakers, and the persecuted—for the sake of the call of Jesus. It is the visible righteousness of those who in following him become the light of the world and the city on a hill—for the sake of the call of Jesus. The disciples’ righteousness is “better” than that of the Pharisees in that it rests solely on the call into the community of Jesus, who alone has fulfilled the law. The disciples’ righteousness really is righteousness, because they themselves now truly do the will of God and fulfill the law. The righteousness of Christ should not just be taught, but done. Otherwise, it is no better than the law which is merely taught, but not obeyed. Everything which will be said next should be understood in light of this doing of the righteousness of Christ by the disciples. In a word, this means to follow him. It is genuine, simple obedience in faith in the righteousness of Christ. The righteousness of Christ is the new law, the law of Christ.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 117–120.