Sometimes we equate legalism with holiness. We believe God is pleased most when we follow his rules. This line of thinking gets us in trouble when we exchange God’s grace with our rule-following as a means to righteousness. Jesus uses Mosaic law to expose this rule-following idolatry that occurs in the heart of those listening to him. The bottom line is that you can follow the rules and still have sinfulness in your heart. While many have not committed murder, they do allow anger to fester in their hearts toward another person. In our terms, these two things are not equal, but Jesus says both are sin. Jesus is teaching us there is more to following him than just following the rules. No matter how hard we may try, laws will never be able to save us. Only Jesus can save.
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