By Brother R Michel Lankford
When we talk to modern-day Christians about learning and keeping Yahweh’s Commandments, we often hear the popular refrain, “Well, Jesus FULFILLED the Law, so that we would not have to fulfill it ourselves. Many modern-day Christians will even go so far as to suggest that if we try to obey the Law as Jesus fulfilled it, then they say trying to obey the Law is allegedly the same as denying Christ, because since Jesus FULFILLED it, then supposedly if we try to do it, it is the same as declaring that what Jesus did to fulfill the Law was not enough to save us because we’re trying to do it ourselves. That is what many claim.
There are two critical problems with that assertion. First, the New Testament REQUIRES that believers walk in the SAME manner that Jesus walked, (1 John 2:1-6). So when we do not copy what Jesus did, we are actually VIOLATING the New Testament.
The second problem is an equally glaring contradiction. In Matthew 3:13-15, Messiah INSISTED that John the Baptist should baptize Him, and Messiah said that John should baptize Him in spite of John’s objection because it was necessary to FULFILL all righteousness. The SAME exact Greek word fulfill is used in Matthew 3:13-15 at Messiah’s baptism, as the word fulfill used in Matthew 5:17.
So for the modern-day Christian who assumes that the Christ believing Law keepers are supposedly sinning because continuing to do what Jesus fulfilled is supposedly the same thing as denying that what Jesus did to fulfill it is sufficient, then according to THEIR OWN definition, isn’t every Protestant Christian church also sinning every time they baptize someone? Think about it. Jesus was baptized to FULFILL ALL righteousness, (Matthew 3:13-15). So if continuing to do what Jesus already fulfilled is a sin because it is supposedly denying the sufficiency of what Jesus fulfilled, then by the same token any Christian pastor or Christian worker who continues the practice of baptizing new believers would be guilty of denying Christ according to their own definition!
According to modern-day Christianity we should continue to fulfill what Jesus fulfilled in baptism, (Matthew 3), because this glorifies and honors Christ, but supposedly the same Greek word means that we should NOT continue to do what Jesus Christ fulfilled in keeping the Law because Jesus fulfilled it and if you try to copy Him in Matthew 5, you are allegedly denying Christ. So if we copy what Jesus fulfilled in Matthew 3:13-15, we are honoring and glorifying Christ, but supposedly if we continue to try and copy the law that Jesus fulfilled in Matthew 5:17-20, you are then allegedly DENYING Christ. That’s insane!
Exactly how does the word fulfill come to mean that we should still follow Christ’s example in baptism as in Matthew 3:13-15, but we pervert the same word fulfill so it has been re-defined to mean the direct opposite, and that somehow we should NOT follow Messiah’s example in continuing to fulfill the same Law that Jesus fulfilled as we are directed to do in Matthew 5:17-20? How did the word fulfill, REVERSE its meaning and application in less than two chapters of Scripture? Since continuing to follow Christ’s example in baptizing believers is obviously no sin, then likewise, continuing to follow Christ’s example and trying to obey the same Commandments which Messiah kept, CANNOT POSSIBLY BE A SIN either. Think about it.
Brother R Michel Lankford