Posted By Thomas Perez. January 14, 2011 at 8:41pm. Copyright 2011.
Matthew 5:17 – “Think not that I have come to destroy the Law or the prophets, I have not come to destroy but to fulfill” ‘Jesus Christ’
From This Verse We Learn That Christ Did Not…
1. Break the Law.
2. Abolish the Law.
3. Or go against the authority of the Law
Now in some instances Christ was accused of breaking the Law. Such incidents are found in (Lk 5:20-26, 6:1-5, Matt 9:11-13, 12:10-14, Mk 7:1-13). However in each instance the Lord Jesus Christ was resisting the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees and often rebuked them openly (Matt 23). The Lord Jesus did not violate the Law or Sabbath at any time. He demonstrated this by both, His words and works; in which He followed the Law blamelessly. None of His enemies could prove otherwise (Jn 8:46).
When we read passages as – Rom 3:19-28, 10:4, Gal 2:16, 3:10-13, 24-25 from the Apostle Paul, it is deduced by some Christians that upon Christ’s death or after 70 AD that God requires…
1. No one to keep the Law
2. That Judaism has been replaced by a New Covenant
3. And that a primary condition for salvation is faith in Jesus the Messiah and not in keeping the Law.
To Answer These Questions, We Must First Ask Ourselves What Does This Mean and Therefore Ask the Following…
1. Is the Law holy? Yes – Rom 7:12
2. Is the Law spiritual? Yes – Rom 7:14
3. Is the Law good? Yes – Rom 7:16
4. Is the Law right? Yes – Rom 7:12
5. Is the Law just? Yes – Psalms 19
Let us remember that many of Paul’s epistles were written to Jews outside the land of Jerusalem – the capital of worship. Moreover, the governments of the land was also observed in Palestine, but enforced within the confine‘s of Jerusalem (II Sam 5-6). Many Jewish believers could not observe the ceremonial aspects of the Law because they were outside the land, ( II Chron 15:3). However they did maintain the many ethical and moral codes of the Law. This non-observance of rituals and ceremonies became a concern for many Jewish Believes in Christ. It is upon this Paul instructs them on the New Covenant. So many of Paul’s letters were written to Jews outside the land – (I.e. Romans, Galatians, Colossians, etc), who could not keep the ceremonial observances. Therefore, they were told that they were….
1. Justified by faith and grace (Rom:17, Gal 2:16, Acts 15:11).
2. Examples of faith was often used to illustrate this point (The book of Romans speaks of this & the book of Hebrews, especially chapter 11- as the patriarchs and prophets were justified before the Law was even written on stone).
3. Otherwise Christ would have died in vain (Gal 2:21).
4. Therefore, Paul asked; “How could the keeping of the Law benefit them and himself?
To Answer That Question, We Must Ask the Following Questions…
1. Is the believer under the Law still? Rom 7:1-6
2. Is the Law evil? Rom 7:7-12
3. Is the Law, a curse of death? Rom 7:13-14
To answer such questions we must understand who Paul was speaking to. As recorded in Romans 1:1 – Paul was speaking to the general populace, both Jew and Gentile. In the book of Romans, we learn of 3 categories….
1. The Jews
A. Who had the Law
B. Who had the responsibility to continue to do all that was written in the Law (Deut 4:1-9, 28:15-20).
C. Result – They failed. Resulting in death and judgment – (Deut 27:26, Gal 3:10).
D. Therefore, the Law could no longer save, it now condemns.
2. The Gentiles
A. They had not the Law, therefore; they had not the curse of the Law.
B. They were a Law onto themselves (Rom 2:18-32).
C. Result – they too failed.
D. Resulting in death and judgment (Rom 3:23, 5:12)
3. Christ Jesus
A. He was made under the Law (Gal 4:4, Heb 2:14).
B. Became the curse on our behalf, for both Jew and Gentile (Gal 3:13).
C. Upon doing so, He nailed the curse of the Law to the cross.
D. Thus redeeming all of us, both Jew and Gentile from the curse of the Law.
This Resulted In…
1. Freedom – Rom 7:3
2. Being married to another Husband – Rom 7:4
3. Thus, becoming one in the Body of Christ – Rom 7:4
Therefore, is the Law evil and of sin, as asked earlier above? The answer to that is “no”. We must realize that the Law has a positive aspect to its ministry, it shows…
1. The knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20)
2. Written that we may be found guilty (Rom 3:19)
3. It demonstrates the need of a Saviour
4. And this need is further enhanced by the convictions of the Holy Spirit, in which He convicts one to the saving knowledge of Christ in this age (aion).
Therefore, the Law is not to be condemned but the sin that is found through the Law, because it is written that the Law is spiritual (I Tim 1:8, Rom 7:16) – howbeit, yet written on stone tablets. It is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Gal 3:24). It was the sin of Adam which resulted in death, not the Law per se – since the Scriptures reveal the workings of sin and iniquity as the culprit (Rom 5:12) For the Law was written for sinners (I Tim 1:9). Did not David say he was conceived in sin and iniquity even before he had a chance to keep the Law? (Psalms 51:5). It was a done deal through the negative result of the first Adam.
However, we are now put under a New Covenant in Christ Jesus; therefore we have no condemnation (Rom 8:1). We now have free grace in Christ (Eph 2:8-9), without the keeping of the ceremonial laws of God.
Note: It is interesting to point out that Paul continued to keep the Law, though not for salvational purposes – perhaps for cultural purposes (Acts 21).