“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.
– Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 5:17 NLT
Jesus came to this earth with a mission and a purpose to accomplish the purpose of the law. To be the fulfillment of the law. To be a gateway between the creator and the created.
If we read a bit further in Matthew 5, we hear Jesus say not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear UNTIL its purpose is achieved.
Some people still choose to live under the law. Others choose to ignore it altogether. I would submit we are not under the law, but it is essential to understand what the purpose of the law was and why it was given to us.
A couple of key points about the law:
A true understanding of the law is not merely obeying every letter of the law, rather it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. – Paraphrase Romans 2:29
The law is like a spotlight in our lives that shows us where we come up short, where we sin, and how guilty we truly are. Romans 3:19 says, “The law applies to those whom it was given, for the law’s purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.”
The law is not the answer on how to get to God. Romans 3:20 says, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
But this is why Jesus came, to fulfill the law. And it is this fulfillment of the law that gives us the opportunity to be made right with God. Jesus fulfilled the law by being a sinless sacrifice in our place, and it is through our faith in Jesus that we fulfill the law.
We all have sinned. – Romans 3:23 To sin is to simply miss the mark. To live and act outside of God’s design.
Even though we didn’t deserve it or do anything to earn it, God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Jesus Christ when he freed us from the penalty of our sins. Romans 3:24
We can be made right with God! Romans continues to say in verse 25 that people are made right with God when they believe Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.
Simply put, if we continue to read chapter 3 of the book of Romans, it is FAITH that our acquittal is based on. We are made right with God through our faith in Jesus not by obeying the law. There is no other way to God, other than faith in Jesus.
I love the way this chapter ends. It asks the question, which if we emphasize faith, does that mean that we forget about the law? Paul responds by saying, “of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.”
Did you see that? The law is fulfilled when we have faith in Jesus. In what he did for us on the cross. In his sacrifice and his death. And finally in his resurrection.
So yes, Jesus has fulfilled the law! He has fulfilled it in every person who has placed their faith in Him! Let me encourage you to come out from under the law, and come under grace. I know for those of you who like a little condemnation with your grace it may be hard, but remember, being under the law will only remind us of how sinful we truly are.
It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. We don’t require condemnation to be motivated to good works, but instead, we need the grace of God. Let’s live in this grace and be motivated by it.