Christ – the End of the Law ?

righteousness 3     “The LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) is well pleased for His Righteousness’ sake; for He will magnify the law, and make it honourable . . . !”   Isaiah 42:21

And this is the name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS !”   Jeremiah 23:5-6

“And lo a Voice from heaven, saying . . . This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased !”   Matthew 3:16-17


And Jesus (Yehushua) said,If ye abide in Me, and My Words . . . which are Spirit and Life . . . abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you . . . . And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight . . . !     ref: John 6:63

If ye keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s Commandments, and abide in His love . . .”   John 15:7-10 & I John 3:22

And He that sent Me is with Me . . . the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him !”   John 8:29 & ref: John 4:24

 

Christ the End of the Law
E.J. Waggoner – February 15, 1892

In Rom. 10:4 we read as follows: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Before showing what this text means, it may be well to briefly show what it does not mean.

It does not mean that Christ has put an end to the law, because (1) Christ Himself said concerning the law, “I am not come to destroy . . . but to fulfill !” Matt. 5:17.

(2) The prophet said that instead of destroying it, the LORD would “Magnify the law and make it honorable.” Isa. 42:21. (3) The law was in Christ’s own heart: Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God; yea, Thy Law is within my heart.” Ps. 40:7, 8. And
(4) since the law is the righteousness of God,
the foundation of His government, it could not by any possibility be abolished. See Luke 16:17.

     The reader must know that the word “end” does not necessarily mean “termination.” It is often used in the sense of design, object, or purpose. In 1 Tim. 1:5 the same writer says, “Now the end (purpose) of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”

     The word here rendered “charity” is often rendered “love,” and is so rendered in this place in the New Version. In 1 John 5:3 we read, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments,” and Paul himself says that “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Rom. 13:10. In both these texts the same word (agape) is used that occurs in 1 Tim. 1:5. Therefore we say that this text means, Now the design of the commandment (or law) is that it should be kept. Everybody will recognize this as a self-evident fact.

But this is not the ultimate design of the law. In the verse following the one under consideration, Paul quotes Moses as saying of the law that “the man that doeth those things shall live by them.” Christ said to the young man, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments.” Matt. 19:17.

Now design of the law was that it should be kept, or, in other words, that it should produce righteous characters, and the Promise is that those who are (through faith) obedient shall live, we may say that the ultimate design of the law was to give life. And in harmony with this thought are the words of Paul, that the law was ordained to life.” Rom. 7:10.

And now, O Israel, what doth the LORD thy God (Yehuwah thy Elohim – Mighty One) require of thee?  but to fear (reverence) the LORD thy God, to walk in all His Ways . . . . walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the carnal desires of the flesh! . . . and to love Him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul . . .

     To keep the Commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good . . . . Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked . . . . Behold, I set before you this day a Blessing and a curse. A blessing if ye (by faith) obey . . . and a curse if ye (through unbelief) will not obey the Commandments of the LORD thy God . . . !”   Deuteronomy 10:12-16 & 11:26-28 & ref: Galatians 5:16 & Hebrews 3:7-19

     But “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” and “the wages of sin is death.” Thus it is impossible for the law to accomplish its design in making perfect characters and consequently giving life. When a man has once broken the law, no subsequent obedience can ever make his character perfect. And therefore the law which was ordained unto life is found to be unto death. Rom. 7:10.

     If we were to stop right here with the law unable to accomplish its purpose, we should leave all the world under condemnation and sentence of death. Now we shall see that Christ enables man to secure both righteousness and Life. We read that we are “justified freely* by His grace (G5485 – Divine Influence upon the heart) through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 3:24.

“Therefore being justified (declared innocent, righteous and holy) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:1. More than this, He enables us to keep the law. “For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21.

In Christ, therefore, it is possible for us to be made perfect–the righteousness of God–and that is just what we would have been by constant and unvarying obedience to the law.

Again we read, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. . . . For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and in exchange for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Rom. 8:1-4.

What could not the law do?   It could not free a single guilty soul from condemnation. Why not?
Because it was “weak through the flesh.” There is no element of weakness in the law; the weakness is in the flesh. It is not the fault of a good tool that it cannot make a sound pillar out of a rotten stick. The law could not cleanse a man’s past record and make him sinless; and poor, fallen man had no strength resting in his flesh to enable him to keep the law. And so God imputes to believers the righteousness of Christ, Who was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, so that “the righteousness of the law” might be fulfilled (filled to it’s fullest) in their lives.
And thus Christ is the end (purpose) of the law.

     To conclude, then, we have found that the design of the law was that it should give life because of obedience. All men have sinned and been sentenced to death. But Christ took upon Himself man’s nature and will impart (in exchange) of His Own righteousness to those who accept His sacrifice, and finally when they stand, through Him, as doers of the law, He will fulfill to them its ultimate object, by crowning them with eternal Life. And so we repeat, what we cannot too fully appreciate, that Christ is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption !”

E. J. Waggoner – Bible Echo
Feb. 15, 1892 – Lessons on Faith, p.59-61

 

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