| | Law Liquidated
If righteousness (Gal 2:21) and redemption came by the Law then only Jews could ever be saved, for Gentiles were never under it prior to its annulling (Heb 7:18, 19; 8:7; 10:9). Until all the Law would be “fulfilled” it could not “pass” (Mat 5:18), thus its passing came when Christ fulfilled, or, finished it (Rom 10:4). Remember, it is Christ’s words that “shall not pass away” (Mat 24:35), not the Mosaic Law!
In this article it makes a point that since the Law did not require one’s death for obedience, then “why did Christ die?” Thus it was His expiation for sin (after His obedience to the Law manifested His qualification for sacrifice which required a perfect subject), which voids the curse, and not His supposedly imputed Law-obedience to the believer. The Lord Jesus has always been righteous by virtue of His deity and sinless state (which His Law-obedience manifested), and it is this righteousness which is imputed to the believer!
Those who were under the Law were “under the curse” (Gal 3:10), for it manifested souls to be “ungodly” (1 Ti 1:9), thus the Law could only direct toward deliverance, not effect it (Gal 3:24, 24), because the Law was “not of faith” (Gal 3:12) but of works. Hence we enter in, not on the works of man but on the works of the Lord Jesus Christ! Besides, the obedience of the Law required not just the outward working which anyone could have done—but also the accompaniment of a sinless soul by the Doer.
“Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Rom 10:4).
When the Lord Jesus died on the Cross, He bore for Israel the curse of the Law, for they alone were under the Law. Divine Law, being broken, does not ask for future good conduct on the part of the offender, but for his death, and that only. Now Christ having died, all the claims of the Law against that nation which had been placed under the law were completely met and ended. So that even Jews could now believe, and say, “I am dead to the Law!”
To him that believeth, therefore, Jew or Gentile, Christ dead, buried, risen and ascended is the end of the Law for righteousness—in the sense of Law’s disappearance from the scene! Law does not know, or take cognizance of believers. We read in Romans 7:6 that those who had been under the Law were discharged from the Law, brought to naught, put out of business (katargeo), with respect to the Law. The Law has nothing to do with them, as regards to righteousness.
The words “Christ is the end of the Law” cannot mean He is the fulfillment of what the Law required. The Law required obedience to precepts—or death for disobedience. Now Christ died! If it be answered, that before He died He fulfilled the claims of the Law, kept it perfectly, and that this law-keeping of His was reckoned as over against the Israel’s breaking of the Law, then I ask, “Why should Christ die (since death is not required in the case of obedience—NC)? If the claims of the Law were met in His earthly obedience, and if that earthly life of obedience is “reckoned to those who believe,” and the curse of the Law has been removed by His “vicarious law-keeping,” Why then, should Christ die?
Now this idea of Christ keeping the Law for “us” (for they will include us among the Israelites, even though the Law was not given to Gentiles), is a deadly heresy, no matter who teaches it. Paul tells us plainly how the curse of the Law was removed: “Christ redeemed us (meaning the Jewish believers) from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Gal 3:13). It was on the Cross, and not by an earthly life of obedience that Christ bore the Law’s curse!
There was no law given “which could make alive,” Paul says; “otherwise righteousness would have been by it” (Gal 3:21). Therefore those who speak of Christ, as taking the place of fulfilling the Law for us—as “the object at which the Law aimed” (Alford); or, “the fulfillment or accomplishment of the Law” (Calvin); give the Law an office that God did not give it. There is not in all Scripture a hint of the doctrine that Christ’s earthly life—His obedience as a man under the Law—is “put to the account” of any sinner whatsoever! That obedience which was perfect, was in order that He could “present Himself through the eternal Spirit without spot unto God” (Heb 9:14) as a sin-offering. It was also in order to His sacrificial death, as “a curse” for Israel (and for us believing Gentiles who were under the curse of “the law of sin“, which was incurred unto the whole world - Gen 2:17—NC).
It is because Reformed theology (though well intended—NC) has kept us Gentiles under the Law, if not as a means of righteousness, then as “a rule of life,” that all the trouble has arisen (legalism, which was always Paul’s greatest opposition to the doctrine of grace—NC). The Law is no more a rule of life than it is a means of righteousness. Walking in the Spirit has now taken the place of walking by ordinances. God has another principle under which He has positioned His saints: “You are not under law, but under grace” (Rom 6:14). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2).
- Wm R Newell
Excerpt from MJS devotional for July 11:
“If and when the trial comes, you will find Him waiting there.” - MJS
“We should always be prepared for circumstances that will arise, and for blessings that are to come, without foreseeing what these circumstances and blessings will be. This preparation consists in attention to present responsibility, and acceptance of present discipline.
“If day by day we first seek divine direction, and then follow it, we shall be ready, when new circumstances arise, for the new blessings which will be offered. Today should be preparation for tomorrow. The only proof that we shall be equal to tomorrow’s test is that we are meeting today’s test believingly and courageously. The only evidence that we shall be willing for God’s will tomorrow is that we are subject to His will today.” -W.G.S.
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.'" -MJS