• RLIM, Japan


Updated: Aug 1, 2020

MATTHEW 5: 17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil".

When we say that the man in Christ is not under the law and that the death of Jesus put an end to the law, people quote the opening text to imply that Jesus did not come to destroy the law and hence we are to obey the laws of Moses.

They then go further to classify the laws to say that it is only the ceremonial laws that are over but not the moral laws. There are no such classifications of the law in the scriptures. As a matter of fact, no one will be able to obey all the laws of Moses without faulting in one. It is said that if you fault in one, you are guilty of all the laws.

To understand the opening text, we must take note of the words “destroy” and “fulfil”. To destroy in our context is to set aside or ignore and to fulfil is to meet the conditions. The law and the prophets required that Christ should suffer and enter into his glory.

Therefore, all that Jesus suffered and his glorification was the fulfilment of the law. The law and the prophets were shadows pointing to its fulfilment or reality in Christ. What they prophesied and practiced were typology of what Christ will achieve by his death and resurrection.

Jesus met all the conditions of the law and the prophets on our behalf. Therefore, by faith in him, we are also considered having met all the demands of the law and the prophets, without setting any of them aside. Jesus is our law fulfiller and we are the beneficiaries of his work.

We are therefore not required to practice the shadows when the reality has come. What the law could not achieve, Jesus has made it available for us through his death and resurrection. The Law could not justify anybody but in Christ, we are justified without works.

The death of Jesus has fulfilled all the conditions of the law and the prophets. I am therefore not required to live by the laws of Moses but by faith in Christ. Many read Matthew 5:17 and say, "you see Jesus did not come to abolish the law. We are still under the Law". Well, Matthew 5:17-18 was before he died and resurrected. Even His disciples did not understand what He meant then. When He died and resurrected, He appeared to His disciples and said this: Luke 24:25-27 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL THAT THE PROPHETS HAVE SPOKEN: (what did they say?) Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning AT MOSES and ALL THE PROPHETS, he expounded unto them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things CONCERNING HIMSELF. Jesus explains to the disciples that he came not to destroy the words of the Law and the Prophets because they were Prophecies of his Death, Burial and Resurrection but He came to fulfil them by dying and resurrecting! Jesus re-emphasized it to the Apostles again after His resurrection:

Then he said to them, “These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms MUST BE FULFILLED”(Luke 24:44-46).

What must be fulfilled is what He came to fulfil. Saying this, the Disciples still din't understand,see what he did next in verse 45: Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. (When it was opened he showed them what was written which he came to fulfil) Verse 46:He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. You see,all the Laws (the Books written by Moses) and the Prophets( the Books written by the Prophets) make up the Old Testament.

The Old Testament was a book on the Prophecy of the coming Messiah. CHRIST FULFILLED THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. The law had requirements: [A MAN DISOBEYED] a man broke a law, and sin came in to pay man his wages. So law required a man to receive his wages which was death.

Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the requirements of the law. CHRIST TOOK THE WAGES OF SIN ON THE CROSS ‘To Fulfil’ will not refer to obeying all the ordinances of the law, but to satisfy their requirement. What was the purpose of the law? It was to reveal sin and our inability and point us to the one with the ability to take away sin by becoming sin.

So Christ was fulfilling the teachings of the law and the prophets that he will bear our sins and die for our sins. Jesus didn't abolish the laws of Moses and it's writings, they were abolished when Jesus shed his blood, because the duty of the laws was to judge sin and Jesus was judged on behalf of us. Now the law is no more, Grace is here to take you out of sin. Be blessed. DEAD TO THE LAW OF MOSES The Law of Moses was given to the Israelites to obey. It had in it legal, ceremonial and moral rules concerning different aspects of their lives and relationship with God. The law was holy and good but none was able to obey it. It was a faultfinding law, that made them feel inadequate before God.

The law never produced one single righteous person but rather condemned all. It made all guilty and unrighteous. The righteous saints of the Old Testament were made righteous by faith but not by keeping the law of Moses. It was called the law of sin and death. This law always made people condemned. It pointed people to their sins. The law revived sin consciousness in people. It made men helpless and in need of a savior. Jesus lived under the law.

He came to fulfill the law by meeting every aspect of the law concerning him. He fulfilled what was prophesied, practiced in types and shadows about him in the law and the prophets by his death and resurrection. The death of Jesus delivered us from the power of the law. We are no more under the law of sin and death. We are now living by the law of the Spirit of life. We are dead to the Law, so we don't serve the Law of Moses anymore.

ROMANS 7: 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

We now serve in the newness of the Spirit. The law has no power over the believer to make him feel guilty or condemned. We are now free from the power of the law and sin. Men could not become righteous or justified by the law of Moses but in Christ righteousness and justification is freely granted by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.

We are dead to the law of Moses and alive in Christ Jesus. I am no more under the Law of Moses. I am dead to the law of sin and death. I serve God in the newness of the spirit. Romans 7: 1- 6, 2 Corinthians 3: 6- 17, Romans 8: 1- 4

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