Christ and the Law
So, we now understand that both the Old and New Covenants
were a special kind of contract. They are both what is more commonly called a
"last will and testament." The basis for Godís last will and
testament for us is to abide by His moral law. That basis has not changed. "For
this is the will of God, even your sanctification..." 1Thes. 4:3.
In the Old Covenant His will for us was given by the written
word. These words spelled out His desire for us in our relationship with Him and
with our fellow man. As a token of faith for the real Great Sacrifice which was
yet to come it was ratified by the blood of animals.
In the New Covenant the LORD has revealed His last will and
testament in living Words, and that Word was His only begotten Son. "And
the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory
as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John
1:14. God, sending His Son in the same flesh and blood as you and I, lived out
those beautiful precepts found in the Ten Commandments. His life was a living
testament as to the will of God for us; a contract written in a perfect life,
and ratified by His precious blood.
The law and the Gospel cannot be separated. In Christ mercy
and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The
Gospel has not ignored the obligations due to God by man. The Gospel is the law
unfolded, nothing more nor less. It gives no more latitude to sin than does the
law. The law points to Christ; Christ points to the law. Yea, Christ is the
moral law fulfilled in the flesh. "Think not that I am come to destroy
the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
Matt. 4:17. Christ did not fulfill the law in that He put an end to it, for He
Himself says "I am not come to destroy." The word "fulfil"
comes from the greek "play-ro",
which means to execute, satisfy, verify or make perfect. Jesus executed
the law in every aspect of His life and thereby satisfied its claims. He verified
that it could be kept in the flesh thus showing to all creation the perfection
of the law. "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but
he took on him the seed of Abraham (flesh and blood).
Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that
he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to
make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath
suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
Heb. 2:16-18. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we
are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. He came to show us that it is
possible through the grace of God, the same grace Jesus relied upon while He was
here in the flesh, to live a life pleasing to God. By fulfilling the law in His
life Christ has given us an example to live by, for this is what it means to be
a Christian; to be like Him.
In 1John 4:8 we read, "He that loveth not knoweth not
God; for God is love." It is also written, "Owe no man
any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled
the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill,
Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet;
and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this
saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no
ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
Rom. 13:8-10. Are you seeing the connection yet? "God is love"
and "love is the fulfilling of the law." The moral law, which
Paul has just recited, is a transcript of Godís character. It explicitly shows
us who He is. This is His righteous glory which He revealed to Moses on the
mount. (Exodus 33:12-34:8) Again it is written about Christ that He having the
brightness of Godís glory was "the express image of his
person." Heb. 1:3, and as Jesus Himself said "I and my
Father are one" and "he that hath seen Me hath seen the
Father," (John 10:30 & 14:9) then by looking at the life of our
Saviour we can see Godís holy character magnified in every respect through the
fulfilment of His great moral law."The LORD is well pleased for his
righteousness' sake;" for by His dear Son "he will magnify
the law, and make it honourable." Isaiah 42:21. "For God,
who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts,
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ." 2Cor. 4:6.
The Handwriting of Ordinances
But many come saying, "The Bible clearly says that the
law was done away with at the cross," and then recite Colosians 2:14-16 and
Eph. 2:14-16. Clearly these passages do make mention of a law that was
abolished, but was that law spoken of the Ten commandments? Letís take a
closer look at these verses to see just what was abolished.
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances
that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way,
nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a
show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you
in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the
sabbath days:Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of
Christ." "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken
down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the
enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make
in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile
both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"
It becomes quite obvious that the laws concerning ordinances,
such as meat offerings, drink offerings and ceremonial feast days, are what Paul
is referring to here. The ceremonial law lost its purpose at the cross and was
taken out of the way. It no longer was needed to point forward to the sacrifice
of the Lamb of God. Type had met anti-type, shadow had met its substance. The
moral law, on the other hand, could not be removed or Christís sacrifice would
be in vain. It was because of its transgression that Christ offered Himself for
us. If God could remove His moral law Christ would never have needed to die.
He who would take away Godís great moral law, the Ten
Commandments, would verily remove Christ Himself. They can not be separated;
again I say, Christ points to the law; the law points to Christ. "And
hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that
saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is
not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God
perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him
ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1John 2:3-6.
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