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The Purpose and Intent of the Law

freddy January 23, 2019


Background

“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” – 1 Corinthians 15:56

For sin, in the absence of the law, has no chance to function technically as “sin”. – Phillips

In his epistle to the Galatians, Apostle Paul wrote that the scriptures concluded all men under sin (Gal. 3:22). The full offense of sin was found in one man, Adam, and all men were concluded as disobedient that God may have mercy upon all through one man, Christ (Rom 11:32). The precision of the law is that no disobedience to it ever caused any person to become a sinner. It merely exposed the sin that was already imputed to all because of the first Adam’s disobedience.

The law never required an honest effort from mankind for a relationship with God; its requirement was perfection. But the law could not produce the perfection that God insisted upon. It was therefore useless because it could not supply what it demanded.(Rom 8:3-4)

The comparison between the law and grace in the Gospel is not between unrighteousness and righteousness. Rather, it is between self-righteousness and righteousness. Any suggestion that there is even a hint of the Law that we are yet to fulfill is in itself a perversion of the Gospel of Christ. It reduces salvation to a ludicrous contest between your obedience and the obedience of Christ. Anyone who teaches law-based righteousness that depends on the performance of man simply desires to be a teacher of the law without understanding what they say nor that which they affirm. Pursuing righteousness under the law supposes the irrelevance of Christ to the one who propagates this (Gal 2:21, 1 Tim 1:7-10).

We are fallen from grace when we keep any form of law, believing erroneously that observing it can in any way win the favor and approbation of God (Gal. 5:4). This is the very essence of religion. Thus, to fall from grace does not mean to break the Law as some have taught.

The Audacity of Grace

The purpose and intent of the Law of Moses was not to present us as righteous before God. Those who advocate finding their own righteousness by attempting to keep the Law are trying to make substance out of Old Testament shadows and this proves their ignorance. Self-righteousness exhibits ignorance of the Gospel and contains no understanding of the truth (Rom 10:3). It is utterly unprofitable; nothing good can proceed from it, only guilt, condemnation and erroneous judgement. Self-righteousness inhibits intellectual and emotional growth and stands as the major obstacle to spiritual maturity.

The audacity of God’s grace fulfilled for all is the revolutionary truth that will only offend the self-righteous who relies on his own works to qualify him before God (Lk. 18:9-14). The most destructive force we face on planet Earth today is not unrighteousness but self-righteousness. It is full of curses, bitterness, deceitful purposes and quickly inflicts punishment on others whom it erroneously views as guilty. One must first give up their self-righteousness for the knowledge of Christ’s own righteousness and the power of His resurrection to replace it (Phil 3:7-10). This can only come about by presenting the true purpose and intent of the law in the context of the Gospel of grace and peace.

The purpose of the law was to show those under the law that they were unacceptable to God in their own selves. It ultimately reveals to its subjects that they possess a corrupt nature that needs to be supplanted by the impartation of God’s very own life (Eph. 2:15). Christ came to fulfil the law, that He might terminate the law and replace it. Thus, everyone who believes in Him receives God’s righteousness.

The Abolition of the Law

The law and its ordinances were completely abolished through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:15). The word “abolish”, is a very strong word; it means: “to render inoperative and to nullify”. This means that, the Son of God in fulfilling all of the commandments of the law in His flesh, has invalidated it. The New Creation in Christ has no relationship whatsoever with the law. The nullification of the Mosaic Law means there is no longer a distinction between the Jew and the Gentile. All believers are Christians.

I understand that one needs to appreciate their given heritage, that has its proper place. But when it comes to who you are in Christ, there are no ethnic distinctions. In Christ, the Jew is no longer a Jew, and the Gentile no longer a Gentile; but Christ is all, and in all (Colossians 3:11). It is time to put away traditions based on the erroneous interpretations of the Jewish religion and become the Christians that we are.

It is carnal and even worldly to apply Old Covenant practices to New Covenant life, much like adding new cloth to an old garment (Mt 9:16-17). In these matters, the cross is the dividing line between what is discontinued and what is continued. Whatever the Apostle Paul mentions from the Old Covenant passages in his epistles after the cross and the resurrection has found new life in New Covenant application.

True conversion is not necessarily turning from your sinful acts to righteous acts. It is indeed turning from your own self-righteousness to God’s righteousness brought solely through Christ. While morality should by all means be encouraged, it must not be confused with spirituality. They are separate and distinct issues and should remain mutually exclusive in doctrinal matters. The Gospel of grace and peace is the assurance of righteousness. After the resurrection of Christ, sanctification, redemption and wisdom are never again to be sought after; they have sought us, found us, captured and invaded us in Christ.

True conversion is turning from your own self-righteousness to God’s righteousness brought solely through Christ.


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