Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The end of the law (Guest Post)

For Christ is the end of  the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. — Romans 10:4 NKJV 

 Nothing could be clearer! Christ is the end of the law. 
That’s it! Pack it all up – the law is ended! Except for 
one tiny thing which we should look at. To get the true 
meaning of this verse we need to see it in high definition. 
The word translated “end” does not mean termination. It 
means goal. (Zodhiates 5056) Christ is the goal of  the law. Does that change the meaning for you? The goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. 
(Romans 10:4 – Jewish New Testament, transla- 
tion by David Stern) 
 It is indeed interesting how a little word like “end” can mess up the meaning of a passage. That Christ or Messiah is the goal of the law is also stated in Galatians 
3:24. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us the Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (NKJV) So the law is actually our ally. Paul says in Romans 7 that the law is special, the commandment special and just and good. He also says it is spiritual in Romans 7:14 and that He delights in it (vs 22). The law, or Torah, points to Jesus. 
 This is the essential truth that the religious leaders in 
the time of Christ failed to grasp. The Torah points to the one who has the power over sin – Christ. The law has 
no power. It is not an end in itself. We are not under the 
system of the law if we are governed by Christ the Spirit. 
(Gal. 5:18) Christ in us, the hope of glory, is the Holy 
Spirit. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh 
with its passions and desires. To do that we need God’s power – divine enablement – grace. 
 The goal of the law is to bring us to Christ so we can 
be led or governed by Christ. We can rule and reign in 
life over the flesh – over sickness – over poverty – if we 
can learn to be led of the Spirit. The goal of the law is to 
bring us to a new type of government; one with divine 
power to help us. 
 The goal of the law is to bring me and you personally to 
a point where we are confidently hearing and obeying the 
Holy Spirit each and every day. This should be the goal of 
all the church’s discipleship attempts. We should be mak- 
ing disciples that know the Word and walk in the Spirit. 
 The law is a bit like the gantry for a rocket ship. It helps 
the rocket to stand upright but to fulfil its destiny a rocket 
needs to soar in the heavens. The soaring rocket must be 
guided in order to reach its destination. We need to be 
guided by the Spirit. The rocket also needs fuel or power 
to fly. We need the grace of God to soar. Grace and guidance are both provided for us as we trust the Messiah. 
The Torah is our valued tutor which points to our goal. 
We don’t do the law in our own strength. We use the law 
to fix our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our 
faith. It provides useful insight and context and is our ally 
in growing spiritually. So Christ is not the termination of 
the law but rather the endgame (the final stage of some 
action or process) of the law. 

Ian Wilkinson is the author of  a new book entitled Kingdom Foundation.

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