I AM NOT COME TO DESTROY, BUT TO FULFILL
By John C. Carpenter
 
Christ taught the multitudes, including His disciples, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Mat 5:17-19), while the apostle Paul taught the church in Galatia, For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal 3:10-14). What does it mean when Christ said He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill?
 
YE SHALL THEREFORE KEEP MY STATUTES, AND MY JUDGMENTS: WHICH IF
A MAN DO, HE SHALL LIVE IN THEM
 
In the old testament, or covenant, the word law is translated from the Hebrew word Torah, which means a precept, a statute, or law, and is most often a reference to the Pentateuch, which is the first five books of the bible, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Torah, or Mosaic covenant, as it was also called, was given by God to Israel through Moses, The Torah is God's guidance to Israel regarding moral lows [murder, theft, adultery, etc.], social laws [property, inheritance, marriage, divorce, etc.], food laws [unclean or clean foods], purity laws [menstruation, skin diseases, etc.], feasts [feasts of Atonement, Passover, Tabernacles, etc.], sacrifices and offerings [sin offerings, burnt offerings, passover sacrifices, etc.], instructions for the priesthood and tithing, instructions regarding the tabernacle and, later, the Jerusalem temple], as well as instructions about the future of the nation of Israel. According to scholars and Jews, Torah also means teaching; therefore, in this sense, Torah can also refer to the entirety of the old testament.
 
The Hebrew word Torah is derived from the Hebrew word yarah, which means cast, direct, inform, instruct, shew, teach, or teaching. Yarah also means to cast, throw or shoot an arrow at a target, to point out, or aim the finger. Therefore, the essence of Torah means to aim at and hit a predetermined mark, or goal. Within the old testament, God the Father's desire was for the people of Israel to aim at and hit, or obey, all of the statutes, regulations, requirements, and standards outlined in the Torah. To hit the target of the Torah was considered righteousness by God the Father, whereas to miss the target of the Torah was considered sin. In the new covenant, the word law is translated from the Greek word nemo, which means regulation or principle, and refers, depending upon the context, to either the old testament law of Moses, the Torah, or the new testament law of the Gospel of Christ.
 
The Mosaic covenant, given to Moses, may be found in the old testament: In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel (Exo 19:1-6). God the Father's covenant with Israel demanded that if Israel obey God's voice and obey all of His commandments and laws, God would make Israel a kingdom of priests worshiping and serving God, and a holy nation. God clearly connected Israel's obedience to the law with blessing, Through Moses, God also told Israel, it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments [found in the law] which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out (Deu 28:1-6). God later summarized, Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always (Deu 11:1), and summarized later, Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known (Deu 11:26-28).
 
The prophet Isaiah likewise connected obedience to the law of the Torah with righteousness when he prophesied, Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law [Torah]... (Isaiah 51:7). Isaac was blessed by God because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws [Torah] (Gen 26:5). God the Father said, Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD (Lev 18:4-5), while the psalmist exclaimed, The righteousness of thy testimonies [recordings, witness] is everlasting: give me understanding [regarding thy testimonies and recordings and law], and I shall live (Psa 119:144). Ezekiel also teaches us that obedience to the law resulted in life: When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful [obedient to the law] and right [what God requires], he shall live thereby (Eze 33:18-19). Paul, in the new testament, reminds us of the necessity of Israel keeping God's law in order to attain righteousness in God's eyes: For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live [temporally and eternally] by them (Rom 10:5). For Israel, obeying the commandments found in the Jewish law resulted in righteousness before God the Father, and righteousness resulted in salvation and eternal life.
 
NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, BUT BY THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST
 
God wanted, and expected, Israel to keep and obey the law of Moses. All this sounded well and good, but there was a problem. Israel was not able to be fully obedient to God's commandments and laws. Violation of the commandments was sin, or missing the mark of obedience to the Jewish law; and Israel was a sinner. Scriptures make it clear that no man, including the nation of Israel, would be able to faithfully obey all of the law. Isaiah prophesied the sinfulness of mankind: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isa 53:6), and later,we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities (Isaiah 64:6-7). At the time of Christ, the leaders of the Jewish church, who promoted complete obedience to the law, were, themselves, even unable to keep it. Christ chastened then about this when he said, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin [the smaller or less important parts of the requirements of the law], and [but] have omitted [failed to keep] the weightier [larger, more important] matters of the law, [such as] judgment, mercy, and faith: these [larger and more important requirements of the law] ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other [smaller requirements] undone (Mat 23:23). Referring to their inability to fully obey the law of Moses, Jesus asked some Jews, Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? (John 7:19). The apostle John knew about his own inability to keep the Jewish law, but so did Paul. Look what the mighty apostle, Paul, said of his own unsuccessful struggle to keep the law and avoid sin: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom 7:16-23).
 
Neither you, nor I can fully keep the law. No one can keep the law, for it is impossible. No one is sinless. Paul explained the reason for this: Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile, in opposition to] against God: for it [the carnal mind] is not [cannot possibly be] subject to the [Old Testament, Jewish] law of God, neither indeed can be (Rom 8:7). Paul also addressed the the absolute sinfulness of man when he wrote Roman believers, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Rom 3:10-12). Paul later added, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), as well as, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Rom 5:12). Righteousness required total obedience to all of the Jewish law. Knowing this was impossible, the apostle James warned the scattered Jewish tribes about the impossibility of keeping, or obeying, the entire Jewish law when he wrote, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point [commit only one transgression and sin], he is guilty of all [has failed to be obedient to all the Jewish law] (James 2:10).
 
Because Israel [as well as no man, except Jesus Christ] could not keep the old covenant with God the Father, God established a new covenant with Israel [and mankind], which reads as follows: this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jer 31:33-34). In the new testament, or covenant, the Torah, or law of Moses, was written by God the Father on the hearts of Israel, as well as all who would come to faith in Christ. Through this new covenant, God provided righteousness and salvation for Israel [and all Gentiles] not through requiring strict obedience to the law, but through only one criteria - faith in and obedience to Christ.
 
According to the instruction of scriptures, salvation through faith in Christ is readily available to anyone and everyone, both Jew and Gentile alike. Many scriptural examples reference this. Paul teaches us, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power [explosive, supernatural strength] of God unto [resulting] salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentile]. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from [the Jewish] faith to [the Gentile] faith: as it is written, The just [Jew or Gentile] shall live by faith (Rom 1:16-17).
 
Paul also teaches us: now [with the advent of Christ and His ministry] the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even [specifically] the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference (Rom 3:21-22), and adds, to him that worketh not [at keeping the law for salvation], but believeth on him [Christ] that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom 4:5). Paul pointedly clarified to the believers in Rome that God's new testament standard for righteousness and salvation is not based upon efforts at being obedient to the Mosaic law, but of faith through Christ: What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness [without the law], have attained to righteousness, even [specifically] the righteousness which is of [though] faith. But Israel, which followed after the [Mosaic] law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousnes. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone (Rom 9:30-32).
 
Paul also clarified this concept of salvation through faith to the Galatian church when he wrote them, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works [efforts] of [at being obedient to] the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Gal 2:16). Paul later added in his letter, But that no man is justified by [obedience to] the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith [not obedience to the law of Moses]. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal 3:11-14), as well as, Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law [Torah] given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe (Gal 3:21-22). Paul summarized his point to the Galatian believers when he wrote, Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem [buy, purchase, ransom, rescue] them that were [originally] under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Gal 4:3-5). In fact, Paul also warns us that if we have come to faith in Christ for our salvation, then return to dependence on keeping the law of Moses in order to receive salvation, then Christ is become of no effect unto you [and your faith is no longer able to save you], whosoever of you are justified by the law [dependence upon keeping the Jewish law in order to be saved]; ye are fallen from grace [your dependence upon faith alone as the basis for salvation] (Gal 5:4). Additionally, the apostle Paul clarifies that those who teach you that salvation is based upon your works of keeping the Jewish law are not only not of true faith in Christ, but do so because they are only interested in glorifying themselves: For neither they themselves who are circumcised [the Jews who attempt to] keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh (Gal 6:13).
 
Scriptures plainly teach that there is only one way that man can be reconciled to God, and that is through faith in the work of Christ: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off [distant in relationship from God the Father] are made nigh [near to God] by the blood 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 (Eph 2:13-16).
 
Paul also gives us insight into his own personal faith in Christ for salvation when he wrote Philippian believers, Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (Php 3:8-11).
 
The author of the letter to the Hebrews revealed the impotence and failure of keeping the Jewish law for salvation when he wrote, For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment [of obedience to the Jewish law for salvation] going before for [because of] the weakness and unprofitablenessthereof [of keeping the law in order to receive salvation]. For [attempting to keep the requirments of] the law made nothing perfect [complete, sinless, righteous], but [because of it's weakness did result in] the bringing in of a better hope [of the possibility of salvation through God's grace requiring only faith in Christ] did; by the [faith in Christ by] which we draw nigh unto God (Heb 7:18-19). The author later added, For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins (Heb 10:2).
 
Paul even teaches that even those, like himself, who are Jews by nature and genetics, have the opportunity to understand and accept God's justification and righteousness through faith in Christ: We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even [specifically] we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the [our own efforts of keeping the Mosaic] law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Gal 2:15-16).
 
Paul added further explanation when he wrote, For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal 3:10-14).
 
Paul continues in his letter to the Galatian church with these words: Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe (Gal 3:21-22).
 
Paul then concludes his point to the Galatian church by describing the redemption, through faith in Christ, available to those who were even once under the law. Paul wrote, But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under [obligation to be obedient to] the law [of Moses], that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through [your faith in] Christ (Gal 4:4-7).
 
Paul taught this same salvation only through faith when he wrote the Ephesian believers with these uplifting words: Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision [Gentile, unbelievers] by that which is called the Circumcision [Jews, believers] in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both [Jew and Gentile] one [with God the Father], and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [and God the Father]; Having abolished in his [Christ's] flesh the enmity, even [specifically] 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 [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Eph 2:11-16).
 
Lastly, in addressing the the scattered Jewish tribes, the apostle James taught the value of salvation through the grace [free gift of salvation] of God, as opposed to salvation through the bondage of keeping the Jewish law: But whoso looketh into the perfect [complete, has reached the target or goal] law [the gospel of Christ] of liberty [freedom from bondage to keeping the Jewish law for salvation], and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed [temporally and eternally] in his deed (James 1:25).
 
THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, THAT YE BELIEVE ON HIM WHOM HE HATH SENT
 
In the new covenant salvation is only available through the grace of God and faith in Christ, not works of the law. Additionally, this covenant of faith is described by God as even more glorious than the old covenant glory found in the law. In his letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul wrote, Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone [the law of Moses], but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones [containing the law of Moses], was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of [the law of Moses which results in] condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of [Christ and the Holy Spirit in our heart result in] righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious [of the old covenant] had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory [of the new covenant] that excelleth, For if that which is done away [the letter of the law] was glorious, much more that [the law of Christ and the Holy Spirit] which remaineth [abides, continues, endures, remains] is glorious (2 Cor 3:2-11).
 
Within this new covenant, the righteousness of Christ, who was sinless, became the righteousness of those who come to faith in Christ. The wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and salvation of Christ became our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and salvation. Paul and his fellow apostles wrote the church in Corinth, But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor 1:30), and later added, Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor 5:20-21).
 
The more glorious ministry of Christ and His Spirit was necessary because the law of Moses could not make anything complete, or righteous, as Paul explains: For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the [Mosaic] law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of [the Spirit of Christ resulting in] an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art [Christ] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling [cancellation, rejection] of the [necessity of keeping the] commandment[of the Mosaic law]going before for [because of] the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law [of Moses] made nothing perfect [accomplished, fulfilled, finished], but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God (Heb 7:14-19).
 
The scriptures also clearly teach us that There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of [Moses which results in] sin and death. For what the law [of Moses] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law [of Moses] might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:4).
 
Because the law of Moses was impotent, God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins [because we could not keep the law], hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:2-9).
 
Because of the ministry of Christ, the believer in Christ is complete [replete, sins covered over] in him [Christ], which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised [by a single act] with the circumcision [the condition] made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [of the Mosaic law] that was [an opponent or adversary striving] against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Col 2:10-14). For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect [complete, finished, fulfilled] (Heb 10:1).
 
Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus with these words: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off [from God the Father] are made nigh [to God the Father] by the blood of Christ. For he [Christ] is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [and the Father]; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity [the hostility we have with God the Father due to our inability and failure to obey], even [specifically] the [Mosaic] law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace [with God the Father]; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity [our hostility and opposition to God the Father] thereby (Eph 2:13-16). Paul then concluded with these words to the Ephesian believers: For through him [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Eph 2:18-19).
 
All believers in Jesus Christ should have therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near [to God the Father] with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:19-22).
 
To the church in Galatia, the apostle Paul clearly connected the life he had [as well as ours] with the death of Christ: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Gal 2:19-21).
 
Christ completely fulfilled the requirements of the Jewish law: Christ is the end [means the goal or target of righteousness has been hit or accomplished] of the law for righteousness to every one [Jew or Gentile] that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)But what saith it? The [gospel] word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom 10:4-10).
 
Scriptures plainly teach us the purpose and ministry of the advent of Jesus Christ: the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), as well as, I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (John 12:46-47).
 
Paul refers to God's saving grace and His kindness toward us through Christ and His ministry when he wrote For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph 2:8-9). After giving to His disciples several parables, including the story of the dishonest manager, scriptures tell us, And the Pharisees also, who were covetous [fond of power, control, and money], heard all these things [some of which the Pharisees took as referring to themselves and the errors Jesus found in their spiritual teachings and leadership]: and they derided [sneered at, ridiculed] him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts [and the error and wickedness found in them]: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were [in effect] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth [with eagerness and effort strives to enter] into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle [the least part] of the law to fail [fly away, not be fulfilled](Luke 16:14-17).
 
Faith in Christ and His ministry of righteousness and salvation, rather than compliance and obedience to the Jewish law, was and is the new covenant standard. When the Jewish multitudes, who had been taught obedience to the law as grounds for salvation, approached Christ, look what the Lord said: Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent (John 6:27-29). The work to now be performed is to believe in Jesus Christ, who God the Father sent.
 
To summarize, Christ simply put it like this: Think not that I am come to destroy [dissolve or overthrow the requirements of] the law [of Moses], or the [teaching and ministry of the old testament] prophets: I am not come to destroy [the law of Moses or the ministry of the prophets], but to fulfil [to accomplish and fulfill entirely and once for all the law's demands and requirements of obedience to the law, and righteousness] (Mat 5:17). AMEN.
 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"For if that which
is done away
was glorious,
much more
that which
remaineth is glorious"
(2 Cor 3:11)







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