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4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

4 For

The “for” explains verse three. Christ is the end of the law for those who believe.

Christ is the end [emphatic] of the law

The Greek emphasizes the word “end,” making the point that Christ ended man’s pursuit of righteousness because He fulfilled fully the righteousness of the law. Jesus terminated the demands of the law and its penalty. The law reached its object and fulfillment in Christ because He Himself fulfilled all the demands of the law perfectly.

Jesus fulfilled the moral law perfectly

Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law by the sacrifice of Himself among other things such as types and ceremonies of the tabernacle

Christ is the climax of the purpose of the law. The law was finalized in Him. He fulfilled all the requirements of the law. Jesus’ death on the cross was the termination of all further pursuit of righteousness by human effort.

Mt 3: 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

Mt 5: 17Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

God established an entirely new administration of things with the coming of Christ. The Messiah’s arrival brought in a new hope. He ended the priesthood system, the ceremonial law, and many other dynamics of the law. He brought new principles and methods of living. Instead of going to the tabernacle, we go to Christ. Instead of a priest mediating for us, our Savior mediates for us. Christ ended all ceremonial or worship focused on form.

He 7: 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

1 Pe 1: 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

The finished work of Christ finished all other sacrificial systems. He was the end of the law.

He 10: 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

for righteousness

Christ ended the attempt to attain righteousness with God. It is not possible to be justified by the law in either the Old or New Testament. Man by man’s means cannot reach the absolute standard of God’s absolute righteousness. This is the decisive end to all claims of righteousness by works.

1 Co 1: 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

2 Co 5: 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

to everyone who believes.

Belief in the finished work of Christ ends the human pursuit of self-righteousness to be pleasing to God. This applies to everyone—Jew or Gentile.

There are two kinds of righteousness, a righteousness by works and a righteousness by faith. We receive God’s righteousness by faith.

PRINCIPLE:

We cannot earn what we can only receive.

APPLICATION:

The work of Christ on the cross is decisive and final. The cross of Christ terminates the law as an access to God’s absolute righteousness. The law—whether moral, civil, or ceremonial—finds its complete fulfillment in Christ.

We do not earn a gift; a gift is a gift. Pride stands in the way of accepting the gift. Participation in grace is always a humbling experience. Stubborn self-reliance is that to which people cling. They want to be in control of their eternal destiny, to their own demise. They do not have any sense that their “righteousness,” not the sin, is filthy rags in God’s sight:

Isa 64: 6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

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