'We are no longer under the law. It is all grace!' Familiar words, I am sure you have heard them somewhere. The most logical question that would follow a statement like that, is: so, what then should we do with the law? No longer read it, skip it, ignore it? Well, we do not have to make such a difficult choice; law & grace go perfectly well together. Let's find out what Jesus has to say about it.
Probably the most known and discussed words of Jesus about the law, can be found in Matthew 5:17-18. He says, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Well, is the earth still here? Does heaven still exist? Yes, of course! So the law has not disappeared, but the purpose has changed... from obedience (or keeping) → fulfilling
The Good News translation says it this way: Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. Jesus came to make the teachings (thora, law) come true. We must keep our eyes on Him and listen to what He has to say if we want to learn more about this subject. It is wonderful to see how law and grace come together in Jesus Christ. The one does not replace the other, they will come true (are being fulfilled) in Him.
The apostle John wrote about Jesus: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The law came to us through Moses, grace and truth (also about the law) came to us through Jesus Christ. Let's keep Him central in the discussion about law and grace. Let's put everything, that has been written or said about it by other people, in the light of His words.
The apostle Paul for example wrote extensively about law and grace. No wonder really, because he was a scholar (a theologian, a pharisee) and then he came to a living faith in Jesus Christ and personally experienced His grace. So, law and grace came together in his life as well. He writes in Romans 3:31, Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. The KJV says, we establish the law. Wow, this got me thinking... Jesus came to fulfill the law, or to make the law come true. We, as His followers, uphold what He did. We establish or confirm the law. (we will get back to that in a later post)
In the next post we will look at some more words Jesus had to say about the meaning/purpose of the law.
Thank you for reading along, and please share these posts with someone who might need to hear this.