Hebrew Roots/Restoration/Faith & Works/The Law Not Abolished
YESHUA SAID THE LAW IS NOT ANNULLED
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law, or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill." (Matt. 5:17)
Just as Yahweh God Himself is unchanging, so is His Law which is an expression of His own eternal nature, transcribed into principles for man who was made in His image, as a standard for human behaviour.
Yeshua's coming was to fulfill the Law, with all its requirement and it's prophesies and bring it to a fulfillment in Himself. But by so doing, He did not supersede it and make it void or redundant. He was the promised "Seed" and fulfilled the promises which had been made to Abraham of him being a "father of many nations" which opened up salvation through faith to the Gentiles. But in opening up the way of faith, it did not dis-annul the Law, as Paul the apostle to the Gentiles said,
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)
The validity of the law is established by His people being able to keep His commandments through the impartation of Christ's life, which Paul exhorts the believes to do, "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13)
Yeshua specifically warned against anyone breaking these commandments or teaching men against keeping them, as even the insignificant jot and tittle have their significance in the fulfilment of His Word (Matthew 5:18).
THE FULFILLMENT OF LAW
If Yeshua fulfilled the law as it says He did in Matthew 5:17, then he observed it completely. He even says in the next verse that nothing will pass from the law until heaven and earth vanish. Fulfill cannot mean abolish.
He fulfilled the moral aspects of the Law contained in the ten commands in His own perfect observance of them for the purpose they were ordained, as a pattern of righteousness living for man made in God's image. The law is fulfilled by being observant of it. To fulfill any obligation is to meet it's demands and/or perform one's duty. In Him all the Prophets and laws were fulfilled through His sinless life.
"But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, He has fulfilled" (Acts 3:18). Christ fulfilled the things that the prophets said about Him suffering and dying at the Stake in His sacrificial death and later in High priestly ministry. He also fulfilled all the types and shadows of the ceremonial portions of the Law spoken of by the Prophets.
To fulfill something is to supply what was lacking and make it complete. Strongs 4137 PLEROO from 4234 ' to replete' furnish, satisfy - execute an office, finish a period or task, accomplish.
By fulfilling every aspect of the Law, He didn't render it inoperative. On the contrary, rather than abolish or change the law, He took each aspect of the Law to it's fullest expression, in Himself.
THE EXALTATION OF THE LAW
The law has not been done away with, but there is a change. His commandments are the Father's commandments brought to us through the power of His life. (Romans 8:3-4)
"Yahweh is well pleased for His righteousness sake; He will exalt (magnify KJ) the law and make it honourable" (Isaiah 42:21).
COMPARISON OF OLD TO NEW
- "You have heard it said .... .... ..... but I say unto you" - i.e. the Law ... .... .... its fulfillment in Him!
- The Father's commandments = Yeshua's commandments
You shall not murder .... .... .... whoever is angry with his brother v21-26 You shall not commit adultery .... .... whoever looks lustfully on a woman v29-30 You shall not swear falsely .... .... you shall not swear at all v33-37 Execute justice eye for eye .... ..... you shall not resist an evil person v38-42 Love/neighbour and hate/enemy ... ..... love your enemies and do them good v43-49
The Law is exalted and taken to the level of perfection, according to Yeshua's word. "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48)
Yeshua took the Law to a higher level, beyond the external performance of the commandments to an expectation of spiritual perfection in the motivations of the heart in doing them.
THE ANNULMENT OF THE LAW'S PENALTY
When He hung on the Stake, He put the body of flesh and it’s sins to death ("For He who knew no sin, was made sin for us", that sin in the flesh might be judged). He therein blotted out the hand-written ordinances which were contrary to our fleshly nature, by the shedding of His precious sinless blood and condemned sin in the flesh. The Law exposes sin and therefore condemns the sinner with it's penalty, which is death (Romans 6:23). He paid the "wages of sin" which was the penalty of the broken Law, and it was nailed to the torture stake in His death.
When we talk about "nailing it to his cross", that is not the Law itself but the curse of the Law or the penalties for disobeying the Law. It was the penalty of the broken Law which He rendered inoperative, not the Law itself.
In that time period when a man was charged with a crime the charges against him were written down on papyrus. If he was found not guilty the papyrus was then washed down with water, removing or blotting out those charges against him, to confirm his acquittal. This abolished the written charges against the man. This is the what is referred to in "blotting out of ordinances against us" that were nailed to the Stake, not the Law itself.
The Law is still God's standard of righteousness and all the requirements for the broken law remain unchanged, apart from Him. But those who have been baptised into Christ, have been baptised into His death, "that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Romans 6:6). And, as long as one abides in Him and walks in the Spirit of Christ, the curse of the Law is inoperative (Galatians 3:13) and we are able to keep the Law through the power of His enabling grace.
Therefore, in Him, we are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Law, but under grace. We live within the boundaries of the Law, by willing choice, as a result of the change of nature which He has given to us. His life which has been imparted unto us by the Spirit enables us to keep the just requirements of the law. The Law has not changed, it can't change, it is eternal, but we have. We now no longer serve sin - see Romans 6:10-14.
Paul uses the expression of being "under grace" as compared to having been "under law". The expression, "under law" means being under the bondage of the law, either through trying to keep the Law through fleshly efforts and/or, by the manner in which it controls us through the fleshly nature - see Romans 7:5-12. Now that we are under the jurisdiction of His grace, we are enabled to live in the Law. The two expressions are defined by two different prepositions in the Greek, "under law" [apo nomos], and "in the law" [en nomos]. We have come out from being in subjection to [apo] the Law, to live in [en] the Law, in subjection to His grace. From the bondage to sin to the glorious liberation of the sons of God. It is a choice though of whether we yield ourselves to the old nature and be "under law" or whether we yield to Christ and be "under grace" (Romans 6:13-14).
Paul also said that the law is not of faith, but if we abide in it, that is if we do it, we are living within it. "And the law is not of faith: but, the man that does them shall live in them." (Galatians 3:12).
By living in His Law we live in His Love.
"But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:5-6)
The difference between the Old and the New Covenants is the power given through the new nature to keep the Law (or standards). This has nothing to do with changing the righteous standard.
"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 11:19-20)