Atlantic Caribbean Union

Is Jesus the End of the Law?

Is Jesus the End of the Law?

A casual look at Romans 10:4 would suggest that the phrase,” Christ is the end of the law,” means that He is no longer requiring and obligating Christians to adhere to the ten commandments. However, upon serious reflection, without a contextual knowledge of the passage, the following questions quite naturally pop up: “How can that be?” “Is it possible?” It would now mean that Christians are free to live as they desire. For a certainty, we would no longer be required to keep the Sabbath or any law for that matter.
Laws of Life
Truth be told, that would not make sense, as law keeping is necessary for the proper function of matters and life.  For example, if I do not eat right or on time, I am likely to be adversely affected over time.  Avoiding sleep or sufficient rest is sure to lead to negative consequences.  The same could be said for ignoring the Traffic Light, as one would endanger self and others. Dressing without consideration to the weather, one will eventually pay a costly price. Airline pilots are no less obligated, for ignoring the laws of aviation will put them and others in great danger.  Accordingly, it must be concluded that laws and regulations are critical to the smooth and effective operations of life and systems. To do otherwise is to invite chaos, imbalance, danger and possibly death.  The same applies to the spiritual life; and hence the following clarification.
Goal of the Law
            The Greek word for “end” in Romans 10:4 is “telos.”  It conveys the idea of end in the case of demise or the end of something.  John C. Brunt in his book, Redemption in Romans, explains, “When I take a dish out of a dishwasher and it slips out of my hand and breaks into hundreds of pieces on the floor, I can say, ‘That’s the end of that dish!’ In this case, end means ‘demise.’” According to Brunt that dish exists no more, having come to an end.
            On the other hand, “telos” denotes goal or purpose. Blunt adds, “We’re raising money at church with the end in mind of a new youth chapel.”  In this example demise is not being spoken of but a goal. Given this explanation, one is able to see and understand what the Apostle Paul is saying in Romans 10:4.  For all intents and purposes, he is advocating that the goal of the law is to point to Christ.  After all, man is incapable of saving himself.  Certainly the law cannot save him.  Instead, it points out sin and man’s deficiency, but it cannot do anything about man’s condition. It (law) functions like a mirror pointing what needs to be done but unable to do it.
            If we were to determine that the law has come to an end, we would need to explain what Paul said earlier as noted in Romans 7:12: “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Additionally, there would need to be an explanation for Romans 3:31 which states, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”  Also, when we consider the words of Christ in Matthew 5:17 we would have a challenge for He says, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Therefore, we can conclude that Romans 10:4 teaches that “Christ is the goal toward which the law points.  He fulfills the law,” or “Christ brings an end to a misunderstanding of the law” (Redemption in Romans, p. 97).
Summing It Up
            Pulling all the aforementioned together, it must be clear that Christ is the only means by which one is saved - both Jews and Gentiles. Says Paul, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Thus, to say or imply that with Christ or because of Him there is no need or place for the law, we are greatly mistaken. Sinclair Ferguson sums it up best by saying, “Our attitude to the law of God is an index of our attitude to God Himself.” Therefore, I conclude, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” The question that begs an answer is, “Do you believe?”