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The Truth about the LAW.


There is a war within the church to cast off huge portions of Gods word under the guise of Grace and Liberty. The confusion begins with failing to understand what Jesus did and did not do on the cross. Let's look at what Jesus said.

““Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Mat 5:17-18

Jesus gives a very clear balance of what He was and was not doing.

  1. He clearly says He has NOT come to destroy the law. The word “Destroy” means : “to officially declare invalid or inapplicable” Brannan, R., ed. (2020). In Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Lexham Press.

Jesus says, “Do Not think I have come ““to officially declare THE LAW, invalid or inapplicable”” This is a stunning statement in view of so much of our modern teaching. We cannot rightly understand grace until we begin with a proper foundation. Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law. So what was He going to do with the law? We know something huge changed. but understanding exactly what changed is the key to rightly dividing the word of truth.

He then says, “I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” The word fulfill means “to be or become satisfied concerning the requirements or expectations of (a contract or promise); understood as if being or becoming completely full.

Brannan, R., ed. (2020). In Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Lexham Press.

Jesus says I came to completely satisfy the requirements and expectations of the law. I came to do what no other human could do. I came to live a life in full obedience to the law and thus be fully righteous. Having done this I am qualified to bear the judgement required for all the disobedience to the law.

He lived a sinless life and willing died to take the punishment for every law breaker. However, in all of this, what happens to the LAW?

A verse that is often misquoted is Col 2:13-14 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

This misquoting comes from not understanding the phrase, “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, … having nailed it to the cross.”

The handwriting against us was not the LAW but was the judgements require for breaking the law. When a criminal would be judged there was a handwritten declaration stating the crime and the punishment. Jesus took this, “handwritten judgement” that was rightfully ours and He nailed the JUDGEMENT to the cross. Jesus did NOT nail the LAW to the cross, only the JUDGEMENTS WRITTEN.

Glory be to God, Jesus paid the price and bore ALL our judgements for ALL our transgressions. This is glorious news. But once again what happens to the law?

Jesus then says, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

If we read this through the filter that ALL was FULFILLED at the cross, then we have a conflict. Jesus first says when this passing away will happen. It won’t happen until heaven and earth have passed away. This event He refers to is found in Rev 21:1 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

Now on a surface look at Mat 5, it seems a bit confusing. Jesus uses the word fulfilled twice. The first time clearly points to the cross, but what about the second time. The second time cannot be pointing to the cross because heaven and earth haven’t passed away yet.

So again let's look at the meaning of the word. Jesus says “Not one jot or tittle of the LAW will pass, that is “to pass out of use or go out of existence.” Until heaven and earth have passed away AND all is fulfilled.

Brannan, R., ed. (2020). In Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Lexham Press.

The question rises then, wasn’t all fulfilled on the cross. Yes and NO. Yes Jesus said it is finished but also the Bible says, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. Heb 10:12-13

Jesus completed His work on the cross BUT is also waiting till the time when He will return to once and for all, have all His enemies become His footstool. The FINAL fulfillment will not happen until AFTER Jesus returns, the thousands year millennial reign and then the white throne judgement seat. The FINAL completion of the Work of Jesus is when DEATH is finally destroyed.

Once the DEATH and HADES, the devil, His angles, the antichrist and the ungodly are all cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death, then the final FULFILLMENT of all things will take place.

Rev 20:14-15 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

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Heaven and earth shall pass away and a new heaven and a new earth. Look at Rev 21 again closely.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

The final fulfillment will not happen until Rev 21:1-5 takes place. So what then are we to do with the law. Jesus clearly fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law, thereby removing our need to obey the law to have access to God and avoid judgements as a law breaker. But Jesus also said he did not come to destroy ““to officially declare invalid or inapplicable”, the Law.

Jesus is saying the Law is still valid and applicable. But how does this work. The law was given for three main purposes.

Rom 3:20 “For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

  1. To expose mans sinful nature that made him incapable of righteous living and utterly in need of redemption so he would REPENT.

2) To reveal the holy and righteous nature of God - To Reveal His name so we can have FAITH in His Name.

3) To cause men to be conformed into God’s HOLY CHARACTER and “Be ye Holy for I am Holy.”

The law, without Christ, was incapable of accomplishing all of this because of the sin nature. Paul in Romans 8 addresses this issue and what Jesus did on the Cross.

Rom 8:3 amp For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

The law was powerless to deliver us form the carnal or sin nature. So the law said do this but your flesh made it impossible. Paul described this battle in Romans 7.

Rom 7:14-20 “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

  1. Paul says the LAW is Spiritual. It is not evil, ” the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Rom 7:12

  2. Paul says the reason the Law was death to me was because of this evil sin nature inside of me. “But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

  3. Paul says I had a mental desire to obey God, as a Jew and a Pharisee, but I was incapable of total obedience because of the evil nature in my flesh. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”

Paul continues and says, “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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Rom 7:23-25

Now He talks about the LAW OF MY MIND. This is incredibly important as we will see a bit later. This chapter is Paul BEFORE he was born again. Paul had the law of God in His mind but It was not written upon His heart. That could only happen once Paul was born again. This was the promise of the New Covenant.

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

The New King James Version (Je 31:33–34). (1982). Thomas Nelson.

The word WRITE : means to ENGRAVE. God says I will ENGRAVE my LAW upon their hearts. My LAW shall be in their minds and engraved upon their hearts. STOP THE PRESSES!!!!

If, like so many falsely teach, that the LAW is irrelevant to us today, then why would God promise to put it into our minds and ENGRAVE is upon our hearts? Clearly the LAW still had an important role under the New Covenant. The failure to understand the correct role of the LAW under the new covenant will either produce LEGALISM or LAWLESSNESS depending on how you view it. LEGALISM if you think we must continue to obey the regulations of the LAW and LAWLESSNESS if you fail to obey the revelation of the spirit of the LAW.

Let's return to Jesus words in Mat 5. Remember this is the sermon on the mount. It is considered the most significant single portion of teaching by Jesus and was laying the entire foundation of the Kingdom of Heaven message He was preaching.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

He didn’t say whoever breaks these shall go to hell. He said they shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. This is incredibly important. Jesus was preaching the new covenant kingdom message NOT the old covenant LAW message. Some modern grace preachers have radically misunderstood this. They claim that since Jesus was preaching TO people still under the law that He was preaching THE LAW. Therefore, they say, most of what Jesus said doesn’t apply to us because we are not under the law but under grace. This belief doesn’t line up with clear scripture.

Luke 16:16-17 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

Jesus wasn’t ever preaching the LAW. “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mat 4:17 Over 100 times Jesus preaches about the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom. Paul preached the SAME message. “And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.” Acts 19:8

Jesus in Mat 5 was saying that those who disobey the commandments and teach other to do so shall be least in the kingdom of heaven. But those who do what’s in the commandments and teaches others to do so shall be great in the kingdom of heaven.

Then Jesus proceeds in 6 examples of the commandments and what He was shifting us to in this new covenant of the kingdom. What He says and teaches here is where we can get the breakthrough of the proper role of the law in the new covenant believers life. He then gives us understanding as to the NEW role the law is to be in our lives.

Jesus, preaching the NEW covenant kingdom message says, ““You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” Mat 5:21-22

Jesus was revealing that the LAW was not about the regulation but about the heart of a man. Murder is an outward action, but hatred and rage, judgmentalism, and belittling are heart issues. The law was given partly to control your behaviors, but the spirit of the law is how it affects the heart. If you restrain from murder but still hate in your heart you have broke the “spirit of the law.”

Jesus is revealing that what He is about to do is what the law could never do. Change the heart of a man. He was showing that the outward obedience was limited in its affects. He was about to change everything so the the LAW (His word) would be written upon your heart. Once it’s written upon your heart it will changed your outward actions.

He give specific instructions on what to do but all of these were to flow from the LAW of the new covenant, the LAW of LOVE.

He then gives another example. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Look again, He says it is a heart issue. He tells you to take this very seriously. So serious that it would be better for you to pluck out your eye than to continue with this evil heart.

So what does the LAW have to do with all of this. “Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),

17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16

The LAW, the PROPHETS, and ALL of scripture has been given to us to reveal Jesus, His character, nature, authority, and Kingdom. ALL of it is profitable for instruction, correction, conviction of sin, discipline in obedience, and training us how to live a righteous life. God wants to empower us to live a holy life in total conformity to Him in thought, purpose, and actions.

The LAW has great value now when we begin to understand the REVELATION behind the REGULATION. God knows exactly how man is wired. What affects us in our spirit, our soul, and our body. ALL the law points to issues of the heart and are designed to draw us closer to God and away from evil.

Paul dealt with this when He addressed circumcision in the Galatian church. They start to re-introduce the REGULATION of the law about circumcision. Paul said, NO, that is not what this is all about. The physical circumcision wasn’t what God was after. The outward act was pointing to what He would accomplish under the new covenant.

“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Rom 2:28-29

Notice He is saying circumcision is a HEART issue not a physical issue. So what does this HEART circumcision look like. Paul says about physical circumcision, “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters”.. 1 Cor 7:19

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ (Col 2:11). ….

The new covenant circumcision was separating us from our sin nature. That nature which made it impossible for us to obey God. So the LAW of circumcision STILL APPLIES, Not through physical removal of the foreskin but the removal of the SIN nature by the redemptive work of Jesus in those who are born again.

As we by Faith in the circumcision of our sin nature, put aside the works of the flesh, we are living by the Revelation of the law of circumcision. Paul a few verses later continues His thoughts on circumcision and says,…

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,” Col 3:5-11

The New man, the circumcised man, does not walk after the flesh.

Jesus didn’t come and deliver us from having to be obedient, He came to deliver us so we could be obedient, not to the REGULATION of the LAW but to the REVELATION of the LAW. In other words He commands us to obey the “Spirit of the Law.”

All of the “Spirit of the Law” is truly fulfilled in two commands.

“ Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Mat 22:37-40

Jesus says that on these two great commands hang ALL of the LAW and the PROPHETS. What is truly in the Law and the Prophets is fulfilled when we LOVE God and Love one another.

In conclusion, the revelations of the spirit of the LAW reveals the heart issues that teach us HOW TO LOVE GOD and HOW to Love one another with all our HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH. The LAW and the Prophets will pierce our hearts so we can learn to LOVE the way He loves.

So is the LAW and the Prophets important for todays Christians? Absolutely. God reveals Himself, His nature, Character, Authority, and Kingdom through both the old and the new testament. The LAW cannot produce righteousness; only faith in the shed blood of Jesus can do that. Obeying the Law cannot give you favor with God. However, understanding the spirit of the Law can train you in how to live out a God centered life.

“For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, Romans 3:20-22 AMPC

The revelation of the spirit of the law and the heart cry of the Prophets, throughout scripture, have a wonderful place in the church by revealing the character, nature, authority, and kingdom of God. It can train us in how to live a righteous life driven by Agape love. It can speak to us of the separation, consecration, and dedication that an agape driven life should look like. Not by obeying the regulations of the Law but by understanding and yielding to the revelation of the Law. As we see Jesus’ character, nature, authority, and kingdom through the Law and the Prophets, we are changed into His image by God writing His LAW (WORD) upon our hearts.

2 Cor 3:18 AMPC And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] (ALL OF THE WORD) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.




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