Christ fulfilling the Law

Below are some thoughts on this question, "According to Paul, was Christ the “goal” or the “end” of the law?"

In Romans 10:4 it says, “Christ is the end of the law.” In order to understand what Paul means by “the end” there are two beliefs about this statement. Some believe that Paul means that Christ is the very end of the law and that it is no longer applicable to any parts of Christianity and following after God. This statement does not completely follow along with what Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-20 very well since Jesus explicitly states that he has not come to abolish, but to fulfill the law. To understand this further we need to look into the Old Testament. The old covenant included faith, but it emphasized obedience. Since no one could do everything the law required, it could never be a means of righteousness. The new covenant, however, is based on faith, so it succeeds where the old covenant could not. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, but its main purpose is to be “schoolmaster” or "tutor" (Galatians 3:24) to bring us to Christ. Many believers miss this point and spend a considerable amount of time debating whether the law is of any use today or that we should follow each rule to be right with God.

Before Paul was a follower of Christ, he found his righteousness in keeping the law, but now he found it through faith in Christ. The word for “end” is (telos) which can mean both “goal” and “terminus.” This means that Paul teaches believers that the law was placed and introduced by God until the coming of Christ and its period of its validity was at an end. Some interpreters have tried to make this statement more pointed and some have tried to lessen the meaning of the “end of the law.” The importance is placed on man’s approach to God, we are no longer under the “yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1) of the law and now we can have forgiveness and salvation through Christ alone and not by living out the law (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Pauline theology about living under the law is completed by the grace that believers have received through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

I think that it is important to remember that we are no longer under the “ceremonial” law of following all of the customs of the Jewish tradition. We are not to throw out the moral code of the Ten Commandments because they are a revelation of the heart of Christ. I believe the most important aspect to apply to life is that we are to follow completely the heart and mind of Christ and in doing so, we are able to be faithful throughout life. The law is not obsolete because it is a guide to bring the lost to see their need for Christ. It is a “mirror” to remind us that we need to be changed by Jesus.

The last thing to remember is that believers are to follow the leadings of God’s spirit to be a “bond-slave” to Christ (Galatians 2:20). The purpose of Christ fulfilling the law is for us to be His servants and to follow after His heart and commandments (Love God, Love People) that he clearly states in Scripture (Matthew 22:37-40). We are reconciled through Christ because of his amazing grace that is revealed through his undying love for us that was shown by the cross.

The real message is that we GET to live for His glory not because we cannot EARN it through being "good." We are made right with God only through the blood shed on the cross for our sin debt. How can we NOT give back the same love to such a loving savior?