Matt. 5:17-18 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law will remain until its purpose is achieved.”
Keeping the law of God has created all kinds of confusion in the church. There are some who insist on living by the letter of the law. There are some who want to discard the law altogether. And there are those who are somewhere in-between. How do we resolve this issue that so often divides the church?
Much of our confusion stems from the fact that we don’t properly understand the relationship that the law has with grace. The law was given to show us our need for grace. In the law we discover that we are all sinners and that we cannot be good enough to save our souls. It is impossible for anyone to live totally obediently to the law. We all fall short and the sooner that we admit it, the better off we will be.
Grace is God doing something to help us meet the demands of the law. We are saved by grace, not by keeping the law. There is saving merit only in the life, death and resurrection of Christ, not in the law. The law shows us what holy living is like and Christ makes living holy lives possible.
The law is very useful for showing us how God expects us to live. The standards of God are high and unattainable without Christ living in us. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit after He went back to heaven to guide us, instruct us, and enable us to live holy lives. He helps us to be able to apply the law to daily living. Christ met the demands of the law and now He is with us to live by it without the bondage and condemnation it brings to those who fail to live by it.
You will never get to heaven on the shirttail of the law. Jesus is the only one who can get us into heaven. There is no alternative to repentance. Live in Christ and you will meet all the demands of the law for holiness and you will make it to heaven when you die.