Many people believe Jesus did away with God's law. What does the Bible say?
[Darris McNeely] Have you ever heard the phrase, "The law of God is done away?" I've heard it several times through the years as I've engaged people in talking with them about the Bible, explaining our beliefs, and what their practice and their conduct should be. But it's a widely-held belief that we don't have to keep the law of God. That's a very important teaching to understand when it comes to a basic belief in the Bible of what God does expect about us.
The law of God is an eternal spiritual law that in a sense can't be done away with, but there is a very critical verse that will help us to understand this. It's in Matthew 5:17 Matthew 5:17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
American King James Version×in the very familiar Sermon on the Mount where Jesus sat down with his disciples and began to teach about various aspects of the way of life, Christianity. In 17 of Matthew 5, Christ said, "Do not think that I'm come to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
Ironically, people will use Matthew 5:17 Matthew 5:17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
American King James Version×to say that we can't fulfill the law. We can't keep it ourselves. Therefore, Christ is saying that he fulfilled it for us. And they kind of focus on that word, to "fulfill," that God fulfilled it. Christ fulfilled it in his perfect life. Therefore, since we can't, we don't have to. But is that what Jesus was saying? Again, look at what the Scripture says. He said, "Don't think I've come to destroy the law or the prophets. I haven't come to destroy. I've come to fulfill."
The key is in understanding what that word "fulfill" means. In the Greek, that word actually means to give a true or a complete meaning. A true and complete meaning. Nowhere near the idea of doing away with the law, but to show what the true meaning is. And Jesus goes on in Matthew 5 to explain that. He says, "You've heard it said, 'Don't commit murder. Don't kill.' But I tell you that if you harbor anger and hatred in your heart toward your brother, you've already broken the law." He didn't do away with the law about the killing. He actually elevated it and showed how the true and the complete meaning is in the spiritual intent, the spiritual application of that. And not only do we not kill our brother. But we have to be very, very careful that we don't let our feelings get to the point of hatred and anger in our heart because that's where the action will begin.
To focus on this verse or to come up with the idea that the law of God is something that is not a part of our life, does not have to be lived, that Christ either fulfilled it, betrays a lack of understanding about the scripture, what Christ said and especially, about the Greek meaning of the word that is here. Don't be taken in by such ideas. Study the whole passage of the Scripture. And look at the Bible. And understand that God's law, as Paul said, is something that is holy, just and good. This one verse right here helps us to understand that we do have a opportunity and a responsibility to live by that law and to fulfill that law in our own life.
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