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todd
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 Implications of Christ Fulfilling the Law

I know that Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17), but is He Himself [i]the[/i] fulfillment of the Law? Would this statement be correct?
-Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law.

The main reason I am asking is because I have been trying to learn how to pray the Bible. But sometimes I kind of cringe when I try to pray Psalm 1 and it says of the righteous man "But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and in His Law he meditates day and night."

I am wondering if it is accurate to replace "Law" with "Christ", at least just for prayers sake. On this side of the cross, should our meditations be primarily focused on the Law or on Christ?

 2004/4/15 20:36Profile
crsschk
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 Re: Implications of Christ Fulfilling the Law

Quote:
I know that Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17), but is He Himself the fulfillment of the Law? Would this statement be correct?
-Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law.




I would say, yes!

[i]Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.[/i]


Rom 10:4 - [b]For Christ is the end of the law,....[/b] The apostle here observes that to them which had they known, would have regulated their zeal, removed their ignorance and set them right, in that which they stumbled at, and fell. By the "law" here, is not meant the ceremonial law, of which, indeed, they were all very zealous, and of which Christ also was the end in many respects; he was the final cause of it, or that for the sake of which it was; it had not been given had it not been for him; all its institutions, ordinances, and sacrifices, were on his account: they were all shadows of him, and he the body and substance of them; he was the end or mark and scope at which they all aimed; every type looked to him, and every offering directed the worshipper to him; he was the terminus of it, to whom it was to reach, and beyond whom it was not to go; it was a schoolmaster for instruction and direction until Christ came, and no longer. He was the fulfilling end of it, every thing in it had its accomplishment in him; and then lastly, he put an end to it, he disannulled it because of its after weakness and unprofitableness; he blotted out this hand writing of ordinances, and entirely abolished this law of commandments; but then Christ was not the end of this law for righteousness; Christ's obedience to it is no part of justifying righteousness, especially not to everyone that believes, not to the Gentiles who never were under any obligation to observe it: the moral law is here designed, and when Christ is said to be the end of it, the meaning is not that he was the end of its being given; for that was to be a rule of righteousness and life to men, and a ministration of death in case of disobedience: or that he was the scope of this law, though the Syriac version renders it סכה, "the scope" of the law is the Messiah, the mark at which it aimed, or which it directs persons to; for the law does not direct to Christ at all, in any way; it requires and insists upon a perfect righteousness, but gives not the least hint of the righteousness of Christ, nor does it in any form direct unto it; by it is the knowledge of sin, but no knowledge of a Saviour from sin; not the law, but the Gospel directs and encourages sensible sinners to believe in Christ and be saved; on the contrary, the law is a killing letter, and the ministration of condemnation and death; but Christ is either the consuming or consummating, the destroying or fulfilling end of the law. He is the destroying end of the law, not as to the nature, being, matter and substance of it, which is invariable and eternal, and is not, and cannot be made void by the doctrine of faith; nor as to the true use of it; but as a covenant of works, as to the ministry of it by Moses, and as to its curse and condemnation. Though I rather think the latter is here meant, namely, that Christ is the fulfilling end of the law, since it is added,

[b]for righteousness:[/b] for the bringing in an everlasting righteousness; a righteousness justifying in the sight of God; a righteousness sinners wanted, and could not obtain of themselves, and could never be obtained but by a perfect fulfilling of the law: this Christ has done partly by the conformity of his nature, being exactly like that, and what it requires holy, just, and good; and partly by perfect obedience of his life to all its precepts; and also by suffering the penalty of it, death, in the room and stead of all his people; and so the whole righteousness of the law is fulfilled by him, and he becomes the end of it, for a justifying righteousness before God,

[b]to everyone that believes:[/b] not to him that works for life, and in order to obtain a righteousness of his own; nor to the Jew only, but also to the Gentile, even to everyone, be who he will, that has faith in Christ; not that faith is either the matter, cause, or condition of righteousness, but this righteousness is only revealed unto, and received by the believer, and can only be pleaded by him, as his justifying righteousness. Moreover, this phrase is descriptive of the persons to whom Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, and suggests that for whomsoever he has fulfilled the law, in order to bring in for them a justifying righteousness, faith in consequence is given to them, to receive and embrace it, and enjoy all the comfort and privileges of it.

Gills Expostion of the Bible


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Mike Balog

 2004/4/15 21:07Profile
HakkaMin
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 Re: Implications of Christ Fulfilling the Law

Hi Todd,

What an encouragement to hear of you praying through the scriptures! I don't think I'll touch the "fulfillment of the Law" part of your question, but would like to throw out a suggestion to your Psalm 1 dilemma. You might want to substitute "ways of God" for the word "law" if that helps your praying. We have so often developed a negative view of the Law of God because we set it in opposition to the grace of God. The truth, however, is that even though we can never be saved by keeping the Law, the Law of God is an amazing thing. According to Romans 7:12 and I Timothy 1:8, the Law is "holy, righteous, and good." The Law is that pure, loving standard that God has called us to live by as His children. The Law is His wonderful ways for our lives. (Psalm 19 and 119 are great pictures of this.) Happy meditating, Todd!


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Gregg Dennington

 2004/4/15 21:12Profile
todd
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 Re:

Thanks both of you.
Yeah, the Law is good, but in comparison to Christ, to what we now know, it seems so- I don't know- dry. I hope that is not irreverent to say. I know the Law of the Lord is perfect, but I'd rather meditate all day on Christ, a person. What I am now wondering further is if replacing "Law" in some situations in the OT with "Christ" would actually be an "improvement". An "update", if you will, perfected by hindsight. Replacing the shadow with the real thing. Not that I would actually be for changing the Bible translation, but as far as New Testament believers' (us) understanding and praying.

What do you think? Am I on to something good here, or perhaps taking it too far?

 2004/4/15 22:52Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
What do you think? Am I on to something good here, or perhaps taking it too far?


I think what was said is totally correct that Christ is the fulfillment of the law and therefore you could put your emphasis of meditation on Christ rather than the law. But I feel the a huge way we get to know and grasp the character of Christ and God is through the law of God. I have been reading a book called "The Spirit of Judgement" by Watchman Nee and its quite applicable to this conversation:

"(1) [i]Judgement glorifies God himself[/i]. The judge is glorified to the judgement he gives. The way sin is judged expresses the kind of person handing down the judgement. The deeper the hate for sin, the severer the judgement. Hence God's judgement reveals what kind of God He is. Through judgement God sanctifies himself."

I hope I'm not way in left field on this but I was thinking even through the Law, God as the law-giver shows His character and being and in essence glorifies Himself by demanding obedience to the law. I love prayer-reading Psalm 119 its the longest chapter in the bible and probably takes 20-30 minutes to pray through it. I love God's laws because it shows how Holy and Awesome a God I serve. Does this make sense at all todd? I'm not trying to say you are wrong at all but mabye a coupling of both of our ideas?


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/4/15 23:01Profile
HakkaMin
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 Re:

I love your heart, Todd. There's so much to learn from your thirst to dwell on Christ. And I think you should follow these desires to "meditate all day on Christ." What incredible fruit that will bear in your life and in the lives of those you touch!

As far as "replacing 'Law' in some situations in the OT with 'Christ'" ... that might be a good meditation exercise, but it might also rob you of being able to see and meditate on what God originally intended for you to get out of the passage. I do understand your reasons for wanting to "update" the meaning of the Law, but they are probably born from a slightly skewed view of what the Law really is. (Aren't we all a bit skewed in this view?!) Truth is, the Law is a whole lot more than the Ten Commandments or the book of Leviticus. It is the Law of God. It is the Law of Christ. It is His ways and purposes for our lives. I don't think we need to improve the OT idea of the Law ... I think we need to better understand it. When the Psalmists were speaking of the Law in Psalms 19 and 119, they obviously had a revelation that we should seek to get. And when Paul spoke of the Law, he didn't perfect his definition "by hindsight". (Though he was qualified to do so.) He saw something about the Law of God that I, for one, would like to see more clearly.

Let's keep seeking the truth ... and to meditate on that truth. And we don't necessarily have to "either/or" this issue. If God leads you to meditate on Christ as the fulfillment of the Law when you are reading the OT ... go for it. But understand the limitations, and seek also to meditate on the actual, intended meaning of the text. It's not always as easy, but will certainly bear fruit as well.


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Gregg Dennington

 2004/4/15 23:30Profile
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 Re: Implications of Christ Fulfilling the Law

I love Psalms 1:1, saying meditating on God's law day and night is like being a well-watered tree. For me, I meditate on Jesus' teachings, and New Testament, and God all day long. The Law teaches us God's ways and what He considers as sin, but we cannot keep His Laws perfectly. Another revelation of His Laws is God himself is flexible to those who love Him wholeheartedly. Jesus worked on the Sabbath (healing) which was considered "breaking the Sabbath." God's grace is ever so much more abundant when we give our all and try our best, and still come up short. That's what is so wonderful about the cross, Jesus is our righteousness, His perfection and righteousness is what we need when God judges this evil world in righteousness. Only trusting and recieving the blood of Jesus to atone for our sins will save us, our righteous deeds are as filthy rags in the sight of a Holy God. Our first and greatest commandment as a New Testament Christian is to love God wholeheartedly, and second is love our neighbor as ourselves.

Our meditations should be on Jesus, but we learn about Jesus and His commands in the Bible, specifically, the New Testament. Meditate on Jesus, His commands, and you'll be like a well-watered tree.
I emphasize the Bible because when we get away from the Bible, and start going with our thoughts, we can be easily misled and fooled. Recently, a home-schooling mom, Assembly of God, 3 time a week churchgoing woman killed 2 of her children, and blinded the other. She believed God was testing her faith and thought the rocks her kids were playing with were a sign from God. She took those rocks and crushed her kid's heads. Then, to get out of the consequences, she pled insanity, and won that plea. (Of course the world thinks that's insane, but there are religious leaders telling Christians to listen to voices, we need to rely on the Bible more than voices "from God").

There were 2 other stories in the news last week of murderers claiming God had something to do with it. That kind of thing can happen if we get away from the Bible.


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Jina

 2004/4/16 0:55Profile
rookie
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 Re:

Christ fullfills the law by His work in the individual. The way in which Christ accomplishes His work in the believer is detailed in Psalm 119. Psalm 119 describes the various ways in which God carries out His promise to be our God to us who live by faith in Him. This is the Law which Psalm 1 speaks of.

The requirements of God law are defined by the following verse.

"Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself; [b]On these two commandments hand all the Law and the Prophets."[/b] Matthew 22:37-40

Christ fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Father that one must die for all. This was what completed God's righteous atonement for us who believe. But much more are we saved by the relationship with our Savior. Look to Psalm 119. Look to how God relates with the writer. This is our inheritance.

Someone wrote: Another revelation of His Laws is God himself is flexible to those who love Him wholeheartedly. Jesus worked on the Sabbath (healing) which was considered "breaking the Sabbath."

The Jewish teachers of that day had developed their own law in regards to following the Sabbath. By the time Messiah Jesus had come, a whole secondary law had been established by men. This was called the Oral Law. Men reasoned back then that one of the Ten Commandments was to make the Sabbath day holy. Yet in the written law there was virtually nothing given as instructions as to how one was to observe the Sabbath and make it holy. So the scribes and Pharisees, and scholars of the day came up with their own traditions. These traditions were taught orally from teacher to student. These are the laws that Jesus was accused of breaking.

Jesus is the law. He is the Word. He did not sin. He did not break God's law. He destroyed the traditions of men.

The Law of God requires us to love Him and one another. Only by following Jesus can we learn how to fulfill God's Law. This is the Law of Faith.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/4/16 12:17Profile
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 Re:

Yes, Rookie, I agree with you. I don't know a lot of history of even Old Testament, I am still learning. In my earlier post about Jesus breaking the Sabbath, I was specifically referring to John 5:16-18. Yes, Jesus broke the traditions and teaches us God's law is spiritual, not always literal, which I am still learning about.

(Note: John 5:16-18 says, "So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted Him. Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal to God.")

Rookie, you're right, Jesus was sinless, perfect in thought, word, and deed in the sight of God. I agree with everything in your post there, and I even learned something new: that it was the seeming tradition He broke, not the Law. Thanks. Jesus teaches us the Law is spiritual: love God and love others and that's the sum of the law!


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Jina

 2004/4/16 22:46Profile
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 Re: Implications of Christ Fulfilling the Law

If you're finding it difficult to pray Psalm 1, wait 'til you get to Psalm 119. Perhaps you could look at it this way: God's word is sweet, and Christ is the word incarnate, and the law is part of the word, so....it follows that His law, remember that it was His law, is sweet and a delight. After all, because of Him, we are under grace and not under the law. I hope this convolution is helpful. :-?


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Dave

 2004/4/18 12:12Profile





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