Throughout the course of Paul's letter to the Romans he wrote extensively about how the Law could not justify us before God. Rather the true intent of the law was to point us to Christ. After building his case against mankind in the first two chapters, Paul wrote in Romans 3, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference" ( Romans 3:21, Romans 3:22 ). He showed that this way had always been God's plan from the very beginning. Both the Law and the Prophets testified about Jesus as the means for justification. We were never supposed to cling to the Law to bring us into right relationship with God. The Law was meant to condemn us; this is why Paul said in Corinthians "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" ( II Corinthians 3:6 ). Then went on to call the Law the "ministration of death" because that is what it was ( II Corinthians 3:7 ). It only brought us death. It accused us before God, it showed us our guilt before God and it magnified our sin before God. It could never justify us, instead it silenced us and held us accountable ( Romans 3:19 ).
In today's passage Paul exclaims, "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" ( Romans 10:4 ). Through faith, the law's power is broken over us. We no longer stand accused by it because through Christ the law is completely fulfilled in us. And if it is fulfilled then it no longer applies. Paul said in Romans 6 that as believers we are no longer under the control of the law we are now under the control of grace ( Romans 6:14 ). This is an amazing truth to understand. Colossians says, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross" ( Colossians 2:13-14 ). Part of our redemption is that God cancelled the written code that accused us. He nailed it to the cross with our sin and defeated it once for all. It is done and it is over. What a blessing this is!
Religion on the other hand wants to keep you in bondage under the law. Religion wants you to feel guilty and unworthy, but Christ wants you to be free. Paul chided the Galatians, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" ( Galatians 5:1 ). He was speaking about those who were returning to the Law after coming to faith in Christ. He had said in the previous chapter, "how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? ( Galatians 4:9 ). We need to understand this freedom and live and breathe it. We cannot return to that which Christ has freed us from.
Understanding the implications of this profound truth will completely free you in every sense of the word. We are called to live a life of freedom and this includes after we come to Christ. Many understand salvation by grace, but no sooner than they accept the transformation of Christ's salvation they put on the yoke of slavery again. Many start out accepting this grace that Christ offers only to return to the Law as a means to live. We pick it up again to dictate the Christian life instead of living in the freedom to which we were called. As Christians the Law is not for us it was nailed to the cross with Jesus. We do not need it as a basis of how to live because we have the Holy Spirit as our guide to lead us into all truth ( John 14:26, John 16:13-15 ). Paul said that "Christ is the end of the law ..." ( Romans 10:4 ), and this rings true especially for Christians.
Today I am so thankful that my righteousness came through Christ. I am glad that he has cancelled the written code that stood and accused me. He has become the end of the Law in my life so that I can live by faith. Today, I pray that you understand this blessed truth and experience this freedom in your life, amen!