Christ is the End of the Law for Righteousness

Whether you knew it or not, the greatest truth in the world lies in Romans 10:4, namely “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” This statement is the very core of the Gospel, and it is a condensed version of the already condensed declaration of the Gospel by the apostle in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Though these two verses arrive to these declarations from different paths in different contexts, their conclusion is singular: To the one who believes, Christ is his righteousness. There is no greater truth than this, and to miss this truth is to miss the Gospel.

I emphasize these points that this truth is the greatest of all truths and it is the very core of the Gospel because I wonder how many in our churches who claim to have submitted to the Gospel can articulate this truth. This truth is not something that is merely nice to know about or is some meat that one learns later in one’s life as a Christian, but it is essential to one’s salvation. For in the verses preceding this declaration, the apostle writes, “I bear them [the Israelites] witness that they have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (vv. 2, 3). In the case of the Israelites (consequently, as it is with all people) their ignorance of the righteousness of God manifested in the work of Christ imputed to those who believe in him led them to establish their own righteousness. In other words, their disregard for the gift of Christ’s righteousness led them to a salvation by deeds, which is no salvation at all.

In the case of the Israelites, their ignorance of God’s righteousness was not ignorance based upon a lack of knowledge, but it was an ignorance based upon their suppression of knowledge. They knew the Scriptures and knew that the prophets declared that righteousness did not come from law-keeping or from sacrifices, yet they sought righteousness by these means anyway. They willfully neglected that the Law given to them by Moses was in its entirety a shadow of the person and work of Christ, and when the End of the Law manifested himself in human flesh and fulfilled the Law of Moses, they rejected and despised him, not because they did not know the Scriptures, but because they desired to boast in themselves and desired the esteem of men. If Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness received by faith alone, there can be no boasting or praise from men. It is excluded (cf. Rom. 3:27).

The application of this truth today is a question that we must ask ourselves even if we claim to name the name of Jesus Christ, and that is: “Do we believe that Christ is all of our righteousness and not merely a supplement to or ninety-nine percent of our own righteousness?” If we do not believe this simple truth that “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe,” we have not believed the Gospel and are no more saved than the Jews who rejected the same righteousness from God manifested in Jesus Christ.



Categories: Fridy Night Bible Study

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5 replies

  1. Paul is pretty clear in Romans 7 that pursuing a righteousness by works makes you still a slave to the law of sin and death. It's interesting that at no point in our unregenerate state are we honoring God. Our evil deeds come as a result of serving the flesh as a slave, and our "good" deeds come as a result of attempting to please God through legalistic righteousness, which is also a result of serving the flesh as a slave. When it comes down to it, at the end of the day both the evil deeds and the good deeds of the unregenerate person are done to serve the flesh, not to honor God. Thank God that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes!

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  2. I'm not convinced that double imputation is a biblical concept. And I'm pretty convinced that the gospel is not summed up with “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” If intrested in looking at this objectively, the gospel is stated explicity in Romans 1 by the Apostle Paul. Anyway, the above statement is not the very core of the Gospel by any stretch. Of course, Romans 10:4 is a facet of the gospel, but it not "the gospel." Nor is "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” a condensed version of the gospel. This again is a piece of the gospel, an important slice, though you are probably interpreting it incorrectly, but is not the central message of the good news. Finally, one last point. I don't understand why you are so concerned to cast suspicion on other believers' genuine faith. I have read a few of your posts and they have a common thread – the questioning of the genuineness of the faith of pretty much all who don't see things the same as you understand them. I am wondering the motivation that fuels your blog. I would like to believe your motives are pure, that it flows from a concern to see genuine faith, but it comes across as rather more like condemnation, judgment and inhumility.

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  3. Dear friend, I assure you that my motivation in writing concerning the truth of God is so that Christians might do as the apostle commands, viz. "Test thyself." Also, if the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the soul by faith is not the Gospel, I do not know what is. You have made some heavy accusations concerning my understanding of the Gospel and my motivations for writing on it without giving much biblical basis for it, and I would invite you to do so. I believe I speak the truth accurately and do thus in love, and I offer no apology for its offense save Scripture and man's natural despise of it.

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  4. perhaps I am missing the point on your post, but it makes a point that I have written about as well… and that is, a Christian is not "bound" by old testament law

    I hear Christians constantly trying to make a case for old testament law being applicable to Christians today… quoting verses out of context like God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and not one bit of the law will pass away, etc etc…

    however, the fact of the matter is that Christ fulfilled the law (completely) and I think many people don't quite understand the magnitude of that fact

    AMDG

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  5. Thanks for your input, Brian. I suppose I should be a little more clear about the origins of my posts. This week, for example, I taught Romans 10:1-4 in our Bible Study group, and I have written three posts on those verses, "The Worthlessness of Ignorant Zealotry for God," "The Devil’s Favorite Lie," and this post, "Christ is the End of the Law for Righteousness." Maybe those three together will add some light.

    Thanks again for your thoughts. God bless.

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