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