FREE booklet : The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
¬ Introduction
¬ God's Magnificent Series of Covenants
  Did Abraham Keep the Same Commandments God Gave to Moses?
  How Can We Obey God's Commandments?
  The Sinai Covenant and the 'Voice of the Lord'
  God's 'Laws, Statutes and Judgments'
  Key Elements of the Sinai Covenant
  Rightly Understanding 'Justification' and 'Righteousness'
  Did the Ten Commandments Exist Before Moses?
  God's Law: Is It a Burden or a Blessing?
¬ A New Covenant for Transforming the Heart
  What Was the Main Weakness of the Sinai Covenant?
  How God Balances Justice With Mercy
  How Is the New Covenant 'New'?
  The Ten Commandments: Keys in a Law of Love
¬ The High Priest Essential to Salvation
  Grace and Law: Why Are They Inseparable?
  A High Priest Eager to Help Us
¬ Circumcision vs. a 'New Creation' in Christ
  Current Confusion Over Christian Freedom
  The 'Curse of the Law'
  Galatians 4:9-10: Are God's Laws Bondage?
  Did Paul's Words to the Galatians Contradict His Actions?
  Why Paul Used the Term 'the Whole Law' in Galatians 5:3
  What's Wrong With Our Human Nature?
  The Holy Spirit: God's Promise of His Divine Help
¬ The Justice and Judgment of God
  How Paul Put the Law on 'Firmer Footing'
  How Does Justification Relate to Salvation?
  Does Romans 14 Abolish Laws on Unclean Meats?
  Did Paul Teach That All Days of Worship Are Alike?
  Did Paul Tell the Romans One Thing and the Corinthians the Opposite?
¬ Peace and Unity in Christ
  Paul Imprisoned Over a Man-Made Taboo
  The Corruption of Apostolic Christianity
  What Was 'Wiped Out' by Jesus Christ's Death?
  What Does 'Shadow of Things to Come' Mean?
  The Calendar Used by the Earliest Gentile Christians
  The Ascetic Philosophy Affecting the Colossians
  Colossians 2:16-17: Are God's Laws Obsolete?
¬ The Apostles, the Old Testament and God's Law
  Jesus and Paul Emphasize the Law's Correct Focus
  Paul Regularly Used the Old Testament as the Authority for His Teaching
  Acts Shows What the Early Church Believed and Practiced
  What Did Paul Mean by 'Christ Is the End of the Law'?
  The Jerusalem Conference of Acts 15: What Was Decided?
¬ Jesus' Teaching on God's Law
  Other Important Ways Jesus Fulfilled the Law
  Does the New Covenant Abolish the Commandments?
  The 'New' Part of Jesus Christ's 'New Commandment'
  Confusion Over Legalism: What It Is and Isn't
  Does God Set Conditions on His Gift of Eternal Life?
¬ All the World Under the New Covenant
  Liberty Through God's Law
  A Covenant of Marriage
From the publisher of The Good News magazine.
The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
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Other Important Ways Jesus Fulfilled the Law

The law required perfect obedience and pronounced a death sentence on any who broke it. Paul tells us that "the wages of sin is death . . ." (Romans 6:23).

Consider for a moment the penalty that each of us brought on ourselves by sin. It isn't purgatory or hell, or some other place or state of being or consciousness (request or download our free booklet Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?). It is death— eternal oblivion, a nothingness, a total blotting out of existence from which we could never escape were it not for God's promise of the resurrection.

Paul continues in Romans 6:23, ". . . But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Since we all sin, the law can only demand our death. It has no provision for giving us eternal life. So how could anyone hope for life beyond the grave?

Jesus also fulfilled the law in the sense that He met the law's requirement by paying the penalty each of us incurred for disobedience, which is death. Jesus, who never sinned, never brought on Himself the death penalty that was required by the law. As our perfect sacrifice for sin, He was able to satisfy the law's demands that required our death. Thus He "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). Having "washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Revelation 1:5), Jesus makes it possible for us to receive God's gift of eternal life.

The "Law" section of the Bible, the five books of Moses, contains several kinds of laws. In addition to what we might call the moral laws that govern human behavior (such as the Ten Commandments), this section also contained various sacrificial laws requiring sacrifices for sin. Of themselves these laws and sacrifices could never remove the death penalty for sin (Hebrews 10:1-4).

"Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, 'Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me . . .' . . . It is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . .When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, 'he sat down at the right hand of God,' . . . For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" (verses 5, 10, 12, 14, NRSV).

What this is telling us is that Jesus fulfilled everything prescribed in the offerings for sin in the law of sacrifices. Jesus upheld the entire law by becoming the sacrifice for sin.

If Christ had not presented Himself as an offering for sin, the sacrifices that foreshadowed the "single offering for sins" would have constituted an unfulfilled prophecy or pledge, because they all pointed to Him.

Jesus said He came not to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them. He did so on several different levels and in several different ways. He showed the full spiritual intent of the law, living it perfectly as an example for us. The prophets had previously announced His person, His mission and many details of His birth, life, death and resurrection—which He fulfilled. The sacrifices of the law foreshadowed His sacrificial death for the sins of all mankind—which He alone could fulfill.

What Jesus was saying is that the Old Testament in all its parts and elements—moral and prophetic—referred to Himself and applied to Him. He fulfilled all aspects of what the Law and Prophets required, substantiating them and making good what they demanded and announced.

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