FULFILLING THE LAW BY THE POWER OF CHRIST

In John 8, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was caught in adultery. According to the letter of the law, they had grounds to stone her. However, Jesus did not join them in condemning her. They had brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus because they wanted to trap him and prove they were right with regards to the law.

Jesus’s response to them was, “he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” Jesus had compassion because he did not come to enforce the law. He came to fulfill it.

When Jesus declared what we often refer to as the B-Attitudes (blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the meek, blessed are the peace makers, blessed are the poor in heart, etc.,) He was teaching the people that which fulfills the law and the prophets. For this reason, Matthew tells us, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” ~ Matthew 7: 28-29

In John 8, Jesus demonstrated what fulfilling the law actually looks like by showing compassion on the woman caught in adultery for “blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

In Matthew 22, a Jewish lawyer temped Jesus by asking him which is the great commandment in the law?” To which Jesus responded, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40

According to Jesus, all the law and prophets hang on the commandments of love. The apostle Paul taught the very same thing, declaring that love is the fulfillment of the law.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the lawFor this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. ~ Romans 13:8-10

Paul taught that we are not under the law, but were instead, empowered to fulfill the law by the Spirit of Christ.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:1-4

Paul was not against the law, but understood its purpose. 

Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart (a pure heart is one of the B-Attitudes referred t by Jesus), and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeignedFrom which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. ~ 1 Timothy 1:5-11

Those who trust in Christ, are not under the law because the end of the law (i.e., the purpose of the law) is fulfilled in them as they follow the Spirit of Christ.

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