Abolish or Fulfill

July 22, 2020

Matthew 5:17

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Romans 1:17

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed —a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Romans 3:20-22

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile…


It is not surprising that the more legalistically inclined Jews would accuse Jesus of setting out to abolish the Law and the prophets. According to Jesus’ own words, He did not come to abolish the Law or the prophets, “but to fulfill them.” The righteousness in which the King comes to make possible does not destroy the Law; it fulfils it. The Law was not given as a means of acquiring righteousness. The Law was given to show us that we could not keep it. Therefore, it points us to our need for a Savior. Faith in the person and work of Jesus is the only way that the righteousness of Christ can be credited to our account.

Jesus Christ came to be the Lamb of God who would remedy the sin problem between man and God. Jesus was the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He fulfilled the law in that He kept it during His earthly life. The standard which was set before man He was able to attain, and now He is able to transform you and me with His own righteousness. God’s standards have not changed, but you and I cannot attain them in our own strength. We need help; we need a Savior. We do need grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We obtain all three when we trust in the person and work of Christ.

Christ both completes and transcends the Law. The Greek word translated “fulfill” here, plerosai, carries with it the thought of “bringing into being that which was promised.” Many scholars believe that Jesus was the promised “serpent crusher” found in Genesis 3:15. Jesus came to fulfill God’s promise of victory over sin and death. This truly is Good News!

Questions to Ponder:

Have you personally put your faith in the person and work of Christ for your soul’s salvation? Are you relying on keeping the law to earn your own salvation? How does it make you feel to know that through Christ a way has been made for you to be reconciled to God? Who will you share the Good News with today?

Prayer Points

  • Praise Him for your own salvation. Thank Him for all the people who prayed for you and have poured into you.
  • Thank the Lord for being a covenant keeper, for protecting you and watching over you. Thank Him for all the ways that you have grown in Him!
  • Thank Him for all the times He “gives and takes away” because He uses it all to develop character, perseverance, strength in us. Thank Him that you can show compassion, understanding, love and direction to others because He revealed His comfort to you.
  • Thank Him for His mercy, forgiveness, steadfast love, unlimited patience, restoration and redeeming power in your life and the life of the greater one church.
  • Ask Him to grant you love for the Church.
  • Ask Him to grant you greater love for those far away from the Lord and for those who haven’t put their faith in Jesus yet. Pray for a burden and love for them that would outweigh your own comfort of remaining silent or indifferent about their salvation.

Suggested Prayer
Father, I ask that You reveal any area of my heart and life where I am striving to win Your affections. Shine the light on it and bring it fourth so I can nail it to the cross. Forgive me Lord for the times I have tried to win your affection by “keeping the law.” Thank You that I can never win your love or approval by what I do. It’s because of the saving work of Jesus Christ that has set me free from death. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that paid my debt and I just had to freely accept it. Father, You have freely forgiven me and I have been forgiven much and so I love much. Help me to lavish Your love onto every single person I meet today. Make me an agent of love to serve and pray for those around me, especially those who are difficult to love. Help me to respond in a posture of love and grace. I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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