Romans 10:3-4. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, [the Jews] did not submit to God’s righteousness.4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
The greatest, most dangerous sin in your heart today is self-righteousness. Or as Paul puts it here in Romans 10 – seeking to establish your own righteousness. Self-righteousness was the original sin of the original sinners. Adam and Eve wanted to be able to know right and wrong for themselves and therefore establish their own systems of righteousness. And every single one of us has been doing the same thing ever since – building legal systems from standards and expectations that we believe will guide us into perfection.
But whether it is God’s law or our own set of rules, it will never produce righteousness. Law can never empower the very thing it demands – holiness. You see, we’ve never been ignorant of righteousness in terms of what it is. We’ve been ignorant of how to obtain righteousness. We’ve always ignorantly believed that we can obtain righteousness through law keeping. But we simply can’t. No person could be that perfect.
Or could they?
Christ is the end of the law.
For Paul’s Jewish readers this is near blasphemy. It challenges everything they believe. The only way they’ve ever known to be declared righteous by God has been the law. And now you’re saying the law has ended? Yes. Not because Jesus destroyed or cancelled the law (that would make God unrighteous), but because Jesus fulfilled the law.
What does that mean? It means at least three things:
First, all of the law pointed to Christ and his redemption. We no longer need the “shadow” of the law because we have the reality, Christ himself.
Second, Christ ended the law by fulfilling all of its demands. Righteousness has been satisfied.
Third, despite obeying the law perfectly, on the cross Jesus took the curse of the law deserved by humanity. Justice has been satisfied.
One of the biggest trap for Christians is thinking that now that we’re saved we can actually fulfill the law’s demands. That the law is now our “rule for life.” We might call it something different, like “Christian principles,” or “guidelines,” or “best practices,” but it’s all just the same old legalism. It’s easy to think that if we have the right rules, then we can somehow get the right life. But this is to deny the law’s purpose in the first place. The law was always meant to accuse of unrighteousness, never produce righteousness. It was meant to “terrify the conscience” as Martin Luther said. To think that we can keep the law is to deny its perfection, and thus God’s perfection.
Union with Christ says that there’s a better way to live. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. Are you in Christ? If you are, then the law can never again condemn you, or enslave you. It should never again produce despair in your heart. That is no longer its job. Its only job is to send you desperately reaching for the hope of the grace that is found in Christ and his cross.
Christian, you can’t get any more righteous than you already are in Jesus. And still, at the same time, you are an ungodly sinner (“God counts the ungodly as righteous” – Romans 4:5). As ungodly saints we pursue Christ. We trust Christ. We submit to Christ. We desire his life, his character, his love. His life becomes our law – the “law of Christ.” Not a law we must live up to, but a law that is alive in us. That’s “to live is Christ.”
In what ways are you still self-righteous?
You in Christ
How does knowing that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness bring you hope?
Christ in you
How can you let the law of Christ’s love flow out from your freedom today?
Playlist: The End of the Law.
Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!
To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here