The following is from JESUS VS PAUL #2: UNDER THE LAW OR NOT?

2) Jesus–“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven….” (Matt. 5:17-19) and “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fall” (Luke 16:17) and “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (Matt. 23:2-3) and (John 7:19, Mark 1:44) versus Paul–“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Rom. 7:4) and “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13) and “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14) and “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Rom. 7:6) and (Rom. 10:4, 3:28, Gal. 3:23-25, 5:2-4, 18, 2:19, 21, 16, 4:10, Eph. 2:15, Col. 2:14, 16, Heb. 7:19, 1 Cor. 8:8 and many others). Jesus said the law would stand till heaven and earth passed, while Paul said it need no longer be followed.

Again, this has to be considered in context. But first let us look at what Jesus said.

Matthew 5:17-19

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. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 16:16-17

16The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it17It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.

Matthew 23:2-3

2“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

John 7:19

19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

Mark 1:44

44“See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

In every case, these things were said before Christ had fulfilled the reason for his coming. The most interesting of the verses in question are where Jesus said he did not come to destroy the law and the prophets but fulfill them (Mt 5:17-19), and it is easier for heave and earth to disappear than for a jot or tittle to drop out of the Law (Luke 16:16-17). The other verses show that Jesus was indicating the Jews (to whom the Law was given) should follow the Law.

First, note that the Law (Exodus 20 is where the Law begins) was given AFTER the promise of the blessing to all nations was given to Abraham.

Genesis 12:3

3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 18:18

18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.

Genesis 22:18

18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Galatians 3:8

8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

Next, we must recognize what Jesus said that he came to FULFILL the Law (Matthew 5:17), and that nothing would disappear from it until it had been fulfilled. Then we must realize that fulfillment was accomplished by Jesus dying on the cross:

John 19:30

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus told the disciples that everything written about him was fulfilled.

Luke 24:40-48

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”  45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things

Christ said the disciples “ARE” witnesses – not would be. It had happened and they saw it all. It was finished, the Law and the Prophets had been fulfilled. So they were no longer necessary.

Finally, we must understand that the Law was intended to guide us to Christ, and that once its purpose was fulfilled, we no longer need to be guided to Christ. Thus now that we have faith, we are not under the supervision of the Law according to Galatians 3:23-25

23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

We become conscious of sin because of the Law (Rom 3:19-20), but its true purpose was to point us to Christ (Romans 10:2-4; Galatians 3:23-26).Christ redeemed us from the Law so the blessings promised to Abraham could come to us (Galatians 3:10-14).  Once we come to Christ, we are free from the Law because Jesus takes away sin (John 1:29; Galatians 3:23-26; ). Jesus has fulfilled the Law and Prophets, and so the Law (which points us to Christ) has fulfilled its purpose. We simply have to believe.

If you would like to review more information regarding this, take a look at these:

Christians And The Law

Has the Mosaic Law been abolished?

What do abolish and fulfill mean in Matthew 5:13-20?

Significance of The Mosaic Law


2 Responses

  1. Another well done post!

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