Matt 5:18 “For truly I tell you, 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.”
Matt 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.”
So, are we still under the law?
Rom 3:28 “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law”
Rom 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
So Jesus Himself said that the law has not been removed, but it is not the law that will save us. It’s through Faith (and Grace). That’s good news!
But then we see:
Matt 7:22-23 “On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!”.
So it sounds like we better obey the law after all, but yet we are not under the law? It sounds like a contradiction! But it’s not!!
The law has not passed away, instead, it’s there to lead us to Jesus whilst we were still sinners: Gal 3:24: “The law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith,” (also see Rom 2:14-16).
Simply put – we are incapable of fulfilling the Law! (yet our consciousnesses agree that the Law is right and good!). As we try to do it, we realise we can’t and that draws us closer to Jesus!
Here’s a silly analogy:
You have a simple washing frame that needs to be constructed that you bought from IKEA. Underneath the pieces of the frame are the instructions on HOW to build it. There is only one right way to build it (LAW). But the builder doesn’t possess the knowledge on how to correctly interpret the instructions.
But you have this friend (Jesus) who knows lot’s about putting IKEA stuff together – a bit of an expert. So you ask Him how to do it, and He shows you bit by bit how to construct the frame.
So it’s through Spirit of the relationship – the trust and faith (and grace) of our friend that we manage to construct the frame.
The law has not passed away – it is still good (we still want our Washing Frame to be put together), but we are incapable of doing it on our own, but the result of our friendship with Jesus is that we will begin doing the Law – as a fruit of our relationship!
Rom 7:10-12 “I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”
So this is how we manage to end up walking in Truth – not by striving to do the Law, but by being Friends with Jesus, being one with Him in Spirit – by walking in His Spirit as true son’s of God.
Gal 5:16-25: “But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions,21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.”
So the bottom line is that we are not under the Law, but under the Spirit – which will produce the same good fruits the Law was originally meant to produce for those who followed it under the old covenant: Holiness.