I am not come to destroy the Law
“Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law…. The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the Law, and make it honourable.” (Is. 42:1-4,21).
Maybe it sounds a bit legalistic to exalt the Law of God. But it is what Jesus did, and in reality, the Law of God is essential to our conversion to Christ. Without God’s Law, without His authority and judgments, the sinner would have no need for God and His mercy. And to the extent that many Protestants have thrown God’s Law out of the equation of conversion, whether doctrinally for some, or in spite of good doctrine, for others who support the perpetuity of God’s law only in theory but not in experience, they are walking deeper and deeper into the dim paths of lawlessness.
Do we seek the love of God? His love is bound up in righteousness, in duty, in action. Love is not a feeling; it is a principle, a responsibility. Not that it is cold and unfeeling; but feeling cannot be the basis of love.
Love finds it’s foundation in law. Feeling is fleeting and flighty. Real love is as permanent as a rock. My God’s love comes to us firm and constant. “Faithful is He that calleth you.” “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” (1Thess. 5:24;Rev. 19:11). True love finds its enduring, abiding nature in the medium with which God has given it, in the bosom of immutable Law.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
No one knows love like those who have submitted to the righteousness of God. A parent’s love, though fraught with discipline, is the deepest kind of love. A peer’s love may be very special, but the love flowing from a parent has a depth and promise that a peer can’t touch.
The fun-loving devil will come to us with a bundle of false promises. He will offer a life of irresponsible pleasure, and friendships built upon that lifestyle. But the love of God, His comfort and peace, founded upon law and responsibility, patience and tolerance, immitating the same grace which He continually showers upon us, always outshines the foolish actions, excited nervous system, and empty laughter that the joy-rides of life give.
Jesus came not to destroy God’s Law; not one dot of an “i” or crossing of a “t” would He authorize to be altered. Typical of His most emphatic way (“Verily I say unto you”) and referring to the cataclysmic events of the great day of His second coming, He proclaimed that heaven and earth would have to pass away before His Father’s Law would change in the slightest way. (Matt. 24:35).
“O how love I Thy Law!” was Jesus’ song, and it was His meditation all day, every day. (Ps. 119:97). “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy Law is within My heart.” (Ps. 40:8).
In His inaugural address on the mount of blessing, Christ assured the multitudes, from the careless rabble-rousers to the stern and proud religionists, that His kingdom would be one founded on law and righteousness. The angry Pharisees and priests might misrepresent Him when He accepted the repentant and humbled prostitutes and tax-collectors. The power-hungry zealots might be dreaming of the day when Jesus would help them overturn Roman law and order. He set everyone straight on what He deemed the proper foundation for government, even heavenly government—the holy Law of God.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Gal. 4:4,5). Many read in this a temporary subjection of Christ under the Law. They interpret the statement that He redeemed those who were under the Law to mean that, at His death, He liberated them from reverent obedience to it. Thus they suppose they are free from the claims of the Law.
Yet, Paul also wrote, “Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law.” (Rom. 3:31). Far from setting aside God’s Law, the truly converted heart will yearn to obey Him, which is to keep His Law. Way beyond dead Pharisaical religion, true reconciliation to God and conversion result in the soul establishing God’s Law in the life. Repentance and God’s grace lead to obedience to not just the letter, but to the letter and the spirit of the Law.
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19,20).