Title: Christ The End Of The Law
Text: Romans 10:4
Subject: The believer’s freedom from the law in Christ
Date: Sunday Evening - November 4, 1984
There are many who earnestly desire salvation and eternal life, who will never be saved. There are many thoughtful and zealous men and women who very eagerly seek salvation, who will perish under the curse of God’s holy law. They want to be saved, but they cannot bow to God’s way of salvation. “I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Mark those words, “submitted themselves”. They will not be saved because they will not submit to God’s righteousness, that righteousness established by God in the Person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of you will not be saved, simply because you will not submit to salvation by grace alone through the imputed righteousness of a Substitute. Proud man wants to save himself. He believes he can do it. And he will not submit to salvation by Christ alone. Salvation by grace must be sued for as an undeserved, unmerited gift of Divine mercy. This is the thing the carnal mind cannot do - it cannot beg for grace. You think that you can work out a righteousness of your own that God will accept, or at least you can say, or do, or think, or feel some good things that will supplement the righteousness and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will not be saved by pure grace alone.
In order to be saved, you are going to have to throw away your filthy rags of self-righteousness. You will have to come to Christ in your naked guilt, sin, and loathesomeness, or you will never be an heir of eternal life.
Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked come to Thee for dress,
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
Illustration: The artist and the beggar.
Proposition: The only way for a sinner to obtain righteousness before God is by submitting himself to Christ by faith.
Tonight, I want you to see that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” Whenever I preach about Christ being the end of the law, there is always someone who either misunderstands or misrepresents what I am saying. So let me be perfectly clear.
1. I am not saying that the law is evil (1 Tim. 1:8-9).
The law is not evil. It is holy, just, and good. It would be well if all men lived in conformity to the law’s commands, both in outward practice and in inward principle.
2. I am not saying that the believer is free to break the law.
Not only is the believer not free to break the law, he has no desire to do so. To those who believe, God’s commandments are not grievous (1 john 5:1-3). If we could, we would love God with all out hearts. If we could, we would love our neighbor as ourselves. But we do not have the ability to do so.
3. I am saying that in Christ the believer is entirely free from the law, because Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.”
“We are not under law, but under grace.” We have been crucified with Christ, and we are “become dead to the law by the body of Christ.” There is no sense whatsoever in which it may be said that the believer is under the law.
Free from the law, oh, happy condition!
Christ has redeemed us from every transgression.
· We have no covenant with the law. We live under a covenant of grace.
· We have no commitment to the law. Our commitment is to Christ, who obeyed the law for us.
· We do nothing by constraint of the law. “The love of Christ constraineth us.’
· We fear no curse from the law. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. For it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.”
Men may accuse us of being antinomians. They may accuse us of promoting licentiousness. They may censor us and warn others to avoid contact with us, as though our liberty in Christ were some kind of spiritual leprosy. But we will not again be entangled with the yoke of bondage. We will not attempt to reach the throne of God by climbing Mt. Sinai. We will simply trust the grace of God streaming to us from the wounds of our crucified Savior, finding all our righteousness and all our redemption in that One who died for our sins at Mt. Calvary. As for those who seek God’s favor by their obedience to the law, let them be warned - “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Show me a man who trusts his own righteousness, his own obedience, his own devotion, his own feelings, or anything else of his own, and I will show you a man who is entirely lost, a man to whom the blood of Christ, the righteousness of Christ, and the grace of Christ is worthless.
Divisions: Let’s take our text in three parts and examine it carefully.
1. “Christ is the end of the law.”
2. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.”
3. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.”
I. ‘CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW.”
The law is that which we ought to dread above all things, for the sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. The law condemns us and demands our execution. In solemn terms, it appoints for us a place among the damned. “For it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10). Yet, man has a strange infatuation with the law. Like the gnat that is drawn to the candle that will destroy it, man by nature is drawn to the law for salvation, when all the law can give is destruction. The law can do nothing else but reveal sin and pronounce condemnation on the sinner. Yet, we cannot get men to flee from the law. They are so enamored with their own self- righteousness and their own self-worth that they will cling to the law with a death-grip, though there is nothing to cling to. They prefer Sinai to Calvary, though Sinai offers them nothing but death.
· The law was never given to save sinners; and it can never serve that purpose (Gal. 2:16).
· The law was never given to motivate the people of God to holiness and service; and it cannot serve that purpose. The one thing that God requires is a willing heart (2 Cor. 8:12).
· The law was never given as a rule of life, or standard of conduct for the believer; and it cannot serve that purpose (1 John 3:23).
· The law was not given to produce sanctification in the believer; and it cannot serve that purpose (Gal. 3:1-3).
The law was given to point men to Christ for salvation. The law was given to show man his guilt, his sin, and his need of a Substitute. This is the law’s only purpose; and it serve that purpose very well (Rom. 3:19-22).
The thunders of Sinai drive men away and point them with its lightening bolts to Calvary and to Christ who is the end of the law.
What does Paul mean when he says that Christ is the end of the law?
A. Paul means for us to understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is the purpose and object of the law.
The law was given to lead us to Christ. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24-25).
The law is the sheriff’s deputy who shuts men up in prison for their sin, concluding them all under condemnation, so that they may look to the free grace of God in Christ for deliverance. This is the purpose of the law. It empties, that grace may fill. It wounds, that grace may heal. The law was given to lead sinners to faith in Christ, by showing them the impossibility of salvation in any other way.
Illustration: The law is God’s black dog, by which
fetches his sheep to the Shepherd.
How does the law perform its work? How does the law bring men to Christ?
1. The law exposes my sin (Rom. 7:7-9).
2. The law shows me what the result of my sin must be.
· Separation from God (Adam was driven from Eden).
· Death - “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20).
· The only way any man can obtain mercy from God is to approach him with a bloody sacrifice.
1. The law reveals my utter helplessness (Psa. 24:3-4).
Any man who thinks he can keep the law, and thereby win God’s favor, simply does not know what the law requires. “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” (Gal. 4:21).
· The law demands perfection.
· The law demands satisfaction.
· If you ever see what God requires in his law, you will beg for a Mediator (Ex. 20:1-19).
1. The law shows me my great need of Christ as my Substitute. My only hope before God is that God himself will send One who is able and willing to satisfy his holy law for me. I must have a Substitute.
· One who is able to make me righteous.
· One who is able to redeem (Rom. 3:24-26).
Give me Christ. I want nothing to do with God’s naked law!
· The law strips. Christ covers.
· The law condemns. Christ pardons.
· The law kills. Christ gives life.
B. Not only is Christ the purpose and object of the law, the One to whom the law points. Christ is the fulfillment of the law (Isa. 42:21).
Our Lord said, “I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil the law.” The law demands complete obedience, without one spot or speck, failure or flaw. The law demands holiness, righteousness, perfection. The terms of the law cannot be lowered. Not even in order to save God’s elect.
The law demands complete satisfaction. It will settle for nothing less than the death of every transgressor.
1. In Christ I have all that the law demands. His life - His death (Rom. 5:19).
2. In Christ I am free from the law’s curse (Rom. 8:1).
3. In Christ I fulfil the law (Rom. 3:31).
C. And Christ is the termination of the law.
1. Christ has terminated the law as a covenant of life - “We are not under the law.”
2. Christ has terminated the law’s curse and penalty.
3. In Christ, every believer has a just, righteous claim of merit upon all the blessedness of everlasting glory (Psa. 32:1-2).
Do you see the sweet mystery of salvation by the substitutionary work of Christ? The law has no claim upon those for whom Christ died.
· The curse spent itself on our Redeemer.
· We are dead to the law.
· We are righteous, justified, guiltless, innocent in Christ.
II. “CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
I will be brief here, but I want you to understand that man cannot obtain righteousness of any kind, of any merit before God by the works of the law (Gal. 2:21).
A. God requires perfect righteousness (Matt. 5:20; Heb. 12:14).
B. We have no righteousness of our own, and we have no ability to produce righteousness (Isa. 64:6).
C. Christ has established righteousness to meet the law’s demands (Phil. 3:8-10).
The righteousness of the law is found only in Christ.
III. “CHRIT IS THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH.”
Do you see the stress of the text? It is just this - “To everyone that believeth.” The law issue of vital importance is just this - “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” If you believe, Christ is the end of the law to you. If you do not believe, you are yet under the curse of God’s holy law.
A. If you would be saved you must submit to the righteousness of God. You must trust Christ for righteousness.
B. If you refuse to submit to the righteousness of God in Christ, you must forever perish.
I am done when I have given you these three words of exhortation.
1. Never attempt to serve God upon a legal principle (Col. 2:16-23).
2. Never allow anyone to bring you back into bondage, no not for a moment.
3. Never trust your own righteousness (Gal. 5:2).
Self-righteousness sticks to human flesh like leaches. Shake it off. Flee from it. Cling to Christ alone for all your hope before God. He is “The Lord our Righteousness.”