Below are several scriptures regarding law being eradicated and useless as a means to please or relate to God. Many Bible translations of these verses read “the law” when discussing law, when really the definite article “the” is NOT present in the original manuscripts. Occasionally it IS there, and is there for a reason. But most of the time, the scriptures simply say “law,” indicating it is not just Old Testament laws (“the law” as Jews would have understood it) that are done away in Christ, but the entire “law” relationship to God. I have changed a few of the translations to reflect this, and in so doing have actually made the translations more closely reflect the original Greek.
- (Galatians 3) 10 For as many as are of the works of Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” 11 Now that no one is justified by Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; 19 …Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, untilthe seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 23 … But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
- (Romans 7) 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
- (Romans 10) 4 For Christ is the end of law for righteousness (right relation to God) to everyone who believes.”
- (Galatians 2) 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of Law; since by the works ofLaw no flesh will be justified. 21 …I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
- (Phillippians 3) 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith…
- (John 1) 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
- (Romans 8) Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 15 …For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
- (Galatians 4) Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
- (Romans 4) 13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. 16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants…”
Hopefully that is sufficient to show that law prevailed before Christ, and that the apostles attempted to make it clear at the outset that relating to God based on law was done away with and could not justify one or bring one into right relationship with God. This is because of Jesus Christ! (Romans 8) 3 For what the Law could not do (bring one into “righteousness” – right relationship with God), weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled (accomplished, satisfied, completed) in us (not BY us), who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. This doesn’t mean that Christ enables us to obey laws and regulations, this means that He fulfilled law and it ended in him, and we can walk after and be led by the Spirit and relate to God as sons now, free from law and fear.
More specifically, the beginning of relating to God properly is a “repentance” from a fear-based, law-oriented understanding and relationship to God to the freedom of a son, adopted into God’s household through the work of His only-begotten son Jesus Christ. It doesn’t end there, because salvation is coming into this sonship, and salvation has to be “worked out,” it’s a path, it’s progressive. As a parent, would you want children that walked around scared of you all the time, not really sharing any intimacy or communion with you, only doing what they think will please you, or what you told them to do a long time ago, because they are scared of you? I suppose that’s better than outright rebellion, but surely that’s not the ideal or your desire as a parent. More on this in part 3, the final part on repentance.