“The End of the Law”

 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:4, King James Version)

When people say that Christianity is about relationship, they are correct.  God created human beings in His image.  He could have created robots or fleshly automatons, but instead He created human beings.

In the OT, this was not always clear.  However, there are those who will claim that love is something new in the NT.  While it isn’t as blatant in the OT, love is there, however.

What did Jesus say were the two greatest commandments?

 36Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

 38This is the first and great commandment.

 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40, King James Version)

Why did this answer satisfy Jesus’ critics (cf Lk 10:28)?  Because it was nothing new!  This was already known!

Perhaps you have a study Bible.  Do you see any cross references?  I do.

 5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:5, King James Version)

 18Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18, King James Version)

Even then, it was about relationship.

However any relationship has rules.  Any group of people have mores.  Any society has laws.  God is building a family, but it is a family of billions of children.  It requires rules of conduct in order to maintain the relationships and keep them healthy.

Then, what is meant by “the end of the Law”?  Has the Law been done away, nullified or made void?  No, Jesus said nothing would pass from the Law until all had been fulfilled, including the passing of the heavens and the earth.  Well, the earth is still spinning and going around the sun, so that’s not been accomplished yet.  So, it must mean something other than the Law is finished.

And, indeed, to what end is the Law?  What is the purpose of the Law?  Why, to bring us to Christ!  It’s the relationship thing, come full circle.  We start with love, from love we proceed to show love towards God and man by keeping the Law, but in the end we wind up with a relationship with Christ.

“End” or “telios” can mean “the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose” (Strong’s G5056).  Since the Law has not been done away, according to Jesus’ own words, it must mean “aim” or “purpose” or even “goal” (according to a HCSB footnote).

Violating the Law violates our relationship!  Sin is serious stuff!  That’s why we have to recognize what sin is, and we have to realize how much we need a Savior, and we need to ask God to grant us the power to resist sin and evil so that we can maintain our relationship with Him.  Through God’s Holy Spirit, Jesus promises us the power to overcome.

So, what of the oft-stated opinion that Jesus came to teach us to love each other, and that that was something new?  Frankly, it’s a misreading of what Jesus said.

 34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34, King James Version)

What was new isn’t that we are to love one another, but rather we are to love one another the way He loves us!  Our limited sinful sort of love just won’t do!  No, we must love each other with a sacrificial love, even as He showed us how to do.


  1. Very good points John!
    I would like to add something if I may; Lev.19:18 is in the context of vengeance and judging a brother. Israel was to love their brother as much as if they were looking in the mirror when it came to those things and the normal life. You ended your article with the very good point of sacrificial love being new, which ties nicely into Rom 12:1-2.
    V.1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
    V.2 And do not be conformed to this world, (which does not keep the Law) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (with the power of the Holy Spirit in you) that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.(NKJ)
    But Christ made it even more clear in John 15:12-15 as proof of His disciples and John reiterated it for us in 1John 3:16 as a Christian duty. We are to be willing to come to the point that can "imitate" Christ, as Paul said. Most of us have a ways to go.

    the Editor

  2. John: I'm encouraged to read this post. God is definitely a relationship Being. Even in Genesis He says, "Let us make…" A relationship even in the beginning.

    And yes, love is definitely in the OT.

    As far as the comment, "any relationship having rules" is concerned, I agree on a human plane that is true. On the God plane, I do not agree with that and you probably believe the same thing. As far as I can tell from the Bible, God the Father needs no rules for His relationship with the Son.

    Rules and laws are only for sinners. Since God has no sin and He is holy – separate and without sin – only love defines that perfect relationship. As such, I believe that lends some credence to the idea of some people about laws in the New Covenant being more like protective principles or the spirit of the law.

    Principles because when the heart changes and the Holy Spirit takes residence in our bodies and lives, then we have an internal Godly guide that works with our thoughts to think from a loving, sacrificial perspective first and foremost. If that loving, sacrificial perspective is not listened to and acted upon, then who are we feeding in the relationship with God – ourselves? Ideally we will not want to continue in sin, and will definitely be convicted when we do (thus the apostle John's comment about Christians not sinning).

    And yes, sin violates our relationship with God and other humans.

    Thanks for posting this. I trust the small number of comments posted may be reflective of the agreement from others.