Yesterday, I wrote about “The End of the Law”. The main point is that it is love that should drive us and motivate us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight. From there, the Law drives us to Christ in a loving and lasting relationship.
But, that is still only a rather two dimensional view of it all. After all, it is describing our journey there, but it doesn’t go into the details of what we will be like when we get there. It is more than just about arrival. In a word, we should be “changed”.
In fact, the entire journey is about change. It starts with change. It starts with a different thought. It starts with the opening of our eyes. Once our eyes open slightly, we find it difficult to accept the light. Over time, though, we are able to focus and see. Our eyes change so they can focus more clearly.
Once we can see, we can see what a mess we are in. We begin to understand just where our sins have taken us. We begin to realize we need help. We begin to understand we need to change just more than our perceptions about things. We need repentance.
Repentance comes from two root Greek words meaning literally “after” and “understanding”. The implication is quite clear. You must be able to understand before you can repent. That’s why the Church of God doesn’t believe in infant baptism. A baby just cannot understand. Neither can a person whose mind has not been opened to the truth (Jn 6:44).
Repentance, “metanoeo” G3340, means to turn away, to go a different direction, or as Strong’s quotes FF Bruce: “Repentance (metanoia, ‘change of mind’) involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness.”
Then, comes even more change! Then, there is the process called “conversion”, which is all about major change even after we get pointed in the right direction!
What shows us the direction? What is our compass? The drawing of the Father. What is our roadmap? The Law. What strengthens us for the journey and helps to keep us from stumbling? The Holy Spirit.
What is the road? What is the destination? Jesus Christ. What does that mean, though?
If we must change, then what do we change into? What do we become? Who showed us the way? Who showed us how it is done?
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. However, there was a certain incompleteness about them. They needed the Tree of Life, but instead they partook of a very different tree. Jesus, the “second Adam”, came to once again reveal the Tree of Life to a world that has been cut off. He lived and was crucified and raised again – in the image of the Father.
There are three passages that almost take you step by step through a chain of logic that is so fantastic that it can be difficult to grasp:
4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4, King James Version)
Above, we see a progression of Jesus being in the image of God the Father, Who became the firstborn of creation and then that we “put on the new man” in order to take on His image. We follow in our Elder Brother’s footsteps to be remade in the image of God!
Then, this powerful passage:
And, let’s not forget:
So, when we are told that Christ is “the end of the Law”, it means more than just a destination, but rather also how we should arrive. We are shaped and molded by repentance, turning away from our sins, and our conversion, becoming more like Christ everyday.
God, who changes not (Mal 3:6), and Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), instituted the Law for our benefit (Dt 30:19). The Law was not intended to be a curse. The curse comes from breaking the Law. Sin trips us up on the journey to being formed in the image of Christ.
As an elder once put it, the Law is the written expression of the character of God. Therefore, sin mars our own character and cuts short our integrity. It blurs the image we are supposed to become.