Did Christ end the law (ex. Sabbath and dietary laws)?

Hello J,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The apostle Paul wrote: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). This verse doesn’t mean that Christ is the termination of law and that men are no longer under obligation to obey it. The phrase end the law simply means that the law as a method of obtaining righteousness (as taught by the Pharisees) was brought to an end.

God’s purpose in proclaiming His laws to Israel was to reveal to them their sinfulness (Rom. 3:20) and their need of a Savior (Gal. 3:24). But the Jews had perverted God’s purpose and had used the laws, both moral and ceremonial, as the means of establishing their own righteousness by their own attempts at legalistic obedience.

So, Christ came to bring this mistaken abuse of the law to an end and to point the way back to faith. Such faith does not abolish law but rather establishes it “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31).

God did not offer His Son as a sacrifice in order to abolish His law, or to release men from the necessity of perfect obedience. The law has always stood as an expression of the unchangeable will and character of God. Sinners by their own strength are not able to obey it. But Christ has come to make it possible for the sinner to obey perfectly.

Paul wrote, “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). The apostle does not say, “might be partially fulfilled.” The Bible consistently speaks of entire transformation, perfect obedience (Matt. 5:48; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:12, 13).

God requires perfection of His children, and the perfect life of Christ in His humanity is God’s assurance to us that by His power we too may attain to victory over all sin. God’s grace brings man’s life into harmony with the divine will.

So, the Sabbath and the dietary health laws are still in effect today. The only laws that got abolished at the cross were the ceremonial laws of animal sacrifices that pointed to Christ’s death. Naturally, when Christ died on the cross, these laws were fulfilled and were no longer in practice.

In His service,

BibeAsk Team

 

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