Fulfilled in us
The apostle Paul wrote, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 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 8:3-4).
God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, so that men might be enabled fully to obey the righteous requirements of His holy law. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
The purpose of the plan of salvation is to bring humans’ life into line with God’s will. God did not give His Son to change or abolish His law, or to release men from the necessity of perfect obedience. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18).
Humans are unable to obey by their own power
The law has always declared the unchangeable will and nature of God. But humans have been unable to obey its requirements, and the law has possessed no power to strengthen them to obey. “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:18-20).
God gives the victory
But now Christ has come to enable men to obey God. Jesus honored the law of God in the gospel and the plan of salvation. Therefore, Paul wrote, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31).
Jesus came to this earth to magnify the law (Isaiah 42:21) and to illustrate by His life of perfect obedience that the believer can, through the enabling grace of God, give obedience to His law. The plan of justification by faith shows God’s view of His law in demanding and providing the atoning sacrifice. If justification by faith cancels law, then there is no need for the sacrificing death of Christ to free the sinner from his sins, and thus restore him to peace with God.
God asks for the perfection of His children. He said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect“ (Matthew 5:48). The perfect life of Christ in His humanity is God’s guarantee to us that by His power we too may have perfection of character. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
In His service,