Has the Law Ended (Romans 10:4)?
Keeping the Law of God has not ended. Paul, in Romans 10:4, is contrasting God’s way of righteousness by faith with man’s attempt at righteousness by law. The message of the gospel is that Christ is the end of law as a WAY of righteousness to everyone who has faith.
This verse does not imply that righteousness actually could be obtained by law in OT times and that with the coming of Christ, faith has been substituted for law as the way of righteousness. Since the fall of Adam, God has revealed only one way by which men may be saved—by faith in the coming Messiah (Genesis 3:15; 4:3–5; Hebrews 11:4).
Nor may this verse be understood to mean that Christ is the end of the law as such and that people are no longer obliged to keep God’s law. But rather, it is law as a way of obtaining righteousness that has ended by Christ. God’s goal in proclaiming His laws to Israel was to show them their wickedness (Romans 3:20) and their need for a Redeemer (Galatians 3:24).
The Jews had corrupted God’s goal and had used the laws, both moral and ceremonial, as the way to gaining their own righteousness by their own works of surface obedience. Christ came to correct this misuse of the law and to teach people the way of faith.
Christ’s grace made His salvation possible. Paul wrote, “so that the 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). Christ tried to teach people to a higher experience of reliance on Him rather their own works. Unfortunately, the Jews refused and wanted instead to make the law their way to salvation. So, the Savior ended their way of thinking – law keeping – as a means to Salvation.
Does Faith Abolish the Law?
Faith does not abolish law but rather establishes it. Paul stated: “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31). Christ came to magnify the law (Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17) and to illustrate by His life of perfect obedience that believers can, through the God’s power, obey His law.
The plan of justification by faith shows God’s respect for His law in providing the atonement by His Son. If justification by faith abolishes law, then there was no need for the death of Christ to free the sinner from his sins. True faith means willingness to carry on the will of God in a life of obedience to His law (Romans 3:28). When people see that their sins crucified Christ, they are moved with love to obey His law.
The good news is that while the plan of salvation allows for the sinner’s justification through faith, it also offers powerful grace to produce in him the fruits of obedience and godly living. Righteousness by faith and Obedience go hand in hand. The purpose of law is to convict of sin (Romans 3: 20). And the law leads him to Christ for cleansing (Galatians 3:24). Thus, faith and love produce a new obedience to God’s law, the obedience that motivated by faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26), and love (Romans 13:8, 10).
The final conflict between Christ and Satan will be on the authority and function of God’s law. Satan and His followers will claim that believers no longer need to obey God’s laws. This crisis will escalate and lead to the persecution of God’s children that will be faithful to His law (Revelation 12:17; 14:12).
In His service,