How Does Jesus Christ Fulfill the Law?

In preparation for preaching Romans 10:1-4, this Lord’s Day, one of the Romans commentaries I’ve been reading is James Montgomery Boice. Discussing the meaning of Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes,” Boice seeks to answer the question, “How does Jesus fulfill the law?” He explains:

To Fulfill All Righteousness

“The first way in which Jesus fulfilled the law, and thus became the end of the law, is that he kept it perfectly himself. In books written about Jesus’ work, theologians usually distinguish between what they call Christ’s ‘active’ and ‘passive’ obedience. Jesus’ passive obedience refers to his willingness to accept death in conformity to his Father’s will, according to Philippians 2:8, And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Christ’s active obedience refers to the way he carefully and deliberately kept the law of Moses in all respects.”

Christ Is Our Righteousness

“The second way Jesus became the end of the law is that he fulfilled the law on our behalf, so that now he is not only the source but is himself the righteousness of all who are joined to him by faith. This is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:30 and 2 Corinthians 5:21: ‘Christ Jesus…has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption,’ and ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ This what justification is about, and it is what Paul seems chiefly to be talking about in this section of Romans 9 and 10.’

So justification is another meaning of our text: ‘Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

This truth causes us to sing with Charles Wesley:

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach th’ eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

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