The End of the Law
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Such a simple verse, but with such profound implications. Here we find something very specific mentioned that belief in Christ does. In this day, we are told by countless voices that belief in Christ either causes the New Birth or secures eternal life, even in the face of clear scripture that clearly point to the work of God alone in these (John 1:12-13, Romans 8:28-31, Titus 3:4-5, Romans 9:11, etc.). If belief in Christ does not cause one to be born again, what does it do? Believing in Christ frees one from the Law for righteousness. By Law, the Law of Moses is in view first in this text, but by extension any system of works for righteousness, or to justify oneself, may also be considered. This includes the works of the Gentiles too, because by their own efforts at self-justification they were in bondage to law works as well (Romans 2:14). How does believing in Christ free a person from the Law for righteousness? Realize that by the Law was no man ever justified before God (Romans 3:20). It has ever been before one’s own conscience that one is justifying oneself (Romans 2:15). By efforts of law keeping, a person not understanding the grace of God will try in vain to make themselves feel right with God. But, because of the certainty of failure on many points of any law, they find their consciences are wounded. Then they then make excuses, even to the point of adapting a law service to make law breaking lawful in various ways (Mat 5:9, 19), so as to avoid injury to the conscience. Thereby making the conscience insensitive to that which the Law is suited, that is conviction of sin (1Tim 4:2). How does belief in Christ resolve this situation? By transferring the burden of justification from that which cannot to Him that can and does (Romans 8:3). When one, by faith, lets go of the Law for their righteousness and instead trusts only in Christ as their righteousness, suddenly one finds full relief to the conscience. Not by a feeling of having satisfied the law themselves, but by the full satisfaction of trusting that Christ is their righteousness. In that moment Christ (who was always their only true righteousness) is seen to be their only Savior and only release from the endless and fruitless burden of law keeping to establish a righteous that is not their own. But when it is realized that we have no righteousness of our own, but that Christ is all our righteousness, we are freed of the Law. This is the deliverance from the Law, the Salvation, that belief in Christ brings to the believer. This is the end of the Law for righteousness, and only those who trust fully in Christ as their righteousness (i.e., they believe in Christ) find this deliverance, this salvation, in this life. To do otherwise is to remain under the Law.