most of this is an entry from my journal dated 9/29/09.
do we then make void the law through faith? certainly not! on the contrary, we establish the law.
~ romans 3:31
so i was thinking about how we “establish the law” as oppose to “making void the law.” it’s funny because i was reading romans 3:9-30 and it was all kind of one big blur until i got to verse 31. it’s clearer now.
jesus said in matthew 5:17-20 that he didnt come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it and that unless someone’s righteousness EXCEEDS that of the pharisees and scribes (s)he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
how can we possibly have righteousness that is greater than the religious leaders? by having GOD’S righteousness. as romans 3:22 says “even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” it is our faith in the perfect sacrifice of jesus christ that enables us to experience God’s righteousness, and not rely on our own, merely hoping that it’s acceptable to God. when we have the Holy Ghost living within us–the conscience of God, the righteous–the law is fulfilled in us because our hearts and minds are changed to be like his, and therefore despise the things that the Law calls sin.
murder, adultery, idolatry, etc. all of these the Law makes clear that God hates, but it is not by refraining from these things alone that makes us “more righteous than the pharisees and scribes;” it is faith in the sinless and perfect sacrifice of the blood of Christ, by which we experience the grace of God. why do we need this grace? go back to romans 3:23 and 3:19-20. because ALL of us have sinned (are guilty before God) and have fallen short in his sight. so we need the Creator’s grace to receive his Holy Spirit and conscience, and therefore fulfill his law. if we are to be more righteous than religious leaders and those who study scriptures, it can only be by God’s power and grace. this is how the “righteousness of God apart from the Law is revealed” (v.21), because the Spirit of God is in us.
in essence, when God’s Word manifest (jesus) left the earth, his presence still remained because he sent his believers the holy spirit. he said in john 16:13 that the Spirit will lead us into all truth. God doesn’t want us to do his will by following a list of do’s and don’ts, but he does want us to do his will and refrain from doing things that he arbours because our hearts have been genuinely changed to love what he loves and hate what he hates. with his Spirit living within us, we have the power to do this, because he leads us into what his will is. to fulfill the law, we MUST have God’s holy spirit changing us into the image of jesus christ (the manifested Word of God).
in matthew 5:6 jesus said, “blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” if you have not been “filled” with GOD’S righteousness/baptized with the holy spirit, pray to the father in the name of jesus asking for it. he will give it to you. you dont have to rely on your own righteousness, merely hoping that it pleases your Creator. rely on his righteousness and his grace and his Spirit.