November 24 I Tuesday
1 Peter 1
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” —Matthew 5:17
In this New Testament age we live in, every Christian is under the New Covenant, which includes the gift of salvation, received by faith in Jesus Christ. However, in the opening verse of this devotion, Jesus refers to the Old Testament when He says He has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. By definition, to “fulfill” means to “bring to completion or reality; to achieve or to satisfy.” In light of this, what does Jesus mean when He says He came to bring the Law of Moses to completion in this New Testament age? That is, how is the fulfillment of the Law achieved in us by our High Priest and Saviour Jesus Christ?
In Matthew 5, Jesus talks in depth about the Law of Moses and makes it clear that what is important is not how well we adhere to the Law through our actions, but the internal working of our hearts that motivates our actions. This is the basis of God’s judgment as revealed in 1 Samuel 16:7, which says, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” What God requires of us is that our hearts and minds be completely surrendered to His will and purpose for us.
The question is, How can we change our hearts, which Scripture says is “deceitful above all things and beyond cure”? (Jeremiah 17:9). The only solution to our sinful hearts is to receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, who then indwells us with His Holy Spirit. The only one capable of living the Christian life is Jesus. In relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit begins the work of changing us from the inside out so that we desire what God desires. This, in turn, is expressed externally in our actions and behavior. Not only are we being conformed to the image of Christ, but we come to know Jesus in a far richer, deeper and personal way.
Once we experience Jesus more intimately, our hearts cannot help but be transformed by His life within us. He alone is the perfect embodiment of what Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
As we come to know Jesus personally, we will grow in our desire to obey His Word and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives. In and of ourselves, we are incapable. It is only by the indwelling life of Jesus Himself that the Law is fulfilled in us.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for the gift of Jesus, who is the perfect fulfillment of the Law. Transform me from the inside out by Your Spirit. Praise You!