January 11 I Friday

Genesis 27-28

Matthew 8:18-34

“…I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”   

—Matthew 5:17


What does it mean that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it? Since the Law of God and the glory of God equal the same thing, we might also ask, “How is the glory of God to be restored to us by Christ
fulfilling the Law?”

Three passages throughout Scripture help answer these questions. The first is in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where he describes a hidden element to God’s revelation up to that point, a mystery, which has now been revealed as “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:25-27). The mystery, says Paul, is that Jesus not only did something for us on the cross but He does something in us. Christ is our hope of glory—that is, our hope of hitting the target we have come short of. He does not fulfill the Law as an example to us but in us as our life and strength.

Secondly, Jeremiah 31:33 speaks of the New Covenant God would establish with His people: “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” This is not a rewriting of the Law but a relocating. Rather than laws written on tablets of stone, in the New Covenant, God internalizes the Law by writing it on our hearts. Thirdly, as God said to Ezekiel, “I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:27). This refers to what started on the Day of Pentecost and has happened since for every new believer. When we enter into relationship with
Christ, God places His Spirit within us to live the life of Jesus through us so that all that He commands, Christ fulfills in us.

Does this mean the Spirit makes us immediately perfect? No. There is no provision for perfection in this life, but there is transformation. Our old nature continues to fight against the Spirit, but Scripture assures us that all believers “...are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the true measure of spiritual growth—not that we know more of the Bible this year than last but that there is more evidence in our lives of the presence and character of Jesus Christ now than there was before.
We may struggle to see our own growth behind the sins, doubts and temptations we face, but the marvelous thing is that other people will see Jesus fulfilling the Law in us as He slowly but surely restores us to the image and character of God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my hope of glory. Thank You for writing Your Law on my heart, for moving me to follow Your decrees and for transforming me increasingly into Your likeness.

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