Folks who are doggedly determined to uphold the law frequently say, “Heaven and earth will pass before one jot or tittle passes from the law.”
That passage of scripture actually says:
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED. (Matthew 5:18, emphasis mine)
Jesus said he came to FULFILL the law. Here’s Strong’s definition of fulfil:
g4137.; from 4134; to make replete, i. e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:— accomplish, x after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.AV (90)- fulfil 51, fill 19, be full 7, complete 2, end 2, misc 9;to make full, to fill up, i. e. to fill to the full to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally I abound, I am liberally supplied to render full, i. e. to complete to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim to consummate: a number to make complete in every particular, to render perfect to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, ( some undertaking) to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise of matters of duty: to perform, execute of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish to fulfil, i. e. to cause God’s will ( as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises ( given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment
When was it fulfilled? When Jesus said “It is finished.” So what does “finished” mean? Strong’s renders it thusly:
g5055.; from 5056; to end, i. e. complete, execute, conclude, discharge ( a debt): — accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform.AV ( 26)- finish 8, fulfil 7, accomplish 4, pay 2, perform 1, expire 1, misc 3;to bring to a close, to finish, to end passed, finished to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, ( so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.) with special reference to the subject matter, to carry out the contents of a command with reference also to the form, to do just as commanded, and generally involving the notion of time, to perform the last act which completes a process, to accomplish, fulfil to pay of tribute- ” It is finished or paid” John 19: 30 Christ satisfied God’s justice by dying for all to pay for the sins of the elect. These sins can never be punished again since that would violate God’s justice. Sins can only be punished once, either by a substitute or by yourself
It was because of the Finished Work that Paul could say repeatedly that we are not under law but under Grace. Paul wrote an entire epistle dealing with this, that being the book of Galatians. Indeed, he really drilled the point home with chapter 3 of said epistle.
We have to be careful because it is by Grace through Faith that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). And it’s when we mix law with Grace that we frustrate Grace (Galatians 2:21) and fall from Grace (Galatians 5:4). The Grace of God reveals the tender Love of God that saved us from the necessity of upholding the law.
It’s the mixture of law and Grace that Paul called “another gospel…” (2 Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:6-9) that, instead of being a blessing of Good News, is actually a curse of bad news.
© 2015 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)