Tables of lawPMT 2014-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is my final article on Jesus’ kingdom teaching and its endorsement of God’s Law. This is important for distinguishing postmillennialism from social gospel liberalism, which many falsely charge against the postmillennial hope.

Let us note:


Christ Perfectly Keeps the Law

The Scripture teaches that he comes to keep the Law: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; / In the scroll of the book it is written of me; / I delight to do Thy will, O my God; / Thy Law is within my heart” (Psa 40:7– 8). The writer of Hebrews applies this verse to him (Heb 10:5–7). He perfectly keep God’s Law in his own life: “I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love” (John 15:10b). Because of the nature of sin as transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) Christ is sinless because he keeps the Law: “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46).

This being the case, he is our perfect example to follow in Law-keeping: “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:4-6). Following after Christ and keeping his commandments are synonymous according to John.


Christ Saves Us in Terms of the Law

We are lost because of the broken Law; consequently the Lord died and thereby “canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Col 2:14). Thus, he came “to redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!” (Gal 4:5).

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In fact, his death eternally punctuates the need for and the validity of the Law. Consider this: the Law cannot be set aside, even to spare Christ: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32). This is necessary because “according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22).

As Paul teaches the Christian, whether Jew or Gentile, faith confirms the Law’s validity: “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Rom. 3:31). If the Law cannot be set aside to spare God’s own Son, how may we surmise that it will be set aside to establish the new covenant era? It is the standard of God’s righteousness, the breach of which brings condemnation and the necessity of redemption in Christ. The cross is, then, an eternal testimony to the righteousness and the continuing validity of God’s Law.



In this series we have seen the integrity and continuing relevance of the Law in light of Christ and his kingdom teaching. In his first major discourse the Lord clearly declares that his ministry affirms the Law. He states that heaven and earth will pass away before any detail of the Law fails. And he warns that if any of his followers break the “least” of the Law’s commandments they would be “least” in his kingdom (Matt 5:17–20).

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Not only so but he teaches the Law’s relevance in controlling all social relations (Matt 7:12) and defining the character of true love (Matt 22:36–40). He even upholds the Law’s civil function and denounces the Pharisees for setting that aside (Matt 15:1–7). Thus, we should not be surprised that he perfectly keeps the Law himself (John 15:10) and saves us from the curse of the broken Law by keeping it for us (Heb 9:22). Christian theology, rooted in Christ’s teaching, must therefore affirm God’s Law.



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