” For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.”
A popular song of a bygone era was the Cole Porter tune, ‘Don’t Fence Me In’, sung by the famous western stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans among others. The title could serve as the motto for the old Adam and Eve in each of us.
Laws (fences) come in many forms . The sheer number of laws that govern various aspects of our lives is staggering. According to the Associated Press 40,000 new laws have gone into effect in 2012. If you were to ask the various legislators at the federal, state and municipal levels for a rationale for the passing of these laws, the generic response would be, ‘For the public good.’ In principle, that is the case. Law is meant to restrain evil and promote the good. Laws are fences.
God uses law, all law, to put fences around human conduct. Even a casual reading of the Ten Commandment can reveal quite clearly that these laws are intended for our good. Yet there is hardly a one we have not broken in thought, word or deed.
Under these circumstances there is no hope of being justified before God on the basis of what we do, even if our generous self-assessments look pretty good in comparison with convicted felons! So, Christ Jesus has entered in, taking upon and fulfilling in Himself the perfect righteousness demanded of you. Christ is the end of the law for everyone who has faith. This most certainly does not mean that while we are in this life laws do not matter. The fences must be kept up, taken down, and new ones erected, from time to time. Sinners like us must govern as well and as wisely as we can.
But our hope is not in staying within the fences, in behaving ourselves. There is no progress or merit in the Christian life to be gained by staying within the fences. We look to Christ Jesus alone as our righteousness before God. In Him we are free to serve our neighbors and care for the world ( and it’s fences) even as we wait for the coming of God’s kingdom.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”