The Main Point

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4. The word translated “end” here is the Greek word “Telos” (τέλος). The word does not have a massive semantic domain, meaning it isn’t translated in too many ways, but it does have a few ways it can be translated in English. One way it’s used is seen in passages like 1 Timothy 1:5 where Paul says, “The goal (telos) of our instruction is love from a pure heart…” When it’s translated in this way it’s to say what the purpose or intention of something is. Here’s a sub-definition of Telos: “The end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose.” Most English translations available to me in a glance online use the word “end” here, which is perfectly fine, but if we highlight this “purpose” sense of the term in Romans 10:4, as some English translations do like the NLT and NIV seem to quite clearly, we can paraphrase this verse saying that Christ is the purpose of the Law. It might be rendered: “For Christ is the purpose of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Reading it this way may bring fresh blessings to many.

I find this fascinating. How is Jesus the end, purpose, or point of the Law? I’ll highlight just three ways.

  1. I think that the primary purpose of the Law was to show us all the utter uniqueness of God the Son. In his incarnation, he never sinned. Never once. He had no righteousness from without himself to cover his sins, he never had to offer up sacrifices for his sins, nor was he graded on a curve in his performance by the Father or the Holy Spirit, but he was literally in every way holy. In the cosmic sense then, the Law sits like a crown upon his head. “How good is he” you ask? He’s that good! Like seals on a scroll only he can break good. When we say “Jesus is good” we mean something altogether unique. The Law defines this to an amazing and unique degree.
  2. The Law illustrates the SIN problem God says we all have. None of us were there when Adam and Eve sinned, but God says we, the whole team, are indeed seeing the team penalty all around us since. The Law shows us this. Are you a sinner? Look at the Ten Commandments. Yes. This then shows us the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) as its very point. If all have sinned, then all need the only Savior. A common problem finds its common solution. And it’s him we love to proclaim. Come to him, all sinners, and be cleansed.
  3. The Law brings us to the end of ourselves when God reveals its sentence in us. This then is when we’re brought to the start of a reconciliation with God. The Law points to the Gospel. Jesus is that Gospel. God is our Gospel. Jesus then is the main point of it all.

We get remarkable insights into this in a few places in the text. Considering what’s been said above, listen to what Jesus says to some who opposed him in John 5:46-47: “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” Moses never mentioned the name Jesus directly. But Jesus, our very reliable interpreter, literally said here that if they actually believed Moses, they’d believe him also. That’s how much the Law points to him. So, you can’t believe Moses’ words in Jesus’ day and not believe Jesus’ words in Jesus’ day. Moses was given the decalogue, and subsequently through much counsel and godly guidance, wrote the rest of the Law. Jesus summed it up in himself.

Three days after Jesus had redeemed Israel, and the world, on a road to the town Emmaus, in Luke 24:13-32 Luke tells us of what must’ve been a most wonderful biblical theology study between three men when he says, “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:27. Jesus opened up the whole record to these men. What did he open? How all they’d written beforehand were in fact “concerning himself.”

Just after this in Luke 24:44-49, we see him doing the same thing to a wider group.
Reader, the end purpose of God’s Law is to reveal God to you. It’s to show you that Jesus is your only hope of righteousness. Repent, trust in him, he will redeem you with his righteousness credited to you. Romans 4. Look to the Law. Look to the Bible. If you see him by it, blessed are your eyes! If you hear him through it, blessed are your ears!

God bless!!!

(If this has been a blessing to you, would you please share it with someone else? Come by anytime for new stuff).

Joseph Pittano

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