English blog

"the consummation of law"

14-10-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

4 For Christ is the consummation of law for righteousness to everyone who is believing. 5 For Moses is writing of the righteousness which is of law, that a man who does the same shall be living in it. 6 Yet the righteousness of faith is saying thus: You may not be saying in your heart, Who will be ascending into heaven? — that is, to be leading Christ down — 7 or Who will be descending into the submerged chaos? — that is, to be leading Christ up from among the dead. 8 But what is it saying? Near you is the declaration, in your mouth and in your heart — that is, the declaration of faith which we (= Moses & Paul) are heralding. Romans 10 (CLNT)

where the law ends In Romans 10 Paul calls Christ “[the] end of [the] law.” Where the law ends, there begins Christ. The law says that whoever does what she commands will live (Rom.10:5). The reverse is: disobedience leads to death. With this is not only the position of Israel, under the law, described, but, in fact, the condition of all people, as descendants of Adam (Rom.5:12). The principle of law leads to death, but precisely at that end, Christ comes into view. Christ is, after all, the one who rose from the dead. the end of the Torah It is remarkable that when Paul in Romans 10 speaks of Christ as being the “end of the law”, he does so with reference to a passage in Deuteronomy 30. That chapter belongs to the concluding part of the Torah and, therefore, in that sense is the end of the law. Deuteronomy 30, according to Paul, refers to Christ Who will descend from heaven (Rom.10:6 and Deut.30:12). This fits perfectly in the context of Deuteronomy 30, where, after all, the return of the people of Israel is foretold. Literally, it states in 30:3:

… He will return and convene you… CLOT, see also: verse 9

The return of the Lord coincides with the future descent of Christ out of heaven. Heaven and abyss It is very special that Paul in the expression “across the sea” (Deut.30:13) sees a reference to the realm of the dead. He takes the “other side” to be, not horizontal but vertical, i.e., the underside of the sea; the abyss or the realm of the dead. The “word of faith” (namely, the promise) which Paul, but also Moses already at the end the Torah preached, is about Him Who from the dead (>the abyss) arose and before long will descend from heaven. That word is indeed not difficult (Deut.30:11) – it does not speak of a task imposed on man to do, but of the promised Christ, Who is the consummation of the Torah. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema