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Christ Honouring the Law

 Assured that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us through the righteousness of Christ, we say with Paul: ‘For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain’

The Lord has a high and holy regard for His own law and will have its honour maintained. He gave it to our first parents under the form of a covenant; a promise of life being made on condition of perfect obedience and also the punishment of death in the case of disobedience. Man transgressed the law of that covenant and in so sinning against God forfeited his title to life and came under the curse or penalty of death. Unless the holiness of the law is vindicated by a perfect obedience to its precept and a total satisfaction given for its breach, the grave offence done to the honour of the law and Lawgiver means the Lord can by no means clear the guilty. If His law is not vindicated and its honour repaired none can be saved. We can neither yield a perfect obedience to the law, having broken it, nor satisfy its penalty.

God in His unspeakable love and mercy has ordained and provided a Surety who could magnify the law in our stead and who in the fulness of time would assume our nature, repair the honour of the law and satisfy its justice. As our Surety and Representative He said: ‘Lo I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart’(Psalm 40:7,8). God’s holy law is no loser by Christ’s substitution in our room. The law demands perfect holiness and He is ‘holy, harmless and undefiled’ (Hebrews7:26). It demands perfect obedience to its commands and our Saviour has fulfilled all righteousness. The law demands the execution of its penalty and the Lord Jesus ‘was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities’(Isaiah 53:5); ‘Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit’(1 Peter 3:18). So the law has all it requires by Christ’s substitution. The law as magnified and made honourable by Christ means we can say that in Him alone we glory, as the Lord our righteousness.

Let us ever magnify Him who magnified the law on our behalf. With hearts enlarged in love and gratitude, His commandments are not grievous and we ‘delight in the law of the Lord after the inward man’(Romans 7:22). Assured that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us through the righteousness of Christ, we say with Paul: ‘For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain’(Philippians1:21). Having honoured the law He has swallowed up death in victory. This means our clay tabernacle, laid in the grave at death, will be received again without the smell of death upon it in the morning of the resurrection. Believers have a perfect and complete heaven of glory in Him who magnified the law and made it honourable.

Rev Leslie Curran.