For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.
I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THESE WORDS.
1. That the law of God has been universally broken (Romans 3:10-12).
2. That, therefore, every man is under the curse of that law (Galatians 3:13; Romans 2:8-11).
3. That, in order to be saved, this curse must be removed and sins remitted.
4. That no man of himself can remove this curse or obtain this remission of his sins.
5. That notwithstanding God cannot recede from His claims, nor abate one jot or tittle of what His holy law demands, either in penalty or precept.
6. That every person who would obtain salvation must look out for such a righteousness as shall be answerable to all the claims of the law, be perfectly satisfactory to God, and therefore available for his justification and peace.
II. IN WHAT WAY IS "CHRIST THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH"? Consider —
1. The general purport of Christ's coming (Psalm 40:6-10; Hebrews 10:1-14; Isaiah 42:6, 7, 21; Daniel 9:24; Jeremiah 23:5, 6; Jeremiah 33:15, 16; Isaiah 53:6, cf. 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
2. The special character of His mediation. We must consider it as substitutional. We must behold Him rendering unto God, for those whom He represented, a perfect obedience to the law which they have broken, and suffering to its full and utmost extent the curse which they have incurred. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness — not by abrogating its authority, or lowering its requisitions, to meet the exigencies of our lapsed condition — but rather by asserting its full obligation and satisfying all its equitable claims. This is the great glory of the gospel — that God can be just — in exacting every claim of the law and in punishing every sin of those whom He saves to its full desert — and yet the justifier of them that believe in Jesus.
III. TO WHOM IS THIS PROVISION AVAILABLE, OR WHO ARE BENEFITED THEREBY. "Every one that believeth," and no more. But we must ascertain —
1. The testimony given in Scripture to this truth. We are again and again told that faith alone is the means appointed by God for granting the efficacy of this provision to the souls of men.
2. Why we can be benefited in this way of faith, and in no other? It is enough to say that God hath declared it. But we need not let the subject rest here. Man is utterly lost, helpless, and undone. Nothing that we can do can avail for our salvation. Our help and hope are based upon One, who only is mighty to save. It is therefore evident that the only way in which we can be benefited by what another has done for our salvation, must be by believing in Him for the execution of such an interposition, and for the advantage of the blessing procured thereby.
3. What is the nature of that faith by which we become interested in this righteousness. It is the act of a soul made willing in the day of God's power, under a clear discovery of its lost condition, and a clear perception of the mediation of Jesus, by which it is brought to rely on that mediation, and to plead that righteousness with God for its pardon and peace (chap. Romans 10:10; Hebrews 11:1).
4. To what extent is this truth to be carried in the justification of the sinner before God? To the full extent for which it is designed for that purpose. It takes in the sinner's whole case — sins, guilt, condemnation, and deserved wrath. It brings him a full and complete deliverance and justification from all. Nay, more, it invests him with the perfect righteousness of Christ, as a perfect fulfilment of the law by which he stands accepted with God.
IV. WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANCE AND ADVANTAGES ARISING THEREFROM. Hereby —
1. The law is established in all its authority, obligations, and claims.
2. God is honoured and exalted in the possession and exercise of all His perfections.
3. A sure and certain way of life and salvation, of pardon and peace, is opened for guilty men.
4. A sure provision is made for a loving, devoted, and delightful obedience to the will of God.
5. There is afforded to the soul a sure rock for its present safety and a firm foundation for its future security, even for ever.
6. The Church of God is provided with an unerring test by which to try every doctrine proposed for her acceptance, and an indomitable weapon by which to conquer every antichristian foe.
Parallel VersesKJV: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.