The role of the Law in the New Covenant is one of revelation and responsibility. Not only is the Law the written statement of what God likes and dislikes, it reveals to us the very nature of God and how we can readily please Him. We are no longer bound to obey the Law because of duty, or because we want to avoid God’s displeasure or punishment.
The Law becomes imprinted and activated in the heart and mind of the New Covenant believer. The Law becomes something we want to do out of our love for the God Who gave so graciously in order that we may enjoy everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Law has moved from beyond the role of “rules of morality” and takes on the role of daily model for Godly behavior.
In the Law, we essentially find Christlikeness – and through a relationship with The Christ, we discover the ability to live as the Law fully intended. The Law of God reveals the perfect character of God and how that character may be applied in the lives of human beings. In The Christ, we are now able to live as God desires us to live… every day of our lives. The requirements of the Law have been fully met (through the life of Jesus) and now a new means of living is activated (through the death and resurrection of Jesus). That new means is what the apostle called “living by The Spirit.”
Jesus came to fulfill what the Law required – complete righteousness. Through Jesus’ fulfillment of perfect righteousness, a new Law has been placed in effect. It is the Law of the Spirit of life. Scripture teaches that the believer in Jesus is eternally bonded to Jesus, and now shares in how Jesus lived His life on this earth (without sin, fulfilling the Law’s requirements). Believers also share in what Jesus accomplished when He died in our place (the innocent and righteous… for the guilty and unholy). With His death and resurrection, a new mode of operation was set in place… which is the very foundation of New Covenant living. It’s centerpiece is the completed work of The Christ.
It is just as the apostle proclaimed:
Jesus did not come to eliminate the Law – He came to fully activate the Law within the hearts and minds of those devoted to Him. Through our connection with Jesus, the “righteous requirements of the Law” are “fully met in us,” and will continue to be fully met within, and through, us… as we obey the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is at the core of living out the true Christian life.