What Laws are Fulfilled?

Many Christians today feel the "laws" of the "Old Testament" have been fulfilled or completed to perfection by our Messiah (Christ) based on various scriptures from the "New Testament", and are no longer necessary to keep or observe. Let’s look into these scriptures and see what they really say to us.

The first one is in Matthew 5:18.

"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18 NKJV throughout unless noted}

This is a true saying. I guess the point to prove however is where does the scripture say the laws were fulfilled?

Is it perhaps the previous verse?

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)

We will for the sake of this argument ignore the first part of Matthew 5:17 and concentrate on the second part, "I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."

At first glance it appears that the law has been fulfilled by Yeshua (Jesus).

Seemingly, according to verse 18, if the law is fulfilled, then it has passed away, and is no longer in effect.

But what about this statement by Yeshua?

Jesus said to him," ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ "This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38 ) This commandment or law comes from the Old Covenant Deuteronomy 6:5

Has this commandment been done away with? If so, then there is no longer requirement to Love God.

I hope that most honest Christians would say that this command has not been fulfilled, or passed away.

Ok then what about His next statement?

"And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39) Also see Leviticus 19:18.

Has this commandment been fulfilled? Again I hope that most honest Christians would say that this command has not been done away with.

But if the two great commandments are still in affect or have not been fulfilled, then we are faced with a problem, because in the very next verse Yeshua says

All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:40 NLT)

Indeed this statement is just as true as Matthew 5:17-18. So what happens with this apparent conflict? I can only think of two possible answers. 1) There are some laws not based on the two great commandments, which could then be fulfilled. If this were true then Matthew 22:40 would be a lie. Or 2) our understanding on Matthew 5:17-18 is not what is commonly thought. Let’s look back at the first part on Matthew 5:17 which we skipped earlier. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets." Another version says;

"Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17 NLT)

It is very clear here that Yeshua had no intention to put away the laws of Moses or the prophets. Yet the last part of the verse still says He came to "Fulfill" them. In my opinion the problem lies in our understanding of the word fulfil. Our English definition for fulfill means to carry out or accomplish. However I heard one commentator paraphrase Matthew 5:17 like this, ‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fill them up full of meaning’.

Now read [Matthew 5:19-20] This sounds to me like our requirements for keeping the "Old Testament" laws just got harder. What about [Matthew 5:21-22]?

Our requirement of one of the 10 commandments (Do Not Murder) just got fuller, just got complete, just got fulfilled, or completed to perfection. Read the rest of the Matthew 5 through verse 48.

Yeshua is saying in verse 48, if you now keep the commandments of Moses and the prophets in the fulfilled state (completed to perfection) you will be perfect.

"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Conclusion: Instead of our requirements being reduced, we now have a fuller meaning behind those "Old Laws of Moses" But there is a problem, ancient Israel could not keep the laws, how can we now keep them fulfilled?

Thank God we have a helper, God’s Spirit, to get us through. And when we do sin, (breaking one of the old laws 1John 3:4), God is quick to forgive and cleanse, to change our heart, when we repent.

" But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:7-9)

Also see [Rightousness article]

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