Matthew 5.17-20 (click to listen, right click to download)

ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla described Villanova coach Jay Wright this way: “It’s fun to see him coach his team and give them the freedom to have success on both ends of the floor without his players worrying about making a mistake and being yanked out of the game.”

Wouldn’t you love to play for a coach like that? 

Some people struggle in their relationship with God because they wrongly assume God will “yank them out of the game” if they fail, sin, or disobey his commands.  When we recognize God’s moral law, we immediately see how we cannot keep it in our own strength, and we face the penalty for disobedience.  But God does not leave us in despair.  Jesus came to fulfill God’s law, not to abolish it.  He perfectly obeyed God, dying on the cross for our sins, and he rose again so that we might have new life.

The hope of the gospel is this:  Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law on our behalf, so that, having the promise of eternal life, we can obey God from a clean conscience and enjoy his presence.

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  Romans 10:4 ESV

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 ESV

“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:6 ESV