Doctrinal Pet Peeve–Jesus Did Not Keep The Law For You

I am preaching through Galatians, which is a very doctrinal book, particularly chapters 2-4. Paul’s main thrust of these chapters is that justification is by faith, not by deeds of the law.

This seems a straight-forward point, yet I have heard so much ridiculousness come out of these chapters, it aint even funny.

One of my doctrinal pet peeves is when people say stuff like “Jesus kept the law for me.”

This is not a biblical statement. Yes, it is what some theologians have said, but it isn’t what the Bible ever said.

We are justified by faith, just like Abraham was.

No flesh was ever justified, or ever will be justified, by keeping the Law. The law was there to drive people to see their inability and push them on to faith in the One whom God would provide for salvation–Jesus Christ.

Since no flesh is justified by works of the Law, it is completely silly to say I am justified because “Christ kept the Law for me.”

Christ did keep the law, hear me rightly, He never sinned, He always did the will of His Father. But his law-keeping (which didn’t look like law-keeping to Pharisees) was to show He was the spotless sacrifice. In that sense, we benefit from Christ having kept the Law, and ultimately, this was all done for us. So, if that’s what you mean by “Christ kept the law for me,” OK, but find a better, fuller way to say it, please!

Christ did not keep the Law for you.

Think of it–the Law was given to Moses (this is the Law Paul speaks of in Galatians 2-4–the one ordained by angels and received by a mediator, Moses) as part of a covenant with the People of Israel to inherit the Promised Land.

It was a conditional covenant for Israel relating to Land possession. Read Deuteronomy and note how often it talks about doing the Law for the Land. It was the whole point.

Israel never did fully inherit the Land. They got close, but they never did it. And, as we know, what little of the Land they did get, was eventually taken away. They were taken into captivity and dispersed.

Why were they kicked out of the Land? Because they didn’t keep the Law.

The Law was not given to justify people.

Let me repeat this repeated point in the New Testament:

The Law was not given to justify people.

If Jesus truly did keep the Law for you, this would make you eligible to inherit the Promised Land.

I’d rather have heaven.