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

The word “end” in this verse is sometimes erroneously interpreted to mean Christ is the abolisher of the law. But there are some problems with this interpretation.

First, if Paul was saying Christ abolished the law, he would be contradicting the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-19.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

Second, the greek word translated by the ESV as “end” is telos [telos – Strongs 5056]. Telos carries the meaning of “the principal end, aim, purpose” and “properly, consummation (the end-goal, purpose), such as closure with all its results.” Here’s another example of telos from Romans.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end [telos], eternal life.” (Romans 6:22)

If telos meant abolisher, Romans 6:22 would not make any sense. The *goal / purpose / consummation* of sanctification is eternal life. It’s easy to see this verse doesn’t announce the abolishment of sanctification or eternal life.

Romans 10:4 is saying Christ is the goal of the law. He is the consummation. He is the principal aim. We can look at him to see an example of how to obey the law perfectly.

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