The vast majority of Christians have been taught that since the “law is spiritual” and we are carnal, no human will ever be able to meet the requirements of the perfect law in his or her lifetime. Is this true?
Has God really given us a law that is a great idealistic but impossible goal toward which converted souls should struggle to meet but never expect to attain? Is there some hidden reservation or secret meaning in the many commands to obey the law God wrote on stone? Or did God mean what He said and say what He meant?
Many teach that only Christ could have obeyed that law and only because He had special powers that have not been made available to anyone else. Certainly it is true that Jesus is the only One who lived without committing a single act of disobedience. His reason for living that perfect, victorious life is laid out in Romans 8:3, 4:
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Do not miss the point that Jesus came to condemn sin by His perfect life in the flesh in order that “the righteous requirement of the law” might be fulfilled in us.
What is that righteousness? The Greek word “dikaima” used here means, literally, “the just requirement” of the law. This means that Christ won His perfect victory in order to make the same victory available to us. Having conquered the devil, showing that even in the flesh the law can be obeyed, Christ now offers to come into our hearts and share the victory with us. Only by His strength and indwelling power can the requirements of the law be fulfilled by anyone. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Not one soul can ever keep one of those Ten Commandments in their frail human power alone, but all of them can be kept through the enabling strength of Jesus. He imputes His righteousness for our cleansing and imparts His righteousness for victorious living. Christ came in a body of flesh like our own and depended wholly upon His Father in living His life to demonstrate the kind of victory that is possible for every soul who will likewise draw upon the Father’s grace.