Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) The end of the law.—“End,” in the proper sense of termination or conclusion. Christ is that which brings the functions of the Law to an end by superseding it. “The Law pursues a man until he takes refuge in Christ; then it says, Thou hast found thine asylum; I shall trouble thee no more, now thou art wise; now thou art safe.” (Bengel.)

For righteousness to every one that believeth.—So that every one who believes may obtain righteousness.

Romans 10:4. For — That they have not submitted themselves to God’s way of becoming righteous is evident in this, that they reject Christ, by whom alone righteousness can be obtained; Christ is the end of the law — The scope and aim of it; for righteousness — Observe, 1st, The righteousness here spoken of is evidently that which is necessary in order to eternal life, and leads to it, (see Romans 5:21,) termed the righteousness of God by faith, Php 3:9; implying not only justification, Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7, without which we, guilty, condemned sinners, can have no title to eternal life, it being the only means of cancelling our guilt, and freeing us from condemnation; but also sanctification, spoken of Ephesians 4:17-24, Titus 2:5-6, without which we are not in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and have no fitness for heaven; and practical obedience consequent thereon, Ephesians 2:10, the grand evidence that we are righteous, Luke 1:6, 1 John 3:7. 2d, This righteousness, in these three branches of it, is not attainable by the law, moral or ceremonial; not by the former, because it finds us guilty of violating its spiritual and holy precepts, and has no pardon to give us; it finds us depraved, weak, and helpless, and has neither a new nature nor supernatural aid to impart. But may we not have the help we want from the ceremonial law? Cannot the sacrifices of it remove our guilt? No. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats, &c., to take away sin, Hebrews 10:4, &c. Cannot the various washings or purifications of it renew and cleanse our souls? No: they can only remove the filth of the flesh, Hebrews 9:13; 1 Peter 3:21. Cannot the various institutions respecting meats and drinks, and the observance of days, &c., assist us to attain practical righteousness or obedience? No: as they do not make the tree good, of course the fruit cannot be good; as they do not purify the fountain, the streams issuing thence cannot be pure, Matthew 7:16-19. But, 3d. This righteousness may be found by us in Christ; the end, or the final cause, for which the law was instituted; the moral law being chiefly intended to convince men of sin, namely, of their guilt, depravity, and weakness, and thus to be a school- master to bring them to Christ; Galatians 3:19-24; and the ceremonial, to shadow forth and exhibit his sacrifice and grace. Accordingly the law points to Christ, and directs the sinner to have recourse to him for all the different branches of righteousness above mentioned, which cannot be obtained by it, but may be had in and by Christ; namely, justification, through his obedience unto death, whereby he hath removed the curse of the moral law, being made a curse for us; and regeneration, or a new creation, with the practical righteousness proceeding therefrom, through his grace and Spirit; the information and direction, in the way of duty, afforded by his doctrine and example, and the motives to obedience furnished by his precepts, promises, and threatenings, co-operating as means to produce the same blessed effects. But, 4th, To whom is Christ thus the end of the law for righteousness? To every one — Whether Jew or Gentile; (see Romans 10:11-15;) that believeth — Namely, with the faith described Romans 10:5, &c. So that the very end and design of the law was to bring men to believe in Christ, whom it exhibited and pointed out, for justification, renovation, and universal holiness.10:1-4 The Jews built on a false foundation, and refused to come to Christ for free salvation by faith, and numbers in every age do the same in various ways. The strictness of the law showed men their need of salvation by grace, through faith. And the ceremonies shadowed forth Christ as fulfilling the righteousness, and bearing the curse of the law. So that even under the law, all who were justified before God, obtained that blessing by faith, whereby they were made partakers of the perfect righteousness of the promised Redeemer. The law is not destroyed, nor the intention of the Lawgiver disappointed; but full satisfaction being made by the death of Christ for our breach of the law, the end is gained. That is, Christ has fulfilled the whole law, therefore whoever believeth in him, is counted just before God, as much as though he had fulfilled the whole law himself. Sinners never could go on in vain fancies of their own righteousness, if they knew the justice of God as a Governor, or his righteousness as a Saviour.For Christ - This expression implies faith in Christ. This is the design of the discussion, to show that justification cannot be obtained by our own righteousness, but by faith in Christ. As no direct benefit results to people from Christ unless they believe on him, faith in him is implied where the word occurs in this connection.

Is the end of the law - The word translated "end" means what completes a thing, or renders it perfect; also the boundary, issue, or termination of anything, as the end of life, the result of a prophecy, etc.; John 13:1; Luke 22:37. It also means the design or object which is had in view; the principal purpose for which it was undertaken; 1 Timothy 1:5," The end of the commandment is charity;" the main design or purpose of the command is to produce love; 1 Peter 1:9, "The end of your faith, the salvation of your souls;" the main design or purpose of faith is to secure salvation; Romans 14:9, "To this end Christ both died," etc. For this design or purpose. This is doubtless its meaning here. "The main design or object which the perfect obedience of the Law would accomplish, is accomplished by faith in Christ." That is, perfect obedience to the Law would accomplish justification before God, secure his favor and eternal life. The same end is now accomplished by faith in Christ. The great design of both is the same; and the same great end is finally gained. This was the subject of discussion between the apostle and the Jews; and this is all that is necessary to understand in the case. Some have supposed that the word "end" refers to the ceremonial law; that Christ fulfilled it, and brought it to an end. Others, that he perfectly fulfilled the moral law. And others, that the Law in the end leads us to Christ, or that its design is to point us to him. All this is true, but not the truth taught in this passage. That is simple and plain, that by faith in Christ the same end is accomplished in regard to our justification, that would be by perfect obedience to the moral law.

For righteousness - Unto justification with God.

To every ... - See the note at Romans 1:17.

4. For Christ is the end—the object or aim.

of the law for—justifying

righteousness to every one that believeth—that is, contains within Himself all that the law demands for the justification of such as embrace Him, whether Jew or Gentile (Ga 3:24).

He proves that the Jews were ignorant of the righteousness of God, because they were ignorant of Christ, the true

end of the law. Christ is the end of the law: q. d. The law was given for this end, that sinners being thereby brought to the knowledge of their sins, and their lost and damned estate, by reason thereof, should fly to Christ and his righteousness for refuge; see Galatians 3:19,24. Or else: Christ is the end of the law; i.e. the perfection and consummation thereof. The word is taken in this sense, 1 Timothy 1:5. He perfected the ceremonial law, as being the substance whereof all the ceremonies of the law were shadows; they all referred to him as their scope and end. He perfected also the moral law, partly by his active obedience, fulfilling all the righteousness thereof, partly by his passive obedience, bearing the curse and punishment of the law, which was due to us. Whatever the law required that we should do or suffer, he hath perfected it on our behalf: see Romans 8:4. For Christ is the end of the law,.... The apostle here observes that to them which had they known, would have regulated their zeal, removed their ignorance and set them right, in that which they stumbled at, and fell. By the "law" here, is not meant the ceremonial law, of which, indeed, they were all very zealous, and of which Christ also was the end in many respects; he was the final cause of it, or that for the sake of which it was; it had not been given had it not been for him; all its institutions, ordinances, and sacrifices, were on his account: they were all shadows of him, and he the body and substance of them; he was the end or mark and scope at which they all aimed; every type looked to him, and every offering directed the worshipper to him; he was the terminus of it, to whom it was to reach, and beyond whom it was not to go; it was a schoolmaster for instruction and direction until Christ came, and no longer. He was the fulfilling end of it, every thing in it had its accomplishment in him; and then lastly, he put an end to it, he disannulled it because of its after weakness and unprofitableness; he blotted out this hand writing of ordinances, and entirely abolished this law of commandments; but then Christ was not the end of this law for righteousness; Christ's obedience to it is no part of justifying righteousness, especially not to everyone that believes, not to the Gentiles who never were under any obligation to observe it: the moral law is here designed, and when Christ is said to be the end of it, the meaning is not that he was the end of its being given; for that was to be a rule of righteousness and life to men, and a ministration of death in case of disobedience: or that he was the scope of this law, though the Syriac version renders it "the scope" of the law is the Messiah, the mark at which it aimed, or which it directs persons to; for the law does not direct to Christ at all, in any way; it requires and insists upon a perfect righteousness, but gives not the least hint of the righteousness of Christ, nor does it in any form direct unto it; by it is the knowledge of sin, but no knowledge of a Saviour from sin; not the law, but the Gospel directs and encourages sensible sinners to believe in Christ and be saved; on the contrary, the law is a killing letter, and the ministration of condemnation and death; but Christ is either the consuming or consummating, the destroying or fulfilling end of the law. He is the destroying end of the law, not as to the nature, being, matter and substance of it, which is invariable and eternal, and is not, and cannot be made void by the doctrine of faith; nor as to the true use of it; but as a covenant of works, as to the ministry of it by Moses, and as to its curse and condemnation. Though I rather think the latter is here meant, namely, that Christ is the fulfilling end of the law, since it is added,

for righteousness: for the bringing in an everlasting righteousness; a righteousness justifying in the sight of God; a righteousness sinners wanted, and could not obtain of themselves, and could never be obtained but by a perfect fulfilling of the law: this Christ has done partly by the conformity of his nature, being exactly like that, and what it requires holy, just, and good; and partly by perfect obedience of his life to all its precepts; and also by suffering the penalty of it, death, in the room and stead of all his people; and so the whole righteousness of the law is fulfilled by him, and he becomes the end of it, for a justifying righteousness before God,

to everyone that believes: not to him that works for life, and in order to obtain a righteousness of his own; nor to the Jew only, but also to the Gentile, even to everyone, be who he will, that has faith in Christ; not that faith is either the matter, cause, or condition of righteousness, but this righteousness is only revealed unto, and received by the believer, and can only be pleaded by him, as his justifying righteousness. Moreover, this phrase is descriptive of the persons to whom Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, and suggests that for whomsoever he has fulfilled the law, in order to bring in for them a justifying righteousness, faith in consequence is given to them, to receive and embrace it, and enjoy all the comfort and privileges of it.

{3} For Christ is the {c} end of the law for righteousness to {d} every one that believeth.

(3) The proof: the law itself points to Christ, that those who believe in him should be saved. Therefore the calling to salvation by the works of the law, is vain and foolish: but Christ is offered for salvation to every believer.

(c) The end of the law is to justify those that keep the law: but seeing that we do not observe the law through the fault of our flesh, we do not attain this end: but Christ heals this disease, for he fulfils the law for us.

(d) Not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 10:4. For the validity of the law has come to an end in Christ, in order that every believer may be a partaker of righteousness. Herewith Paul, for the further confirmation of what was said in Romans 10:3, lays down the great principle of salvation, from the non-knowledge of which among the Jews that blinded and perverted striving after righteousness flowed.

Τέλος νόμου, which is placed first with great emphasis, is applied to Christ, in so far as, by virtue of His redemptive death (Galatians 3:13; Galatians 4:5), the divine dispensation of salvation has been introduced, in which the basis of the procuring of salvation is no longer, as in the old theocracy, the Mosaic νόμος, but faith, whereby the law has therefore ceased to be the regulative principle for the attainment of righteousness. Only this view of τέλος, end, conclusion (adopted after Augustine by most of the modern expositors), is conformable to what follows, where the essentially different principles of the old and new δικαιοσύνη are stated. For its agreement with the doctrinal system of the apostle, see Romans 7:1 ff. Contrary to the meaning of the word τέλος (even in 1 Timothy 1:5), and contrary to the inherent relation of what follows, Origen, Erasmus, Vatablus, Elsner, Homberg, Estius, Wolf, Ch. Schmidt, Jatho, and several others, take it as: fulfilment of the law (“quicquid exigebat lex moralis praestitit perfectissime,” Calovius), which many dogmatic expositors understood of the satisfactio activa, or of the activa and passiva together (Calovius). Linguistically faultless, but at the same time not corresponding to the connection, is the interpretation of Chrysostom, Theophylact, Melancthon, Beza, Michaelis, and others, that the object and aim of the law was the making men righteous, and that this was accomplished through Christ; or (Theodoret, Toletus, Vorstius, Grotius, Wetstein, Loesner, Heumann, Klee, Glöckler, Krummacher), that Christ was called the object and aim of the law, because everything in the law, as the παιδαγωγὸς εἰς Χριστόν (Galatians 3:24), led up to Him; “quicquid praecipiat, quicquid promittat, semper Christum habet pro scopo,” Calvin. Observe further, that Χριστός must be the definite historical person that appeared in Jesus, and not the promised Saviour generally, without regard to whether and in whose person He appeared (Hofmann), an abstraction which would have been impossible to Paul, particularly here, where all righteousness is traced back only to definite faith in contrast to works—as impossible as is the reference combined with it, of νόμος to any law whatever, no law has validity any longer, if the promised Saviour be at hand. See, in opposition to this, immediately below, Romans 10:5 ff.

εἰς δικαιος. παντὶ τῷ πιστ.] aim, for which Christ is the end of the law: in order that every one who believes may obtain righteousness. The principal stress lies on πιστ., as the opposite of that which the law required in order to righteousness; see Romans 10:5-6; Romans 3:21 ff.4. For Christ, &c.] The connexion is that the conduct of the Jews was a total mistake of their own Revelation; for He whom they rejected was no accidental or alien intruder, but “the End of the Law.”—The ver. may be closely, and better, rendered; For the end of the Law is—Christ, unto righteousness, to everyone that believeth; the whole idea conveyed by the words from “Christ” to “believeth” being the “end of the Law.”

the end of the law] Cp. for the phrase 1 Peter 1:9, “the end of your faith;” i.e. what your faith leads up to. So here Christ our Justification was what the Law (the preceptive Revelation by Moses) led up to, both prophetically by its types and predictions, and preparatively by its sin-discovering and inexorable demands. (See for the latter respect, ch. 7.) The words are capable of the sense “the close of the Law,” i.e. “He who brings it to an end.” But this is not the aspect of the matter in this context, nor in the Epistle as a whole.

for righteousness] unto righteousness; in order to be “The Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). See on Romans 1:17; &c.Romans 10:4. Τέλος, the end) bestowing righteousness and life, which the law points out, but cannot give. Τέλος, the end, and πλήρωαα, the fulfilment, are synonymous; comp. 1 Timothy 1:5, with Romans 13:10, therefore comp. with this passage Matthew 5:17. The law presses upon a man, till he flies to Christ; then even the law itself says, thou hast found a refuge. I cease to persecute thee, thou art wise, thou art safe.—Χριστὸς, Christ) the subject is, the end of the law. [Not as Engl. Vers. “Christ is the end of the law”]. The predicate is, Christ (viz. ὤν, who is) in [every one that believeth; not as Engl. Vers., “the end of the law to every one”] etc. [Romans 10:6-7; Romans 10:9.]—παντι τῷ πιστεύοντι, in every one that believeth) The words, in the believer, are treated at Romans 10:5, etc.: and the words, every one, at Romans 10:11, etc. παντὶ, in every one, namely, of the Jews and Gentiles. The 9 chap. must not be shut within narrower limits than Paul permits in this x. chap., which is more cheerful and more expanded; and in it the word all occupies a very prominent place, Romans 10:11, etc.Verse 4. - For Christ is the end of Law unto righteousness to every one that believeth. The word "end" (τέλος) might in itself mean

(1) termination,

(2) fulfilment,

(3) aim or purpose,

which is the evident meaning of the word in 1 Timothy 1:5 and 1 Peter 1:9. This last seems best to suit the line of thought in this place. The Jews evinced ignorance, i.e. of the real meaning and purpose of Law, in resting on it for justification. This is St. Paul's constant position in speaking of the office of Law - that it could not and was never meant to justify, but rather to convince of sin; to establish the need of, and excite a craving for, redemption; and so prepare men to appreciate and accept the righteousness of God in Christ which was its τέλος (see especially ch. 7; and cf. Galatians 3:24, Ὥστε ὁ νόμος παιδαγωγὸς ἡμῶν γέγονεν εἰς Ξριστὸν Ἵνα ἐκ πίστως δικαιωθῶμεν). Νόμος being here anarthrous, we translate it according to the rule observed in this Commentary. The apostle has, indeed, in view the Mosaic Law; but it is the principle of law, as such, that he is speaking cf. He next proceeds, as elsewhere throughout the Epistle, to quote from the Old Testament in illustration of the contrast between the two principles of justification, and this with the intention of showing that even in the Pentateuch that of justification by faith was intimated, and thus that it was all along the real τέλος of the Law. "Nam si prophetas suae sententiae testes citasset, haerebat tamen hic scrupulus, cum Lex aliam justitiae formam praescriberet. Hunc ergo optime discutit, quum ex ipsa Legis doctrina stabitit fidei justitiam" (Calvin). The end of the law (τέλος νόμου)

First in the sentence as the emphatic point of thought. Expositors differ as to the sense. 1. The aim. Either that the intent of the law was to make men righteous, which was accomplished in Christ, or that the law led to Him as a pedagogue (Galatians 3:24). 2. The fulfillment, as Matthew 5:17. 3. The termination. To believers in Christ the law has no longer legislative authority to say, "Do this and live; do this or die" (Morison). The last is preferable. Paul is discussing two materially exclusive systems, the one based on doing, the other on believing. The system of faith, represented by Christ, brings to an end and excludes the system of law; and the Jews, in holding by the system of law, fail of the righteousness which is by faith. Compare Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:2-14.

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