Romans 8:4 “the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us”
These are some of the most exciting words of Scripture. This is what mankind has been waiting for all these millenia since Adam’s fall. Cursed to live an imperfect life, slaves to sin, unable to live in holiness, crushed by the gulf separating fellowship with God, mankind, as well as all creation, has been waiting for the restoration. (Romans 8:19-23)
And the Law came making our sinful nature even more pointedly painful. The requirement of the Law is perfection, as it shows that if you can follow the Law in every aspect you would be sinless, guiltless. Of course, no one ever could. Until, that is, the fulfillment of the Promise. In one gracious act, the perfect man, the God-Man, Jesus Christ, offering Himself in our place, cursed, consigned to death, He voluntarily took our curse, our punishment, our sentence of death upon Himself. Every sin, every ungodly act, every hateful behavior, every word uttered in hate, every act of disobedience, from every human being who ever lived. Jesus bore all that weight of sin on the cross, and died in our place. All so that after the resurrection, He could justify all who would come to Him accepting His offer of redemption.
And so Paul says in Romans chapter 8, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because what the Law couldn’t do – that is, make us perfect, because it could only point out how sinful we all are – “God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us . . . .”
The requirement of the law – perfection – is now fulfilled in those who have surrendered to the grace of the living God, born again, not of flesh but of the Spirit.
Ponder these words carefully, and see if it doesn’t give you goose bumps. What an extraordinary thing to be able to experience. It is called Justification. The saying is “just as if you never sinned.” That’s how some cutely define Justification. And the result is accurate but never forget that before life in Christ we very much were sinners, in open rebellion against God, by nature and by behavior. But now forgiveness is ours through faith in Christ, and accepting His redemptive work on the cross, His resurrected life being imparted to us when we surrender to His amazing grace.
The requirement of the law is fulfilled in us . . . by the mercy of His offering on the cross and the empty tomb. It is an awesome adjudication. We should be profuse in our thanks!
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]