The Law is the perfection of God. The Law is synonymous with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. For we know that the Law is spiritual . . . (Rom.8:12,14).”
17 ¶ “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
The Law was fulfilled perfectly in Jesus Christ. What does this really mean for us? The standard Christian teaching is that Christ fulfilled the Law, thus our faith in Him releases us from its requirements. While this is true, it runs much deeper. God is perfect. He cannot relate to us through any other means than perfection. God is always true to His own nature. His own need is that everything He looks upon must measure up to His perfection. He is clean and He will not touch what is unclean. In the Old Testament this is the revelation behind all of the rituals of the Law that were required of Israel. The Tabernacle, and later the Temple, were set up as a buffer between God and His people. God established a means by which He could relate to His people without them being destroyed.
Christ died for our transgressions and released us from the judgments against us that the Law demanded. Our faith in Christ enables God to relate to us. Jesus Christ is the ultimate buffer between us and God. This is borne out by Scripture.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
Our faith in Christ transfers His righteousness to us. “He who knew no sin, became sin, that we might become the righteousness of God.” We understand grace from this perspective. As Christians we readily accept His provision for us in regards to our salvation. But sadly, our salvation is often seen as only being saved from judgment. Christ’s fulfillment of the Law, which is God’s perfection, is meant to be manifested in us as well. “Oh, we are perfect in Christ.” Yes, theoretically. Who can say they have experienced the depths of the perfection of God? If we follow the grace of God to its completion, we will know His perfection experientially. “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, 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, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Rom.8:3-4).” The requirement of the Law is perfection. HIS perfection is worked experientially into us through appropriation. We appropriate by grace through faith.
Only as we come to the point of moving into our inheritance such as the children of Israel did under Moses, does the need for perfection become an issue. This is why the tabernacle was established under Moses, and not the patriarchs. The promised land of Caanan represents our inheritance in Christ, which is His sonship duplicated in us. The tabernacle was the means by which God could manifest His perfection to Israel every step of the way into Caanan. Thus, we have the revelation of Jehovah, I Am that I Am. This is the reason why God told Moses He was not known as Jehovah to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God’s purpose for the patriarchs was not for them to inherit the promises, but to receive them. The patriarchs built altars and dug wells as God met them and gave them promises. They knew God as El Shaddai, the Great Breasted One, the God who provided for all their needs. But to enter the Promised Land required an ever-present revelation of the Lord, one that unfolded as they moved forward. This is expressed through the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. The buffer of the tabernacle enabled God to reveal His perfection to Israel which was a necessary requirement to enter Caanan. We can grasp this by simply understanding that the Tabernacle expressed the perfection of God in a way that consecrated Israel so they could stand.
We too must experience an unfolding revelation of the Lord. Our Caanan, i.e., sonship, can only be possessed through an ever-present God who perpetually interacts with us. This interaction demands that God’s perfection be manifested in us. God can only be satisfied with Himself. He must see Himself when He looks upon His creation. This is why the Scriptures tell us Christ was the exact representation of His nature (Heb. 1:3). Jesus told His disciples that if they had seen Him, they had seen the Father. This is where we leave religion far behind. We are to learn how to daily appropriate His perfection into our lives. This is the meaning of “give us this day our daily bread.” The “theoretical” crowd will say they are already perfect in Christ. They will say that by faith they have embraced the new creation and don’t relate to Adam anymore. Such boasts are hollow. When a glass is full it will not hold any more water. It is through the ever-present manifestation of the Lord working in us that our capacity for God is increased. We can legitimately say, “I am perfect today, but I will be more perfect tomorrow.” Ultimately, the manifestation of the sons of God will come because Christ’s life in those sons has been appropriated fully. When God sees the fullness of His son in His many sons, then His need for perfection is realized. Learning to appropriate and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the means by which His perfection is worked in us.