Rom 10:4 - Isn't the Messiah the "end" to the Law?
Rom 10:4 For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
How was the Messiah made the 'end' of the Law for us? I think if we take a look at how this word 'end' is used in other passages and then at how it is that the Messiah is the "end" of the Law for us, it will become clear that Paul is in no way implying that the Law has 'ended'.
The word 'end' used here is the Greek word "telos", and it's #5056 in the Strong's Concordance,
In all of the following examples the same word 'telos' is underlined. We'll compare the King James Version (KJV) with the New American Standard Version (NASV).
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (KJV)
1Ti 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NASV)
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (KJV)
1Pe 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (NASV)
Jam 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of Yahuweh (the Lord); that Yahuweh is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (KJV)
Jam 5:11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of Yahuweh's dealings, that Yahuweh is full of compassion and is merciful. (NASV)
Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of Yahuweh: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (KJV)
Heb 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of Yahuweh to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. (NASV)
So we see that we could have just as correctly translated this word "telos" as: goal, outcome, or result, any one of which I believe would have made the passage much easier to understand.
Let me explain why I say that.
The apostle Paul in writing to the Romans said to them a number of things concerning the Law, for instance:
In Romans chapter 2, Paul makes it extremely clear that if someone, that would be one of the saints in Rome (Rom 1:7) "and us", does not obey the Law they will perish. It will only be those that actually obey the Law that will be justified on Judgment Day.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with Yahuweh. (meaning the same applies to the Jew and gentile alike)
Rom 2:12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
Rom 2:13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before Yahuweh , but the doers of the Law will be justified.
How may different ways are there in understanding what Paul just said here? The answer is one, and that is, if you don't obey the Law you will perish. Does this in anyway sounds as if he's telling the saints in Rome, or us, that the Law "ended"?
On to Romans chapter 3, after explaining how we're justified by 'faith' (Rom 3:28) and realizing how people would distort his words, Paul goes on to ask the question,
Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? Yahuweh forbid! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
In Romans chapter 6, which is written to the same people that chapter 10 was written to, Paul sounding somewhat excited, asks the question
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Sin is a violation of the Heavenly Father's Law (1 John 3:4), and it was because we've sinned, that is violated the Almighty's Law, that the Messiah had to suffer and die as he did. If we understated that then I believe we might get as excited as Paul seems to have gotten when as he answers his own question.
Rom 6:2 Yahuweh Forbid! How shall we who died to sin still live in it any longer?
I'll repeat that one more time for those that might not have heard it the first time, "Yahuweh Forbid" that we should continue to violate the Law, it was because of our sins that Messiah had to died a torturous death, and Yahuweh will not tolerate those that continue to sin.
Does anything we've read thus far in Romans sound as if Paul's telling the Romans that the Law has "ended"? Of course not.
We could, but we won't, go on to take a look at other things Paul said to the Romans concerning the Law, such as:
"sin shall not be master over you" (Rom 6:14),
"Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Yahuweh Forbid! (Rom 6:15),
"For the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23),
"the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." (Rom 7:12),
was it the Law that brought death? "Yahuweh Forbid! ...it was sin," our breaking of the Law (Rom 7:13)
But if you would turn now to Rom 8:3-4 and we'll take a look at the reason Paul tells us the Messiah is the 'goal, outcome, or result' of the Law.
Rom 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, Yahuweh did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 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.
The Law 'required' the death of the sinner, and Messiah 'fulfilled' that requirement.
It was "sin" the Messiah died to save us from, not from the Law itself?
So in realizing the Messiah died to "fulfill the requirement of the Law in us," and the fact that we are to obey the Law even as the Messiah obeyed it (1 John 2:6). To say, "the Messiah is the 'goal' rather then the 'end' of the Law to all that believe" (Rom 10:4), would clear up a lot of the confusion some people have concerning Rom 10:4.
To view a complete list of passages concerning the Law that are often times misunderstood see “The Hard Sayings of Paul” - Part 2