Bible Class Study Notes: Fulfillment of the Law


In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus introduces (or clarifies) concepts which are difficult to reconcile with our understanding of the gift of grace and new covenant.

Questions arise.

Do we follow the Law or not? Are we required to follow the Law better than the Pharisees in order to enter heaven? Is it ok to be a least in the kingdom if we are at there anyway? What exactly has to be accomplished before the Law disappears?

To guide preparation for this Bible lesson I encourage you to use the following study questions to guide you. When you discover something please post a comment so others can benefit and continue the thread with their own comments.

Question 1: What is the Law anyway? (and what is the difference between the Law and covenant?)

Question 2: What does it mean to fulfill something in the Jewish world? (verse 17)

Question 3: What is it needs to be accomplished before the Law disappears? (verse 18)

Question 4: Why does Jesus (and Matthew) change from using “Law” in verses 17 and 18 to “command” in verse 19?

Question 5: Is our righteousness obtained through a strict observance of the Law (like the Pharisees) or through some other way? (verse 20)

List other verses throughout the Bible that seem to contradict Jesus message.

About the author

Greg Chaney


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  • I’ve had this scripture thrown in my face before, as tho we as Christians are rebellious to God’s law, because we have discarded its practice.

    Two “untils” in this sentence make it a bit hard to understand. Until heaven and earth disappear and until the Law is fulfilled.

    Is it the law that disappears? Nope, it’s any portion of content of the law, he was there to fulfill it ALL. The notion is completeness and finishing.

    This seems to indicate that within his lifespan, he would fulfill or complete the purpose of the Mosaical law, it would be “finished”.
    The powerful implication here is our lives must be changed, we must live righteously. This was easy comparison as the Pharisees were living daily the practices of the law, but the obeisance of strict form and technique had overcome purpose and meaning {as a sidebar, I think there are pointers to our participation of the Lord’s Supper here).

  • Thanks for replying and considering this text.

    The link below brings a very detailed dispensation on Romans 10: 4 “Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” and Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

    I’m still plugging through it but thought you would like to do a quick read.

  • Greg – This document is part of a bible study serious from our missionary friends in the Philippines . I think they do a great job explaining the covenants and I plan to study this material more in depth before next Sunday. Let me know if this is something that you find helpful. This is just part of the series and it starts talking about the two different covenants further down in the document. If you would like to see the entire series you can find it at under downloads. They have some great material. here is the link to the specific pages let me know if it doesn’t work.

By Greg Chaney

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