Not Under Law

Tetelestai: All is Completely Fulfilled, FOREVER!

What was Jesus’ last word, uttered as He gave His last breath at the Cross? We read about it in The Bible:

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

In your mind, transport yourself back in time, to Jerusalem, circa 33 AD, at Mount Calvary. You’re in the crowd, watching as Jesus was crucified. Jesus’s last word was not “it is finished”, because the English language did exist yet. Jesus’ last word that you would have heard that day was the incredibly amazing Greek word:

What does “tetelestai”, mean? It is a form of the Greek root word, “teleo” which means, “to fulfil, to accomplish”. But what is so striking is that tetelestai is the word “teleo” in the perfect tense of the verb.

The perfect tense signifies that an action has been completed once, with results for all time. It is the exact opposite of the continuous tense, which signifies an action carried out continuously, without an end.

For instance, a man and wife get married on one specific day, at one specific time. Ever since that one day, that couple has been married ever since. Do they need to keep getting married over and over again to stay married? No. That one act, performed at one time results in being in that state from then on. That’s the perfect tense of “to marry”. Contrast that with the continuous tense of a verb. For instance, I need to brush and floss my teeth daily to keep them in a state of being clean. This is certainly not perfect tense, which would mean I would just have to brush and floss once and they are clean from that time on (though I wish that was the case!)

When Jesus uttered that glorious word, “tetelestai” from the cross, He used the perfect, not continuous tense of the word teleo, (to complete or fulfill). And what did Jesus’ last word tetelestai mean for us?

ALL is completely fulfilled… FOREVER!

And this powerful truth gloriously borne out throughout the book of Hebrews, particularly in chapter 10:

5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

    “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
    But a body You have prepared for Me.
    6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
    You had no pleasure.
    7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
    In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
    To do Your will, O God.’ ”


8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Heb 10:5–10.

Jesus’ telestai fulfilled so many things. Hebrews goes into the depths of this. (To learn more, listen to my series, Hebrews: the Glory of the New Covenant). In addition, Jesus’ telestai also completely fulfilled what He said in Matthew 5:17-18

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

I used to think (like many Christians do) that what Jesus meant when He said, “till all is fulfilled” meant some time way in the distant future. But that is not true. Remember, the Bible is the best interpreter of itself. Too many Christians disregard Jesus’ perfect, finished work (expressed as “tetelestai”) when interpreting scripture. This is a fatal flaw. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

The Lord Jesus Christ, in all of His perfection, perfectly satisfied the demands of perfect righteousness, perfectly obeying His Father perfectly fulfilling all the prophecies and perfectly settling the Law… forever. He didn’t destroy the law, He perfectly fulfilled it! Hebrews 10:9 says, “then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second.”

Remember TETELESTAI:
ALL is completely fulfilled… FOREVER!

Dear Christian, your Christian life begins with the reality and totality of Christ’s tetelestai for you! That’s because:

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)

(Photo by Gustavo Moreno on Unsplash)

The Just Shall Live By Faith – Pt 7 (Hebrews Pt 37)

[Romans 3:27-4:12]  Who are the people God blesses? The biblical answer will probably surprise you. In this episode we dive into the key scriptures on the righteous OF FAITH and NOT by the works of the law. God is always and ever the SOURCE, the MEANS and the GREAT END of all that is good (Romans 11:36). The only person that God considers righteousness is the one who DOES NOT WORK, but believes on Him — has faith in Christ — who justifies the ungodly.

Hebrews Pt 26: Out with the Old, in with the New!

In this study, we take up the second half of Hebrews 9, verses 16-28. We talk about:

  • Wills, testaments and covenants: what they are, what they have to do with Jesus and what they have to do with YOU.
  • The vast difference between the Old Covenant/Testament of law, which left us in sin, defeat, incompleteness, and condemnation and the NEW Covenant/Testament, leading us to the remission of sins, completeness, victory, closeness with God and God’s blessing.
  • We also look into what the shedding of Jesus’ blood accomplished for us, how Jesus was offered ONCE to bear the sins of many.

The Biblical Reasons Why Christians Are NOT Under Law

A visitor to our website responded to our article, Not Under Law: What the “Struggle Verses” of Romans 7 Really Mean by writing:

The problem with this article is that you don’t understand history, which gives you a false understanding on how to interpret scripture.

The God of Israel gave the instructions (the law, the first 5 books of the bible) to Israel at Sinai setting a precedent on how to know if a prophets is of God or not.
The law is the standard to the rest of the scripture.

So to have the understanding that Paul seeming says we are “not” under law but under grace, would mean that Paul is a false prophet and should be stoned according to the God of mt Sinai.

Paul is not above God, and he has no authority to change what God said at mt Sinai.

So question really isn’t law and grace.. but:

Is Paul a false prophet?
Or
Are “you” misinterpreting Paul?

Since others may be making the same mistakes that our visiting friend has, I thought I would share my response to his concerns in this article:

Many well-meaning Christians believe they are still under law, yet are ignorant of what the law really says. Galatians 4:21 (NKJV) says: “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?”

Revolutionary, Life-Changing Hebrews Series Underway!

Jesus shed His blood for it.

He gave His life for it.

Yet very few Christians know anything about it: It’s the New Covenant.

Our series, “Hebrews: The Glory of the New Covenant” is well underway. Join us as we dig into the amazing truths found in Hebrews. There are several ways you can get the series:

  • Here at our website, click on the “Podcasts menu item above or click on the “Series” menu item above, then “Hebrews: the Glory of the New Covenant”
  • You can subscribe to the “Daily in Christ” podcast via the iTunes Store.
Take time with us to dig into these great lessons on the Book of Hebrews and invite others to listen, as well!

Grace to Get Away FROM Sin

By Mark VanOuse

Grace does not enable us to “get away with sin”, but enables us to get away from sin.

It’s odd how some think that when we tell Christians that they are under grace that somehow we are enabling people to get away with sin, when in fact the Bible teaches us just the opposite: the grace of God enables us to to get away from sin. …

Podcast: Not Under Law: What the “Struggle Verses” of Romans 7 Really Mean

When most Christians think of Romans 7, they think that this chapter deals chiefly with struggling with sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this podcast, we take a close look at the entire chapter, particularly the theological verses of 1 through 13. When we take a look at this chapter in its full context, the real meaning of the “struggle” verses of 14 through 24 becomes crystal clear.

The results will surprise you. You’ll see what the relationship is between law, sin and the sinner on one hand and grace, freedom and the saint is on the other.

Part 5, “So Why Do I Do the Sinful Things I Do?”

This is part 5 of our series, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification”. In this lesson we delve into the following topics:

  • Do Christians have a “sinful nature”?
  • What the difference is between the “sinful nature” and the “flesh”.
  • How that a sinner sins because they have a sinful nature versus the fact that a saint sins, contrary to their god-given holy nature, because they are deceived.
  • A saint sins because they are trying live under law, rather than living under grace.
  • How Adam and Eve sinned, even though they didn’t have a sinful nature or a sin consciousness.

Does Blessing Precede Obedience?

By Mark VanOuse

A friend of mine raised a very good question: Does blessing really precede obedience?

The question came up in the context of my saying that one of the greatest things I’ve learned in my Christian life is the vast difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. How that, as Christians, we are not under the Old Covenant of Law, blessings or curses given based on our performance, but under the New Covenant of grace, granting us blessings from God based on Christ’s performance. “In other words”, I said, “under the New Covenant, the blessing precedes our obedience. We obey because we are blessed in Christ (Eph 1:3), not the other way around.”

That statement threw him off. He emailed me and said, “Why is this ‘God blesses us, and then we respond in obedience’ idea not more clear in Scripture? You would think God would want it to be clear. I would like to hear your answer to that.”

Here, then, is my response: …

I Don’t Need the Law, I Need The Lord!

By Mark VanOuse

A truly righteous man says, “I don’t need the law, I need The Lord.”

[8] But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,[9] knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers . . .  (1 Timothy 1:8-9, NKJV)

Did you know that a truly righteous man will actually run from the law?  Why?  Because the law places the demand on his “righteousness” (which is no righteousness at all), not God’s righteousness. Philippians 3:9 makes the point quite clearly:

not having my own righteousness, which is from the law . . . …