Jesus end of law

I have read the Jesus is the end of the law. What’s that mean. And the moral law is written on the heart. But civil and ecclesiastic law and so is moral law. Then why is things not a sin unless we know it?

This is the scripture where Christ spoke on this issue:

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:17-19)

As for question on sin:

If you are unaware something is not a sin then it can’t be a mortal sin but it still remains a sin. To be a mortal sin the conditions are: grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent. Just because you didn’t realize gossiping was a sin doesn’t mean that doing it doesn’t leave a stain.

Hi billcu

You ask very important questions.
WT1 has given you a good answer. I’ll just explain a little more.

Jesus did abolish some Law. There were three types of Law in the Old Testament.
Civil Law how one got married legally, how land was separated, etc.
Ceremonial Law how one celebrated holidays, offerred up sacrifices, etc.
Moral Law how one lived, acted, behaved, in order to please God

I’m sure you could look up the above on the internet and get more information.

So Jesus abolished two of the above: Civil and Ceremonial.

For instance, whenever He says: You Have Heard It Said…But I Say To You.
Here, He is abolishing a Law. For instance, He said that in the O.T. it was okay to give a certificate of divorce to a wife. BUT Jesus says that you cannot divorce. See?

However, Jesus did not abolish the MORAL LAW. This would be, for example, the 10 Commandments. He said what WT1 posted.

The moral law stands and is to be followed. God still expects to be obeyed. He’s the one who made up the moral law so we could have order in our world here. Could you imagine if the 10 commandments didn’t exist?

Jesus teaches how we are to live in the gospel of Mathew (and all the gospels). Read about the beatitudes in Mathew chapters 5, 6, 7 and even further on. This comprises the beatitudes, not just the part of Mathew 5.2-12.

Regarding sin you don’t know you committed. How could God hold you responsible for something you don’t even know you did? He loves you and is a just God. Do you punish an 18 month old for dropping a glass and breaking it? No. God will never punish you for something you don’t know you did wrong.


Man’s conscience was corrupted, obscured, and dimmed by the Fall, by his ensuing autonomy from God, the authority* behind* the law. So Augustine would write, “God wrote on tables of stone what man failed to read in his heart”.

To the extent that man begins again to read the law that was written in his heart-and to act on it- then he no longer needs the publicly revealed law. This is the purpose of Jesus’s coming: the reconciliation of man with the rightful Law-giver, fulfilling the New Covenant prophecy of Jer 31:33:
**“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

The moral law is written on the heart. We all know it. If we do or not. Right? If we break it we sin. Who told Cain it was wrong and against law to kill his brother? He was punished.

You’re also speaking of the Natural Law which humans know naturally.

We do have to be taught the Law. Our consciences do have to be properly formed. Did you know that most kids think they don’t sin? They need to be taught what sin is and understand that they also sin.

If the conscience is well formed, one will know he is sinning. It’s not always the case. Is getting mad at my husband a sin? It depends. If we’re arguing about something and things get out of hand, I could get very mad. It’s a human feeling - it depends on what we do with it. If it passes and we don’t dwell on it, it isn’t a sin. BUT, if my husband is sick, and I get mad at him and it causes him to feel worse or badly, THEN it’s a sin immediately. Do most people know this?

You can’t ask forgiveness if you don’t KNOW you’ve sinned. But God will forgive you anyway…

But you’re right. The Law is now written on the heart. The New Covenant.
Jeremiah 31:33


Ok maybe it’s natural law then I am speaking of. Written on the heart of man. So we do not need to develop a conscious to know that? Or do we already have a “conscious” sense of that? I have been told by confessors in the past several times, “Obey your conscious” I always thought we were too corrupt for that. Can you only form a conscious when in Grace? We are too influence at the thinking an emotional levels by outside forces to even know what ideas are ours I believe. By things seen and unseen.

You’re a smart person billcu1.

Let me expound a bit. The Natural Law is known by all men. Even atheists. it comes from the Creator in a natural way. Man knows naturally, from his intellect, that murder is wrong.
What if everybody went around killing? So we just know it’s wrong.

But then there’s God’s Law. The 10 commandments is the perfect law because they create the civility in society and following the commandments makes the world go 'round. Jesus narrowed these down to 2, as I’m sure you must know. Love God and Love your neighbor. If you follow those two, you follow them all.

When the bible speaks of writing the Law onto the heart, like in Jerremiah 31:33, it’s speaking of God’s Laws which also encompass Natural Law since God made up ALL the laws!!
I think I must have posted Romans 1:19-20

As far as conscience: Your confessor must know you and must know that YOU can follow your conscience. If he didn’t, he would be incorrect in giving this advice. What if someone’s conscience tells them there’s nothing wrong with abortion because it’s the woman’s own body? I have a friend who attends Mass every week and she thinks it’s okay for two gay people to live together because they really love each other. Can her conscience be trusted? No.

So yes. The conscience MUST be formed in compliance with Chrisitan teaching.
See Romans 12:2

If you have a good conscience you always have one; whether in grace or out of grace. I’m not sure what you mean by that… If by out of grace you mean that you’ve sinned, then YES, you still have a good conscience if it is properly formed - that’s why you feel badly about having sinned!

I agree totally with you about being influenced because we are corrupt, have emotional levels and are influenced by outside forces (principalities Ephesians 6:12).

But, let’s not be too hard on ourselves re our corruption. Remember, the old has passed away and all things are new!
2 Corinthians 5:17


I think we need to come to understand how the following teachings from the catechism compliment, rather than conflict with, each other:

**1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."47

1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters."53

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

1786 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith."60

The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61

You bring up a good point here. The argument, “it’s a woman’s body” does not convince. It is in error in several ways. If it’s a woman’s body, then she gave life to herself. We are told, “your body is not your own, but bought with a price.” Our bodies have *never * been our own. If it’s a woman’s body then she has to right to abuse it, via drug abuse, self mutilation and so forth. Why is that not allowed. So “a woman’s body is her own” does not apply to doing whatever you want.

IDK if the conscious was perfect. We wouldn’t need the law given. It shows us perfection because without it we would not have perfection. It seems to me anyway. I do not trust people’s conscious, nor mine implicitly. :shrug:

Great point!


Well, that’s basically what they’re saying I think. The conscience was compromised and corrupted by the Fall and man’s spiritual disconnect from his Creator. Otherwise the “revealed law” should not even be necessary. Either way the conscience is in need of formation/perfecting.

It is said I know there are 2 reasons why we sin, not knowing what we ought to do, and failing to do what we know we should do. Unless we are divinely helped, we will fail at both.

-- Enchiridion

What I don’t understand fully there is what Augustine meant when he said the 1st thing. Wouldn’t that not be sin since we didn’t know what to do? Maybe he means venial sin.

Man’s will is never uninvolved. If we sin by not doing what we should do, whose fault is that? While we need divine help, especially to approach perfection, God nonetheless does not force the issue; He won’t force us to accept His help. So in the whole process of our choosing good over evil, life over death, both God and ourselves are involved. His intention is to draw, to coax, to help, to stretch and refine, but He want us to participate, to own our choices; that’s an aspect of our justice, of our being transformed into His image.

So even if the first step in our being righteous is to turn to God for help, we’re taught that we have little excuse not to seek Him, not to know of Him, not to believe in Him. We’re not mindless beasts-we’ll always be responsible to one degree ore another for our actions. Augustine may’ve presented the ideal-we’re expected to do the best we can with what we’ve been given to realize it. In the end God judges by the heart.

So not knowing what we ought to do is involving will because we should be inquiring ? Is that what you mean?

Yes, thats why acedia, spiritual sloth, is considered a deadly sin.

27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:
The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.1

28 In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being:
From one ancestor [God] made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him - though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For "in him we live and move and have our being."2

29 But this “intimate and vital bond of man to God” (GS 19 § 1) can be forgotten, overlooked, or even explicitly rejected by man.3 Such attitudes can have different causes: revolt against evil in the world; religious ignorance or indifference; the cares and riches of this world; the scandal of bad example on the part of believers; currents of thought hostile to religion; finally, that attitude of sinful man which makes him hide from God out of fear and flee his call.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit