SINCE JESUS SAYS HE DID NOT COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW, THEN HOW CAN PAUL SAY WE ARE FREE FROM THE LAW?
The passage in question is Matthew 5:17-20. In that passage, Jesus says, “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.” The Pharisees and teachers of the law were claiming that Jesus was preaching against the teachings found in the Old Testament (back then known as “The Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms”). They believed that people had to follow God’s Law in order to get into heaven. But in these verses Jesus is trying to explain to the people that he is not abolishing the Scriptures and the Law, but actually fulfilling them on our behalf. The “Law” contains God’s righteous requirements, and it shows us our sin and our need for a Savior who could substitute his perfect life for our sinful lives. The writings of the Prophets were writings that prophesied the coming of such a Savior who would pay for our sins and give us his righteousness. By coming to earth, living a perfect life, and dying for the sins of the world, Jesus was fulfilling God’s Law in our place and fulfilling everything the Old Testament writers had written and prophesied.
That is the reason Paul says we are free from the Law of the Old Testament, because Jesus fulfilled it for us. Galatians 3-6 and Colossians 2 are good sections of Scripture that help explain this. Jesus became a human being to live under the law and fulfill it for us, and now we receive his perfect life of following the Law–his righteousness–through faith in what he did on our behalf. (See the sections Forgiveness of Sins for All People and Jesus is True God and True Human Being for more information.)
We are therefore free from the burden of having to keep the Law perfectly because Jesus did not abolish it–he fulfilled it for us.