Thursday, April 16, 2015
Walking in the New Covenant
For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
We've been studying about Law vs Grace and the place the Law has in the New Covenant. I want to conclude this study by addressing how to walk in the New Covenant in relation to the Old Covenant Law. I want to address a couple of issues with clarity and truth from the Word of God.
New Covenant grace isn't about being anti-Law. The truth is the "hyper grace" folk are the ones who truly honor and exalt the Law in its rightful place. It served as a schoolmaster until faith came. The Law is good and just and holy (Rom 7). The problem with Law Covenant was no man could keep it. It in reality was designed only to stir up sin and to bring humanity to an end of itself or efforts.
Do you know there is wisdom in the Law? Certainly, some of the dietary ordinances had some health benefits. At the time sanitation was an issue, some of the cleansing rituals had benefits for sanitation. Circumcision has many natural health benefits even today. These are well and fine. The core issue is though none of these rituals, ordinances or "do's" and "don'ts" written in stone, will bring new life. None of these will bring salvation any closer. In comparison to the Blood of Jesus they are nothing. These things can't save you.
How do we define sin? Do we use the Mosaic Law for authority as to why we shouldn't lie or steal? We must use great caution when looking to the Law as our standard. First, because grace mixed with any portion of Law is no more grace but works. Secondly, what we in the modern Church like to define morality as is only a portion of the Mosaic Law.
If we look at Leviticus we can see moral codes such as not wearing garments mixed with two materials. How you raised your livestock, how you treat the land, how you pay workers. These and other things were all addressed in the moral portion of the Law. Do you stand up whenever an elderly person walks by you? That is part of the moral portion of the Law. Looking to the Mosaic Law for morality becomes and endless list of "don'ts" that the Jews couldn't keep. That is why Jesus gave us a New Covenant.
I want to emphasis what Paul emphasized as to what defined sin.
Take note Paul referred to one Law. That is the Law of Love. James called it the royal Law. Love is the key to defining sin. God is love. He changes not. We need not the Mosaic Law to define sin because even before the Law we see, to a degree, love being the guide.
In Genesis we see Cain coveting the acceptance God gave Abel's sacrifice. We see Cain murdering Abel. Without any Law or code, it was understood this behavior was wrong. Cain knew it within, why did he try to conceal the matter? Joseph knew adultery was wrong without any Law or code. Why? He loved the Lord and knew it wasn't loving to engage in sexual activity with another man's wife. Stealing was also understood to be wrong, you can see that in the account of Joseph's brothers.
Some fighting the message of grace and New Covenant life in Christ declare strongly the Law of God hasn't ceased. The moral character of God has never changed. These leaders are referencing the Mosaic Law. They are missing it. It is not the Mosaic Law that is unceasing but rather the Law of love. Grace teaches us to live upright and Godly. God is love. Grace teaches us to love more. If we love more, we won't engage in sexual sins, or cheating or deceptive practices.
This is the most unusual teaching about the Law I have ever heard. Why would grace be given to keep an obsolete system (Heb 8)? The standard of Law was perfection. No one is perfectly perfect 100% of the time. Here is why this concept is contrary to the truth.
1. The Law causes sin to abound (Romans 7)
2. The strength of sin is the Law (1 Cor 15)
3. Under a curse if you're under the Law (Gal 3)
4. Not led by the Spirit if you're under the Law (Gal 5)
5. The Law cannot perfect or mature anyone (Hebrews 7:19)
Again I say anytime we mix Law and grace we make grace void. God is wise enough to know not to give grace to keep a system than cannot perfect or mature anyone and stirs up sin and makes one abide under a curse. So what is the relation to New Covenant life in Christ and the Law?
The plain truth is there is no relation whatsoever. The Law has been fulfilled in Christ. That system is an obsolete system. Religious blinded men are deceived into thinking two systems are still functioning today. Let me illustrate. When we update our computers the Old programs is gone and the New updated one comes. This may not be the best illustration but it still proves a point. We operate in the New not the Old.
For our standard of morality or how we live allow the love of God to govern your heart. Looking to the Law only causes us to be trust in ourselves and not trust in Christ's finished work. Walking in the New is to fully rely on God. To fully trust in Christ perfect performance not our own failings and shortcomings. Rest in His faithfulness not our own. This is life in the New Covenant. It is a daily relationship with our Father.
To conclude, is the Church under the Mosaic Law? Absolutely not! We are under grace. Be refreshed in Christ and His everlasting love for you.