Category: God’s Law

Two – Understanding Jesus – pg. 58

February 28

law on hearts

The role of the Law in the New Covenant is one of revelation and responsibility. Not only is the Law the written statement of what God likes and dislikes, it reveals to us the very nature of God and how we can readily please Him. We are no longer bound to obey the Law because of duty, or because we want to avoid God’s displeasure or punishment.

The Law becomes imprinted and activated in the heart and mind of the New Covenant believer. The Law becomes something we want to do out of our love for the God Who gave so graciously in order that we may enjoy everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Law has moved from beyond the role of “rules of morality” and takes on the role of daily model for Godly behavior.

In the Law, we essentially find Christlikeness – and through a relationship with The Christ, we discover the ability to live as the Law fully intended. The Law of God reveals the perfect character of God and how that character may be applied in the lives of human beings. In The Christ, we are now able to live as God desires us to live… every day of our lives. The requirements of the Law have been fully met (through the life of Jesus) and now a new means of living is activated (through the death and resurrection of Jesus). That new means is what the apostle called “living by The Spirit.”

living by the spiirt

Jesus came to fulfill what the Law required – complete righteousness. Through Jesus’ fulfillment of perfect righteousness, a new Law has been placed in effect. It is the Law of the Spirit of life. Scripture teaches that the believer in Jesus is eternally bonded to Jesus, and now shares in how Jesus lived His life on this earth (without sin, fulfilling the Law’s requirements). Believers also share in what Jesus accomplished when He died in our place (the innocent and righteous… for the guilty and unholy). With His death and resurrection, a new mode of operation was set in place… which is the very foundation of New Covenant living. It’s centerpiece is the completed work of The Christ.

It is just as the apostle proclaimed:

romans 8 1-4

Jesus did not come to eliminate the Law – He came to fully activate the Law within the hearts and minds of those devoted to Him. Through our connection with Jesus, the “righteous requirements of the Law” are “fully met in us,” and will continue to be fully met within, and through, us… as we obey the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is at the core of living out the true Christian life.

Two – Understanding Jesus – pg. 57

February 27

The prophet Jeremiah was inspired to record God’s promise of the New Covenant to His Old Covenant people: “”The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah… “This is the Covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “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. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.” (from Jeremiah 31:31-34)

gods-new-covenant

The New Covenant promise is that the emphasis on outward observances of the Law will come to an end, and the Law will take up active residence within human minds and hearts. The Law will become the driving force behind how God’s people live their lives.

The tendency to look at the Law as outdated, or even as a means of bondage, just does not understand what makes the Law really important.

The apostle Paul was inspired to write, “What shall we say, then? Is the Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the Law… So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… We know that the Law is spiritual…” (from Romans 7:7, 12, 14)

sin

The same holy and righteous God Who gave us the Messiah also gave us the Law. The very essence of the Law is a reflection, or revelation, of God’s Own nature and character. To eliminate the Law would be akin to eliminating the God Who gave the Law. This we cannot do – nor should we even consider doing. Under the Old Covenant, God gave the Law. Under the New Covenant, He set in motion His plan to fully activate the essence (or spirit) of the Law within His people.

As anyone who has ever received a “citation” for going just a few miles-an-hour over the speed limit knows… we all tend to react negatively to those who enforce the letter of the law while ignoring its spirit. In the New Covenant, God removed “following the letter” of the Law and replaced it with “following the spirit” of the Law.

rom7-6bThis fact is reinforced by the apostle, “But now… we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (from Romans 7:6) The apostle was inspired to teach us that the Spirit of God is going to lead us in what He has revealed, and intended, all along. Following the Law, under the New Covenant, becomes a matter of desire and “want to” rather than a matter of obligation or duty.

The New Covenant believer now sets his or her heart on desiring what God desires – and those desires are revealed and recognized within the Law.