Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Ten Commandments and the New Covenant Believer...

Exodus 20


And God spoke all these words, saying,
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

"You shall have no other gods before me.

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

"You shall not murder.

"You shall not commit adultery.

"You shall not steal.

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

"You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s."

Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin." The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.



2 Corinthians 3

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.



Now for those who claim that the Holy Spirit was given to help us obey the Law, to empower us to keep the Old Covenant, they must be crazy. It is so clear that the ministry of the Spirit is something separate and completely different from the Old Covenant, perhaps that's why God chose to call this the NEW Covenant. It is a whole new system, built on different and better promises, in that these promises depend on Christ's work and not on our obedience to any commands or standards. It is such an all-encompassing and vastly superior system that the old crumbles away to nothing as the temporary prop it was meant to be. You see, Jesus disarmed evil, that is, Satan and his principalities, by cancelling the written code that stood opposed to us. When our record of debt was cancelled on the cross, God no longer opposed us because our sin was completely removed.

If you try to incorporate any part of the old system, the law, that is the knowledge of good (morality), you will be blind to the truth of who Jesus really is and what he has done. You will nullify faith, because the law is not of faith. The Law KILLS faith,and faith, my friend, is your only hope. No amount of earnestness or zeal or striving will help you draw any nearer to our God who is perfect and holy, not able to bear any amount of sin in his presence. And no amount of fear or grovelling on your part will change that, only simple trust in the loving kindness of Jesus whose sacrifice has been examined and accepted by the Father. So if you will not accept the sacrifice God has called perfect, there is no hope for you. If you truly accept the sacrifice, you will not feel the need to add anything AT ALL to it yourself. You will not feel compelled to pay him back by your love or gratitude, by your songs of worship, by making hard choices, by tithing or going to church, by being in relationships with people you don't like, to clean your house or submit to your husband or love your wife, etc,etc,etc...

So what will be your motivation to live righteously and shun sin? You won't need motivation to behave yourself anymore! Because you will be free.

11 comments:

Steve LaBs said...

Wonderfully clear and rejuvenating description of the Gospel of the grace of God! Thanks for posting. I see that pregnancy has not affected your mind ;) Hope all is well with the Morris'.
-K

SLW said...

Wildly radical and wonderful!

Christ in us is the only hope of glory. The inglorious labor in vain trying to produce what they cannot, because it can only can be given by the one, alone, who is glorious.

jul said...

Thanks to you both!

Katie, long time no hear from! We've got to talk soon, I miss our conversations...

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

I think we are going to meet up in one glorious explosion. How the Body needs all the members giving what they have.

dogimo said...

I always think the old law was pretty good! It was the best they had, back then. The law is only SO BAD insofar as we compare it to Christ!

But then, yeah, once you have that to compare to, the law is pretty bad.

Jamie said...

Julie,

Could you be just a little more succinct??? LOL

>Now for those who claim that the Holy Spirit was given to help us obey the Law, to empower us to keep the Old Covenant, they must be crazy.


I think the problem for most of "churchianity" is the fallacy that a moral code to live by is a great idea. So, yeah, the thinking goes, get saved, get your Get Out of Hell Free card, collect eternal life, and then continue to live from your own resources. People just don't realize that the life they live is NOT THEIR OWN, that they have been bought with a price. Thus, they never experience the compelling love of Christ as their life because they still live with the constraint of the Law to which they are in actuality DEAD.

I find it interesting to pose the question: Why do you think God gave the Law in the first place? Because if a person thinks it was as ANYTHING other than to show man his need for a savior then they do not have a CLUE. Law was not given to produce righteousness. It was given to produce sin. Certainly, men were dead before the law but the law made men aware of their innate inability to produce righteousness. Why do people PERSIST in thinking that Christianity = being equipped to keep the Law? That thinking shows a basic misunderstanding of the Gospel. Grace is not the empowering ability to keep the law but the gift of God that set us FREE from that bondage. Some people would rather serve stone tablets than be loved and accepted by a adoring Father. Hard to have relationship with a set of rules and obligations, though. But some people think you have to earn love, I guess. They remain debtors in their thinking...not realizing that with Grace you get what you DO NOT pay for; it's already been paid. Go figure.

The law for the world...great idea. But how can an exteral force be better than an internal compulsion for a Christian? It's like saying, "Oh, well, JUST IN CASE the LIFE OF GOD in you CANNOT PRODUCE, why not lean on your own strength to keep these rules. In fact, let me keep you eating from the DANG WRONG TREE lest you taste LIFE and see that it is GOOD." That kind of teaching makes God out to be a LIAR. Which was the original deception, right? Nothing new under the sun, it seems.

HUMPH.

Is that baby about done??? :D

Jamie said...

WHOOP!

Make that an adoring Father
and external...I can spell; I just CANNOT PROOFREAD WORTH A DARN!!

Jamie said...

Sorry for the rant, Jul, but REALLY! A group of us discussed this very thing last night because Facebook is turning into a battleground with legalists confronting grace speakers constantly. If we were married to the law and he constantly beat the living crap out of us, WHY do people think we should climb right back in his bed and play the obedient wife? Christ made us DEAD to the law so that He could marry us. It is from that union that LIFE is produced. To teach that we should have ANY relationship with law is to teach ADULTERY. The best that union can produce is morality which doesn't equal life. People forget that the WRONG tree was of GOOD & EVIL. Good will burn up as easily as evil if it's man-made.

I like this quote by our brother Alan: When our nature is sinful, whatever good we've done are also sinful... haha... and what about this... now we are righteous, whatever "bad" we do are also righteous!!!!

That statement would have the legalists foaming at the mouth!!

Man, I'm on a roll...gotta POST! :D

Love you, Grace Warrior.

Blessings.

jul said...

Jamie, you know you can rant here anytime! And of course I don't care about your spelling either.

Yes, facebook is a funny place isn't it? Definately a weird dynamic with such a diverse range of people reading our random and spontaneous thoughts...and willing to disagree with them. Of course I can't resist commenting on legalistic things on there so I'm guilty hehe.

Yes, I would say the baby is ready and I'm decreasinly impressed with her un-arrival, she's defying me already!

lydia said...

Explosion is right Chris - these girls are some serious GRACE BOMBS - like suicide bombers - WOW!! Some bold proclaimers and defenders of TRUTH!! I am proud to be your sistah' - oh yes indeed!!!

The old law was NEVER good - icky! Try living under it........the whole DANG thing!!!

What I find so profound is the truth that if you mix one tiny ounce of law in with grace, you NULLIFY it. NULL and void. Do people get this? It's pretty clear, I'd say...............

Keep up the good works........I meaning preaching the Gospel!!! :)

Jamie said...

>No amount of earnestness or zeal or striving will help you draw any nearer to our God who is perfect and holy, not able to bear any amount of sin in his presence.

Julie,

I just really noticed this and was wondering...yes, we are TAUGHT that but is it true? God sought Adam in the garden AFTER the Fall. He clothed him. God is perfect & holy. True. And holy & unholy can't be joined. True. BUT I'm not sure it's correct to say God can't be in the presence of sin. Satan appears before God in Job. I say all this because it causes us to think God has forsaken us in our sinful state. Not so! God seeks us just as he sought Adam. The provocative question was raised at the McVey-Walsh conference in Atlanta as to whether God actually forsook Christ on the cross or was Jesus speaking from his humanity, from his fallen THINKING? Just something to ponder... :)