Free from the Law, Living in Grace

As a Christian living today, under this covenant, have you ever stopped to think how Amazingly Blessed we are? We are free from the vestiges of the law if we walk in his Grace. We are no longer bound, yet free, no more in bondage to law nor to sin.. Let me explain. 

How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion. – Psalm 84:5-7 – TPT

He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 – NLT

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Even under the law, people found blessings and healing, but what are his decrees for us in this day? Many would say the Ten Commandments are the law for believers today, if that’s the case what did Jesus answer one who questioned him about the law?

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40

Those are the two most important, loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind and loving our neighbor… But WAIT! We are not under the law any more, we have been freed from it! In Hebrews 7 we are told, the priesthood has changed and if that happened, then the law must have changed to allow it. (Verse 12) It also tells us that the old requirement of becoming a priest was weak and useless. (Verse 18) A new covenant was established by God as all covenants are, that Jesus would be a priest forever, because he lives forever. (Verses 21 & 24) Jesus does not need to offer sacrifices because he offered himself once and for all as the ultimate sacrifice. (Verse 27) So what is the new covenant that the Bible speaks of? A covenant is a law or set of laws of agreement. Here it is:

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds [even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding], And engrave them upon their hearts [effecting their regeneration]. And I will be their God , And they shall be My people. “And it will not be [necessary] for each one to teach his fellow citizen, Or each one his brother, saying, ‘Know [by experience, have knowledge of] the Lord,’ For all will know [Me by experience and have knowledge of] Me, From the least to the greatest of them. “For I will be merciful and gracious toward their wickedness, And I will remember their sins no more.” When God speaks of “A new covenant,” He makes the first one obsolete. And whatever is becoming obsolete (out of use, annulled) and growing old is ready to disappear. – Hebrews 8:10-13 AMP

The house of Israel is not just natural Israel, but also includes the church as a whole. Here is a short definition to explain (not all those that draw their bodily descent from Israel are true Israelites, i.e. are those whom God pronounces to be Israelites and have gone through salvation). What was the last verse? The old covenant, the Mosaic covenant which many Christians live under in error today is obsolete! Because Jesus freed us from the law. And if you have trouble believing that, I can give you a litany of verses to back it up. Let me give a few:

Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. – Romans 6:14

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

For the Christ is the end of the law. And because of him, God has transferred his perfect righteousness to all who believe. – Romans 10:4

First, let me address, that many churches and religions today have created laws and traditions, which were never intended by God. We are not meant to live by these laws, but by grace. Also, this generation and many generations before us were not born under the law, but we and many before act as if we were. Now on to the above verses.

Those are all powerful verses, let me reiterate them. We do not have to let sin control us if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we live under God’s Grace, which shows us what sins we need to eliminate and sometimes this is a process. Jesus was born during the law but through his flogging, death, and resurrection, we received healing and freedom from the law. If we accept him as Savior, we become sons of God. Jesus Christ ended the law and through him when we believe on him, we receive God’s righteousness. That is humbling to think that when God looks at us, he does not see a sinner, but he sees an adopted son or daughter, he sees a righteous human being. We are no longer judged by the law, but we are given Grace and have been redeemed through Jesus Christ. If that doesn’t make you want to shout and give thanks, I don’t know what would!

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.  Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. – Romans 8:31-34

Loved, Accepted, & Worthy!

Many times I’ve heard people say they don’t feel worthy of love from someone else, either they don’t feel good enough for certain friends or to be in a relationship with a certain person. I wish that I could help them know that isn’t how God sees them! God sees us as his children, created in his image, his beloved. God shows no favoritism between his children as some parents do. He wants all of us to succeed. There are several verses that tell us that God is no respecter of persons. Romans 2:11-16; Galatians 2:6; Acts 10:34-43; 1 Peter 1:17 are all examples of how God does not choose favorites.

 

I understand when a person has been raised in a family where one or both parents were not loving or were absent, that it’s hard to conceptualize God as a loving Father. But that is just who God is — a loving and compassionate parent. It is in these situations, that we must not compare God to our parents, but see God as the parent that ours should have been, which is kind, compassionate, caring, loyal, trustworthy, nurturing, and always present when we need him. If he weren’t, could he have sent his own son to die on a cross like a criminal so that we could be restored to fellowship with him? Just think of how Adam and Eve had so much ease with God in the garden to speak with him and to fellowship. He wants that for each of us. He wants to take us back to a garden experience.

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Jesus made a new way for us to regain that experience and covenant by making a new covenant through his death, burial, and resurrection. He also gave us a new commandment in John 13:34 to love each other as he loved the church. Jesus became our once and for all sacrifice for sin. Jesus was the perfect lamb who did away with sacrifices with his ultimate sacrifice in death. He did away with the law by replacing it with grace, love, and truth. Jesus loved without measure, he healed those who were thought to be unable to be healed, he loved the untouchables, he loved the outcasts, he dined with sinners, he ate with those others felt unworthy, he spoke to those many thought beneath him. Jesus showed no favoritism in his communication with people. He only grew angry and frustrated with those who led people astray in Biblical teachings or profited from others by kicking out the thieves in the temple. He showed mercy to the man next to him on the cross, telling him that he was forgiven. If all of these people were able to fellowship with Jesus, how can anyone else feel unworthy? There is no calamity, no illness, no sin that separates us from God.

We are adopted into his sheepfold, like a shepherd guards his sheep. He gathers us tenderly and takes care of us, if we are willing to allow him to do so. We are all worthy and it doesn’t matter where we came from, what our past is or was, as long as we put it behind us from this day forward, Jesus’ arms are open. God adopts us, he takes us in, we are his, and we are worthy of anything anyone else is. It doesn’t matter what people have said to us that contradicts that over the years. Whatever contradicts what or who God says we are, is a lie. 

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us… And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:31-34 &38

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:15-17

 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 1John 5:1

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. John 1:12-13

Jesus was born of God as a man. We are born of a man and may be reborn as a child of God. We can become joint heirs with Jesus Christ and obtain all that inheritance encompasses. I will share what our inheritance is in a future blog. But for now, be accepted, feel loved, and feel worthy of all that God has for you in this life. You are a precious child of God. 

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The Garden Covenant?

God is not chaos; He never has been. He is the one who put things in order. The Creator of this universe, the one who hung the stars and created man; how could that be chaos? The chaos and disease comes from man, starting when we listened to a serpent and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We broke the rules, we usurped authority and have been doing so ever since. We have polluted His divine order. Each generation has corrupted it more and more. A generation in the Bible is 40 years. When it says, “this generation shall not pass” then that portion it is referring to, has already occurred. Think about that when you read the Bible.

Look at the Abrahamic covenant which was between God and Abraham. The only requirement was for Abraham to love God. The Mosaic covenant was one that the Hebrew people asked for, many times referred to as ‘the rules on rocks’ or the Ten Commandments. The Hebrews had rejected the Abrahamic covenant and Moses was trying to rescue his people from their idol worship and sins. When Moses came down from the mountain with the commandments, he saw them worshipping the golden calf and many living in sin. Moses broke the commandments out of frustration. It was a covenant that Moses had asked for, not God, but God in his sovereignty, made a covenant with man as arbiter and punisher, not God’s desire. Other covenants followed this one.

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Erroneously, modern day man looks at the Mosaic covenant or ten commandments – a covenant between God and the Hebrews, as the law on how to live one’s life. God redeemed the Hebrews/Israelis and everyone from the law when he sent Jesus to rescue us from the Mosaic covenant. We don’t have a set of rules to follow, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

Luke 22:20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people-an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” John 16:7-9 “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.” John 14:17 “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

God made a New Covenant with man that was (simplified version) if we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we would live an eternal life. This returns us to God’s original purpose — for man to fellowship with God and love Him, very similar to the Abrahamic covenant, but more to the point, to the garden experience. We are joint heirs with Christ, born from above. Just as was said in the beginning, “let us create man in our own image.”

Hebrews 9:11-15 But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come [that is, true spiritual worship], He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not a part of this [material] creation. He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior]. For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God?For this reason He is the Mediator and Negotiator of a new covenant [that is, an entirely new agreement uniting God and man], so that those who have been called [by God] may receive [the fulfillment of] the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has taken place [as the payment] which redeems them from the sins committed under the obsolete first covenant. 

Of course, we can look to the ten commandments as a guideline to follow, but the perfect guide is the Holy Spirit, who shows us how to lead our lives when we submit to him. How do we do this? By knowing his voice. By following that conviction we have when we feel that we shouldn’t do something. That conviction is the Holy Spirit telling us not to be involved, not to say certain things, and not to act in a particular way. The more we listen, the more ‘in tune’ we become with his urging and guidance. We walk in the garden covenant, we know when God is near, which is always. We know how to answer every man, we walk in communion with the Holy Spirit and we start to see and use the vision of Jesus, because we see with the eyes of God, because we have the mind of Christ. We have been transformed to our original purpose and the material things of this world matter less and less. 

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.