Are we under laws in the New Covenant of Christ?
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The Old Covenant that was established between God and the nation of Israel was a covenant of works. God promised to grant eternal life to anyone who perfectly kept the requirements of the Law that God gave to Israel, as recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. As summarized by Jesus in Mark 12:29-31, the Law can be reduced to two commandments: 1) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and 2) You shall love your neighbor as yourself. However, no one (except Jesus) has ever been capable of perfect obedience to even those two commandments. The New Covenant is a covenant of grace (undeserved favor) and faith -- grace on God's part, and faith on the Christian's part. God showed His grace by sending Jesus (who was both true God and true man) to live the sinless life that we could not; die an atoning death to pay the penalty of temporal death and eternal separation from God demanded by God for the sin of all humanity; and rise from the dead to live eternally as proof that Jesus' death had in fact fully paid that penalty. As a result, any individual who admits his own inability to perfectly keep God's Law, and who therefore places his faith in Jesus' death and resurrection to make him acceptable or righteous in God's sight, will be forgiven of his sin by God, and granted eternal life in God's presence because of his faith in Jesus. The Christian's obedience to God's commandments (which are still the same as when summarized by Jesus) can then proceed out of love, joy, and gratitude, rather than from fear of punishment (either temporal or eternal). Our responsibilities as Christians are to strive to achieve that obedience, with the help of God the Holy Spirit who is now living within each of us, and to seek and obtain God's forgiveness (for Jesus' sake) for those times in this life when we still fall short of perfect obedience.
In a short answer form, God's eternal sacrifice of His Only Begotten SON, JESUS CHRIST at that cruel, wicked cross a little over 2000 years ago was, is and forever will be ALL ABOUT GRACE! His never ending overflowing LOVE that He has for All of His Creation is beyond our actual mental comprehension to truly understand in our present state in the flesh: when we as His children, get to Heaven, then; we will fully comprehend/understand! The very central message and purpose of The New Testament is the written facts and eternal TRUTH revealed! By, from and IN JESUS CHRIST, we have His gift of Eternal Salvation. It is not earned nor based on anything that we can nor could work for to be approved in order to 'achieve'! His Grace is and always has been the ultimate Gift from our Creator. A gift has to be received. Simply stated is this: We are not under the laws of the Old Testament. We are freed from the law. Grace is God's eternal gift that sets us free from the bondage of and in the law which no one can achieve. No one has ever achieved perfection but our Lord Jesus Christ! He only is perfection! Grace was God's eternal gift that cannot be earned but only received as His gift of eternal life in Heaven! "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And His name is Jesus Christ!" ~~Andy~~
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah (Jer 31:31, Heb 8:8). Note that the new covenant is for the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, not you or I. Biblical Israel's new covenant will be established when Christ returns for His millennial reign on Earth (Rev 20:4-6). We today live under God's dispensation of grace (Eph 3:2), not under a covenant. Believers will be "caught up" with Christ in Heaven prior to His earthly return (1 Thes 4:17). Many confuse the bible's "New Testament" as being the new covenant, but God's new covenant remains prophetic as it has not yet been established or even meant for believers today, who are members of the church the body of Christ (Col 1:24, Eph 5:23). God now sees us in Christ, and not who we see when we look in the mirror! We have something much greater than a covenant as we are not under law, we live under God's grace (Rom 6:14). Our salvation simply requires faith in what Jesus Christ did on the cross on our behalf (Rom 3:28, 1 Cor 1:23). Christ paid for all of our sins (Rom 3:28, 1 Cor 15:3, Gal 2:20, Col 2:13, 2 Cor 5:19), and was buried and rose again for our justification (2 Cor 1:9, Rom 4:25). It is the free gift of God made possible by His grace (Rom 5:18), and our belief is acceptance of His free gift (Eph 2:8. Eph 1:13). Rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15), the gospel of our salvation (Eph 1:13), means to separate the gospel given to Paul from the gospel given to biblical Israel when studying the bible. Jesus' message while living and that of the 12 apostles were only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not us (Mat 10:5-6, Mat 15:24). Our doctrine is found in the 13 epistles of Paul, Romans through Philemon (Rom 3:21). Biblical Israel was required to do works under their covenant with God in 'times past' (Rom 11:6, James 2:24). Works today, with the belief that it is to obtain or maintain salvation, actually puts us in debt with God as this shows lack of faith in what Christ's death, burial, and resurrection means for us (Rom 4:4). True believers don't work in order to be saved, they work because they are saved (Eph 2:10, Eph 4:12). They desire to work for God once they realize what Christ did for them. When you’re a passenger in a vehicle, you have faith that the driver will safely get you to your destination. Jesus Christ is our ‘spiritual driver’ (Rom 5:10, Rom 8:32), and the holy Spirit, our 'spiritual seat-belt' (Eph 4:30), that seals our souls until the day of redemption at the moment of belief (Eph 1:13)! We can’t lose our salvation, but living as we should as Christians can still be difficult at times (Rom 7:23). We will certainly fail on occasion while Satan reigns in this present evil world (Gal 1:4, 2 Cor 4:4, Rom 7:24-25), but our resolve should never waver (2 Cor 7:1), as God’s love for us becomes more evident in our daily walk (2 Cor 13:14).
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