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~~
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