Thursday, November 04, 2010

Christ and Christ Alone!

Heb.7: 18-19 - For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

II Cor.3: 5-11 - Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

he law was a schoolmaster, or a guide, that brought us to Jesus Christ. It was a glorious covenant that kept sinners locked up in faith until the New Covenant was established by the shed blood of the Divine Passover Lamb. But that Old Covenant was made with stone and had the aroma of death. It killed anyone who could not keep it perfectly, which was everyone. Do not think that the Old Testament saints were saved by the blood of bulls and goats; they were not. Those blood offerings were accepted by God as a prophetic looking glass that pictured the only sacrifice for sins, the Son of the Living God.

Notice the phrase “that which is done away”. There is no more law for the reborn child of God. He lives in the Spirit and through the power of Christ’s love. We are no longer bound by the Old Covenant and its many laws. Does that mean we are free to do what we please? Yes, but if you are a child of God be prepared for the consequences. You see we may be free in Christ, but that does not mean we should do whatever we please. We live to please our Heavenly Father. Our sonship does not hinge upon our adherence to the law, for if it did, we would all still be dead in our sins.

For Christ is the end of the law to all who believe.

ne of the greatest obstacles the Apostle Paul faced were Jews who attempted to drag parts of the law into the covenant of the Spirit. Using the word law Paul shows us the infinite difference in how we as Spirit indwelt believers live.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

he Old testament saints walked according to the law, but New Testament saints walk according to the Spirit. When someone insists the law is still in effect today, ask them what part of the law. Do we stone our children? Do we avoid working on Saturday? Is your pastor of Aaron’s lineage? And do not think that this issue is not an important one. Listen to these serious words from Paul:

Gal.5: 1-4 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

hrist shall profit you nothing?? That, my friends, is as serious as it gets. But many will say that of course no one can be saved by the law, but after salvation “parts” of the law come back into effect. Let’s see what Paul says about that.

Gal.3: 1-3 - O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

aul calls it witchcraft when anyone attempts to pin the law upon the believers in Christ, and he calls the Galatians “foolish” for incorporating the law into their walk of faith. Let me illustrate. A father loves his son, and a son loves his father. Now the father tells the son not to go into the shed in the back yard. Does the son demand a written, notarized copy of his father’s order including proof of who owns that shed? Then why does he not go into the shed? Because he loves and respects his father, and on some level fears him and his authority.

But what happens when a stranger goes into the backyard and enters the shed? The father comes out and has him arrested in accordance with the law of the community. The father does not know this stranger. But what if the father’s son goes into the shed? Does the father have his son arrested? No! The father corrects and punishes his son, but because he is his son he does not demand he be punished according to the law. But the stranger gets the law. You see, we not only have a covenant with the Father God, we are His sons. Oh my!! How glorious is that when you consider how selfish and sinful we were AND ARE?

Another example. A man drives down the highway and he sees the signs that say 60 mph and he knows it’s the law. But this man finds it difficult to always drive below that speed limit. Occasionally he gets a speeding ticket. But another man is driving on a highway where there are no speed limits, however the architect of the highway has implanted that man with a guide that tells him when he is going too fast. That man occasionally exceeds a safe speed, but he never gets a ticket since there is no law. In fact, when he drives too fast the inner guide’s voice becomes unbearable. And his unsaved passenger does not understand why this man just can’t go as fast as he wants, after all there is no speed limit.

I Pet.4:3-4 - 3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot

But should we sin that grace may abound? Paul makes it clear - absolutely not. But two things are also clear: If any believer sins he has an advocate with the Father. And if any believer sins without remorse he will be punished by the Father. And why will the Father chasten us? Because He loves us, not because we broke the law of Moses. I realize many believers use the law in their evangelism, but that is a false construct and contorts the gospel.

Acts 1:8 - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Jn.3:17 - For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

he Jews persecuted the early believers not because they preached the law, but because they refused to obey the law of Moses. Paul says all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. Christ has fulfilled the demands of the law perfectly, and He has imputed that unto us because we could not, nor can we obey it. James says if you break one part of the law you break the entire law. We cannot seek Christ through the dictates of the law. Only through the Spirit can we follow the Lord Jesus and worship Him in Spirit and in truth. To those who continue to embrace the law, you have strayed from Christ. We are free from the law and now our motive for personal righteousness in this world is Jesus, not the law of Moses. And if indeed the law of Moses was glorious in its time and purpose, what glory is there in knowing and loving the Risen Christ!!

Col.2:16-23 - 16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21(Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Gal.4:4-11 - 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

hould we return to the “beggarly elements” after we have known and been transformed by the Living Christ? Should we mesh that which kills with He who makes alive?? Oh dear ones, Christ will not share His glory with the dictates of the law, and in fact, He has triumphed over the entire law and ushered in a new and better covenant with new and better promises. And we have been born of the Spirit, made alive by the Spirit, led by the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, sealed with the Spirit, and been grafted into the True Vine by the Spirit. The law killed us, but the Spirit gave us His life. And just as God breathed into Adam the spirit of life, so has the Spirit breathed life into us who were dead in trespasses and sins.

While others may cry “The law, the law!!” let us cry louder “Christ and Christ alone!!”.


Victoria said...

Oh how these words have fed my soul and encouraged my spirit and stoked my love and provoked my gratitude this moring! I am a daughter, a daughter! He loves me and has made me His own by rebirth, and I please Him by living thus.

Steve said...

The garden-shed illustration will stick in my thinking: Thanks for it !

In Jesus, Steve