Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Response to SJS (Jack) [How Do We Know What Covenant We Are Keeping?]


My apologies; sometimes life just gets hectic and you can’t get things done as soon as you would like.

You said I answered incompletely with a partial quote from Hebrews 8:7 by not including V8. As I see it Verse eight says the same thing.

If there had been nothing wrong with the first, no place would have been sought for another
By saying ‘fault was found with the people’, it is saying there is fault with the OC. What I mean is, it shows what’s wrong with the OC, that it could not be kept perfectly, therefore condemning man; Gal 3:10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."
It is not mans fault that we are sinful. No man is without sin. We were sold as slaves to sin; Rom 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
Only by keeping the OC perfectly can one be found righteous, but since no man is without sin – it shows that no man can keep it flawlessly. If there was nothing wrong with the OC and the fault was solely that of the people, it would mean people are capable of being without sin, that is; perfect, and therefore, could be found righteous by flawless observance of the OC, but that simply is not possible.
With the OC one is responsible for his own salvation, and condemned for his sins, because under the OC there is no remission of sins, Christ does not pay our debt. If one gathered wood on the Sabbath, he was to be stoned to death, no mercy, no forgiveness, and now that he has sinned he is condemned [Nu. 15:32-36]. He will not inherit the kingdom.
Since it’s not possible to be without sin, if God is to have a family, there must be another way for the debt to be paid, which the perfect Christ Jesus paid in our stead.
With the NC there is mercy and forgiveness, remission of sins. If we confess our sins, he will forgive us from all unrighteousness. [1 Jn. 1:19].
The OC did its job, it revealed sin, and it led us to Christ, through whom salvation could be gained.
Rom 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
Rom 6:16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
Rom 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Rom 6:20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
Rom 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

430 years after Abraham
Abraham was pre-Moses, what law did he obey? The Ten Commandments, the Law of Moses, had not been given yet. What law did the fallen angels break? Any word from God’s mouth is law, but it is only law for the one(s) it is given. If he tells Moses & Aaron to deal with Pharaoh, then it is their law, no one else’s. If he tells the Israelites to do something(s), it is their law, no one else’s, unless God says so. If He tells Ezekiel to do some specific things with hair and cooking food with human excrement in the site of others, it is Ezekiel’s law and no one else’s.
Abraham’s law was whatever God told him to do, and God credited Abraham with righteousness by his faith. God had not given a contract of works; this did not come about until 430 years after Abraham. It went from Faith in Abraham’s day (earlier and later), to a law of Works at Sinai, and returned to Faith upon Christ’s sacrifice of his life on the cross, for the payment of the debt we incurred by our sins.
Again; Abraham was credited righteousness by faith. Then, with the out-of-control Israelites, he gave them rules to follow. It didn’t matter if their attitudes were undesirable - they just needed to do what they were told to do. After Christ came, it returned to faith.
The NC is heart and mind – inner law. The OC is hands – outer law, about doing, regardless of attitude.
Paul tells us that with God’s contract, as with a man’s contract, you cannot add to or take away. This tells us that the NC is NEW and not an altered OC or the same OC. If there is no NEW Covenant what was Jesus doing in Mt. 5?
He said, “You have heard [this thing] but I tell you [this other thing]. Was he undermining the OC or was he preparing them for the difference in the NC from that of the OC?
He was telling them that actions were not enough – that it was ONLY washing the outside and leaving the inside filthy. The OC did not require purity of heart and mind – only obedient actions. Of course the actions could not be done flawlessly – thus cursing those, who were subject to it, to eternal condemnation.

Jesus was showing the difference
He was showing that purity of heart and mind were of utmost importance – clean on the inside, also clean on the outside, unlike OC; clean on the outside only – filthy on the inside. Under the OC one is cut off from Christ and therefore there is no remission of sins. Only through the NC, through Christ, is there remission of sins; grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing.
So again, because the OC cursed man to eternal condemnation, the debt would have to be paid in a different way if God is to have a family. That is where Jesus came in. He would keep the OC law perfectly (impossible for anyone else – since no man is without sin) and thus be found pure, and therefore, worthy to pay man’s debt in full.
The OC proves we cannot save ourselves. All of this teaches us that we need God, that without him we are nothing, and can do nothing. We are saved ONLY by him; by his grace, mercy and forgiveness in the payment of our debt, by Christ Jesus.
The OC and NC are not the same covenant. God said it was a NEW covenant and he said the NC would not be like the old one. How can it be a NEW Covenant if the only thing that’s changed is that it is now written in the hearts and minds of the people? It can’t, not if it won’t be like the old one.
Our actions do not, and cannot, save us
But our belief, our faith produces actions. It is the belief, our faith that saves us.
Keeping Sabbath or a Saturday Sabbath, observing holy days – those don’t save us. Keeping TEN COMMANDMENTS don’t save us. There is NO action that can save us. Only by our belief and faith in Christ Jesus are we saved – because that means we acknowledge that our value is in his love for us, that without him we are nothing and can do nothing and that we accept HIS payment of OUR debt. No action can save us, because no man is without sin. The penalty for sin is death. There is NO way around it. The debt must be paid, so, either we pay it (eternal death), or Christ does (eternal life).
We all sin. If we fail in one single way, we are guilty. We are no less sinful than a murderer, or an adulterer or idolater. It doesn’t matter the sin – it all results in eternal death --- unless we believe in Christ Jesus, in which case, our debt is paid in full.
There are two different contracts
Jesus showed the difference in Mt.5, and we see that the Law of Moses has long been a stumbling block in; 2 Co. 3:1-18
V15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Were the Pharisees or teacher of the law on the path to the kingdom of God? No, MT. 5:20, 23:13.
Mt. 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The OC would have to be kept flawlessly –or- turn to Christ and the NC.
Mt. 23:13 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.