Are we under the Covenant of Law, the Covenant of Grace or are we under both Covenants? “Jesus answered and said, ”I say unto you with absolute certainty that everyone engaging in the distorted mindset of sin is a slave to it!” (Sin is not about things you do or don’t do, sin is missing out on son ship). The difference between the slave and the son is that the slave only works there; for the son the father’s house is home! With the freedom found in sonship there is no pretense” (John 8:34-36)
My own struggle with hearing a mixed message of law and grace began when I was a youth. What I heard were things like “you are saved by grace and now you better not mess that up,” or “God is really mad at you when you behave that way.” The messages were always layered in fear and coated with the idea that we need to love God with all our hearts. The belief that I needed to fear God never set well with me, and the teaching that I needed to tremble in my boots regarding a God that I was supposed to love with all my heart seemed wacky to say the least. As I grew older, I was utterly confused. This mixed message that I had heard in my youth led to many years of attempting to run as fast and as far away from the God I had been told about. It nearly killed me.
For “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and “Love keeps no record of wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:5) So why would we fear a God who “sees us as perfect?” (Hebrews 10:14) This confusion comes from a mixture of both covenants or the belief that we are under even one iota of the law of Moses.
All along God wanted the Israelites to know that His love was unconditional, however,out of fear and confusion they rejected it. They feared God by not knowing His love. The more they tried to prove their love for God the more laws they continued to place on themselves. What started out as 10 laws eventually became 613 rules. The result of their labors were devastating, death reigned and freedom was an illusion. “Jesus came to set the captives free.” (Luke 4:18) We are not bound by the law but are basking in his freedom.
There are five major covenants detailed throughout the Bible. These covenants are between God and Noah, God and Abraham, God and David, the Old Covenant between God and Moses/Israelites and the New Covenant between God the Father and Jesus. Throughout the Bible, God laid out the picture of who he was, how much he loved us, and how much we needed Jesus. From the Garden of Eden everything points to the need to know we are perfect in God’s eyes.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (see Genesis 2) the thought or belief that we aren’t good enough for God has produced bad fruit. All along God wanted the Israelites to know that His love was unconditional but out of fear and confusion they rejected it. They feared God because they did not know His love. The deadly fruit was in full harvest when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments and ordered the death of over 3000 people for what he believed was displeasing to God. (See Exodus 32) The more the Israelites tried to prove their love for God the more laws and rules they placed on themselves. Again, what started out as 10 laws eventually had 613 rules added to them. The results of their labors were devastating, death reigned and freedom was an illusion.
“Jesus came to set the captives free.” (Luke 4:18) King David longed for the day when God would pardon all and keep no record of anything that mankind had done wrong. That day came the moment Jesus was raised from the dead. The law of Moses (Old Covenant) died on the Cross and was buried with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. We have been born into the (New Covenant) at the moment of Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrection brought us all back into the royal family. We don’t need to worry about praying enough to please God, we are already pleasing. He designed us in His perfection and nothing we can do will ever change that.
We are not bound by the law but are basking in the freedom we have in Christ. The vicious cycle of mixing the covenants still raises its ugly head any time the Law is preached. “It is an insult to the grace of God to prefer Moses to Jesus! If the law could justify you then Jesus wasted his time dying your death!” (Galatians 2:21) The message that we need to add something to Christ’s finished work, places us back under the veil of fear, guilt, and shame “The influence of the flesh is obvious: wherever a legalistic judgmental attitude prevails, sexual sins are rampant! Anything goes: adultery, filth, and outrageous licentiousness; such as idolatry, which is worshipping a distorted image of oneself, drugs, hatred, constant conflict, jealous suspicion, violent outbursts of rage, everyone for himself in a cut-throat competitive world, trampling on others to get to the top, dissension, heresy, and manipulating people’s minds with false teachings. Consumed with envious self pity, murder, drunken stupor, intoxicated licentiousness and lust, with all the quarrels and jealousy it ignites. As I have stated before: those who are practicing this kind of lifestyle have nothing in common with the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
When the New Covenant of Grace is shared, people are set free as it was intended from the formation of the world. “Those who are led by the spirit (of faith) are free from the law (of personal performance). (Galatians 5:18) “The Spirit finds expression in love, joy, peace, endurance, kindness goodness, faith, gentleness, self control (spirit strength). Legalism can neither match nor contradict this. There is no law against love! (Love does not compete with law; love is extravagant in its exhibition of the Christ life. (Galatians 5:22-23)
In total contrast to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the tree of life (JESUS) bears fruit effortlessly consistent with the life of our original design! God is love and he would never want any of his children to perish or suffer. He is our ABBA Father and we benefit from His love when we know we are loved unconditionally.
The apostle Paul warned us not to be fooled by anyone who says the Gospel is anything but too good to be true news. The Covenant of Grace, which is the covenant we are living under, is not the Mosaic Law! Jesus fulfilled all of the law, and cut a New Covenant with our Father in heaven on our behalf. The New Covenant has no commandments, no list of rules, no laws and it lasts forever. There is no fear of God when we know the good news. We now stand in awe of His amazing supernatural love. We don’t believe that Jesus is our shield from God, we believe that Jesus is our husband. We don’t buy into the teaching that the Holy Spirit is going to convict us in anything other way than how perfect we are in Jesus.
The Gospel Jesus told the Apostles to proclaim is always filled with love, more love, and seasoned with His light of the world. The New Covenant is completely good news. The New Covenant is between Jesus and the Father, and can never be broken. The Covenant we live in is for our freedom from stress, worry, fear, and anxiety. God loves us so much that He came in the flesh to serve us and bring everyone back into the family. We are His children, He sings praises over us. His heartbeat is our heartbeat, His reflection is our reflection. We are His creation and each one of us is pleasing and perfect to Him! The law died on the Cross and we have been set FREE!
In Blessings and Love,
Kurt & Katy