We No Longer Relate to God through the Law – Part 2
The new covenant is about having faith that Jesus has COMPLETELY RESTORED US BACK TO GOD and WALKING IN LOVE toward other people (1 John 3:23).
Galatians 3:10-11 & James 2:10-11 tell us the reason it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD by living according to the Law. Even if you were to keep 99% of the Law you would still go to hell for breaking the Law because it is not flexible to accommodate mistakes. We clearly see this where a man was stoned to death for breaking the Law by picking up sticks on a Sabbath day (Numbers 15:32-36).
As Christians we have thought that keeping the Law of Moses would make people see that we are God’s children. That was true for Israel. Jesus did not teach this to His disciples but to those who claimed to live by the Law of Moses.
We must not confuse what Jesus taught His disciples with what He said to the Scribes, the Pharisees, and the young rich ruler who claimed to live according to the Law. In Matthew 22:37-40 and Matthew 19:16-30 Jesus was not giving a kingdom teaching to His disciples, He was showing people who claimed to live by the Law how impossible it is to keep the whole Law.
To correctly interpret the Word one must know WHO WAS TALKING, TO WHO, AND WHEN. In John 13:34&35 Jesus was talking to His disciples. 1 John 3:23 tells us that what Jesus said in John 13:34 is the commandment we should follow as Christians.
This is what John 13:34-35 NLT says, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. YOUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER WILL PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES.”
If you love your neighbour you will not steal from him, you will not tell lies about him, you will not kill him, you will not commit adultery with his wife, etc. AS YOU FOLLOW THE NEW COMMANDMENT YOU WOULD NOT BREAK THE OLD COMMANDMENT IF IT WAS STILL APPLICABLE.
Under the new covenant we do not try to impress God by showing how much we love Him and people, we get empowered to love both God and people. We do not have the demand Israel had when they lived by the Law of Moses (Matthew 22:37-40). His love for us empowers/enables us to love both God and people (1 John 4:10&19). As we receive/experience His love for us we will be able to love Him back and love other people. The first thing that His love does to us is to cast out all fear for punishment for our wrong (1 John 4:18).
A child of God correctly relates with God through faith in what Jesus Christ did for him or her. Our good deeds (acts of love) are the product of our relationship with Him; not that our relationship with Him is the product of our good deeds. God is not interested in our attempt to gain acceptance before Him by keeping the law He gave to Israel to follow while they were waiting for the Messiah.
Galatians 3:23-25 NLT
Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, WE WERE PLACED UNDER GUARD BY THE LAW. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, UNTIL THE WAY OF FAITH WAS REVEALED. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian UNTIL CHRIST CAME; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
The Word of God says we must not mix faith in Jesus and the Law (Galatians 4:21-30). Verse 30 tells us to remove the Law from our relationship with God.
As you celebrate Christmas remember that the Law was given through Moses but GRACE and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Note that according to this verse the TRUTH is on the side of Grace; not the side of the Law.