You will know the truth and the truth will set you free
How to Follow Jesus in a New Live — The Old Testament Law, Faith and Grace, or the Moral Law?
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· The Old Testament Law, Faith and Grace in Christ, or the Moral Law?
· Jesus’ Atonement in our place Forever Removed the Ceremonial/Sacrificial Atonement of the Old Testament The Law
· ► Jesus Commands Obedience to All the Moral-Law Precepts as described in Scripture, (Jn. 14:15; 13:34!)
· Jesus’ Believers Follow Him by Attentively Adhering to Everything He said in His New Testament Covenant Word
THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW, THE MORAL LAW, OR FAITH AND GRACE IN CHRIST?
► To answer this most important question, we must first understand the difference between God’s NATIONAL, Old Testament Covenant with the Hebrew nation in the land of Israel through the Ceremonial Temple Law, opposed to His eternal, spiritual, New Testament Covenant with every sincere believer GLOBALLY through the Lord Jesus Christ, (John 3:16.)
Man DISOBEYED God’s Law “not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and pulled all humans into a state or position of spiritual death, sin, separation from God, bondage to the devil, and cursedness, (Rom. 5:12! Gal. 3:10-14.)
Under the Old Testament Covenant, only OBEDIENCE to God’s ENTIRE LAW could atone for their transgressions so that the Hebrews, through prophets such as Moses and Elijah AND the continual ceremonial ministrations of their temple priesthood, could communicate with God and live in a relationship with Him, (Deut. Chapter 28; Heb. 1:1-14.) The Law was The Way to God for only the Hebrew nation. All the other nations were Gentiles and excluded from God’s temple salvation, (Jn. 1:1-14.)
► It is equally important to understand that Moses’ Law WAS IN TWO SEPARATE, BUT INTERLOCKING PARTS.
1. OBEDIENCE to the ceremonial/sacrificial Law dealt with Israel’s PHYSICAL temple sacrifices, ceremonies, sabbaths, feasts, etcetera, to ATONE FOR THEIR SINS through the ministrations of temple priests, (Lev. 17:11! Jn. 19:28-30!)
Although the blood of sinless animal sacrifices pointed towards Jesus, (John 1:29 KJV,) the Sinless Second Adam and the Perfect Lamb of God Who was to come, to this day, “by the works of The [ceremonial/sacramental] Law NO FLESH will be JUSTIFIED. Justification means, ‘to be found totally innocent by fulfilling all the requirements of the Law, to atone for all of man’s transgressions of The Law,’ (Gal. 5:3; Jam. 2:10.) The Hebrews faltered to keep all the precepts of The (ceremonial temple) Law to be justified, or to come into a right standing with God. This failure brought him the curse and God’s judgement, (Deuteronomy Chapter 28; Gal. 3:10-14; 2:17-21.)
2. OBEDIENCE to The INWARD Moral Law was the second part of The Law. It still deals with the behavior of not just the Hebrews but of all humanity, to PROVE THEIR FAITH IN, AND RESPECT AND LOVE FOR GOD, (Mt. 7:16; Rom. 2:15! Jn. 14:15!)
So, under the Old Testament Covenant, the Israelis had to adhere to all the precepts of the Moral Law as well, “You will not commit idolatry, witchcraft, murder, lie, steal, fornicate…” (Full obedience to both the ceremonial and the Moral law was mandatory. The Hebrews had to live morally and holy in obedience to The [whole] Law. Leviticus Chapters 19-20 list the many precepts of the Moral Law. It begins with revering God as holy and teaches HOW TO LIVE HOLY to glorify Him!
3. As obedience to all this was impossible for humans who were born into a spiritual state of sin, the HEBREWS ALSO LIVED BY GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE, (Ps. 84:11; 51:1-4… Lev. 5:1-6; 6:1-5!) God FORGAVE their transgressions of The Law on the SINCERE CONFESSION of sin, AND wholehearted REPENTANCE FROM SIN, while the priests CONSTANTLY MADE ATONEMENT FOR THEIR SIN through the prescribed offerings OF THE CEREMONIAL/SACRIFICIAL LAW, (Lev. 17:11; Isa. 1:13-20!)
JESUS’ FULL ATONEMENT FOREVER REMOVED THE CEREMONIAL ATONEMENT Of THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW
As perfect obedience to The Law was impossible, the ceremonial atonement of the Law through human priests in a literal temple had to be continuous and remained on a physical level. And so, “the First Covenant [was not] faultless. Place [was] sought for a second [Perfect] Covenant. Finding fault with them, God said, ‘Behold, the days are coming [when the Sinless Jesus will atone IN FULL for all humanity at the cross. That is how] I will make a New [ETERNAL, INTERNATIONAL] Covenant with [all true believers everywhere on earth...]’ In that He said ‘a New Covenant,’ He has made the First Covenant obsolete. The [entire] Old Covenant [with Israeli’s and the ministrations of their temple priests,] vanished away,” (Heb. 8:7-13.)
· The crucified, resurrected “Jesus Christ came as [Eternal] High Priest… [and as] the Perfect, Spiritual Tabernacle not made with hands and not of this creation, (Acts 7:44-50!) Not with the [perpetual, ceremonial part of the Old Covenant Law to atone for the sin of Israeli’s,] but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place [in heaven] ONCE and FOR ALL; having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION [FOR ALL true believers globally, not just for the Hebrews...] If the blood of [innocent animals made holy as a symbol of Jesus The Lamb,] how much more will the blood [or full atonement] of Jesus… cleanse your consciences from the dead works [of the constant practices of the Ceremonial Law,] to serve the Living God [as completely redeemed, saved, holy believers in Christ?]” (Heb. 9:11-15; Eph. 1:7-12; Jn. 3:16-17!)
It was on the physical or natural level where the sacrifices of the ceremonial Law had to be performed over and over again, (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 8:-7-13!) But after Jesus fulfilled the whole Law once, for always, and for all true believers globally, (both the ceremonial and the Moral Law and everything that pertained to it,) people can only be JUSTIFIED as non-Law-breakers by personal faith in Jesus and by fully accepting Him, (Gal. 5:1-6! Jn. 19:28-30!)
· JESUS HIMSELF IS THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD, (Jn. 3:16-17.) It is not Jesus plus the ceremonial Law that redeems, saves, and blesses. Jesus did everything The Law commanded to forever fulfill all the requirements of the entire Law as Eternal Atonement in the place of all sincere believers. No human being has to keep any ceremonial or ‘saving, sacramental’ church law ever again! And the following is the huge responsibility God gave every person on earth. “Anyone who rejected Moses’ Law dies without mercy… How much worse punishment… will he [receive] who trample [Jesus] underfoot by counting the blood of the New Covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insult the Spirit of Grace [to return to the now worthless, annulled, ceremonial/sacrificial Law - and even to complete lawlessness, as in the dangerous once-saved-always-saved dogma!]” (Heb. 10:28-29; Gal. 2:17-21; 5:1-6!)
· That is why Jesus is the Only Truth, Life, and Way to heaven! Jesus’ full atonement for all of humanity’s transgressions of The Law that caused their lostness, bondage, cursedness, griefs, sorrows, lack of peace, and sicknesses, utterly removed the perpetual atonement of the Old Covenant through the ceremonial part of The Law, (Isa. 53:3-5.)
· “Therefore, WHOEVER BREAKS ONE of [Jesus’ completed works, words, or New Covenant commandments,] and TEACHES MEN SO, will be [judged.] For unless your [full, spiritually born again righteousness in Christ, Colossians 2:9-10,] exceeds the [temple] righteousness of the Pharisees, [which they obtained through continual sacrifices and ceremonies,] YOU will BY NO MEANS ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN,” (Mt. 5:17-20.)
· Under Jesus’ perfect atonement of the New Covenant, the efforts of both Jews and New Covenant believers to keep The Law TO JUSTIFY THEMSELVES, only keep them under the curse and God’s judgement, (Deut. Chapter 28; Gal. 3:10-14; 2:17-21.) Everyone who accepts either Israeli or ceremonial so-called ‘saving CHURCH SACRAMENTS’ such as ‘circumcision,’ is obligated to keep The whole ceremonial and Moral Law,]” (Jam. 2:10; Gal. 5:3.)
JESUS COMMANDED OBEDIENCE TO ALL THE MORAL-LAW PRECEPTS AS DESCRIBED IN SCRIPTURE
It is crucial to understand that Jesus totally removed ALL the temporal, continuous sacrifices of the outward CEREMONIAL LAW as the Once-off, Sinless Lamb of God, (Jn. 1:29 KJV.) Jesus and His complete atonement, (His New Testament Covenant,) constitute the FULL RIGHTEOUSNESS of all true believers worldwide, (Heb. 8:1-13; Jn. 3:16-17!)
The crucified, risen Jesus became the Mediator of His Better [spiritual, New] Covenant; established on [eternal] promises.” He is Eternally God, King, and High Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek. Every sincere believer now has His everlasting spiritual Kingdom “within” him or her, (Luke 17:21-22 KJV! 1 Cor. 6:15-20; Jn. 18:36!) Every true believer is a spiritual priest, part of His spiritual temple, a member of His spiritual body and bride, and of His spiritual HOLY nation, (Jn. 19:28-30; Heb. 8:1-13; Chapters 7-9; 1 Pt. 2:9-10; Gal. 3:28!) God will never live in a “temple made with human hands” again, (Acts 7:44-50.) Hence, He will not tolerate any so-called “atoning” ceremonial or sacramental Israeli or church law to replace or add to Jesus’ full atonement. He will not sanction any return to anything of the physical old nation, country, and temple of Israel. Everything is spiritual in His international, Eternal New Covenant. So, those who attempt to be justified by The Law and manmade church sacraments, or by a return to Israel and its physical temple, “are estranged from Christ. They have fallen from Grace [or from Jesus and His full atonement.]” (Gal. 5:1-6.)
· OBEDIENCE TO THE MORAL LAW IS NOW JESUS’ ONLY NEW TESTAMENT COVENANT COMMANDMENT, (Mt. 22:36-40; Jn. 13:34!) All the many precepts of The Moral law now governs Jesus eternal, spiritual Kingdom, living temple, and holy body or bride, (Lev. Chapters 19-20!) All His teachings in the Gospels and those of the apostles in the Epistles, (His Word,) rest on obedience to the inward Moral Law, which is self-sacrificial “love” (agape) in deed and truth for God, humanity, and ourselves, (Gal. 2:18-21; Heb. 10:16 KJV; Jn. 13:34!)
Ž ‘LOVE’ in itself is humanism that means nothing. TRUE GODLY LOVE IS OBEDIENCE TO JESUS’ NEW COVENANT WORD; AND OBEDIENCE TO JESUS’ NEW COVENANT WORD IS TRUE, GODLY LOVE FOR HIM. “Love” for God or ‘agape:’ Holy-Spirit led Moral deeds according to the full contextual Truth of Scripture, is not an option or a mere feeling, but willing obedience to Him under all circumstances. ► Hence, the Lord commanded, “If you love Me, keep my [New Testament/Covenant/Moral Law] commandments… He who keeps My commandments, it is he who loves Me… He who does NOT love Me does NOT keep My words...” (Jn. 14:15, 21,24.) ► “If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples,” (Jn. 8:31) ► “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love Him, and We will come to him and make Our home in him,” (Jn. 14:23.) “God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him,” (Acts 5:32.) ►►► “Blessed are those who do [or obey] His commandments, that they may have the [privilege to go to [heaven.] For outside heaven are dogs [lazy sleepers,] sorcerers, [who conjure up what they want to believe to do their own will, 1 Sam. 15:22-23,] sexually [and other types of] immoral people, murderers, [who hate Truth and Truth-seekers: 1 John 3:15,] idolaters, [who love men, themselves, and sinful pleasure more than Me, Mt. 10:37,] AND WHOEVER LOVES AND PRACTICES A LIE,” (Rev. 22:14-15.)
In the Light of all of the above, it is evident that “those who pervert the Gospel are accursed… They seek to please man, not God. But if I please men, I cannot be a bondservant of Christ,” (Gal. 1:6-10!) Let us always remember that Jesus IS The Truth. Love Truth; Love Jesus! Hate Truth; Hate Jesus!
· As Jesus completely fulfilled every precept of the Whole Law in our place, even our Moral-Law obedience ‘earns’ us nothing from God. Just like the Old Testament Hebrews, we live by GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE because we cannot keep all the precepts of the Moral Law. But that does not diminish God’s commandment to STRIVE to live wholly in the ETERNAL RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus Christ, while our obedience to the entire Moral Law is a personally born-again lifestyle and choice “to live holy, for God is Holy!” (Lu. 13:24; Acts 14:22; Jam. 4:4-8; 1 Pt. 1:15-17!) We must underscore the fact that true believers live holy and follow the indwelling Holy Spirit as the body, bride, and living temple of the Holy Spirit to glorify God and serve the members of His body, who all belong to His eternal spiritual Kingdom “within” them through the indwelling Holy Spirit, (Lu. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 6:15-20 KJV!) Besides glorifying God with every breath, decision, and deed, true believers still have to ‘prove’ their integrity, sincerity, loyalty, and “love” (agape in deed and truth) for God, other people, and themselves, just as in the Old Testament. Exactly as in the Old Testament that pertained only to the Old Hebrews, the Moral Law is still written on the ‘hearts and minds’ of everyone, and stipulated right through the Truth of Scripture, (Lev. 19 chapters 19-20! 1 Pt. 1:13-19!)
JESUS’ BELIEVERS FOLLOW HIM CLOSELY BY ATTENTIVELY ADHERING TO EVERYTHING HE SAID IN HIS NEW TESTAMENT COVENANT WORD
All Jesus’ words in the full contextual truth of His Word, the Bible, is The Truth, (Mt. 28:19.) Jesus Himself Is The Word Of God, (Jn. 1:1-4.) Everything we need to know about God and how to love or actually Him, other people, and ourselves is written in the full context of the Bible. The whole Bible must be interpreted from the perspective of the New Testament Covenant in Christ, as the Old Testament Covenant was “done away with” on a physical level, (Heb. 8:1-13.) God does millions of things for us mystically and supernaturally, but our spiritual safety in Christ and our mind growth in Him is our own, personal responsibility, which we achieve by following Jesus or actually by obeying Him in the truth of the Scriptures and in the leading of the Holy Spirit, (Jude 1:20-25.)
Jesus’ believers are spiritually so “complete in Him:” it is as if they have never transgressed The Law, (Col. 2:9-10! Jn. 1:12-14; 3:16-17; Gal. 2:16-21; 5:1-6!) This is how perfect Jesus’ full atonement in our place is, (Isa. 53:3-5.) However, soulically or on a mind level, “they must [constantly,] BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, present their BODIES as living sacrifices to Him. [So, they must live HOLY through Jesus’ atonement and follow a holy lifestyle in Christ to be] acceptable to God. This is their reasonable service [to Him.] Thus, they must NOT be conformed to [the sins, dogmas, and lifestyles of the political and religious world, 1 John 5:18-19,] but be transformed [in thoughts, beliefs, and lifestyle,] by the renewing of their minds, to know what is the… perfect will of God [to OBEY Him according to His Word and in Holy-Spirit leading... So, they must constantly] “GROW [on a mind level] in GRACE and KNOWLEDGE of [His] Word to glorify Him forever,” (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Pt. 3:18.) We can do nothing by ourselves. We live, grow, obey, and follow Jesus by His GRACE! (Jn. 14:15.)
· Thus, “[unrepentedly disobedient ‘believers’ sin premeditated,] being disobedient to [Jesus’ New Covenant] Word, to which [all His disciples] were appointed. But [those who earnestly strive to obey Him “stumble” without the intention to sin, (James 3:2.) So they, being truly sincere with God,] are His chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a HOLY [spiritual] nation, His own special people, that they may proclaim the praises, [Gospel and True Word] of Him Who called them OUT of darkness INTO His marvelous Light... They became [spiritual] children of God… Who were [reborn not from physical things...] but from God… [John 3:3-5.] And of His FULLNESS [all true disciples] have received, AND GRACE FOR GRACE. For The Law was given through Moses, but GRACE AND [New Covenant] TRUTH came through Jesus Christ,” (Jn. 1:12-17.)
· Although obedience to the Moral Law in itself does not save, redeem, or bless us as we have all those attributes only through the rebirth in Jesus, we must strive to obey God’s Moral, New Testament Commandments as far as humanly possible. ► “[Everything was] written [because] we may NOT sin. [But if anyone [falters or “stumbles” and falls before God’s Throne of Grace,] we have an Advocate, [High Priest or Mediator,] Jesus the Righteous… ► By this we know that we know Him, if we [sincerely and honestly strive to] keep His [New Covenant, Moral] commandments. ► He who says I know Him,” and does not [strive to] keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. ► But whoever [sincerely endeavours] to keep His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By his [attitude to live in obedience and Moral holiness, we know that we are in Him. HE WHO SAY HE ABIDES IN HIM ought himself also [fully strive] to [live] just as Jesus [lived,]” (1 Jn. 2:1-6.) This illustrates Jesus’ Word perfectly when He said, “You will know them by their [constant] fruit, [which proves their true character,] (Mt. 7:16.)
Many deceivers, Jesus said, have gone out into the world. We must be careful not to be deceived, (Mt. 24:1-14.) We must, therefore, flee from anything that diverts our attention from Jesus Himself and from the Truth of His Word. God commanded us not to “believe every spirit [speaking into our thoughts, or through ‘prophets,’ teachers, preachers, and other people,] but to “test the spirits [and the constant fruit of people] to see if they are [really from God,] (1 Jn. 4:1-4.) God gave us this commandment to keep us safe in Him. This is why Paul also wrote, “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil,” (1 Ths. 5:21-22.) This means, if anyone gives you a verse or two or even a chapter to sustain what they say, read the previous and following verses as well to find the true context. Consider whether it is written in the Old or New Testament, and remember it is vital to always interpret everything from the viewpoint of the New Covenant in Christ. Everything, even Scripture itself, must fit into the “entire” truth of the New Covenant to be true and relevant to our lives in Jesus, (Ps. 119:160.)
· The rebirth of the human spirit occurs instantly when we sincerely accept Jesus as our personal Savior. However, the new life in Christ, which follows the rebirth, is a process wherein the fallen soul or mind of the believer is systematically “renewed” or “transformed” through growing in knowledge of the Scriptures and in obedience to the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who leads us into the “all truth” of the Bible, (Rom. 12:1-3; Jn. 16:7-11; 1 Pet. 1:23.)
· This rational, disciplined, systematic renewal of the mind is necessary, because the believer must increasingly understand and do the will of God until the soul/mind/thoughts, just as the born again spirit, is under the total control of the Holy Spirit. Although God wrote all the requirements of His Moral Law on the human spirit or “heart,” these commandments need to flow to the conscious level of the soul. If we do not understand God’s will, we will not be able to obey Him, and the aim of our born again life on earth is to live an obedient life, which will glorify Jesus, (Heb. 8:10; 1 Jn. 2:3-6,10; 3:10.)
This transformation of the soul is, therefore, not the same as conformation. In fact, Scripture forbids conformation, which means to submit to man-made church doctrines, (Rom. 12:1-3.) Conformation pertains to artificial beliefs and the legalistic acts of churches and other religions. Although catechetic church conformation might “hold a form of godliness,” it is definitely a stranger to the spiritual Kingdom and power of God, (Mt. 15:6-9; 2 Tim. 3:5.)
To simply join a church and to be ‘converted’ by the acceptance of their mostly unscriptural doctrines and rituals, is to follow “the recruitments of the world” and the “tradition of men,” (Col. 2:8.) Conversion can never bring the human spirit to experience the Scriptural rebirth, (1 Ths. 5:23.) Thus, conversion can never renew or “transform” the mind or soul. Conversion consists of church-membership without real knowledge of God’s Word and consequently, without a real relationship with Christ. Therefore, nobody should be ‘converted to the faith,’ but everyone must be spiritually born again by true faith in, and obedience to Christ. Therefore, the constant, lifelong renewal of the soul and active, decisive, obedient discipleship in Christ are just as important as the perfect rebirth of the spirit, (Col. 2:9-10.)
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