Written on Our Hearts
I had been a Christian believer for 23 years before I had the message of grace radically permeate my entire being and begin to change the way I had been seeing the Scriptures. It was both exciting and shocking as I began to wonder how I could have missed seeing so much and why I never heard some of these foundational truths about the gospel within the church walls.
Much of what we’ve been taught inside the Christian religion is based upon false assumptions. One of these misleading tenets which becomes a repetitious talking point is that God has written His laws upon our heart. It’s a true statement, but the misunderstanding comes with inaccurately concluding that it was referring to the commandments from the Old Covenant—such as “the Ten Commandments” or whatever rules and statutes we selectively choose from a very long list. Picking and choosing which Old Testament laws should be applied to the message of Jesus is commonplace in denominational Christianity—albeit a common mistake.
A prophecy about the New Covenant is announced in Jeremiah 31:33 where he states in part, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” The writer of Hebrews looks back on this passage from Jeremiah in Hebrews 8:10: “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts.”
Notice the bold highlights. Did the New Testament writer misquote Jeremiah with the word laws instead of law? That would be an obvious typo and considered unacceptable … something to be corrected. But it wasn’t changed for a reason. In fact, it was repeated in the tenth chapter of Hebrews.
Jeremiah and the Israelites would have only been familiar with something known as the Law (singular). Although it was made up of over 600 commands and statutes, they were all bundled together in the same package and absolutely nothing could be added to it or taken away from it (see Deuteronomy 4:2 & 12:32). Therefore, they did not refer to it as the laws but the Law. Like many New Testament writings from Paul and other apostles, the writer of Hebrews was revealing something not previously seen or understood.
Notice what the Hebrews writer stated leading up to this in chapter 7 and the first part of chapter 8:
- A new High Priest meant a “change” of law (a removal and replacement). Jesus became High Priest and this occurred “after the law.”
- The former commandment was set aside because it was weak and useless.
- God required perfection through the law, yet the law made nothing perfect.
- Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant. The first covenant depended upon the people where fault was found (no guarantee).
- A better covenant has been established upon better promises.
- If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to seek a second.
Notice in Hebrews 8:9 that the New Covenant would not be like the first one when God took the Israelites out of Egypt. Did you catch that? A covenant that is very different and unlike the first one. An arrangement where sins would no longer be remembered by God nor counted against us … yes, nothing like the first covenant where the law was given to bring a reminder of sins, leaving the people in the bondage of a sin consciousness.
Why would God write something on our hearts that brings a reminder of sins followed by condemnation, when He said sins would be remembered no more and that we are no longer under that ministry of condemnation?
Why would God write something on our hearts that the Apostle Paul explained was the ministry of death and condemnation? Although it was holy, righteous and good, it brought death instead of life.
Why would God write something on our hearts that did not reduce sin, but caused sin to increase? The law was not of faith … Jesus became the end of the law for all that believe … people under the law of Moses were redeemed from the curse of the law and were set free from the law.
Why would God write Old Covenant laws on our hearts after grace and truth have been revealed and realized through Jesus Christ? The truth is—He hasn’t.
The New Covenant “laws” now contained within our hearts and minds are reflected upon in the writings of the apostles … such as the law of faith, the law of liberty, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2), and love—which is the fulfillment of the law. The Holy Spirit within us brings a reminder of the gift of God’s righteousness, empowering us to gracefully bear His fruit apart from the law (see Romans 3:21 and Galatians 5:18 & 5:22-23). Jesus is the fulfillment of the old law given to Israel. He is the New Covenant and we’ve been invited to abide in Him as He abides in us. It’s the difference between the law of the Spirit of life compared to the law of sin and death. Choose life. It’s better.
For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage inside of a new and better covenant, and also gaining a better understanding of the teachings of Jesus, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee.
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