You Are Not the Light of the World

Church denominations have done a lousy job at helping believers in Christ to understand their identity in Him. There are few Christians sitting among the Sunday pews who have been taught they have become the righteousness of God. Instead they identify themselves as sinners. They have failed to understand the new nature which has been gifted in exchange for the old.

If believers could just begin living from the awareness that they have been made into a new creation and are already identified as saints who have favor with God and are spiritually alive, holy, perfected, justified, sanctified, cleansed, anointed, reconciled … if only we could see this truth within ourselves—victorious living would be abundantly manifested. These attributes are not earned through our efforts, they came through the blood of Jesus and were born of God within us. Sadly, well-meaning wolves have taken the good news gospel and turned it into the Christian religion—a self-improvement program they call “repentance.”

However, there are several seemingly positive identifiers religion will cloak upon Christians … but unfortunately, they are taken out of context and it leaves believers in a state of confusion or misunderstanding. While a works-based religion will ignore the identity of God’s righteousness mentioned above, one of the false ID’s they use to describe believers is that we are “the light of the world.” I’ve even heard a very popular teacher of grace make this statement.

I’m not sure why it seems so easy to turn the Scriptures inside out and to get many of these things a bit backwards, but some of it has to do with missing the context of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant inside all of those Bible books, chapters and verses. The only time the Bible refers to people as being the “light of the world” is when Jesus used the phrase during the Sermon on the Mount:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 ESV).

During this entire sermon in chapters 5-7 from the book of Matthew, Jesus was speaking to Jewish people who were under the law of Moses … not to future Christians who would have no relationship with the Mosaic law. There are many references in the books of the Law about lamps, lights and lampstands. Since the Old Covenant began, Israel had been a light in a world of darkness, but it was more like a lighthouse in a far-off distance that the rest of the world (Gentiles) were not invited into (see Ephesians 2:11-13).

As Jesus stated, that light was based upon their works—not upon the work of Christ and His grace. It was a light that could easily be hidden even within their own house (the house of Israel). The Jews under the law were also identified as the salt of the earth (through what was known as a “covenant of salt”), but the salt lost its taste and could not be restored because the people failed the covenant by their inability to keep the works of the law. It would have to be thrown out—the covenant … not the people.

The bottom line:

Nowhere else in New Covenant writings are we identified as the light of the world. That’s because Jesus wasn’t speaking about you and me when He made the statement … and that’s because the light of the world is Jesus Christ Himself. This is communicated over and over in the New Testament and you can view the list of just a few passages below for your own study. You and I abide in the light of Christ, we are sons of light, and we are light “in the Lord.” We may reflect the light, but He is identified as the light—not us. There is no pressure on you to work at shining “your” light. Thank God, Jesus is the light of the world. Reflect His light as the Spirit of God works in and through you.

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.

Now available in paperback or eBook for Kindle.  Find It Here On Amazon

 

Shedding light on the light of the world:

John 1:4-5: Jesus is the light.

John 1:6-9: John the Baptist was not identified as the light (nor are we).

John 8:12 & 9:5: Jesus declared He was the light of the world.

John 12:35-36 & 12:46: Jesus is the light.

Ephesians 5:8: We are light in the Lord (it’s His light, we’re in Him).

Colossians 1:12: Inheritance as saints in Light.

1 Thessalonians 5:5: Sons of light.

1 Peter 2:9: Called from darkness into His marvelous light.

1 John 2:10: We abide in the light (of Christ).

Psalm 27:1: The Lord is our light and our salvation.

Your Sins Are Not “Covered” by the Blood of Jesus

One of the keys to success in business is to provide a product or service that results in people wanting more.  In other words, repeat business.  The religious business—within what I refer to as Church Incorporated—has used this approach ruthlessly when it comes to forgiveness from God.  Sinful actions aren’t exactly in short supply, and even those calling themselves Christian believers are habitually seeking additional assurance as to where they stand with God in order to ensure they are truly forgiven for whatever sins, shortcomings and failures they’ve committed.

The religious business has ensured themselves of repeat “customers” who have been convinced they need to constantly be seeking a renewed forgiveness from God.  People look for new ways towards establishing self-improvement, more dedication, trying harder, tithing, another sin confession, another water baptism, and serving more at the church building—all while attempting to commit to rules and commandments they can’t begin to consistently keep.

Those who consider themselves to be in charge of this forgiveness business might tell their clientele the blood of Jesus has covered their sins … until they commit another sin.  Any wrong thought or action will require the seeking of yet another renewed forgiveness from God.  Sound familiar in your own life?  You’re not alone.  This is the same hopeless and burdensome path the Israelites were traveling within the Mosaic Law under the Old Covenant.  It’s why they needed a Savior.

The Jews performed daily animal sacrifices which brought a temporary forgiveness.  The blood of the animals would provide an atonement—which means a covering—but it could not permanently remove the sins … the stain of sin was still there.  The people could not rest in forgiveness under that covenant, which served only to bring a reminder of sins, while leaving them in a state of a sin consciousness resulting in a chronic state of guilt and condemnation.  This system was not the ultimate will of God.  It was never what He desired, but it was merely a shadow of the real solution.

The solution to the problem?  Jesus came to do the will of God by offering a sacrifice to end all sacrifices.  A very different, better and brand-new covenant would replace the Old, where He would take away the first covenant in order to establish a second covenant (see Hebrews 10:1-10).  The result would be the forgiveness of sins for the world … all of them … past, present, and future.  The shedding of His blood would not cover sins, but take them away, once for all.  I repeat, once for all.

The work was finished with the issue of sin coming between God and man ever again.  How do we know?  Jesus did what no other priest under the law could ever do … He sat down.  The work was never done for priests under the first covenant, because there was always the need to seek another act of forgiveness from God for any sins that occurred since the last sacrifice.  Unlike us today, they were unable to rest in a forgiveness that wasn’t going to last any longer than the next time they fell short of perfection.

God has done all He is going to do about forgiveness of sins.  If this not true, then the cross didn’t work.  The writer of Hebrews concluded this: “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:18).  When forgiveness is complete, the offerings stop.  God is not “offering” more forgiveness than what has already been given at the cross.  If more forgiveness for sins is still required, Jesus would need to offer Himself again and again—just like the Old Covenant high priest would do under the law (Hebrews 9:24-26).  Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness that can be provided.  Jesus isn’t shedding any more blood!  Yes!  Woo hoo!

Is Jesus described as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of believers?  No, the sins of the world! (John 1:29).  He has extended mercy and forgiveness for sins, not just for us as believers, but the entire world (1 John 2:2).  God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting trespasses against them (1 Corinthians 5:19).

This doesn’t mean everyone is saved.  It doesn’t mean everyone has been made the righteousness of God.  It doesn’t mean people weren’t born into sin as it was inherited through Adam.  God’s act of forgiveness and reconciliation through Christ will not benefit the individual if they remain spiritually dead.  “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).

When one confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and believes in their heart God has raised Him from the dead, they receive Life—the life of God abiding in them as a new creation in Christ Jesus.  In Him, the believer is no longer identified as a sinner born in the image of Adam, but as a child of God receiving an inheritance through a will (covenant) that was established by God Himself (because He could swear by no one greater).  This isn’t about seeking forgiveness from God, it’s about receiving what has already been finished.  It results in salvation and a new identity for you as the righteousness of God in Him (see Romans 10:9-13).  One confession.  “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:15).

It’s time to rest easy in Him and the forgiveness God has already gifted.  No one walking this earth should ever have to wonder if they are forgiven by God for each and every mistake that has been made.  It’s really very simple … we receive and benefit from this gift by simply believing in Jesus Christ.  Believing that what He already did was more than enough. Since all have fallen short of perfection, the only thing that can keep you from eternal life and getting to know Him is unbelief.

The gospel is not about your dedication to God, but His dedication to you.  It’s not about you giving your life to Him, but Him giving His life to you.  Let’s stop selling the blood of Jesus at a discount by continuing to grow in the grace and knowledge of the truth— the truth of Jesus—and the power of the cross and resurrection.  Grace will empower us to live in a way that reflects the light of Jesus Christ.

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.

Now available in paperback or eBook for Kindle.  Find It Here On Amazon

The New Covenant In A Nutshell

It’s hard to fathom that the majority of us have never (or seldom) heard a teaching in church about the New Covenant and what it means for us today. How is it possible that so many have glossed over such a foundational truth within the Scriptures? Frequently, ministers are teaching what was handed down to them—erroneously mixing portions of the Old Covenant and New Covenant together, while others will try to persuade you the New Covenant hasn’t even begun. Don’t be overwhelmed with theologians who specialize in complicating something that is meant to be simple enough for a child to understand.

Below are just a few vital keys to begin unlocking what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us by establishing a new and everlasting covenant. Understanding this foundational truth will help align our thinking correctly when reading the Bible. This is a small sampling of headlines as it relates to separating the Old Covenant from the New.

For further Bible references and more details on avoiding the trap of religious bondage inside of a new and better covenant, look for this book available only on Amazon in paperback or eBook for Kindle:

“Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee” (by Michael C. Kapler).

Find It Here On Amazon

  1. The Old Covenant containing the Mosaic Law was provided to the nation of Israel, not to us Gentiles born outside of the Jewish race (over 99% of the world). That law consisted of a package containing 613 commandments, rules and statutes, including the “Ten Commandments” (the tablets of the covenant).

 

  1. God did not establish the law to aid Israel towards living an improved moral lifestyle, but rather it was given to show them they could not live up to the required standard it demanded. Sin was not reduced under the commands, it increased. But where sin increased (under the Old), grace abounded much more (under the New).

 

  1. The New Covenant did not begin with the birth of Jesus, but rather after His death. Jesus was born of a woman, born under the law. His ministry on earth was primarily aimed only at the Jewish people who were under that law while the Old Covenant was still in place. When Jesus told them to repent, this meant they would need a change of mind and begin to think differently. In other words, the Jews would need to stop seeking righteousness through the works of the law because the law was not of faith. He came to redeem them from the curse of the law—meaning to purchase away from a ransom.

 

  1. Jesus would often elevate and magnify the law and commandments … not to encourage the Jews to try harder at keeping it, but to show them their inability do it. They would always fall short of the requirement—which was to do all of it perfectly. They needed a Savior who could bring them into a state or condition of perfection with one sacrifice.

 

  1. The Old Covenant came to an end and was replaced with a New Covenant, where both Jews and Gentiles would be invited and brought together as one. The law itself states that parts of the law could never be eliminated while other parts kept—nothing could be removed or added. The entire package would either need to remain in place … or all of it would have to be brought to an end.

 

  1. The New Covenant was not made with you or me, but rather God established it with Himself—between Father and Son—because He could swear by no one greater. Therefore, it can’t fail because Jesus is the guarantee of this better covenant. He is now the mediator of a New Covenant which has brought the day of salvation, and it has been established upon better promises. We now live in that day. The Old was weak and useless, and has become obsolete.

 

  1. Under the Old, Jewish people would unsuccessfully seek to establish their own righteousness by giving it their best effort to keep the law of works which came through Moses. The only one to succeed was Jesus. Now under the New, the righteousness of God is gifted to us by faith, apart from the works of the law.

 

  1. No law within the Law is able to impart life. The commandments written in stone brought bondage and are referred to by the Apostle Paul as the ministry of death and condemnation. That’s why all of it came to an end and was replaced by the permanent and more glorious ministry of the Spirit. His life abiding within will allow us to bear His fruit, free from law.

 

  1. Since God declared the New Covenant would not be like the Old, there cannot be two very different covenants in place at the same time. “He takes away the first in order to establish the second” (covenant).

 

  1. The Old brought a reminder of sins, resulting in condemnation and a sin consciousness. Many sacrifices brought only a temporary covering of sin. Under the New, one sacrifice has removed and taken away sin once and for all, where God remembers sins no more, and is not counting our trespasses against us.

 

Good News: In Christ, you are now declared righteous, holy, redeemed, justified, forgiven & sanctified!

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24).

 

“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).

 

“Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39)

 

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’ ” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).

 

“…But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Fallen From Grace—It’s Not What You’ve Heard

Imagine we’re playing a game called Bible Jeopardy and the answer to the question is “fallen from grace.” Your task is to come up with the correct question for that answer. A typical response from your average Bible-believing church-goer might be something like, “What happens when someone is caught in the act of sinning?” Thus, the typical assumption: one who falls into the snare of sin has fallen from grace.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, we should all be able to agree that sin is bad, it hurts people, it can cause pain and emotional distress to the accused, and to those around them. It deceives by looking appealing, but profits nothing. Therefore, it’s best to avoid sin for the good of everyone involved. It’s simply no longer a part of who we are in Christ. However, repeated sinning has nothing to do with having fallen from grace.

The mindset of thinking that sin separates one from grace can be traced back to many church dogmas which have created tenets based upon the mistake of taking portions of the Old Covenant (before the cross) and mixing them with ingredients from the everlasting New Covenant which was established by Jesus Christ. This erroneous practice is not limited to church ideology—I saw a local newscast recently that described a politician as having “fallen from grace” because they dropped out of the race for office due to accusations of past sexual misconduct. Taking Bible verses out of context is not a very exclusive club.

The phrase appears in the Bible once, in the fifth chapter of Galatians. The Apostle Paul had just spent the entire letter encouraging these believers to avoid being deceived by the Judaizers who came along to oppose the message of grace they had received from Paul and others. A Judaizer is defined as: to live like a Jew, follow Jewish customs, or live by Jewish law (see Galatians 2:14). The Galatians had been bewitched by these who taught a different gospel which appeared to mix law and grace … a common practice within much of Christianity today. In other words, this group of Jews had a problem with Gentiles receiving salvation freely and were seeking to induce them into Jewish customs found in the Mosaic law. For example, they taught that circumcision would be required in order to be saved or justified.

Armed with that small amount of information, it’s difficult to jump quickly from the beginning of Galatians to the end, because there is so much in-between that Paul brings to light regarding the contrast between works and grace. The book of Galatians can begin to look like one big Bible verse when you see all of it in context. But here is the passage as it relates to our subject:

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:1-4).

One is not defined as having fallen from grace because of a sin problem, it’s because they begin to trust in something other than Christ alone. Instead of Jesus plus nothing, it evolves into Jesus “plus whatever I do.” It may be through various commands from the old covenant law, or it may be through modern-day religious rules or ceremonial practices which do not bring life. Grace is the Person of Jesus Christ. Grace was given to those with a sin problem, grace is not taken away because of a sin problem. Otherwise, it’s not really grace.

We’ve been empowered to reign in life and can now reckon ourselves dead to sin by grace through faith alone. But the law of works has no connection to faith (Galatians 3:12). All it could do is bring a curse. Why? Because it was required to be kept perfectly, and if you broke one commandment under that system, you were guilty of breaking all of it. And as Paul stated, you cannot pick and choose which commands to follow—you would be obligated to keep the whole thing because it was all put together in one package that God would not allow to be broken up.

Paul proceeded to explain our position as believers being led by the Spirit, not by a written code as was the case under the previous covenant with the law which came through Moses. When we’re led by the Spirit, we have no connection to that law (Galatians 5:18). Something that is often ignored or forgotten is that we (non-Jewish) Gentiles were never under the law … never! The fruit of the Spirit can only occur in our lives apart from the law (Galatians 5:23). Being disconnected from the law is what allows people of all races to be joined as one in Christ. His life has been eternally dedicated to you, not the other way around. Trust and believe that what Jesus accomplished through the cross and resurrection is more than enough, and don’t fall from grace by trying to add something to a work that Jesus declared is finished.

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.

Now available in paperback or eBook for Kindle.  Find It Here On Amazon

The Second Coming of Jesus: Avoiding the Bait to Debate

Let me preface by saying I’m not here to give my opinion about the second coming of Jesus or the end times that you have heard so many others talk about. In fact, it is not my purpose to lure or convince you into subscribing to a particular persuasion at all—so relax.

The return of Jesus Christ … I’ve heard theologians and other Christian believers refer to it as “one of the most important and most frequently mentioned doctrines of the New Testament.” I once read a bold opinion from a “prophecy expert” that one out of every twenty-five verses in the New Testament refers either to the rapture of the church or to Christ’s coming to reign over the world. The problem with such a claim is that it’s nearly impossible to verify this because there are so many Scriptural interpretations that one will be forced to assume are referencing a “rapture” or a physical return of Jesus. In other words, once you are convinced or persuaded by the doctrine or the theory, you’ll begin to interpret Bible passages through that particular lens and the numbers become skewed.

Usually the opinions formulated about end times events will be based upon trying to apply a wide variety of “verses” and passages from the entire Bible to fit our predetermined viewpoints. Context can easily get lost, and this is not limited to second coming theology, but it’s often true regarding many mindsets about the Bible.

Here are just a few popular persuasions out of many thousands to consider:

  1. Jesus will return suddenly with little or no warning and believers will disappear or be taken away (raptured), followed by a great tribulation for 7 years.
  2. There will be a tribulation, but believers won’t be raptured until half-way through.
  3. There will be a rapture after the tribulation, but unbelievers will be taken.
  4. Jesus already returned … or prophecies and tribulation have already occurred in the first century church.
  5. There is no rapture, Scriptures have been misinterpreted or it’s more symbolic.
  6. You’re not sure about anything, but eschatology (the study of end times) causes confusion and fear in you—something from which God is not the source.

Therefore, you could be considered a futurist, preterist, partial preterist, historicist, idealist or none of the above. Add more subjects into the mix to include a millennium, judgement, and hell, and throw them into a blender for an even hotter debate. We could quarrel for centuries over something that is as clear as a London fog, woo hoo! Oh wait, we already have.

For those consumed with discussing (or arguing) their opinions on how the end of the world will play out, I’m exhorting you to stop wasting your time. I know that sounds a little rough, and I’m aware that this subject is practically an addiction for some who will be offended by what I just suggested. Therefore, I’m not intending to be critical of what people passionately believe, so please, hear me out all the way until the end.

As a child growing up in the 1970’s, I became consumed with the “second coming” topic. There was a movement at that time where bookstores were filled with a smorgasbord of end times material to feed upon with a wide variety of very different conclusions. I formed some pretty solid opinions that I carried with me for many years and I wasn’t afraid to dump them on anyone who would listen. And this was a Bible subject where almost anyone would listen, regardless of where they stood with faith. Understandably, people are intrigued and fascinated with the prospect that the world could suddenly end. Post something on social media about the finished work of forgiveness that came through the blood of Jesus, and it won’t get nearly the response about a post that a fresh news headline might be another sign of the end times. Over the years I’ve heard it said, “Your newspaper and your Bible are saying exactly the same thing.” Wow. Sounds intriguing, right?

More than twenty years after becoming a believer in Christ, as I began to discover and grow in the message of God’s abundant grace and His gift of righteousness, my opinions on the subject of the end times began to melt away. I’m not saying they changed—they just sort of disappeared. Why? I’ve often wondered the same thing, but I can say with confidence it had to do with the Spirit of God, as He overwhelmed me with revelation and a fresh understanding about the first coming of Jesus Christ. It consumes me daily with peace and joy. The gospel of grace completely engulfed my previous view on many things as I began to see and grasp the Word of God through a completely different perspective. This is why I don’t engage on this particular topic of the end times any longer. Frankly, some of the beliefs and theories just doesn’t always mesh or reconcile with the grace and truth that are realized in Jesus Christ … And that should raise enough concern to reconsider at least some predetermined theology.

The real problem: Many believers in Christ have fallen into a trap by focusing more on the second coming of Jesus than they have on the first coming. To a certain degree, it has parallels to legalistic roots which are always seeking something new and better from God, rather than resting in something God has already done. We’ve been programmed this way by those who pass onto others what was handed down to them, usually coming from hollow religious sources. Regardless of the Bible subject, we often continue to seek what has already been given. This is why I’ve placed the topic on the shelf in order to focus more upon proclaiming the gospel, while being immersed in the growth of knowing Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection (see 1 Corinthians 2:2 & Philippians 3:8-11). I understand we ultimately look forward to being free from a world of suffering, but this will certainly occur for each believer in Christ, notwithstanding the end of the world as we may think we know it.

Of course, we are free to express our opinions and beliefs. But do we really want to spend our time debating on something nobody is likely to fully know or understand in this life? Even within the very same study Bible, we can find any number of very different possibilities or unique scenarios being offered by contributors about the end times. The list of topics within the topic for us to agree or disagree are nearly endless, and I believe it usually profits little or nothing.

When Jesus said He was coming “soon” in the book of Revelation, what did that mean exactly? And more than twenty centuries later, when someone uses the phrase “Jesus is coming soon,” what are they specifically suggesting, and how does it compare to what Jesus said in Revelation? More than 2,000 years after the cross, are we really convinced this is the time of a second coming? Has all of history really been building-up for this event to occur in our earthly lifetime? If the apostles believed a return of Christ was imminent (“soon”), is it not possible it could be another 2,000 years before the event would occur … or much longer? Is it possible something already happened during their generation? Are some (supposed) end times Bible passages really referring to something else? Is the book of Revelation a revealing about what will happen or what has happened? I’m not seeking answers to these questions, I simply state them to show the division and uncertainty.

Let’s be honest. We really don’t know with any precision or certainty, do we? In a passage many will assume refers to a rapture, Paul called it a mystery (see 1 Corinthian 15:51-52). He didn’t say it was a mystery revealed as he did on other occasions when he looked back on the “first coming.” He said it’s a mystery. Many of the (once) respected and popular prophecy books I read earlier in life have already been proven wrong. No problem, oh look, here comes another book or blog that has been revised with new evaluations on the subject. We may think we see signs going on around us that point to the end of the world as we know it. It might be so, or maybe not. That’s why I’m encouraging grace-filled believers to go and share the good news about what Jesus accomplished for the human race the first time He came. Focus on that.

I’m amazed and saddened at how believers and church folks will lose fellowship with one another over the result of their disagreements on this subject. We begin to develop an assumption that our passionate points of view represent absolute truth. Here’s a revelation to ponder: Our opinions about the end of the world or a second coming won’t change how things will actually turn out. But there is something we can know and the Bible is very clear about it: God’s love was demonstrated for us by Christ dying in our place and He revealed the gift of righteousness, apart from works. The New Covenant has been established. He has fulfilled all of the Law, the Prophets and Psalms that were written about Him (see Luke 24:44). It’s a finished work. Christ in you Gentiles … This is a mystery that has been revealed (see Colossians 1:27 & Ephesians 1:9). Believe it, receive it, and let’s continue with having that conversation.

For more about avoiding the trap of religious bondage which leads to fear, and to gain a better understanding of what Jesus accomplished through the cross, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Find It Here On Amazon

“Those ‘Hyper-Grace’ People Just Want Their Ears Tickled”

You’ve struggled for much of your life with trying to follow and apply many inconsistent, if not impossible church doctrines and burdensome Bible teaching. Lord knows you tried your heart out. All of those struggles with the ups and downs while attempting to maintain your spiritual performance, not to mention the arm wrestling matches that had you going back and forth between guilt and grace—it was just too exhausting.

Then you discovered the true meaning of unconditional love, the message of unlimited grace, and a forgiveness from God that has already been dispensed through the blood of Jesus Christ. It was the good news message of faith and peace that seemed absent from all of those sermons which you had been exposed to over the years. Finally, eternal assurance, relief and rest had been found through simply believing that Jesus did it all on your behalf through a finished work at the cross … it was something to believe in that was much bigger than yourself or your good and bad behavior.

And then … THUD! It happened. Concerned church people felt the obligation to spy out this newfound liberty you have been so excited to talk about. They begin the attempt to slowly let the air out of your tires by cautioning that this unbalanced message of “hyper-grace” is a dangerous doctrine, if it’s applied without the checks and balances of law and commandments. They’ll begin to spout all kinds of “verses” out of context in the attempt to remove the gospel seed that God had planted so passionately, and so carefully within your heart. One of those passages frequently used in their endeavor to throw you overboard into the sea of double-mindedness is from 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NASB):

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (bold added by author).

In traditional Christian legalistic circles, those who feel appointed as members of the jury will try to convict those “unbalanced” grace-bibbers by suggesting that the Apostle Paul was warning Timothy about those taking grace to an overly abundant extreme, which they believe will cause sin to increase. (Pssst … here’s a little-known secret … it’s the law and commandments that caused sin to increase—not grace).

Of course, when it comes to warning people about a risky doctrine of a grace overflow, Paul didn’t say anything of the kind to Timothy, but Scripture does reveal to us exactly who and what he was referencing … and it’s the precise opposite of what the jury has led people to believe. They have missed some key evidence.

Paul was coming to the end of his second letter to Tim—his child in the faith. He was wrapping-up the correspondence by reminding him of something he stated at the very beginning of his first letter. This is where Paul revealed the real culprits who would swerve from sound doctrines to teaching strange doctrines.  Let’s take a look in 1 Timothy 1:3-7 (NASB):

“As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.” (bold added by author).

Notice how the passages from both letters used the word “myths.” It’s the same Greek word in both epistles (Strong’s G3454). It is defined as a fable, a tale, a fictitious fabrication.  And who is Paul pointing the finger at when he admonishes Timothy to instruct these teachers to knock it off? It’s those who would attempt to become teachers of the law of works. That approach simply won’t sync inside of a new and better covenant, where the law was put to an end because it was weak and useless in regards to redemption, righteousness, and sanctification (see Hebrews 7:18-19). In the first chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul continued by saying the law which came through Moses was good if used properly. That is … even though the law was given to Israel, it’s meant to show humankind that everyone has fallen short of the requirement, and this was designed to point people to the truth that Jesus is the only way to God. But notice Paul’s clarification that the law isn’t meant for believers in Christ who have been gifted with God’s righteousness, established in love from a pure heart and a sincere faith.

Conclusion: It wasn’t the gift of abounding grace Paul was warning about when it came to people wanting their ears tickled with strange doctrines from teachers in order to suit their own desires. It was the law of works, also known as the flesh (see Galatians 3:1-5). It’s rooted in the barren tree of fruitless discussion, and it comes from those who are generally clueless about what they are saying as they try to teach a mixed message of law and grace. Stay away from that confusing concoction, because you are not under law, you are under grace and it can’t be both (see Romans 6:14). Grace removes our efforts from the equation and puts Jesus on center stage where He belongs. It takes away the boasting from those trying to establish their own right-standing with God as they needlessly work to make themselves more acceptable, more forgiven, more sanctified, etc. In other words, their ears itch for someone to tell them what they need to “do” to in order to become what God has already made them to “be.”

I’ve known or heard of numerous pastors who had formerly preached a mixed message of old and new covenant confusion, and had very successful attendance records at their church. Then they joyfully discovered the true revelation of New Covenant grace (or “hyper-grace” as it’s often called by religious legalists), and these pastors transitioned to teaching the truth of the gospel of grace and faith-based righteousness. God bless these ministers who are very much in the minority. Now get this … In just about every instance, their church attendance gradually began to shrink as they were accused of a love and grace message that was “out of balance” with the flock’s perceived understanding of Bible teaching, and their misunderstanding of the gospel. Many of these sheep will flock to the church down the road where that pastor will be more than happy to quench their hunger and thirst for strange doctrines, myths and fables, and a modernized version of the Mosaic law. Don’t be surprised, Paul told Timothy this would happen.

“Cross” Reference Bonus Coverage:

“For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work” (Titus 1:10-16 ESV). (bold added by author).

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.

Now available in paperback or eBook for Kindle.  Find It Here On Amazon

Beware of Hyper-Grace Accusers (The Enemy Within)

It seems nearly impossible to grasp how it could have come to this. Ominous warnings are being issued—not by the NWS (National Weather Service) or the NHC (National Hurricane Center), but by the NRS (National Religious Service). The warnings going out to church-goers and Christian believers are coming from what are usually presumed as trusted and reliable sources for those seeking accurate information … such as pastors, theologians, authors, magazines, and of course, those “best friends” who are always there to make sure you don’t go wandering from the church tenants that they hold so near and dear as the glue to keep them on a straight and narrow lifestyle.

What is it that has the corporate church so alarmed that they feel the need to caution its members to take shelter and protect themselves against? Prepare yourself for the preposterous: They are actually warning people about GRACE!  You know I’m not making this up because you’re probably someone who has been on the receiving end of such meaningless conversation. It’s like a horror movie entitled, “The Manifestation of the Kooky Monster!” Of course, the NRS will try some so-called political posturing by attempting to differentiate what they consider to be acceptable “regular” grace and contrast it with something they will define as dangerous “hyper-grace.”

These wolves will tolerate grace to a certain extent but will go on to warn of taking grace too far; a “cheap grace” they believe will issue “a license to sin.” There is no such thing in God’s Word about grace giving people a license to sin. It’s a myth and a fabrication that leads to fear and uncertainty … the very opposite of what the gospel of grace is meant to bring to people, which includes the gifts of righteousness, peace, assurance and life. This fear of “too much grace” is birthed from a mixed message of grace and law, rooted inside of doctrines which erroneously blend the obsolete Old Covenant with the everlasting New Covenant of Jesus Christ. People are free to make their own right or wrong choices, but to put the blame of sinful choices on grace is the equivalent to placing the blame on Jesus.

We need to begin to see grace for what it really is … or WHO it really is—the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the manifestation of grace. He is the very essence of grace. God gave us this grace that is found in Christ Jesus before time began, and it has nothing to do with good or bad works (see 2 Timothy 1:9). Consider this question: Can you have too much of Jesus? Of course not. But when the NRS warns of dipping into too much grace, that is exactly what they are saying.

They’ll imply with lip service that grace is a good thing, but they’ll advise to avoid putting on too many layers because it might lead to more sinning. This is the precise opposite of what the Bible teaches because it was through the law and commandments which caused sin to increase—not grace. God designed it that way to reveal sin, condemnation and death, and ultimately point people to the savior Jesus (grace). The book of John reveals a contrast between the law of works and the grace of God: “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17). Grace contains layers that never end … grace upon grace. It is the foundation of all truth.

Stop thinking about grace as merely something that “covers your sin” temporarily until you sin again. Get away from the mindset that grace is only there to “let you off the hook” when you do something wrong. Stop mixing law and grace! Why? Because you are not under law and the law is not of faith! Paul told Titus to avoid the empty talkers … that is, primarily those (Jews) whose teachings were not sound in faith, and with their “Jewish myths and commands” would turn people from the truth. They would profess to know God but denied Him by their works (see Titus 1:10-16). Paul went on to say this: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

When Jesus appeared, grace appeared. He (Grace) inspires and empowers us to live in a God-like manner. Grace never leads anyone into sin. Never. Scripture declares Jesus was filled with grace, yet He never sinned. So grace isn’t just about helping people who have sinned, it’s God’s purpose for us, and a part of the new life we have in Christ. It legitimizes us to experience a supernatural life of the Spirit of God in abundance. Shame on the hypocritical, legalistic hyper-grace accusers who have allowed themselves to be so deceived—but it’s not too late to start getting this right by repenting—which means to have a change of mind.

“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20). The word abounded here in the Greek is where we get our English word for hyper and means “to abound and overflow exceedingly.” Literally, to super-abound or go beyond what is needed. “Are you saying people can go sin as much as they want?” Ugh … a typical question with roots connected to those trapped within a mindset of hollow religion. Paul was asked the same question by people who had been stuck under the Mosaic law. His answer was, “may it never be!” Once believers begin to understand they are not identified as “just sinners saved by grace,” and that they are no longer slaves to sin, but are dead to sin, the new heart within will cause them to see sin for the terrible thing that it is. The Spirit who abides within will change what we “want” when we are led by Him. In Christ, you are not identified as a sinner, you are a new creation declared to be holy, sanctified, and are the righteousness of God in Him.

Staying entrenched inside of doctrines from the NRS with a pattern of trying to keep the law and commandments along with other modern-day religious rules only results in the increase of sin. But grace abounded more! Repeat after me: Grace abounded more. Say it as often as you feel is needed until you get it. Thankfully for us, grace is hyper!

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.

Now available in paperback or eBook for Kindle.  Find It Here On Amazon

Religious Talking Points: “Jesus Told Us to Keep the Commandments.”

On more than one occasion, when Jesus was asked what they must do to inherit eternal life, His answer was to obey the law and commandments. The rich young ruler, and the lawyer who was trying to trap him, are two examples. The result was that they both walked away bewildered, perplexed, and hopeless. Jesus answered the questions in the same way they were asked … “Hey fellas, if ‘doing’ is your choice for obtaining eternal life, here is the requirement: follow the law, keep all the commandments … and let Me know how that works out for you.”

“Do what the law says and you’ll have life.” Jesus said this in Luke 10:28. We’re talking red letters in many Bibles. Therefore, it must have also been meant for us today as well, right? At least, that’s the mindset within the vast majority of Christian church organizations, and those who abide within them. Jesus said this to someone who was trying to trap Him into saying something against the Mosaic law. The passage also reveals the man was seeking to justify himself when he asked what he needed “to do” to inherit eternal life.

Compare that quote from Jesus in the book of Luke (before the cross), with this from the Apostle Paul (after the cross): “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?” (Galatians 4:21). New Covenant writings by the apostles reveal there has never been a doer of the law. It was a hopeless endeavor to try to keep it, but it was the only hope Israel had, even though it couldn’t provide what they were seeking. And the rest of the world was without God entirely, with no hope at all—and then came the cross and resurrection.

Questions we should ask: Was Jesus speaking specifically to those who were still under the law at that time, or were His words also meant to be directed at us today? Does acquiring eternal life require keeping the commandments of the law, or is it a gift received through believing, by grace through faith?

Answers: It can’t be a combination of both works and grace, because they are polar opposites. We find in New Covenant writings from the apostles that salvation came to the world through Christ as a gift, received by faith, apart from the law (see Romans 3:20-24). Why does his seem to contradict some of the things Jesus said? Because during His time on earth as a man, the objective of the ministry of Jesus was directed at those who were under the law—the people of Israel. He was communicating the true purpose of the law to those Jewish people who were under the first covenant. It was given not to justify, but to pronounce guilt and to condemn. His purpose was to show them that keeping the commandments and statutes from the law couldn’t be done to the standard of perfection that the law demanded. That ministry of “death and condemnation” came to an end after the cross, and God ushered in a New Covenant that would be available to Israel, along with the rest of the world (Gentiles). Jesus fulfilled all of those “Old Testament” Scriptures which contained the message of the hidden Christ, now revealed from the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms.

Bottom line:

Most Christians have the mindset that if we’re making changes with proper lifestyle choices, and “trying our best” to follow the commandments, God will honor and accept our effort. This approach is the complete opposite of the gospel. Lifestyle changes may be a wise and positive thing for us to do for our own good in this world (and for those around us), but it has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification. We’ll be better off allowing the Spirit of Grace to guide and live through us daily, rather than trying to swim in a sea of inconsistency through a written code.

By the way, which commands will you decide to obey? Are you planning on browsing the Bible buffet where you can pick and choose what seems appropriate to follow? Some religious rules will look good to eat, others not so much … and notice how folks will select different portions based upon their own preferences. The all-you-can-eat church buffet is something the military defines as the mess.

Few have understood Paul’s teaching that if you want to apply one commandment from the law, you would be obligated to keep the whole law, a practice known as “falling from grace.” Did you realize all 613 commands and statutes came together in one package, and that if you have broken one (1) rule, you are considered guilty of breaking every single commandment within the law? Are you aware that your good intentions and “trying your best” is unacceptable? Anything less than perfection falls short under that ministry of bondage. That’s why the Jews had to keep spilling blood through a never-ending trail of animal sacrifices that couldn’t remove sins. That was the curse of the law—no wiggle room, no runs, no drips, no errors allowed, and no permanent grace.

Jesus brought complete deliverance and freedom from the curse of that package. And similar to how one man (Adam) brought sin to the entire world through his one unrighteous act, it was one man (Jesus) who brought eternal forgiveness and the removal of sin through His one righteous and completed work at the cross. It is finished!  Believe it.

The old law was a perfect, holy, and a humbling reflection of God’s perfect standard, but trying to live by the commandments doesn’t work. God never meant for it to work. It doesn’t bring life or righteousness. That law is contrary to us, and will only cause sin to increase. God knew this when the covenant was established with Israel. He meant for it to be a tutor to bring people to the end of themselves and their feeble attempts which resulted in dead works, and He did it in order to point them to a Savior—Jesus Christ. The old ministry of the letter has ended and no longer has glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:7-11). We now live in the eternal replacement ministry of God’s Spirit, empowered by grace.

For more on the teachings of Jesus from a New Covenant perspective, and avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Find It Here On Amazon

Condemnation Written in Stone (& Wiped Away Forever)

Condemnation and judgement.  It may be the greatest spiritual disease experienced by Christian believers today, and sadly, it’s a virus that spreads needlessly because Jesus has provided the world with the antidote.  Oh sure, you’ll hear various Bible verses getting tossed around in church circles, such as this one:

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NASB).

While many church attendees may have been told there is no condemnation in Christ from this reference, it is likely that within the same breath they are taught to try to live by the very same ministry that brings condemnation, with little or no concept of what was fully accomplished at the cross.  What is it that previously delivered people into condemnation?  Don’t miss this: The roots of condemnation come from the law and commandments that came through Moses, which were part of the Old Covenant given to Israel.  You may not have heard this from the pulpit before, but it is a vital truth we need to begin to understand.  Those commandments and the condemnation that comes with them go together like peas and carrots.  If you try to live by that law of sin and death, condemnation will be sure to follow you around every corner like a hungry dog, until you put your foot down and chase it away.

To gain some Biblical context, check-out what Paul said for the previous seven chapters in Romans, or at the very least, carefully read chapter seven and see what prompted him to reach a conclusion in the 8th chapter of Romans, when he starts out with the word “therefore” from the above verse.  The word therefore signals he is concluding thoughts previously stated.  Before Romans 8, Paul had already revealed to his readers that the old law did not reduce sin, but increased it!  Paul’s personal testimony to the church was that the command not to covet actually resulted in coveting of every kind (that’ll go over big with the legalistic pastor).  He explained how attempting to abide by those commands bore fruit for death, not fruit for God.  Believers in Christ should have no relationship whatsoever to that old law because it could not bring life or righteousness.  God had ended the marriage relationship between the people and Professor Law, and they became free to marry someone else—Jesus Christ.  Paul continues to explain why there is no longer condemnation for us who are in Christ:

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:2-4).

Many believe it is sin that causes condemnation.  But it is the law that was given to reveal sin, and through the law comes the knowledge of sin (see Romans 3:20 and Galatians 3:19).  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil that Adam ate from represented the law, as man wrongly attempted to establish himself through his own actions in order to become righteous and more like God.  It resulted in the same thing as those trying to live by the written code found in the law of commandments—bearing fruit for death, instead of fruit for God (see Romans 7:4-6).  In Christ, all have been freed from the law, and sin has been taken away … sin is not a good thing, but it is not the source of condemnation.

In the third chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul specifically referred to the entire law, including the (10) commandments written on stone, as the ministry of death and condemnation.  Wow.  When was the last time you heard that in church?

I can hear the legalistic covenant clashers arguing that “no condemnation” has a condition attached: not walking after the flesh.  They assume the flesh is always referring to sinful actions or evil deeds, but this is not always the case, and it’s not how “flesh” is defined in the Greek.  Paul told the Galatians they were foolish for falling prey to religious vultures who bewitched them into going back to certain aspects of the old law and commandments.  Don’t miss this:

“This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Romans 3:2-3).

Paul would go on to explain how the law brought a curse, and those stone commandments gave birth to bondage.  Do you see the connection between trying to abide in a relationship with the law and commandments from the previous covenant, and how it results in condemnation?  Trying to abide in the law of works and other religious rules in order to become clean, justified, or sanctified is called walking after the flesh, which profits nothing.  “And those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Romans 8:9).

The good news for us in Christ is that the law and all of the commandments were put aside and came to an end.  Those Jews who were under that law, were fully redeemed from its curse that had required nothing less than perfection!  Woo hoo!  New Covenant writings from the apostles are filled with these truths.  Question: Why in the world would we believers want to place ourselves back under a ministry that was proven to be weak and useless, and has been nullified and canceled? (see Hebrews 7:18-19).

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 NKJV).

We are under a new law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  The old ministry of death and condemnation no longer has glory at all, because of the surpassing glory of the ministry of the Spirit found in a new and better covenant (see 2 Corinthians 3:7-11).  Although God never condemns you, your attempts to establish righteousness and sanctification through works, commands, or religious rules will result in you bringing condemnation upon yourself, thereby allowing the enemy to confuse and convince you it is from God.  Chasing after commandments from an obsolete covenant will keep you in a prison that Jesus already freed you from.  Get out of there!  The door of escape has been permanently opened by Jesus Christ, and you are free indeed.  Now walk accordingly.

For more on the teachings of Jesus from a New Covenant perspective, and avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Find It Here On Amazon

Should We Try to Keep the Ten Commandments?

Traditional Christian church tenants that are constantly mixing law and grace have led to a mixed message that lacks consistency when it comes to sound doctrine.  Unfortunately, this has become the rule and not the exception among the religious wolves.  Their members become unsuspecting prey, not realizing they are being held as hostages, all in the name of what they falsely assume to be absolute truth.

The confusion between law and grace stems from mixing portions of the (obsolete) Old Covenant law of works, and pouring it into the same blender with the grace found in the current New Covenant of Jesus Christ.  This causes a clash or conflict, due to attempting to combine two separate and very different covenants together.

There are numerous questions that we can ask a particular member of the flock in order to confirm whether or not they are a legalistic victim.  Here’s one from the top of the list: “Do you think we should attempt to live by and keep the Ten Commandments?”  Hostages and victims of the Christian religion will shout and scream accusations of heresy, blasphemy, and apostasy for anyone who might answer “no” to that question.  Why?  Because sadly, they haven’t been made aware of why the law was given to Israel, and why God replaced all of the law and commandments from a temporary covenant, with a better and permanent arrangement (or covenant) which has been established upon better promises.  While ignorantly pointing judgmental fingers with accusations of hyper-grace, their desire to be teachers of “some” of the law exposes them as ministers who do not understand what they are talking about (see Timothy 1:6-7).  The law was not made for the righteous in Christ Jesus.

Covenant clashing ministers will sound the alarm that we grace renegades are suggesting to go ahead and commit whatever sins you want.  This is not at all what we’re saying, but they can’t help to make this misguided assumption because of the legalistic mindset by which they filter everything through.  Just because we don’t attempt to keep the stone commandments doesn’t mean we’re breaking them or seeking to do so.

Don’t miss this: Here’s a key piece of information that probably got skimmed over during all of those Sunday sermons over the years: You can’t eliminate certain portions of the law while holding onto other parts.  All 613 commands and statues came together as a package that can never be broken up.  Nobody is permitted to add anything to the law or take away from it (See Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Joshua 1:7).  This includes the Ten Commandments, sacrificial laws, dietary laws, etc.  When you see a reference to the law in any part of the Scripture, it’s not referring to ceremonial practices only, but the moral statutes as well.

Ask a “Christian law advocate” if they are keeping all of the top 10.  Nobody (none) can honestly give an affirmative answer.  The typical response is something like, “I’m trying.”  According to the law itself (not to mention Jesus), that’s not good enough, no matter how sincere your effort may be.  Therefore, the law that came through Moses within the first covenant—all of it—had to come to an end in order for the New Covenant to take effect.  We can’t pick and choose what should be thrown out, while trying to keep other commands intact.  It all had to be thrown out and put aside in order for something new and better to take effect.  A complete change of law occurred when Jesus became the High Priest, which occurred “after the law” (see Hebrews 7).

Having said that, keep in mind the law was never given to us who are Gentiles, but it was given only to Israel—those born of the Jewish race.  We Gentiles weren’t invited into the previous covenant, and that old law is not part of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.  He would be the replacement!

Let’s look at some references frequently ignored or overlooked by covenant clashers.  Below are just a few samples of why we should no longer be trying to abide by a handwriting of requirements contained in any of the law that came through Moses.  Instead, we abide in the Spirit of Grace, who empowers us from within to live Godly lives (see Titus 2:11-12).  But Christ has already fulfilled the law on our behalf.  Refer to this list whenever temptation seeks to entice you back into a lifeless written code of human morality that is constantly changing and always falling short.

  • The law demands perfection, but makes nothing perfect (Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 7:19).
  • The law was a yoke of bondage the Jews were unable to bear, and the church in Jerusalem agreed with the apostles not to thrust it upon the Gentiles (Acts 15:10).
  • We are justified and made righteous by faith, apart from the law (Romans 3:21, 28).
  • The law came not to reduce sin, but to increase sin (Romans 5:20).
  • We are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
  • We are dead to the law and freed from the law (Romans 7:4, 6).
  • Sinful passions are aroused by the law and will bear fruit for death (Romans 7:5).
  • The commandment resulted in more sinning, not less. But apart from the law sin is dead (Romans 7: 7-10).
  • Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death to serve in the newness of the Spirit (Romans 7:6, 8:2).
  • Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe (Romans 10:4).
  • The power of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
  • The law, including the (10) commandments written on stone, is described as the ministry of death and condemnation … and no longer has glory (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).
  • Pursuing the law of works is walking in the flesh (Galatians 3:3).
  • The law is not of faith (Galatians 3:12).
  • Christ came to redeem from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:10-13).
  • No law is able to provide us with life or righteousness (Galatians 3:21-22).
  • The law was a tutor to point people to a Savior, but now that faith has come, we are no longer under the tutor (Galatians 3:24-25).
  • The (10) Commandments given on Mt. Sinai gave birth to bondage or slavery (Galatians 3:24).
  • Abiding by any of the law leads to falling from grace (Galatians 5:3-4).
  • If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law (Galatians 5:18).
  • The law does not produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Christ broke down the dividing wall—the law of commandments (Ephesians 2:14-16).
  • The law was nailed to the cross (Colossians 3:13-14).
  • The law is not made for the righteous in Christ (1 Timothy 1:5-9).
  • If the old law is still in place, Jesus is not a legitimate High Priest (Hebrews 7:12-14).
  • The former commandment (law) was set aside (abolished) because it was weak and useless (Hebrews 7:18-19).
  • Because it’s a package deal, whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it (Galatians 5:3; James 2:10).

Final thought:

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly” (Galatians 2:21).

For more on the teachings of Jesus from a New Covenant perspective, and avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Find It Here On Amazon