articles of chapter 6

Do we in the New Covenant have to follow the rules of the Old Covenant?

Introduction
The Public Activity of Jesus
The Old (Law) Covenant
Christ’s New Covenant
Is the Law covenant obsolete
Examples of outdated regulations in the Law covenant
Predictions about the New Covenant
Moses
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Ezekiel
Hebrews
How does the new covenant differ from the old one?
Who are under the law?
Can a man be saved under the law?
Christians are not under the law!
The Commandments of Christ
Christ is the Lord of Sabbath
What is the difference between being under the law and under grace?
Circumcision of the heart
Sanctification
The temples of the Lord in Jerusalem
What the Bible says about the coming third temple?
Even the Gentiles can be saved
Saving faith
Justification

 

 

Introduction

God made a covenant with Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and commanded the people through Moses. God said to Moses in Exo 3:6

“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.

God has kept the covenant, but the Israelites have continually broken it. They were punished for this, but God has not rejected the people of his choice. The penalties have been tough: the people have been forced to transfer to Babylon for decades. The temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed.

The people of Israel have been moved around the world in the diaspora. Romans 9:27 describes how Isaiah cries concerning Israel: “If the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, It is the remnant who will be saved”.

God’s chosen people have kept the covenant with God badly.

In what kind of covenant are we Christians? Christ declared at the Last Supper to us: Luk 22:20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. – So we have a New Covenant that has replaced the Old Covenant of Law.

What does this mean? Some argue that we have a New Covenant, but we must abide by all the commands of the Law of Moses. It is testified by the fact that Jesus himself did so, even said emphatically Mat 5:17 ”Do not think that I came to annul the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to annul, but to fulfill.” Others, on the other hand, say that only the commandments of Jesus which he himself has given and which are confirmed in the gospels must be followed.

This is the question of this article. I use as many direct quotes from the Bible (33/38) as possible to make the will of God, expressed in the Bible, as authentic as possible. However, we cannot get rid of the problems of interpretation.

Then we make a long jump in time until about 30 AD.

 

 

The Public Activity of Jesus

Jesus in the synagogue: Luk 4:17 The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, Because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to the captives, Recovering of sight to the blind, To deliver those who are crushed,
19 And to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” [KJV Jubilee].
20 He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him.

4:22 And all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words coming out of His mouth. And they said, Is this not the son of Joseph?
The audience admired Jesus’ words “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” and that “He has anointed me” and “preach the Jubilee of God”. These were good for the listeners. Many were still waiting for the message; “And deliver you from the Roman yoke”. That’s what the listeners expected.

But, the following words, however, were just raging the listeners:
25 But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. 26 Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian.”
28 They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things.
29 They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff.”

Christ as the Messiah was expected to save Israel from the hands of the conqueror Rome. Another thing was that the non-Jews were disdained and undervalued. However, the Syrians, even if they were leprous like some of the Jews, were second-class people, even enemies of Israel. Listeners were offended that the Jews were displaced and Jesus drew attention to it. Matthew Henry’s comment from verse 4:27 shows that Jesus himself had met greater faith outside Israel than in Israel itself.

 

The Old Covenant (of God, of Law)

In the Old Covenant was promised that God would raise Israel above other nations and make them a kingdom of priests, if they comply with the law of God.

Deu 28:1 “And if you shall heed the voice of Jehovah your God, taking heed to do all His commandments which I command you this day, Jehovah your God shall set you on high above all nations of the earth.
2 And all these blessings shall come on you and overtake you. If you will listen to the voice of Jehovah your God.

Exo 19:5-6 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
God has always adhered to the covenant, but people have broken it time after time. The covenant also includes God’s laws and the blessings that follow keeping the covenant. If a person or a nation violates the covenant, it will result in the loss of gifts and blessings.

Deu 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day, that all these curses shall come on you, and overtake you. Lev 26:3 ‘If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 9 And I will turn my face towards you and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.

It has been said from the Old Covenant that it is the archetype of the future covenant, full of references to the future. The old covenant was made during the forty-year peregrination of the Israeli nation in the Sinai desert. The people of Israel were freed from slavery, which is considered to reflect the birth of God’s people and receiving Christ as man’s savior.

Forty years in the wilderness depicts us the human life, sometimes with a lot of joy and also sorrow. There was only one goal in the endeavor – to find the Promised Land. This should also be in human life; after a long period of faith, follow rest and expectation of the coming of Christ to awaken man to the resurrection and the confidence that Christ will recognize his faith of many years and that the last judgment will reward him with a gift of eternal life.

 

Christ’s New Covenant

In the Old Covenant, there were punishments for breaking the law, but still, they didn’t get people to follow the law. For this reason, a new covenant was needed that would restore the lawfulness of the people of Israel and also bring the other nations of the world into the covenant. It is therefore right to say that the New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant, especially when compliance with the covenant was made much easier than in the old covenant.

The New Covenant is based on love. The covenant arbitrator and the head of the whole Christianity Jesus Christ showed the greatest possible love by sacrificing his own body and blood for the sake of all believers in him.

God confirmed the Old Covenant with the people of Israel by using Moses as an arbitrator, and the covenant was confirmed by shedding the blood of a sacrificial animal. When God made a new covenant with the people of Israel, he used his Son, Jesus Christ, to shed his own blood to renew the covenant.

Luk 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Heb 8:6 But now he [Jesus Christ] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
8:8 For finding fault with them, he said, “Behold, the days come,” says the Lord, “That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they didn’t continue in my covenant, And I disregarded them,” says the Lord.

10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days,” says the Lord; “I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, And they will be to me a people.

Many prophets predicted the New Covenant until came the right prophet Jesus Christ, who is the herald of the New Covenant, and its arbitrator. The New Covenant came! Why then in verse 8 does God still speak of a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah?

The New Covenant of Christ was meant for all Israel, but Israel still has not – with some exceptions – received its Messiah. God says that he does not mean a covenant as he did to take the people of Israel out of Egypt. After that, a new covenant of Christ was first made for the Jews, then for the Greeks, and then for the whole world. Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. 2:9 trouble and pain on every soul of man that works out evil, both of Jew first, and of Greek. 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone that works good, both to Jew first and to Greek.

Act 13:46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, and said, “It was necessary that God’s word should be spoken to you first. Since indeed you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

1 Cor 1:23-24 but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

 

Is the Old Covenant obsolete?

Many argue that the Covenant of Law is no longer valid but its laws and regulations still must be followed. This seems pretty strange! To defend this position, the words of Jesus Christ are quoted:

Mat 5:17 Do not think that I came to annul the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to annul, but to fulfill.
18 Truly I say to you, Until the heaven and the earth pass away, in no way shall one iota or one tittle pass away from the law until all comes to pass.
19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

1 Tim 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully,
9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;
11 according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Paul says in his letter to Timothy that the law is good if it is used for the purpose of the law. He then lists examples of the purpose of the law. Finally, Paul points out, referring to the gospel proclaiming the glory of God. So he sees the similarity between law and the gospel. This is probably what Christ’s purpose was; to proclaim the gospel according to the glory of God (1 Tim 1:11, 2 Cor 4:4).

Further, Paul teaches in Rom 3:19-20 ”Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

For example, with the convincing evidence of Paul, I will show below that we are not under the law. If this is the case, not all the ordinances of the law and the prophets bind Christians – only those ordinances of Christ that we can read in the Gospels.

The essential question is: if Christians are not under the law, what about the Jews? When Jesus said that he would not annul the smallest letter from the law, whom does it affect? The interpretation could be: The circumcised Jews who believe in God and want to worship him in accordance with the law can do so.

You must then observe the Law of Moses and the related ordinances (mitzvot) to the detail. There are a total of 613 orders. If a person does not follow them, it will result in God’s punishment. God has always kept the covenant with Israel, but the Israelis have abandoned it many times. God punishes and chastens his own people, but never abandons them forever.

 

Examples of outdated orders of the Old Law Covenant

And your male slave and your female slave whom you have shall be from the nations who are all around you, you shall buy them as male slave or female slave; (Lev 25:44)

You shall not hand over to his master a slave that has escaped from his master to you. (Deu 23:15)

You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain. (Deu 25:4)

“If one man’s bull injures another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live bull, and divide its price; and they shall also divide the dead animal. (Exo 21:35)

“If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it has been sold. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption. (Lev 25:29)

… then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones; the lady, because she didn’t cry, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you. (Deu 22:24)

his body shall not remain all night on the tree; but you shall surely bury him the same day. For he that is hanged is a reproach to God. And you shall not defile your land which Jehovah your God is giving to you as an inheritance. (Deu 21:23).

And you shall gather all its spoil into the middle of its open place, and shall burn the city with fire, and all its spoil, completely, before Jehovah your God. And it shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built any more. (Deu 13:16)

 

Predictions about the New Covenant

Moses

Gen 22:15 And the Angel of Jehovah called to Abraham from the heavens a second time,
16 and said, By myself I swear, saith Jehovah, that, because thou hast done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son ,
17 that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore. Your seed will possess the gate of his enemies.
18 In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.

Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him, 19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. – Jesus Christ was this Prophet whom God raised from the people of Israel. Some of the people had at first been delighted and receptive to what Jesus said about the kingdom of God, but finally almost everyone turned against him.

Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my [God’s] voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” – Israel has not kept its covenant with God, even though God has contributed.

Deu 30:1 And it shall be when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you among all the nations where Jehovah your God shall drive you, you shall bring back to your heart these things ;
2 and shall turn back to Jehovah your God and listen to His voice, according to all that I am commanding you day, you and your sons with all your heart, and with all your soul;
3 then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity, and He will have pity on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where Jehovah your God has scattered you.
4 If you are cast out to the end of the heavens, Jehovah your God shall gather you from there, and He shall take you from there.
5 And Jehovah your God shall bring you into the land which your fathers have possessed, and you shall inherit it; and He shall do you good and multiply you above your fathers.
6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

God assembles the Jews from “the ends of the Earth” into their own land. This is accompanied by God’s circumcision of hearts, which makes all Israel love their God with all their hearts.

 

Isaiah (740–680 BC)

Isaiah pronounces God’s prophecy about his Son, whom he calls his servant. 42:1 Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights: I have put my Spirit on him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 42:6 I, Jehovah, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations; 7 to open blind eyes, to deliver the prisoner from the prison; those who sit in darkness from the prison.

49:6 And he said, It is too little that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you for a light of the nations, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.

Isaiah does not speak of his own and self-invented message; He speaks and writes the words God has put in his mouth. It is not Isaiah’s idea to call the future son of God a servant of God. Neither did Moses decide himself to call Christ a prophet. What can we infer from this?

Isaiah predicts as early as 700 years before the birth of the Son of God that he will establish a (new) covenant that gives light to the Gentiles. God saw in advance that the Gentiles will receive the blessing of the New Covenant. This was not understood first, but only when it was found that God’s own people were stubborn and did not accept Christ, Jesus gave the commandment to take the New Covenant to all nations.

Isaiah predicts later: 61:4 And they shall build old ruins; they shall raise up former desolations; and they shall restore the waste cities, ruins of generations and generations.
6 But you shall be called, priests of Jehovah; it will be said of you, ministers of our God. You shall eat the riches of the nations, and you shall revel in their glory.
7 Instead of your shame and disgrace, double. They rejoice in their portion; for they shall possess a second time in their land; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
8 For I, Jehovah, love judgment, hating plunder in burnt offering. And I will give their work in truth; and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

 

Jeremiah (626–570 BC)

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Jeremiah also received a message for transmission from God; He also confirms that God is making a new covenant with the tribe of Israel and the tribe of Judah: Jer 31:8 ”Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who travails with child together: a great company shall they return here. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and will write it in their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall no longer each man teach his neighbour, and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah. For they shall all know me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them, declares Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.

The promise of God through Jeremiah is also associated with the return of the people of Israel to the Promised Land “from the north, from the ends of the earth”. The Israeli people have united into one state in 1948. The birth of the state of Israel and the formation of a united country were seen by many as the starting point for what the Bible says: “this generation will not disappear until all of this happens.” “All of this” refers to the events of the end time, the culmination of which is the coming of Jesus Christ for the second time and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom with the saints of the first resurrection. However, “this generation” has gone and a new milestone has to be found.

 

Ezekiel (590–565 BC)

Eze 37:21 And say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations, there where they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and will bring them into their own land.
22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all;
23 neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24 My servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them.
25 They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers lived; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children’s children, forever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever.
26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 The nations shall know that I am Jehovah who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore.

The verses above show that this New Covenant will be realized when David is again the king of Israel. Second, the temple of God has been rebuilt in Jerusalem among them. Hebrews Chapter 8 begins with the statement saying ” We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,”. In verse 8 it is stated from the time of the covenant that “the days come,” … This also refers to the future, that is, to the time after the Hebrews letter.

Over the decades, millions of Jews have moved from different countries back to Israel. The Bible promises that all Jews will return to the Promised Land. God promises that he will not leave without bringing a single one of them.

Eze 39:27 when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. 28 And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, in that I caused them to be led into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Further, God promises and Ezekiel testifies that God will make an everlasting covenant of peace with Israel. A new temple will be built in Jerusalem. Ezekiel also received precise measurements (see Eze chapters 40-44).

 

Hebrews

The Hebrews 8:8 also promise a new covenant for the tribes of Israel and Judah:

… “Behold, the days come,” says the Lord, “That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they didn’t continue in my covenant, And I disregarded them,” says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days,” says the Lord; “I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, And they will be to me a people. – In verse 10, “after these days” refers to the future and the great tribulation that will take place in the end-times, after which Christ will come upon the earth and take the reign of the whole earth, establishing his Millennial Kingdom.

Heb 8:13 In that he says New, he has made the first old; but that which grows old and aged is near disappearing.”

NASB: When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Instead of the word obsolete, the word abrogated is also used, which more clearly describes revocation, termination, abolition. It is clear, therefore, that the covenant is outdated as the exclusive union between God and men.

What Hebrews 8:13 says “is near disappearing” means that it was still in force at that time, but near disappearing.

The first covenant is therefore still in force as regards the Jews. Christians and Gentiles have a “new covenant” proclaimed by Christ. When God states that the covenant of Law has come to an end, “after those days,” he renews the New Covenant proclaimed by Christ with the Jews. Then there is no separate covenant for the Jews and Christians; there is only the New Covenant of Christ and Christ is the High priest of God. The “New Covenant” of the Hebrews letter is, in fact, the renewal of the New Covenant, proclaimed by Christ 2,000 years ago, to the Jews – for whom it was originally intended, but who have not received it.

Salvation belongs to everyone, not just Jews. Act 10:34 ” Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; 35 but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”. However, Isaiah writes about the fate of the kingdoms Isa 60:12 ” For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”. – This does not undo the possibility of rescuing an individual. The nation as such may be ruined, but God will not sacrifice his servant to perish with sinners.
Heb 9:18 ” Therefore even the first covenant has not been dedicated without blood.
19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
21 Moreover he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry in like manner with the blood.
22 According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

Heb 9:15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

 

How does the New Covenant differ from the old one?

The New Covenant differs from the Covenant of Law in that in the New Covenant love and grace are emphasized.

Mar 14:22 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body.”
23 He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it.
24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.

Joh 14:21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”
23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
24 He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most assuredly righteousness would have been of the law.
22 But the Scriptures shut up all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 But before faith came, we were guarded under law, shut up to faith which was about to be revealed..
24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus
29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise.

Eph 1:10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;
11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;
1:18 the eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.
6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn’t have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn’t have known coveting, unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
8 … for without law sin is dead.

Both covenants are reinforced by shedding blood. In the Old Covenant, the blood of the sacrificial animal was shed, but the New Covenant is much more valuable because the confirmation of this covenant was the blood shed by the crucified Son of God. The Galatians confirm that by being Christ’s own, we are Abraham’s seed and his heirs in the Kingdom of God.

Paul says that the law awakens the lusts of sin and without law the sin is dead. In Romans 7:6, Paul says ”Now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. The law, or in fact, the ordinances (mitzvot) contained therein, contain a large number of orders that were to be observed during the time of Moses, but which are not even possible in the modern times.

However, according to verse 7:12, the law of God is holy, and the commandments are good, whether they are largely incorporated into the New Covenant of Christ. Rom 3:31: “Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.”
The Romans assures that God has not rejected his own people. However, Israel has lived impenitent until a certain time comes. It is thus defined; until the full number of the Gentiles has entered. What is meant by ‘full-number’? And entered, but entered where? This may be related to another time specification as described in Luke 21:24

… Jerusalem will be trodden down by nations, until the times of the nations are fulfilled. Rom 11:2 God didn’t reject his people, which he foreknew … 11:25 … hardness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the nations comes in;
26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27 This is my covenant to them, When I will take away their sins.”
28 Indeed, as regards the gospel, enemies for you, but as regards the election, beloved for the sake of the fathers.                                                                                                                                                                                                              29 For the gifts and the calling of God are not subject to repentance.

 

Who are under the law?

Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God.

Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

1 Cor 9:20 And I became to the Jews as a Jew, in order that I might gain the Jews: to those under law, as under law, not being myself under law, in order that I might gain those under law: 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.

Luk 16:16 “The law and the Prophets were until the time of John. Since then, the good news about the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is trying to enter it by force.

 

Can a person be saved under the law?

At least in theory, it is possible for someone to comply fully with the law. He is therefore completely sinless as Jesus Christ and will be saved! There is not and has never been such a person. I can say that no one has been saved by following the law, no one. Already during the old law, God had mercy on a heavy lawbreaker, God even said that person was “after his heart”! Such a man was King David, who fell in love with beautiful Bathsheba and murdered her husband to get this beautiful woman for himself.

2 Sam 11:15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Place Uriah in the front of the strongest fighting, and withdraw from him, that he may be struck, and die. And then: 11:27 And the mourning time passed by. And David sent and gathered her to his house; and she became his wife, and bore a son to him. And the thing which David had done was evil in the eyes of Jehovah.

When God had mercy on David, it was based on David’s repentance. Apt 13:22 … ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will.‘ 13:23 Of the seed of this one, according to promise, God raised up to Israel a Savior, Jesus; Psa 89:3 ” “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David, my servant: 89:4 ‘I will establish your seed forever, And build up your throne to all generations.'” 89:20 I have found David, my servant. I have anointed him with my holy oil,

Even in the Covenant of Law, one can be saved, even get a particularly favoured position before God.

We are all in agreement that Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life. Its importance lies in the fact that Jesus as a human being would have been saved by the Covenant of Law requirements as on the basis of the New Covenant proclaimed. Only by being perfect without sin, he could become the originator of eternal salvation to all who obey his commandments. Heb 5:9 Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation, Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Neither can anyone fully respect the commandments of Jesus. Although they are much easier to follow than the provisions of the Law. Man needs the grace of God. In Gal 2:21 Paul says “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness is by law, then Christ has died for nothing.” The Jews believed, and still believe, that observance of the law justifies man. When they do not believe in Christ, they do not believe in salvation through Christ. For them, Christ’s death is irrelevant. Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most assuredly righteousness would have been of the law.

Phl 3:9 not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through faith of Christ, the righteousness that is of God by the faith;

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. John 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I [Jesus] speak to you are spirit, and are life.

 

Christians are no longer under the law!

If we are not under the law, the big question is: Under what are we then? According to Paul, he was under the law of Christ. Under what Jesus commanded us to keep.

Mat 28:20 ”teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

Jesus Christ proclaimed a new covenant, the core of which is the observance of his commandments. Jesus did not proclaim a New Covenant and its commandments against the will of God. The New Covenant with its commandments surely have the approval of God the Father. The members of the new covenant were at first mainly pagans without any law. By faith they received the covenant with the laws given by the Son of God.

Please, read the Gospels (e.g. in the World English Bible), in which all the words and commandments of Jesus are colored.

 

The Commandments of Christ

Jesus followed the law and prophets, among others the “Sabbath’s journey “. But he said he was also Lord of the Sabbath. Didn’t he mean that the meticulous Sabbath rules were to be omitted? If it is practically impossible to follow all 613 ordinances, then doesn’t the bottom fall off from the law by what Jesus said that “in no way shall one iota or one tittle pass away from the law” before everything has happened.

Could it therefore be that the meticulous observance of the law concerned the Jews who, for one reason or another, did not know Jesus. Those who know and accept Christ as their Lord, follow the instructions of the New Covenant? You can be saved by both ways, but by following the instructions of the old covenant, it is much more difficult than in the New covenant.

The principle of the New Covenant is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself”. (Luke 10:27) This commandment which is called the double command of love, was already expressed in the Old Testament. Moses taught in Lev 19:18 ”You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Jehovah. Deu 6:5 “And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

In addition, Jesus said something which the world has forgotten: ”love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you” (Mat 5:44).

And: For by grace you are saved, through faith” (Eph 2:8) Remember that Jesus said: ”My burden is light” (Mat 11:30)

Joh 15:10: “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.” – Therefore, if a Christian is not under the law, he is subject to Christ and is bound to obey the commandments of Christ. They are also found in the Old Testament, so I dare say. But not the other way around. All the Old Testament mitzvots are not among the commandments of Jesus.

 

Christ is the Lord of Sabbath

Exo 31:13 “And you speak to the sons of Israel, saying, You shall surely keep my sabbaths; for it is a sign between me and you for your generation; to know that I am Jehovah your sanctifier.
14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
16 And the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to do the Sabbath for their generations; it is a never ending covenant.
17 “It is a sign forever between me and the sons of Israel; for in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”.

God made a covenant with the Israelis and ordered the Sabbath to be its eternal sign.

Mat 12:8 ”For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” What did Jesus mean by this? The Pharisees followed Jesus’ action to catch him in violation of the Sabbath rules. They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” that they might accuse him. (12:10). Jesus explained that (according to the Law of Moses), it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath, to help, say, a sheep out of the pit, where it was fallen. Healing was also permitted, and did Jesus so. The Sabbath rules determined how many steps you could take during the Sabbath. When Jesus took the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, it was a ‘Sabbath journey’ that is, not too many steps.

The Old Testament tells of a man who on the Sabbath gathered firewood in the wilderness. He was sentenced to death for Sabbath offense. Num 15:35 “And Jehovah said to Moses, The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” Jesus himself and his disciples followed the Sabbath rules and also other ordinances of the law. Then he had not yet proclaimed the New Covenant. When the New Covenant was declared, the situation changed.

My interpretation of the Lord of the Sabbath is that Jesus, within the power given to him, was able to give a new content to the Sabbath – a day of rest, which does not include any meticulous ordinances.

Today, Christianity spends a day of rest on Sunday. The culprit for this is the Catholic Church, which has also brought to the Christian celebration calendar Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter, as well as memorial services of countless saints. The Jews are loyal to God’s original schedule and spend the Sabbath on Friday night to Saturday night.

 

What’s the difference between being under the law and under grace?

Heb 2:2 illustrates the severity of the Covenant of Law: For if the word spoken by angels was reliable, and every violation and act of disobedience received its just punishment,

Rom 6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or obedience to righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
NASB: But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

Paul calls this New Covenant of Christ in Romans form of teaching (typos Didache). If the Old Covenant of law could be characterized with words law and punishment, I would choose the New Covenant of Christ to be described with the words love and forgiveness.

In Galatians 2:21 Paul presents a startling conclusion: “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

No one is allowed to sin, no matter which covenant. If someone says he has been saved by grace and deliberately sins, he is not saved by grace.
Act 25:8 Defending himself, Paul said, Neither against the Law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I sinned in anything.” – Probably this is completely true. All the apostles and Jesus himself followed the Law of Moses as they lived. When Jesus, on the last Supper just before his death, proclaimed the New Covenant, it freed Christians from the Covenant of Law to move into the New Covenant of Christ.

1 Joh 3:4 ”Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. What is meant when the Bible says “you are not under the law but under grace?” Let’s think again the example of the OT account of a man who on the Sabbath gathered firewood in the wilderness (Num 15:32). In verse 35 Jehovah said to Moses; “The man shall certainly be put to death: the whole assembly shall stone him with stones outside the camp.”

See the chapter below about the Lord of the Sabbath. At the time of this, they were under the law. If the New Covenant of Christ had been in force, the man would have repented and had received a remission of his sin based on grace.

1 Joh 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not heavy.;
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The same is true of Jesus, the proclaimer of the New Covenant:
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The Old Covenant contained much of the same laws as the New Covenant, but many believed that the old covenant 613 mitzvots were enslaving. Jesus rightly testifies that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Originally the covenant was meant for the Jews. When they did not receive it, but stubbornly adhered to the Old Covenant, Christ proclaimed his great commission; “go, and make disciples of all nations…”

One impediment was the requirement for circumcision, which was meant to involve also the Gentiles. This was initially strictly adhered to, but in particular after Paul’s appeal to the leadership of the Jerusalem congregation, the elders decided to relieve the demands to the new Christians in order to make their burden lighter as Jesus had promised. The only requirements that the Gentiles had to strictly observe were: Act 15:29 “that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”” – Of these, the Gentiles should definitely give up. Among the people there were old habits such as eating meat and sausages containing blood. Licentious sexual behaviour e.g. with prostitutes, for example in connection with pagan feasts, was familiar to many.

 

Circumcision of the heart

1 Cor 7:18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Rom 2:25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won’t his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?
27: “Will not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law?”

The Bible speaks of circumcision of the heart and calls for it to be done. 1 Cor 7:19 above said, ”Circumcision is nothing”, but the right circumcision is that which is of the heart by the Spirit. At this point, the New covenant changes the order of the Old Covenant. The Jews have not fully embedded the importance of the circumcision of heart, based on Jeremiah who warns: ”Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will punish all those who are circumcised in their uncircumcision:” (Jer 9:25).

Another important attitude is the attitude towards Judaism: Judaism is an internal matter of man. We could say the other way around: he is not a Jew who is not internally a Jew. Rom 2:29 but; he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter whose praise is not from men, but from God.

Even Moses once understood the meaning of circumcision of the heart, and so did Jeremiah, who urged to remove the “foreskin of your heart.” Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskin of your heart, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, that my fury not go forth like fire and burn, so that no one can put it out; because of the evil of your doings. Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.

Psa 119:33 Teach me, Jehovah, the way of your statutes. I will keep them to the end..
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law. Yes, I will obey it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the way of your commands, for in it I delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes, not toward selfish gain.

 

Sanctification

2 The 2:13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;.

Sanctification and circumcision of the heart are pretty much the same thing. Sanctification (Greek Hagiadzoo) means continuous spiritual growth in the life of the believer, caused by the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is a personal covenant with God. The consecrated man consciously gives his life to God and repents of his former earthly way of life and unclean thoughts. When sanctified, man receives the seal of God.

”But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life.” [Rom 6:22]

 

The Temples of the Lord in Jerusalem

Before even the first temple was built, one had to settle in the wilderness during a forty-year peregrination with a tabernacle built of tent cloth. The clothed curtain divided the tabernacle in two parts. Behind the curtain was the most holy part where God Himself was present. Only the High priest could enter there and only once a year.

Thus, the curtain closed the way to the most holy place of God, as if to heaven. When Christ died on the cross, the curtain of the temple of Jerusalem tore in two. It meant that Christ had given the ransom sacrifice, and now the road was open to God, to salvation in the blood of Christ.

First Temple: The Temple of Solomon (“Beit HaMikdash”) or The First Temple: Solomon’s Temple, or Jerusalem’s First Temple of Lord was according to the Bible built by King Solomon. It replaced the Tabernacle built by Moses. The Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Jews were taken to exile in 597 BC to Babylon in Mesopotamia. The exile was over in 539 BC when Cyrus released the Jews to return to Judea to rebuild the temple.

Second Temple: It took 46 years to rebuilt the second temple, which was completed in 516 BC. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Third Temple: At the moment, there is no temple left, only the so-called “weeping wall”, the western wall, which is a support wall, originally for the additional buildings of the temple built by Herod the Great in about 19 BC. At that time, the temple square was also expanded to cover more than one hectare.

If the temple of the Lord has experienced destruction and has been rebuilt and destroyed again, the Muslim Al-Aqsa Mosque built on the scene has experienced a similar fate. In 1968, Israel conquered Jerusalem in war and its division between Muslims and Jews ended. However, there is still one holy mosque on the Temple Mount and in that sense one can say that Luke’s prophesy (21:24) is still valid: Jerusalem will be trodden down by nations, until the times of the nations are fulfilled.

 

What does the Bible say about the coming third temple?

Zec 6:12 and speak unto him, saying, Thus says Jehovah of hosts, saying, behold a man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up from his own place, and he shall build the temple of Jehovah
13 Even He shall build the temple of Jehovah; and he shall bear the majesty, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between the two of them.

God spoke through Moses, and said he would send a prophet like Moses, whom everyone should hear. Deu 18:18 ”I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.” This man Moses meant, is a branch (hebr. tsemach engl. sprout, growth, branch), and is understood to be Jesus. In verse 13 it is said that Christ is to build the [third] temple of the Lord. He is now sitting on his throne in heaven, and when coming to the earth for the second time, he will sit on his throne as the king of the Millennial Kingdom.

According to Zechariah’s prophecy, Christ will build a third temple of God in Jerusalem. It is told of the Antichrist that he declares himself God in the temple; The temple where proclamation takes place cannot, as I understand, be the third temple of God in Jerusalem but another one, such as St. Peter’s Church in Vatican. Hardly Christ would tolerate Antichrist to defile the Temple of God with such a declaration. Secondly, it is not possible because the temple will be built only after Christ has come and when Christ comes one his first actions is to destroy Antichrist.

Christ will also be the High Priest, after giving up worldly power to the Father.

 

Even the Gentiles can be saved

Rom 2:12 ” For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law;
14 For when those of the nations, which have no law, practise by nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law to themselves;
15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts accusing or else excusing themselves between themselves
16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.

Even the Gentiles, though not under the law (do not know anything about the law), have the opportunity to be saved on the basis of the testimony of these verses above.

Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves for Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my fury come forth like fire and burn, and there be none to quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.
Deu 30:6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

 

The saving faith

1 Joh 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Whoever loves the father also loves the child who is born of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth..
7 For there are three who testify:
8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three agree as one.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is God’s testimony which he has testified concerning his Son.
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who doesn’t believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.
11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn’t have God’s Son doesn’t have the life.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

The testimony recorded by John is clear and convincing; Eternal life is faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is the bedrock of faith. Is this faith enough to bring salvation to a person who sins over and over again? Faith must be associated with repentance of sins, and then a believer will be forgiven his sins “seventy times seven”.

At this point, I think of homosexuals, sex outside marriage, alcoholics or other ways of enslaving people. However, no one should think that “just this once I do this sin and apologize afterwards.”

Heb 10:26-28 “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries.”

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;
29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.

1 Cor 7:18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Although Jesus is the Son of God by birth, God has raised him as Lord and Christ for his own glory. ”There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!” (Act 4:12)

The New Covenant was made with Israel, but it became evident that Israel did not accept the covenant; When Jesus was alive, the great multitude of people followed him, and greeted him as son of David, but they gave up quickly as they began to realize that Jesus was not to become their earthly king who would liberate them from the Roman yoke.

 

Justification

Room 3:20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
21 But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction,
23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;
24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in his blood, for a showing forth of his righteousness through the passing by of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God,
26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.
28 Then we conclude a man to be justified by faith without works of law.

Room 4:5 But to him who does not work [works of faith], but believes in him [God] who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

What does being justified really mean? When God justifies a man, God declares him innocent, righteous, and holy, and frees him from the guilt of sin. When justified, God declares a man innocent on the basis of the atonement of Christ. God does not ask the merits of a man, but whether he has faith in Christ. It seems that even though salvation is made easy by faith, faith is too high a requirement for many. How much higher would it be if you were still required the works of law, thorough knowledge of the Bible, etc. Paul writes (1 Cor 1:18) “the word of the cross [faith in Christ] is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.”

The above verses reveal the grounds for justification. First of all, no one (“no flesh”) will be justified by the deeds of the law, but by the law comes knowledge of sin. Justification comes by faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness thus comes without distinction to all believers. Righteousness is a free gift to all from God’s grace through the redemption of Jesus Christ. The final conclusion of the Rom 3:28 is: ”a man is justified by faith without works of law.” This is the cornerstone of Christianity and the New Covenant.

Jam 2:18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works.

When one has faith, he also brings it up in his deeds. Jacob brought this up when writing: Jam 2:15-17 But if a brother or a sister is naked and may be lacking in daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. In verse 2:14 James asks: What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? – Does Jacob take a different position than Paul? In one commentary the writer highlights the importance of the quality of faith. If someone just says he believes, it may not be enough and he may not be a true believer. The true believer, because of his faith, also considers it important to do the works of faith.

Sometimes the acts of faith can be taken too far: in the name of true faith, countless wars have been waged, people who believe in a different way persecuted, and at least condemned those who believe ‘wrong’. God does not require anything like this. It goes beyond the teaching of Christ.

2 Joh 1:9 Whosoever goes forward and abides not in the doctrine of the Christ has not God. He that abides in the doctrine, he has both the Father and the Son.

We have only one God Jehovah. He is the God of Christ, your God, and my God. We have only one Lord, Jesus Christ.

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