What Covenant Is Ours? (2)

  • Religion demands performance and causes people who cannot live according to the legalistic rules to at least act like they are. Religion causes people to live in defeat and despair, which forces them to act as though they are victorious and happy. Hence the phoniness and hypocrisy.

    Religious people will jump, shout, and run about and tell you they are blessed with heaven’s best, but inside they are dying. There’s no way they can live up to the standards set before them by the church, preacher, teacher, man-made rules and traditions. That’s why Grace and Truth came. To set us free from error and works.

    There is no works oriented, pasted on behavioral performance that will cause God to love you more and there’s no failure that will cause God to love you less. For God so LOVED the world. Are you getting this?

    Here we go again with the ya but ministry. Ya but, there are certain religious rules we have to keep in order for us to be good Christian. Really? Where does it say that in scripture? Now be careful how you answer this, because you can’t use the old covenant law, you must show me in New Covenant of Grace.

    Besides. I thought when I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior that Jesus came to live inside of me. So if that’s true, and it is, then rule keeping has no part in whether I’m a good Christian. It’s Christ in me the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), not legalism and religion the hope of glory.

    Paul said in Romans 7:6 that we have died to the law and now we are free to live in the newness of life in the Spirit. Here it is in the Voice version. “But now that we have died to those chains that imprisoned us, we have been released from the law to serve in a new Spirit-empowered life, not the old written code.”

    I like the way Steve McVey says this. He says rules play no part in the life of a grace walking Christian. Rules do not guarantee or govern how well a Christian behaves. What guides us is the Spirit of Christ that lives in us.

    God creates a hunger to live a Godly lifestyle and then gives us the ability to do so. Philippians 2:13 in the Living Bible states “For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants”. Isn’t that just so cool? First He helps us want to obey Him, and then He helps us do what He gave us the desire to do. What’s our part? Rest and receive.

    So, why is it that the legalistic religious church still so easily embraces the rules and works mentality? It’s because they don’t study scripture and receive the deeper truths of the gospel of grace.

    Paul explains why the “church” continues to be tricked by the covenant of law, rule keeping and traditions of men in Colossians 2:20-23. Here are the verses in the NLT.

    20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as,

    We have taught this before. We have stated the truth that we died with Christ and we have been raised up again in the newness of life (Romans 6:4). Not only did we die with Christ, but He HAS set us free from the spiritual powers of this world. Then Paul asks a question. “Why do you keep on following rules of the world.”

    21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.

    These rules and traditions fade away or deteriorate with the using, just like a ziplock baggie you may wash out and try to use over. Religious rules and traditions constantly change, but the Word of Grace is constant, vigilant, and truth.

    23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

    Here’s the crux of the message Paul is trying to get across. It is in this verse 23 that Paul tells us why the religious legalistic church still embraces a works mentality. It’s because these rules may seem wise and they think it makes them look good. Then look what Paul says. “they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline”.

    Now that just appeals to most Christians because we are such a religious people. “Boy, I’ll tell you, I have tenacity and strong will power to keep these rules. By denying myself things, I will be so much more spiritual.”

    That’s not what scripture says. It says “they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires”. In other words, all your dogged perseverance, resolve, grit, and guts will provide absolutely no positive results in your efforts to thwart off your fleshly desires. Only the spirit-empowered life inside you can do that.

    So the question is “What Covenant Is Ours”? If you think it’s keeping religious rules and traditions of men to appear pious and spiritual, then you are living in a failed obsolete covenant called Law. That’s not the answer. The answer is in the New Covenant of Grace where we rest in Christ and let Him live His life in us and through us. Grace and Peace.