The Law Christians Keep.

My wife always tells me that different people ‘see' things from different points of view even when faced with the same information. So it can be useful to handle articles with this in mind and use different ways to introduce subjects. Thus in this case I’d like to introduce an analogy which I hope many will find helpful.

In England we drive on the left. There are laws on the statute books covering this and giving all the details about signs, and etiquette, etc. These are good laws.

Now let's say you leave London and leave the Old Country and move to France and live in Paris permanently. If you were to continue to drive on the left, sooner perhaps rather that later, you are likely to have an accident and someone may be killed. As, in this scenario, you were deliberately driving on the left, the authorities may consider it murder. So the very law, (good though it was in it's own context), which was meant to provide safety on the road, when you keep it in another country, can bring harm.

Now apply this analogy to the Old and New Covenants and let’s see what we may find out.

There is, as you probably can see, an obvious parallel between that analogy and the change from the Old to the New Covenant. When people realize that Jesus brought a completely new way to live and that the two covenants are like English law and French law so to speak, then they change completely from one to the other. They do not keep any part of the Old Covenant (OC) but switch totally to keeping those commands they find in the New Covenant. There are over 1000 commands in the New Testament some say. That ought to be enough to give newby Christians guidance as they learn to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them and they start following the perfect guide - Holy Spirit!

So imagine you are now living in a new country called the New Covenant, which is a unilateral covenant made between Father God and Jesus. You have moved here because it is significantly different to the Old. For a start we Christians did not have to agree to any written code like the Israelites did with the OC, before it was sprinkled with blood to ratify it. Our covenant is like the Abrahamic covenant which was also unilateral. It was not dependent on Abraham's performance for him to get the blessings, just like our New Covenant is not dependent on our performance. It's all by faith in Jesus. The human 'participants' in Jesus' day did not have to agree to any conditions or list of laws.

Let's look back at the cutting of the Abrahamic Covenant.... Abraham was asleep when God made the covenant ‘with him’, and only God walked through the cut animals. Two people - Torch and Oven!

Gen 15:12 & 17-18 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him.

And it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
            “To your descendants I have given this land,
            From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:”

So also, on the cross God was in Christ reconciling us to Himself. Just the two of them.

2 Cor 5:19 ...namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

All the laws Christians are to follow are in this New Covenant only. For newby Christians who do not yet hear God in them, there are those 1000 commands in the new testament as I have mentioned before! There may even be some with similar wording to some in the OC. But, just as when living in France we obey the laws on the French statute books, so we obey those similar laws because they are on the New Covenant statute books, where we now live.

Note also that if one commits an offence in France it is the French police who pursue the case according to French law. The British police would not be interested in the least. You are as good as dead as far as British law is concerned.

In the NC where you now live, when you once learn to hear God though; to be guided by the Holy Spirit in you, and Jesus in you and Father God in you, then you can really start renewing your mind to be like Jesus'.

As we renew our minds, and let Jesus live His life through us, we take on the mind of Christ. Now we get closer and closer to keeping naturally the real commandment we are called to keep, "TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVES". This is the command Jesus gave to us in John 13:34.

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you should love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”

Now some may ask, "Don't you have to keep both of the covenants, the Old and the New?

Well, Paul covered this point when he wrote in Romans 7:1-6 that the Old Covenant was a marriage covenant and "Jehovah God", the "I AM", the "Aleph and the Tal" was a husband to Israel. We actually can see that God saw himself as Israel's husband by looking at Jeremiah 31:32 for instance...

Jer 31:32 It (the New Covenant) will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt; —a covenant they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. ”

Notice that God says the New Covenant will not be like the Old Covenant made at Sinai, and He says He was a husband to them. And then in Romans, Chapter 7, verses 1-6, Paul reminds us that when the husband in a marriage dies the marriage is over and the wife is not bound by the laws associated with that marriage. If a spouse dies the marriage contract is recinded. The law has authority on a person only as long as the person lives!

Rom 7:1-6 Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. ”

We should see the connections to what Paul says above about the death of a spouse. "Jehovah God" , the "Aleph and the Tal", "The Alpha and the Omega", "The First and the Last who was dead and is alive", "Jesus the Messiah" (Rev 1:17-18), was that husband!

So since we are released from the law by our death in Christ, the OC has no jurisdiction over us, like the British police above. And we do not refer to the (OC) written code to know how to live, we let Holy Spirit be our guide to the NC. There-after we start naturally doing what is right, because Holy Spirit would not guide us into error.

Laws like “Thou shalt not murder” or “Thou shalt not steal” from the OC are at the level of “Do no harm” but unfortunately they also put the thoughts of those sins into your mind as you meditate on them.

Say 1000 times -"I must not murder!" "I must not murder!" "I must not murder!"

What this does is bring thoughts of murder to the forefront of your mind.

Perhaps that is one reason why Paul says in 1 Cor 15:56…

1 Cor 15:56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.”

Surely though, as we develop the mind of Christ and concentrate on loving God and others as Christ loved, more and more we would not think of doing wrong!

Now meditate on Christ's New Covenant law to love as He loved.

Say 1000 times, "I must love as Jesus loved!" "I must love as Jesus loved!" "I must love as Jesus loved!"

The result is that you bring love to the forefront of your mind. Your thoughts will be of doing good.

I believe we are supposed to grow to have the kind of mind that God has and which we only see glimses of in the bible. Take the time when the people of Israel burned their children to Molech. Have you ever noticed what God said when this was brought to his attention? His reaction is stated in two places, one of them being Jeremiah chapter 32, verse 35...

Jer 32:35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”

That is where we as Christians are heading; to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, where we do not use a written code to illustrate to us what sins to avoid and thus bring those sins to the forefront of our minds.

Instead we focus on Jesus and on loving as He loved. Then, like God, to think evil or to do evil simply would not enter our minds. Instead, doing good hrough faith in Jesus, comes to the forefront of our minds.

As Paul tells us in Galations 3:21...

Gal 2:16 Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ."

We see that, through keeping the law no-one is justified. Rather we are justified or made righteous, by faith in God's own Son and learning to love as He loved.

And following Holy Spirit our growth continues as it says in Ephesians, Chapter 4, verse 13...

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man (or woman), to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”

And, under this New covenant, as we grow in Christ, since we are holy and righteous and are the temple of the living God, we are holy and righteous 24/7. If the ground around a bush where God was present was holy, how much more are Christians who have God present in us all the time.

God's New Covenant temple is always holy; always loving and growing to be like Jesus. To where thinking about evil and sin simply would not enter our minds!


Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.


Another thought...