© September 14, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
Whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian, in order for you to know and understand the Christian faith, you need to get somebody who is able to rightly divide the Bible and its contents for you. I cannot emphasize this point enough. It is crucial, even lifesaving, that you understand the Bible, to then properly apply its teachings.
If the Bible is misunderstood, it can lead to untold suffering. Yes, it can. The Bible in the hands of a novice will become an Uzi submachine gun – a novice with trigger happy fingers, ready to shoot and kill at will. The Bible, on the other hand, in the hands of a gospel centered expert, will become a well spring of joy. When the Bible is properly understood, it can lead to unspeakable joy and delight.
This is my passion. I, want our generation to understand, apply, and even enjoy the Bible. And, especially to know the difference between the Old Covenant, and the New Covenant. When I read a passage in the Bible that is in the Old Testament, I, try to explain how that particular passage has been fulfilled in the New Testament. This way you get to know how to live in the present in view of the Old Testament.
So, here’s another sample of my many posts about the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
The Old Covenant
In the Old Covenant, if you obeyed, God blessed you. If you disobeyed, God cursed, judged, and punished you – I WILL BLESS YOU, IF YOU OBEY AND I WILL CURSE YOU, IF YOU DISOBEY. Consequently, God had two parts of his I WILL’S. One part of his I Will’s was good and beneficial, and the other was bad and catastrophic.
In Ezekiel 5, the nation of Israel had disobeyed, and were faced with the part of the I WILL’S that were catastrophic.
Vs. 8 – I will punish you publicly.
Vs. 9 – I will punish you like I have never punished anyone before or ever will again.
Vs. 10 – I will punish you and scatter to the winds the few who survive.
Vs. 11 – I will cut you off completely.
Vs. 11 – I will show you no pity at all.
Vs. 12 – I will scatter a third to the winds, chasing them with my sword.
Vs. 13 – My anger will be spent, and I will be satisfied.
Vs. 14 – I will turn you into a ruin, a mockery in the eyes of the surrounding nations and to all who pass by.
Vs. 16 – I will shower you with the deadly arrows of famine to destroy you.
Vs. 16 – I will bring the sword of the enemy against you.
This is just a summation of the consequences of disobeying God’s law. This is what the nation of Israel received because of their disobedience.
The New Covenant
In the New Covenant, however, Jesus obeyed and God blessed us. Jesus took the punishment for our disobedience. Consequently, God only has I WILL’s for our good – benefit.
Hebrews 8:10-12 (NLT), Hebrews 10:16-17 (NLT)
Vs. 10 – But this is the New Covenant I will make.
Vs. 10, 16 – I will put my laws in their minds.
Vs. 10, 16 – I will write them on their hearts.
Vs. 10, 16 – I will be their God.
Vs. 12, 17 – I will forgive their wickedness.
Vs. 12, 17 – I will never again remember their sins.
This is a summation of the consequences of Jesus obeying God’s law on our behalf. This is what we receive because of Jesus’ obedience.
I, wonder sometimes, whether the proponents of the law, be they preachers or mere Christians, consider the ramifications of basing our lives on the law. Do they question whether we have enough fortitude to live within the dictates of the law. I don’t think so.
Proponents of grace, however, consider the full weight of the law and then run to Jesus. They run to grace – Jesus, the embodiment of grace. Jesus took our punishment for our disobedience and secured the blessing for us by his obedience.
Jesus took our punishment for our disobedience and secured the blessing for us by his obedience.
I think, you only have two choices when it comes to living out the Christian life. You either live under the law, or under grace. You either live by your obedience, or live by Jesus’ obedience on your behalf. You either live out of your own resources, or live by the rich resources made available to you in the New Covenant. You either DIY, or let Jesus do it himself. You either live by trying to finish the work of God in your life, or live by Jesus’s final words on the cross – IT IS FINISHED.
I, would surmise that, a majority of modern day Christians, still live under the law. Very few fully grasp in their lifetime, the New Covenant and its benefits.
Living under grace is challenging because it goes against the grain of human nature and natural law. I, have discovered, that I’m constantly living in the tension between grace and law. I, see-saw in between. Living under grace is not automatic. It is not natural. You have to make very conscious decisions and be aware of this grace and apply it.
Christian, would you consider how you live your life? Is it based on what you do, or on what Jesus has done for you? Do you do you, or does Jesus do for you?
Non-Christian, could it be easier for you, if you let someone else bear the burden of you trying to obey and please God? It is weighty, complicated and cumbersome trying to obey and please God. Try and deflect this burden to Jesus, and be set free to live and enjoy life. It’s really that simple, or so we think.
That’s what grace looks like