FROM MOSES TO CHRIST
FROM MOSES TO CHRIST Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Precisely what is the relationship between the Law and statutes of Moses and the grace of God in Christ? Some of the Messianic (Christian) Jews are returning to parts or all of the Law of Moses. Are they correct in doing this?
We Gentiles maintain we are not under the Law but under grace. Do we really understand what we mean by this? Has the Law truly been abolished?
Table of Contents
Introduction Man Is Created in Two Stages The Law of Moses Continues in Force Wherefore Then Serveth the Law? What Is Faith? The Program of Transition From Moses to Christ The Imputation of Righteousness Conclusion
FROM MOSES TO CHRIST
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John :17)
Some of the Messianic Jews and, in fact, some Gentile Christians, are returning to part or all of the Law of Moses. Why are they doing this?
They are doing this because of the way grace is preached in the Christian churches. Instead of Divine grace being presented as the means of enabling us to attain eternal life and godliness of character, grace is defined as an unconditional forgiveness existing in Gods mind but unrelated to our behavior.
For people, such as Jews, who desire more of God in their life than an overlooking of their sins, the current teaching is too shallow. Individuals who are seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness want more than the endlessly repeated assurance that no matter what they do Jesus loves them and has forgiven them.
When there is added to this the notion that any moment now the trumpet will sound (not too loudly for this is a secret!) and the careless, lukewarm believers of our day will be hurried off to their mansions, harps, golden slippers, and acres of diamonds to do nothing of significance for eternity, the person who is thirsting for the living God looks for something more substantial in the area of righteousness. He or she can find this in the synagogue listening to the rabbi give rich interpretations of the Law of Moses.
Perhaps in this brief article we can point out the true nature of the new covenant. Then it will be seen that the new covenant is infinitely superior to the Mosaic covenant and will provide the seeker with the righteousness of personality and behavior and the Presence of God he or she so ardently desires.
There is no way in which we can understand the new covenant until we grasp firmly and clearly the concept that man is not made in one stage but in two.
The first stage of man is the adamic creation.
The second stage of man is the new creation in Christ.
There has been tremendous confusion throughout Church history as the ministry has labored to bring the first man, the adamic man, to Heaven, to Paradise.
However, the new covenant is not the bringing of the adamic man to Paradise. The new covenant has to do with the crucifixion of the adamic man and the birth and formation of a new man, a man born not of human parents but of God.
One can see immediately the difference between these two distinctly different goals and the implication the distinction has for the Christian ministry.
It may be noted that when we speak of the crucifixion of the adamic man we do not mean the crucifixion only of the evil that is in the adamic man but the putting to death of the entire first personality.
Let us state in the beginning (though we may come back to it later) that the Law and statutes of Moses have no jurisdiction over the new creation, only over the adamic creation. Therefore for the Jew or anyone else to attempt to return to the Law of Moses is to resurrect the adamic man and attempt to teach him how to please God. This is utterly impossible.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (Romans 7:1)
As long as the adamic man lives the Law has jurisdiction over him. There is no need for the Law of Moses to govern the new creation for the new creation has been born of God and does not commit sin.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)
For those who hold that Divine grace is an unconditional forgiveness of the sins of Gentiles, the above passage is explained in one or more of the following ways:
"After Christs resurrection this passage no longer is binding on Christians." However, it may be noticed that Jesus was referring to the status of people in the Kingdom of Heaven, in which kingdom all saints hope to have a part. It is a little too simplistic to dismiss the Lords words in this manner. After all, Jesus said the Law would be in force until heaven and earth pass away.
"We still are bound by all or part of the Law even though we are Christians."
"Jesus was speaking only to non-Christian Jews in the four Gospel accounts and the Gospels do not apply to born-gain Christians." This view is held by many in spite of the immense problems it causes. For example, what do we do about the Lords teaching about being born again, which is found in the Gospel of John? We certainly cannot cut and paste passages of the Bible according to our notions!
A fourth explanation is that Jewish Christians are bound by the Law of Moses whereas Gentile Christians are notat least not to the same extent.
Actually, none of these explanations can pass the test of scriptural verification.
One great problem in Christian thinking today has to do with the division that is made between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, or between Israel and the Church. Let us explain.
There is a physical people and land of Israel, and God has promised to return His blessing to the physical people and land in the last days. We think we are very close to the end of the "times of the Gentiles."
However the physical people and land of Israel are not, in the present hour, what God means by "Israel." The term Israel refers only to those who are Gods elect by promise. God has promised that in the end time the physical people and land once again will become "Israel." As of now, Jerusalem on earth is Hagar, that is, the slave woman. Jerusalem on earth is not of Isaac, not of the Divine Seed. But physical Jerusalem yet will experience the fulfillment of the declarations of the Prophets!
So let us think now about present-day "Israel." True Israel is limited to Gods elect through Christ. The Jews by race have been broken off from the Olive Tree, which is Christ. All Christians, whether Jewish or Gentile, have been grafted on the one Olive Tree.
There now is one new man in Christ. Those who were under the Law and those who were not under the Law have become one because of the cross of Christ.
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (Ephesians 2:15,16)
There is no difference in Christ between the Jewish Christian and the Gentile Christian. The only differences between the Jewish Christian and the Gentile Christian have to do with the adamic creation, that is, with race and culture. But as far as the program of redemption is concerned, the transition from the adamic man to the new creation is precisely the same for Jew and Gentile.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ. And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:27-29)
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one body of Christ?
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one Church of the Firstborn?
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one wife of the Lamb?
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one family of God?
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one elect of God?
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one seed of Abraham?
What passage of the New Testament shows that any of the writers implied there is one program of redemption for the Jew and a different program for the Gentile? We are well aware of the fact that the first Christian church, the church in Jerusalem, consisted of Jews who observed the Law. We are aware also of the Council that was held in Jerusalem to determine whether Gentiles should keep the Law.
And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: (Acts 21:20)
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (Acts 15:19-21)
However, a study of the Epistles will reveal that these two passages found in the Book of Acts were in the nature of human adaptation to the change from Moses to Christ and references to them were never carried forward in the Epistles.
Since the Epistles of the Apostles are the primary source of Christian instruction there would be some suggestion in them that Christian Jews were to experience one kind of redemption and Christian Gentiles another. Not only is such a suggestion not found, the opposite is clearly stated: the two are one new man, one Seed (singular) of Abraham.
It is obvious that Chapters Two through Five of the Book of Romans provide the basis for Pauls teaching of Divine grace. Pauls statements in these four chapters reveal he is addressing both Jews and Gentiles. There is no difference here in his admonitions; neither is there a difference in Pauls preaching and teaching in the Book of Acts. The record of the Book of Acts shows clearly that the Apostle Paul spoke the same message of salvation to both Jews and Gentiles. It is true and understandable that the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem could not conceive of a Divine salvation apart from the Law of Moses, and so questions arose concerning Gentile believers. But as fast as Paul was able he drew a clear line between Moses and Christ, making no difference between Jew and Gentile.
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. (Galatians 2:12)
Paul is referring here to Peters indecision concerning Gentiles (and this after the vision of the sheet let down from Heaven!) Can you see that the problem arose, not because God wanted the Christian Jews to be separate from the Christian Gentiles but because of fearfear of the wrath of Jewish believers?
Paul was vehement concerning the error of bringing Christian believers back under the Law of Moses. This was especially true of Gentile believers but of necessity included Jewish believers since there is only one body of Christ.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6,7)
The Apostle Paul referred to any attempt to add Moses to the Christian salvation as "another gospel."
What passage of Scripture teaches there is more than one Kingdom of God, of Heaven? Some will say, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are two different kingdoms. But an examination of the parables that Matthew terms parables of the Kingdom of Heaven are referred to by the other writers as parables of the Kingdom of God.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
We think the division between Israel and the Church has proceeded from the philosophy termed "Dispensationalism." It is our opinion that Dispensationalism has proved to be destructive of coherent biblical interpretation and should be abandoned. It may be noticed that the idea of the pre-tribulation rapture, another tenet of Dispensationalism, is being reexamined in our day and various teachers and preachers, who may at one time have accepted the pre-tribulation rapture uncritically, are not finding support for this view in the Scriptures. This has been the case with the present writer.
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [guardian slave] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galatians 3:19-25)
The Lord Jesus stated that the Law would not pass away. But Paul, speaking by the Spirit of Christ, presents the Law as being temporary. The Law is permanent, and the Law is a temporary provision. Both statements are equally true, both having come originally from the God of Heaven.
We must understand that the writings of the Apostles do not supersede the commandments of Christ expressed in the four Gospel accounts. How could they? The Great Commission given to the eleven Apostles, and then to Paul, the twelfth (not Matthias, surely!another example of human adaptation) is to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the commandments given by Christ. Have these commandments been superseded by the writings of the Apostles such that the Great Commission has been changed to, "tell the nations they are saved by grace and no longer are obliged to keep the commandments of Christ"?
How can the Law be permanent and yet a temporary provision?
The answer is as follows: the Law of Moses indeed is permanent and is a covenantal, abridged form of the eternal moral law of God. Adultery always is sin. Murder always is sin. Covetousness always is sin. As for the ceremonial statutes, they teach us to distinguish between that which is holy and that which is not holy. Circumcision speaks of the cutting away of the adamic nature and its replacement by the Presence of God.
No, such are never superseded as to intent.
The new covenant, which is never made with a Gentile (except as the Gentile becomes part of Israel through Christ), only with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, is the writing of the Law in our mind and on our heart.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
The old remains intact in the new and is greatly enlarged. Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Orthodox Jews.
The Law serves as a slave that guards us against sin until we come to Christ. When we come to Christ by faith, Christ by several Divine graces, including the impartation of His own body and blood, enables us to keep the Law to a much fuller extent than ever could be possible by the adamic nature interacting with the Law of Moses.
If we choose to remain in our adamic personality and go back under the Law, then we have turned away from Christ. We have chosen the slave over Christ. And since we cannot offer the blood sacrifices required by the Law, we are not really under the Law at all. We have brought ourselves into confusion.
Paul said, "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster [a guardian servant]" (Galatians 3:25).
If it is faith that removes us from the jurisdiction of the guardian servant, then it is critically important how we define faith. We will present three incorrect definitions and then the correct definition of faith.
The first incorrect definition is as follows: faith is our statement of belief in the facts concerning Christ, His atonement and His bodily resurrection from the dead. For example: "I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, made an atonement for my sins on the cross of Calvary, and then was raised from the dead by the Father."
The above is a profession of belief that orients us to the plan of salvation but it is not what the Bible means by faith. The demons know these facts better than we (though they lie about them) and they possess no faith whatever.
The second incorrect definition of faith is the idea of identification. Christ is perfectly holy, perfectly righteous. "By being identified with Him I also am perfectly holy and perfectly righteous. I am an overcomer because He is an overcomer."
This is to call Jesus "Lord! Lord!" and then not do what He says. When we first are saved the Lord spreads His covering of righteousness over us. But then we are to keep His commandments. We are to "go and sin no more." If we keep appealing to the Lords righteousness but do not keep His commandments, we do not love Him. We are attempting to turn the grace of God into immorality.
The third incorrect definition is that faith is our acknowledgment that the things God has stated concerning us are true and already are true of our personality. An example of this would be, "I believe I am a new creation in Christ. All the old things of my personality have passed away and all things have become new. I know this is true because the Bible says so."
This definition contains truth but it can and does lead into error unless it is interpreted in terms of the whole counsel of God.
One can see the error clearly by thinking about the Jews in Egypt. God promised them He had given them a land flowing with milk and honey. A Jew could declare his faith in the promise of God. But there are two different ways in which he or she could act on it.
The first way would be to sit in Egypt and keep declaring that God had given the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey.
The second way would be to follow the cloud and fire until he was in a position to fight his way into the land of promise.
The first way is a deadly error. Only the Lord knows how many hundreds of thousandsif not millions!of Christians are professing their confidence in the Word of God but are sitting in Egypt. They are not following the Spirit of God toward the land. They have confused mental assent with a living, vital faith in God
It is absolutely essential we grasp the vision that God has set before us. The vision is in two parts: the first part is that we have been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ until we become His brother; the second part is that we are to be one in Jesus in the Father and with other believers. This is the two- dimensional goal of salvation.
If we hold fast our confidence in the promise of God we will be made a partaker of Christ.
But if all we do is keep assuring ourselves that God has spoken the truth we will never arrive at the goal. We must set out to follow the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given the task of bringing us to Christ. The Holy Spirit rather than the Law of Moses is the guardian servant under the new covenant. The Holy Spirit is as Eliezer, Abrahams servant, who brought Rebecca to Isaac.
How many believers are waiting today for Christ to do what He never will do? They are not obeying the commandments of the Apostles found in the Epistles or the commandments of Christ found in the Gospels. It is only by obeying these commandments that we journey through the wilderness until we come to the land of promise.
The correct definition of faith has to do with laying hold on the true vision God has set before us, and then setting out to follow the Holy Spirit each day of our life. The Spirit brings us through a multitude of experiences. We have to put to death the sin in our nature through the Spirit. We have to reckon ourselves alive in God through Christ and seated with Him at the right hand of God. We have to get the Lords help in overcoming every adversary.
We will be tested as to our love of the world, our love of pleasure, and our self-love and self-will. We must pass every test. When we stumble we are to get up and fight on. We must be totally obedient to the revealed will of God, both in the Scriptures and also to His will revealed to us personally.
We must keep the goal before us and never cast away our confidence that what God has begun in our life He will finish to perfection.
This is what it means to live by faith. Living by faith means interacting continually with God through Christ rather than trusting our own wisdom and strength to enable us to live each day.
The first man, Adam, was born of our parents. It is he that the Law of Moses watches very carefully. Adam will never be admitted to the Kingdom of God no matter what he does. It is the new creation, Christ formed in us, that is the new covenant; that is the Kingdom of God; that is salvation.
The first man has been assigned to the cross with Christ. This is where he belongs.
And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
The new creation has no need of the Law of Moses. The new man cannot sin, having been born of God.
The question is, how does one get from the old man to the new man?
The answer is, by the Spirit of God.
Let us see how the program of transition operates:
The believer grasps the goal, which is change into the moral image of Christ (finally change into the bodily image provided the moral change is successful), and untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.
The believer recognizes his adamic nature is unable to attain either of these goals.
The believer makes a clear, unqualified decision to put to death his old nature by obeying the commandments of the Apostles. The Holy Spirit enables him to do this.
The believer makes a clear, unqualified decision to live henceforth in the resurrection Life of the Lord Jesus, as the Spirit of God enables.
The old, adamic nature is rendered powerless and Christ is formed in the personality.
The believer grasps the goal, which is change into the moral image of Christ (finally change into the bodily image provided the moral change is successful), and untroubled rest in the Father through Christ.
The two-dimensional goal must be kept firmly in mind. Today the goal is viewed as eternal residence in Paradise in a mansion. This is not a scriptural goal. Because the wrong goal is being presented, the whole plan of redemption has become unscriptural and confused. The blood of Jesus is understood to be a ticket to Heaven instead of an atonement that enables Adam to approach the Mercy Seat so he may obtain the Divine grace necessary for his change into the new creation.
The believer recognizes his adamic nature is unable to attain either of these goals. Neither keeping the Law of Moses nor the requirements of any other creed will enable an individual to be changed into the moral image of Christ or to enter untroubled rest in the Father. It is as Paul said: "All of my achievements as a Jew and a Pharisee are loss for Christ. All the righteousness I can gain by my own efforts is garbage.
"I am seeking to win Christ. I do not desire one particle of the righteousness that comes by observing the Law, only the righteousness that comes as I grasp the vision of God and then follow the Holy Spirit to the fulfilling of the vision.
"I want to experience the power of Christs resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. I want to attain to the resurrection that is out from among the dead."
The believer makes a clear, unqualified decision to put to death his old nature by obeying the commandments of the Apostles. The Holy Spirit enables Him to put to death the deeds of his old nature. Here is the key to the transition.
Notice it is the adamic man who makes the decision to put himself to death. Many people are waiting until Christ is formed in them so Christ will overcome their sin for them. They are waiting in vain. This is not how the transition is made. The transition from the old man to the new is made only as the old man obeys, through the Holy Spirit, the commandments of the Apostles. In so doing he slays himself. In so doing he makes it possible for the Holy Spirit to create the new man in him. The new man does not sin because he has been born of God.
Keeping the commandments of the Apostles enables us to enter the new covenant, but of itself the keeping of the commandments is not the new covenant. The new covenant is Christ who is being formed in us.
As to keeping the commandments of the Apostles:
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Romans 6:17)
It is not the new man who obeys from the heart the doctrine of the Apostles, it is the old man who obeys the teaching with the help of the Holy Spirit.
In other words, we have to do what the Bible says!
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. (I Corinthians 15:34)
Wake up and quit sinning!
We must put to death the appetites and passions of our flesh if we are to lay hold on the resurrection unto eternal life. If we live in the works of the first man, the flesh and soul, we will destroy our own resurrection.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
Notice the verses that lead up to this statement.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)
If Christ is dwelling in us our body is dead because of the sin that dwells in it but our new born-again inward nature is alive because of the righteousness of the Law that has been imputed to it.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)
If the resurrection Life of God is dwelling in us the day will come when that Life will make alive even our physical body. This will take place in the Day of the Lord provided we do not in the present hour destroy our spiritual life by living in the lusts and desires of the first man.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (Romans 8:12)
Because there is no eternal life in our dead body, and because there now is life in our born-again inward nature, we are not obligated to live according to the fleshly soul and mind. We owe the first personality nothing. The duty of the first personality is to be willing to hang on the cross with Christ until the new man is raised to live with Christ at the right hand of God in Heaven.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
If you live in the desires and thinking of your first personality you will put to death the resurrection life that is in you. When the trumpet sounds there will be no life in you to carry you up to the Lord in the clouds.
However, if you are willing, that is, if your first personality is willing, to put to death the deeds of your body (which is to crucify your first personality), the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen you so you will gain the upper hand over the sin that dwells in your flesh.
The sin is always forgiven when we confess it and turn away from it. On some occasions the very presence of sin leaves our personality. On other occasions the sin is rendered powerless but we have to maintain the upper hand over it. Maintaining an upper hand over the lusts of our flesh and soul teaches us how to war in the Spirit and serves a useful purpose.
In the Day of Redemption, all remaining sin will be removed from us and we shall be clothed with eternal life. This is true if we have faithfully put to death the deeds of our body as the Spirit points them out to us.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
The believer makes a clear, unqualified decision to henceforth live in the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus, as the Spirit of God enables. To live in the resurrection life of the Lord is a choice we make. It is an attitude, one might say.
As we follow the Lord we continually are challenged. For example, there may be someone who has behaved cruelly to us. We may have a good degree of victory over the hatred and bitterness that such behavior causes. But the Lord shows us there is an even greater degree of generosity and joy of spirit that we are to have.
To rise to this new level of spirituality is difficultimpossible for the adamic nature in its own strength. But as we choose to follow the Lord, the Holy Spirit further slays our old nature. Then the Holy Spirit places the body and blood of the Lord within us until new moral strength enters our personality. This is resurrection life. Now we are able not only to forgive but also to be generous toward our adversaries. We can chuckle with the Lord because of the enormous power that has been given to us.
The resurrection of our bodily form takes place in two stages. The first stage is the raising of our flesh and bone body from wherever it was interred. The second stage is the clothing of the resurrected flesh and bone body with our house from Heaven.
Our house from Heaven is formed as we choose to accept the deaths the Lord sends our way and choose to participate in the accompanying resurrections. In the Day of the Lord we shall be clothed with our behavior.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)
The clean, white linen with which we shall be clothed in the day of resurrection is made up of our righteous deedsrighteous deeds made possible by the Holy Spirit and also by the Virtue of Christ being formed in us.
If, in the above example, we choose to hold onto our anger and bitterness, and do not permit the resurrection Life of the Lord to grow in us in this area, then we shall be clothed with an angry and bitter attitude in the Day of the Lord.
If we choose to put to death the anger and bitterness of our first personality, and permit the resurrection Life of the Lord to increase in us, then we shall be clothed with a merciful and compassionate attitude in the Day of the Lord.
Of all the understandings needed today by the believers in Jesus, perhaps the greatest is that we are forming the nature of our resurrection by what we are doing in the present hour. We actually are working out our own salvation!
We shall reap that which we sow. There is no changing of this principle such that we sow to the adamic nature and reap the Kingdom of God. If we sow to the Holy Spirit we will reap eternal life. If we sow to our fleshly nature we will reap corruption in the Day of Resurrection.
If we sow to righteousness we will reap righteousness and all the consequences of a righteous personality and behavior. If we sow to sin we will reap sin and all the consequences of a sinful personality and behavior. This is true whether or not we are a Christian. The exception to this is if the unsaved is presented with Christ and refuses the salvation in Christ, he brings himself under condemnation whether or not his deeds are righteous.
The old, adamic nature is rendered powerless and Christ is formed in the personality. As we follow the Holy Spirit into area after area of our personality, choosing to put to death the deeds of the first personality and choosing to be filled with the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus and to live by that eternal Life, we find increasing victory over sin. That victory over sin is not the Kingdom, is not the new covenant. The Kingdom, the new covenant, is the new Life of the Lord Jesus that is formed in us as a consequence of our being willing to bring into subjection our first personality. The new Life is the ruler of the world to come. The new Life will receive all the rewards promised to the victorious saint.
We do not earn salvation by overcoming sin. We cannot overcome sin in our own strength. God commands us only to do the things we can do, such as pray, read our Bible, gather with the saints, give, serve, and do all else we have been commanded. In addition we are to obey the admonitions of the Apostles as much as we can. We are to turn away from adultery, fornication, gossip, slander, envy, covetousness, filthy speech, foolish talk, hatred, strife, drunkenness, and so forth. If after confessing our sin and seeking to turn away from it we find that one or more of these has us in chains, then we are to seek the help of other Christians as necessary, to pray, to keep on coming to the Lord until we gain total victory.
It never is Gods will for a Christian to walk in known sin. As we obey the Spirit and do what we can, the blood of the Lord Jesus keeps us without condemnation. As we obey the Spirit and make every effort to bring our body into submission, the Lord delivers us from bondage as a reward. The deliverance itself is the reward, the salvation. Then we receive eternal life as a reward for being delivered. So there is a double reward. We are rewarded for being rewarded. We earn none of this but we will not obtain the two rewards unless we do our part.
Sitting in Egypt will never bring us to the land of promise.
The righteousness that would have been gained by us had we kept the Law of Moses perfectly is ascribed to us when we obey the Spirit of God. We meet all the requirements of the Law, and thus are perfectly righteous and without condemnation, when we live in the Spirit of God.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
If we are obeying the Spirit of God there is no need for us to go back under any aspect of the Law of Moses because the righteous requirements of the Law are met by us when we obey the Spirit. The righteousness put to our account is based on the fact that Christ kept the Law perfectly and then shed His blood as an atonement for us who have not kept the Law of God.
An individual cannot possibly add to this perfect righteousness by keeping the Sabbath, the feast days, circumcision, or any other observance.
The Jewish or Gentile Christian cannot go back and obtain righteousness by means of the Law of Moses. How could he when a great part of that Law includes animal sacrifice? Under the Law there is no remission of sin except through the blood offered on the altar, and the prescribed animal sacrifice is not being made today.
When Christ shed His blood on the cross the perfect atonement was made. There never again shall be a blood sacrifice God will accept. The blood of His Son has made the atonement. To attempt to add to this is blasphemous.
But what about Ezekiels Temple?
It is felt by some Jewish Christians that the Temple will be rebuilt and that Jews will offer animal sacrifices there during the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
While we are in agreement that the Temple will be rebuilt, God will accept no sacrifice made there as an atonement for sin. Every offering has been completely fulfilled in the offering made by Christ on the cross.
To what, then, is Ezekiel referring when he speaks of the Temple and of the tables of hewn stone on which the various sacrifices are to be offered?
Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices. (Ezekiel 40:41)
Ezekiels Temple is a symbolic picture of the inward personality of redeemed man. The vision of the Lord in the first chapter of Ezekiel is a picture of the Lord Himself and also of man made in the image of God.
The many measurements in the description of the Temple portray the continual measuring and judging that takes place as Christ is formed in us. The water to the ankles, knees, loins, and then waters to swim in speak of our progress in the Spirit of God. The trees of life are the sons of God who will bring forth the water of the Spirit to heal the dead creation during the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
The description of the guard stations tells us the saint must always post a guard against the enemy.
The eight (eight is the number of the covenant) tables of sacrifice show us that God must hew out tables of stone in our personality until we are always ready to offer up to God any person, thing, or circumstance He requires. All we hold dear must be kept on the altar if we are to please God.
The Law of Moses has jurisdiction over our first, adamic personality. Our first personality contains a body of sin over which the Law of Moses exercises constant watchfulness.
The new covenant assigns the first personality to the cross. This is the meaning of water baptism. Then, throughout our discipleship, the Holy Spirit continually points out aspects of our personality that must be crucified.
As we read the Scriptures the Day Star begins to rise in our heart. The Day Star is Christ. As He is formed in us, Divine Light increasingly illumines the dark recesses of our personality. Our task is to seek the help of the Holy Spirit in putting to death that which has been exposed and to encourage the new Life of Christ as it is being formed in us.
He must increase but we must decrease.
To gain the righteousness that is by faith in Jesus is to look up from the Law and see the crucified and resurrected Christ. Then we are to follow Him each day, keeping our eyes on Him. We are to live in the Spirit, not in the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life, but in the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God will never lead us into sin; neither will the Spirit of God lead us to go back under the Law of Moses. This would be contrary to the Scriptures and the Spirit never contradicts the Scriptures!
We are to present our body a living sacrifice that we may prove the will of God for ourselves. We are to keep ourselves from being conformed to the ways of the world, and are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind in Christ.
The Law of Moses is the household servant, the guardian slave, that brings us to Christ. When we arrive at Christ, Christ gives us a new Guide, the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God then brings us closer to Christ than ever would be possible by all the efforts of the Law of Moses.
The goal of the Divine redemption is our change into the moral and bodily image of Christ and also untroubled rest in the Father through Christ. Now we are eligible to participate in all the relationships, roles, and tasks God has prepared for us from the beginning of the world.
Everything is performed by the Spirit of God.
Everything is made new in Christ.
All the old is passing away. All the new is of God
For in Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:15)