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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Why Have We Changed the New Covenant?, #10
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (Romans 8:13—NIV)
This is what Paul means by saying two verses later (above) that if we live according to our sinful nature we will die. In fact, we will slay our own resurrection unto eternal life.
This is what Paul means when he warns those who have believed and been baptized in water, "The wages of sin is death."
The Christian life does not hand us eternal life. Rather, it hands us the choice to pursue eternal life. The person who does not have Christ does not have this choice.
The sixth chapter of Romans indicates clearly that Romans 10:9,10 taken by itself can lead us to a limited understanding of the new covenant, an understanding that can effectively prevent the moral transformation that is the heart of the new covenant and of the Kingdom of God.
It is clear we have changed the new covenant. Hebrews 8:10 seldom is preached. In its place is presented an inexpensive "ticket" to Heaven. The destructive philosophy of Dispensationalism, an error produced in the nineteenth century, has inserted into Christian thinking an unscriptural "dispensation of grace." The root of the problem, however, is the unbalanced emphasis on "faith alone" that somehow grew out of the Protestant Reformation.
The enemies of God have had a field day with the Christian churches, effectively steering their efforts away from the need to build the believers into the stature of the fullness of Christ, and inviting them to place an unscriptural emphasis on evangelism (the adding of spiritual babies to the churches already filled with spiritual babies). One hears a great deal about the need for evangelism but not much about the scriptural injunction to make disciples according to the terms of the Great Commission.
The unscriptural doctrine of a "rapture" to remove the believers from the scene of trouble has contributed to the eternal babyhood of the believers.
Satan's kingdom is never threatened until believers in Jesus Christ begin to practice righteousness, exhibit holy personalities, and obey God sternly. For this reason he will fight with all his ancient wisdom to prevent Christian leaders from using their gifts to bring believers to spiritual maturity.
Satan's principal weapon to the present hour has been the corruption of Christian teaching and preaching, using his wisdom to encourage God's leaders to develop a people-pleasing lawless-grace based on a handful of verses taken out of context.
In America the evidence of success in the ministry is a large number of people in one's congregation. Therefore there is a temptation to emphasize again and again that we are saved by grace and at any moment will be caught up to Heaven in a "rapture." The American believer is pleased also by the idea that he deserves to be rich and healthy, and Christ is his servant who will give him all he desires. Such preaching is almost certain to fill any building.
If you will notice carefully, the novelties that keep springing up in American churches have this in common: they do not demand that the believer turn away from sin, take up his cross, and patiently follow Christ each day. Each novel emphasis offers a life-preserving blessing in which Christ does all the work and acts as our servant.
So far Satan has been remarkably successful in his efforts to protect his rule over the peoples of the earth! (from Why Have We Changed the New Covenant?)