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The Daily Word of Righteousness
God's Unfolding Plan, #12
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
The result of the grace given under the new covenant is described above.
The new covenant contains grace of such Divine Virtue, of such power and breadth, that righteous conduct is made possible. In fact, a whole new creation is brought into being.
Such is grace under the new covenant.
Under the new covenant, God Himself has become our salvation.
God Himself has come down from Heaven to earth, not only to forgive us but to deliver us from the power and the effects of sin, to form us in His image, to bring us into oneness with Himself and with other saints, to make us very fruitful in multiplying the image of Christ in the universe, and to remove from us every authority and power other than the Presence of God through Christ.
The only manner in which any human being can become truly righteous, holy, and sternly obedient to God, in fulfillment of God's standard of conduct, is by having Christ Himself formed and abiding in him.
The purpose of freeing us from the requirements of the Law of Moses is to bring us into total, complete union with Christ in order that we may bring forth unto God the fruit of righteous behavior (Romans 7:4).
As it is true that the grace given under the new covenant is incomparably greater than what has been given at any other time, so it is true also that the requirements placed on the participants are much more demanding.
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)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26,27)
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (II Corinthians 5:15)
We can see at once that Christ, under the new covenant, is demanding our entire personality.
Never before has the Lord God issued grace of such abundance. Never before has the Lord God placed such requirements on people.
By definition, a Christian is a disciple of Christ (Acts 11:26).
To be a Christian, to come under the new covenant, we must count ourselves as dead. We must present our body a whole burnt offering to God. We must keep our mind fixed on Christ who is at the right hand of God. We must keep our relationships with people, even with the members of our immediate family, so subordinate to our love for Christ that in comparison it is as though we hated them.
To be continued.