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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Goal Never Changes, continued
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)
"Oh, but I'm busy for the Lord."
You're busy "for the Lord" all right but if you are behaving unrighteously He doesn't know you and your religious works do not compensate for your bad manners.
You may be facing the fire. Better check in at the front desk and get a report card.
God is calling for repentance today, not for excuses about how we are saved by grace or identification.
God is our Father. Let's obey Him as a father should be obeyed.
The Jews learned righteousness—to be generous with the poor and to deal faithfully in their business dealings.
They learned holiness—specific things to eat; specifics regarding their hair, their dress, the way to deal with leprosy. They were a people set apart to God for His purposes and were not to live in moral and physical filth like Gentiles.
They learned obedience—to bring their sacrifices to the Altar of Burnt Offering; to follow the cloud by day and the fire by night.
Under the new covenant we learn upright dealing with people from the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
We learn we are to be morally clean, from the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, and that our bodies are to be presented to God as a living sacrifice.
We learn from Christ and His Apostles that we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus every day. We are to be led of the Spirit, obeying God strictly in all matters.
Thus the goal remains the same under both covenants, with two major exceptions. The level of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God to which we are called under the new covenant is infinitely greater than that of the old.
Also the Divine grace (enablement) provided under the new is infinitely greater than that of the old.
The tremendous error in current thinking is that we are in a "dispensation of grace" such that the Divine goals have changed. (There is no such thing as a "dispensation of grace" as presently conceived!) The Divine goals never change. Grace is not an alternative to righteousness, holiness, and obedience, but the means of achieving these.
It is true that the blood of Jesus compensates for our weaknesses in these areas while we are starting out in God. But—and this is of awesome importance to understand—this compensation prevails only as long as we are walking in the Spirit of God and making progress in achieving the goals. The moment we get off the bus and cease following the Spirit in sanctification we come under condemnation. Then we are chastened of the Lord. If we do not repent we are in big trouble.
New-covenant grace is God in Christ giving us the power and wisdom to behave righteously, to set ourselves aside as holy, and to obey the Father in every detail. Grace is nothing more nor less than this. Our sins are forgiven for eternity. Guilt is never an issue provided we are following Christ. Forgiveness under the new covenant is not an amnesty but a Divine provision that makes it possible for us to come before the Mercy Seat and get the power and wisdom we need to overcome the enemies that would cause us to behave unrighteously, dwell in moral filthiness, and disobey God.
To be continued.