“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” ~ Hebrews 10:16
In a Bible study, I recently started attending it seemed like you had only 2 options…. antinomian (against the Law – basically hyper-grace) or a mix of law and grace (saved by grace but relying on the Law to keep us holy – specifically 10 commandments). I guess if those are my two options, then I must be antinomian. Though personally, I prefer the term “IN CHRIST” because in Christ we are no longer under the Law (Galatians 3:24). I am definitely against the idea of following the Old Covenant Mosaic Law as a moral compass. I tackled that issue in yesterday’s blog post 10 Commandments.
I do know quite a few people who believe that the law God has written on our new hearts as believers is the Old Covenant Law, making it easier to walk out. Why would God write the Mosaic Law on our hearts? All that the Law did was arouse sinful passions (Romans 7:5). Also, Romans 7:4 says that we died to the Law through Christ and we are now married to Him. So, if it’s not the Mosaic Law on our hearts. Which law did He write? According to Hebrews 10:16 He wrote laws (plural) on our hearts and our minds. I’ve found 4 different laws mentioned in the New Testament.
The Law of Love
Under the Mosaic Law, love was commanded in order to receive the blessings of long life, many children and for life to go well for you. Failure to obey this command of love would obviously result in not attaining those things. Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” This is impossible to fulfill in ourselves! No one can love God with ALL of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We try… we give it our best shot… but that is an impossibility in and of ourselves. But of course that was the purpose of the Old Covenant laws… they were meant to point us to Christ. To awaken in us the revelation that we in our selves… in our flesh… we cannot walk out or obey these laws… we need a Savior.
Under the new covenant of grace, Love is given to you. Out of Christ’s measureless love, we are now able to love others. It’s out of the overflow of His Love in us. It’s not something we have to work up in ourselves towards others or even towards God. Romans 5:5 tells us God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. God abundantly poured His love into our hearts by giving us the Holy Spirit, … the Spirit of Grace. Jesus said, “As I have loved you” – it’s out of His love that is in us that we are able to love. Do you see the difference between the old and new? Under the old, you loved others because you feared punishment…. you feared not receiving His blessings, His promises. But under the new, you love because the Lover lives in you and His nature is Love. He can’t be anything else. It’s not just an adjective that describes Him, it is who He is (1 Jn 4:8)
The law of the Spirit of life
The Old Covenant was a written code no one could keep (except Jesus) and the New Covenant is Christ Himself living in you. Paul told us in Romans 7:24 that trying to keep the Old Law makes you frustrated and miserable… “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Notice he didn’t say what will rescue me but rather Who… Who will rescue me? And the answer was….Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 7:24-25a). The old law is a what but the new law is a Who. The old law ministers condemnation and death (2 Cor 3:7-9), but the new law of the Spirit gives life (Rom 8:2). The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor 3:6) So Who gives life… Who rescued from the frustration of trying to keep the Law? The Spirit of Christ within you.
The perfect law of liberty
James wrote that “the perfect law gives freedom” (James 1:25). In contrast, Romans 7:6 tells us that the law of Moses binds. What is the perfect law that gives freedom?
It’s Jesus, the living Word who set us free. The perfect law of liberty describes what Jesus has done (perfectly fulfilled or completed the law) and the fruit He will bear in our lives (liberty) if we trust him.
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:25)
Look into the mirror of Moses’ law and you will be miserable, for it exposes all your faults… your weaknesses in serving God in the flesh. It is like putting a veil over your eyes and you are unable to see that Jesus fulfilled it all not just for you… but as you! Looking into the perfect law, which is Jesus, blesses you because it reveals his righteousness.
But it also says “Don’t just listen but do what it (the perfect law of liberty) says” (James 1:22). In other words, allow the Spirit of Christ to convince you that in Him you are righteous and holy. Don’t walk away from the perfect law and forget who you are in Christ. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Look intently with an unveiled face and be transformed into his likeness.
Law of faith
Romans 3:27 says Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. God is a faith God. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), so our relationship with the Lord is dependent on it. Faith is what brings the things God has provided for us from the spiritual realm into the physical realm (Heb. 11:1). Our faith is the victory that enables us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Everything the Lord does for us is accessed through faith.
And He has given to us His faith…. Galatians 2:20 says “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” We live our lives by His faith. Paul did not say that he lived by faith IN the Son of God but by the faith OF the Son of God. The measure of faith that Paul had was the same measure that Jesus had. It was Jesus’ faith. If there is only one measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), then we also have the faith of Jesus.
We don’t have to wonder if we have enough faith for something… or try to work up our faith. He gives us His faith to live by. How do we access this faith? Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We access God’s faith through His Word. When we hear God’s Word, the Holy Spirit empowers it, and if we receive the truth, God’s supernatural faith enters us.
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that faith is a fruit of the Spirit. Faith becomes a permanent part of our born-again spirits. There is no lack of faith within any true Christian. There is just a lack of knowing and using what God has already given us. Philemon 1:6 says, “hat the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Notice that Paul isn’t praying that Philemon will get something more from the Lord. He was praying that his faith would begin to work as he acknowledged what he already had. The word “acknowledge” means, “to admit, recognize, or report the receipt of.” You can only acknowledge something that you already have. We already have the faith of God, and it will begin to work when we acknowledge this.
Why would we want the Old Covenant Law written on our hearts? It is a ministry of death and condemnation. The New Covenant of grace and it’s laws that are written on our hearts is a ministry of life. The Spirit of Life abides in us and teaches us all things. He transforms us into the image of the Son. The Old Mosaic Law was made obsolete…. Hebrews 8:13 When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. Colossians 2:14 tells us that it was nailed to the Cross. Ephesians 2:15 tells us that in His incarnation, He rendered the entire Jewish system of laws and regulations useless as a measure to justify human life and conduct. Hebrews 8:7 says that if there had been nothing wrong with the first covenant there would’ve been no need for a second covenant to replace it.
We don’t need the Old Covenant Law to show us how to live holy lives. First of all, we have already been made holy — 1 Corinthians 1:30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. In Christ, we are righteous, holy and free from sin! That’s good news! Second of all, Titus 2:11-12 says that grace, not Law is what we need to teach us how to live holy — For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Now that Jesus has come, we no longer need the supervision of the law. So begin today to live a grace-filled life… standing fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, not becoming entangled again with a yoke of bondage to the Law and it’s commandments. (Galatians 5:1).