Freedom…in Jesus Alone!

Are we still under the Mosaic Law or are we free? (Below are comments from another blog source which was on this very topic. This is an excerpt.)

So stand strong for our freedom! The Anointed One freed us so we wouldn’t spend one more day under the yoke of slavery, trapped under the law. Listen because I, Paul, am going to make this message very clear so it cannot be misunderstood: if you undergo the rite of circumcision, then all that the Anointed accomplished will be lost on you. And understand this: if you choose to be circumcised, then you will oblige yourself to do every single rule of the law for the rest of your lifeYou, and anyone else who seeks to be on the right side of God through the law, have effectively been cut off from the Anointed, circumcised from grace, and cast off from the favor of God. (Galatians 5:1-4/The Voice)

Here we see that there were those instructing that the act of circumcision was required of the Galatian believers, in keeping with the Mosaic Law rather than, only faith in the Messiah. If one thing is added or, even required, then all is added and required. By the act of circumcision, which was a covenant seal testifying to subjection under the law, one was placing themselves back under the yoke and supervision of the entire law.

The bigger picture is the fact that it’s not the legalistic observance of any command or law which thus brings us closer to Christ. It can’t. One may claim they have confessed the Lordship of Jesus Christ yet, still be struggling in their flesh to overcome the struggles of their sinful flesh. The more invested of themselves to come into alignment with the Law, they more they fail.

Rather, as stated in Gal 5:16, it’s through our investment in the Spirit within, to walk after the Spirit-in step with the Spirit-being led by the Holy Spirit in every avenue of our lives. The prophecies in Jeremiah 31:31 and scripture reaffirmed in Hebrews 8, speak of His law being written on our hearts and minds. Now I’ve heard some teach that this means the law is still in full effect, just now it’s on the inside. I disagree with that interpretation and here is why. A secular, unbelieving person could memorize every law, every jot and tittle, committing it to memory, in such a way as the law being written in their minds and in their heart-so much so that they know it like their own name. But that doesn’t make them any holier or any more like God, and certainly has nothing to do with a new and better covenant. In fact, many of the scholars, scribes and rabbi’s over the centuries did just this.

No, these prophetic scriptures regarding the new covenant speak rather of God depositing His very character within the life of man. This is accomplished by the act of the new birth, upon confession of sin and profession of Jesus as Lord and savior. At the new birth, we are reborn with God’s character within, through the residing Holy Spirit. Just as newborn babes, we are to grow-spiritually in this instance. As we pray, meditate on the Word of God, and seek His face, surrendering our fleshly desires unto His spiritual desires for us, we become more and more like Him. The spirit within grows stronger as our carnal flesh grows weaker. As we do so, our lives are less and less carnal and more and more like Jesus. We are to be Jesus here on Earth-in the sense of doing what He did and doing even greater things since He departed (John 14:12).

Overcoming sin and the fleshly nature (sin nature) happens in an inverse relationship. It does not happen as we seek to obey commandments of the law. It happens rather as we turn from trying to overcome our flesh and sin by specific acts of either following the law and/or working on breaking a habit, etc., to turning unto Jesus and Jesus alone in worship and surrender. We are to focus on Him, drawing deeper and deeper in our faith walk and love for Him. As we do this, we become more like Him and our fleshly acts of sin fall away. This is in direct contrast to law keeping and commandment abiding. This is precisely why I don’t promote trying to keep the Ten Commandments or the rest of the Law of Moses.  Do I promote breaking the Ten Commandments? Absolutely not, for sin is transgression of the Law.

As we seek to live our lives being led by the Holy Spirit, our lives will reflect the character of God. It’s not by commandment keeping. The commandment brought death and magnified sin within humanity. The Apostle Paul comments that we are called to be ‘free’ but that we are not to use such freedom to indulge sin. We are free from the constraints and bondage that came by being in debt to the law. The debt was paid. We are free to serve in the new way of the Spirit, and when we do so, we won’t do what our old, carnal nature delights in-mainly sin but even beyond those things classified as sin by the law. There is so much more the Lord desires of us, beyond just the written commandments. As we are led by the Spirit, we are no longer in subjection to the old system-which includes circumcision or any other aspect of trying to keep the law. They were shadows of the reality which is found in Christ Jesus.

Returning as a debtor to the whole Law (as referenced in Gal 5:3) refers to the Mosaic commands as handed down from Sinai-the legalistic portion which laid out the commands as well as the blessings and the curses. The law wasn’t given as a means to obtain salvation but as a way to imperfectly approach God, to provide temporary atonement for sin (until the coming of the Messiah) and to magnify sin in humanity-to show men their complete separation from a holy God. It was given as type of pedagogue, to lead men toward the coming Christ. To put myself under that law, is not only of no avail but is taking a great many steps backwards. The reality is found in Christ. I’ve been a born again believer for some 22 years and have continued to grow ever closer to my Lord and become more and more like Him over time. The Spirit of God within is what transforms and conforms us to God’s character-not the written commands of the law.

Some will say that God wrote an Addendum to the Original Covenant-that the new covenant is just in addition to the all that was under the Old. But…that is not what the Word of God states at all. Let’s take a look:

“6 But as it is, Christ has acquired a [priestly] ministry which is more excellent [than the old Levitical priestly ministry], for He is the Mediator (Arbiter) of a better covenant [uniting God and man], which has been enacted and rests on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one or an attempt to institute another one [the new covenant].” (Heb 8:6-7/Amp)

Here we clearly see the original covenant was not amended. It was discarded for a NEW covenant. Further evidenced by verse 13 of that same chapter:

“13 In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.”

And again in Hebrews chapter 7:

“11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.” (Heb 8:11-12/RSV)

“18 There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God.” (Heb 8:18-19/RSV)

“15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.” (Heb 9:15/RSV)

When we move over to chapter 10 of Hebrews, we see the author exhorting the brothers to ‘spur one another on toward love and good deeds.’ If all this were just an ammendment, it sure seems the author of Hebrews would have exhorted them rather to keep the law and it’s commandments. That is never further mentioned though. Why? Because the old covenant was extinguished for a new and better covenant-not an addendum just added to the original, modifying it. the priesthood was changed and so was the covenant. When the priesthood changed, so did the very law that was enacted through that priesthood. (Heb 7:12)

In Heb 10:28-29, the author contrasts the law of Moses with the Son of God, not adding to the law of Moses. The Son of course is greater and supersedes everything from the first covenant. Is the new covenant built and established upon the premise of the old? Absolutely it is but it wasn’t built atop it. That’s equivalent to constructing a new building to replace an old building on an old and crumbling foundation. That would be foolish. The new building would crumble as well. No, a new foundation must be built but the design and construction would learn from the problems of the original. Hence, new and better promises for a new and better covenant. New wineskins for new wine. (Matt 9:17)

Heb 10:35-36, “Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.”

What’s the will of God? John 6:28-29 & 6:40. The works God requires is To believe on the one God has sent. That is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus!!!

Blessings.

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