Growing up in a non-denominational church, raised by parents who both attended Bible colleges, and going to a Christian school for many years, I was in deep. Sunday school, church, youth group, Bible class at school everyday... So with ALL that religion how come there was SO much I didn't understand? I have believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember and have never wavered or questioned that He is God in the flesh. That He died for my sins and that He arose from the grave. That He is coming again. I know that is true. But I wonder why, in all my years of religion, I was never taught the new covenant. Where is the new covenant even found in the Bible? Is it actually laid out for us? Or do we just piece it together and rely on ourselves to figure it out? Or trust some people with seminary degrees to explain it to us? Following after what is right in our own eyes? No! Our God is a loving Father. He is a God of order and truth. Of course He has laid out His plan of redemption for us. Of course He has made His covenant known- the terms of the new covenant- and what it actually is. Really? YES! In all the many years of Bible class and Sunday school no one ever turned in the Bible to Jeremiah 31:31 and began reading the actual new covenant. I would say that is a pretty important thing to understand. Especially since we are taught that we are under the new covenant. Well then, what is it???
I was taught that the law was the old covenant and that people used to try to be saved by obeying the law. But when Jesus came and died that He did away with the law and now we live under grace. I was taught that since His blood covers my sin the law is no longer needed. There are even scriptures that SEEM to back up this way of thinking. After all, didn't Paul say that the new covenant made the first old? That the old covenant was decaying and vanishing? Hmmm. Is that the law of God he is talking about? Ready to vanish? If so, then WHY would our Messiah tell us that not even one jot or tittle of the law would be done away with until heaven and earth pass? Maybe Paul wasn't talking about the whole law of God which he himself calls perfect. Maybe he was talking about the covenant of the Levitical priesthood being replaced my our High Priest in the order of MelecTzadik (King of Righteousness) This order was indeed vanishing and is now no longer able to practice because the temple is gone. Our new High Priest is better because He is the perfect Lamb of God, spotless and sinless. He can go before the actual throne on our behalf. The Levitical priesthood was limited by their own flesh and sin.
People used to obey the law because they loved the One true God. Their sins were covered by the blood of sacrifices brought to the altar by the Levitical priests. Laws for the Levitical priesthood are contained in the law of God. Now that the perfect Lamb of God has come and shed His blood for our sins we are no longer under the old system of that priesthood, but are now under our new High Priest- The King of Righteousness- who shed His blood for our sins.
Sins? What are sins? Who defines right and wrong? God does. It is called the perfect law of God in the book of James. What is the law of God? Where is it found? None of these things were taught in all my years of religious training. Each church or denomination decides what is right and wrong? All we have to do is look in the Bible for the truth. Just open to the first page...
The books of Moses, the Torah (meaning law in Hebrew), are the first five books of the Bible. This is the perfect law of God. It is also called the Word of God since it is from His mouth to Moses. It is called LIFE to those who take hold of it. Our Messiah is called the living Word. He was God's Word made flesh. He walked in the righteousness of the Torah, never sinning. In 1 John 3:4 we learn that sin is transgression of the law. Our Messiah came to fulfill- or show us how- to walk in righteousness, perfectly. He is our example. 1John 2:6 "He that saith He abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked."
Then we can just learn the Torah, study the first five books of the Bible, obey all the laws found there, and save ourselves! Right? May it never be!
By looking at the new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 we can begin to see God's plan. Is it to obey the law to save ourselves? NO WAY! Is it to believe in Jesus and throw out His Torah (teaching and instruction for walking in righteousness) and live, each man following after what is right in his own eyes? NO WAY! God's promise and His new covenant with us is that HE will put His law within us and write it on our hearts and that our sins He will remember no more. He said He will do it. He keeps His promises and His covenants are everlasting.
Our Messiah is our salvation. By the shedding of His blood He has saved us. He has brought us into the new covenant by His blood. He will write His laws on our hearts. He will give us His Spirit to lead us in His righteousness. It is His work and none of ours.
The precepts of men are like sinking sand.
Luke 6:46-49 "And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a Rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a Rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."