14. God’s Commandments

Is the Old Testament Law relevant today? Jesus says I came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfil it. He gives God’s commands a new perspective and takes it up a notch.

The OT Law

God gave the Israelites hundreds of instructions for the people. These were divided into three phases [1]: 

  • Moral Laws (10 Commandments written by the finger of God),
  • Civil Laws (Dietary and Judicial also), and
  • Ceremonial Laws (Sacrifices, Feast Days, etc.)

Summary of the Law

Matt 22:35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

..the Greatest is Love

John 13:34,35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

..the Greatest is Love

In John 21 In His last meeting with His disciples, Jesus says to  Peter: “Do you love Me more than these?  Feed my sheep!”

..the Greatest is Love

Rev.2:2-5“I know your deeds, your hard work and perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love” – Church in Ephesus

The New Covenant

Two way agreement

The New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,   “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant,  though I was a husband to them,”declares the Lord.

The New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel  after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds  and write it on their hearts. I will be their God,  and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,”declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness  and will remember their sins no more.”

Jesus raises the bar….

In the New Covenant, Jesus raised the bar on:

  • Love
  • Law
  • Living

Old Covenant vs. New covenant

Grace?

What does “you are not under the law but  grace” mean?

Romans 6: 13b ..offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Law (Sin consciousness) vs Grace (God Consciousness)

Romans 7:6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Law (Sin Consciousness) vs. Grace (God Consciousness)

Grace is not:

  • freedom to sin

Grace is:

  • freedom from sin

The Law – Written on our Hearts

Psalms 119:11 – Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Ephesians 4:23 – And be renewed in the spirit of your minds.

Jeremiah 31:33 – “This is the covenant.. I will put my law within them and I will write it in their hearts and will be their God and they shall be my people.”

The Law – Written on our Hearts

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Romans 1:28

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

The Law – Written on our Hearts

1 Corinthians 2:13-16

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Spirit of the Law vs. Letter of the Law

Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Spirit of the Law vs. Letter of the Law

1 John 3:21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

Assurances

1 John 5:18

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

Romans 8:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Warnings

Rev.2:2-5. Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love” Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Matt. 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

The Great Commission –Call to Be Disciples and Make Disciples

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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