Living Under the Correct Covenant (Part 4)

Jun. 24, 2018 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

The Bible is a book of covenants. God keeps each and every covenant He has made with mankind. Every promise made to us was made under one of those covenants. The two major agreements in the Bible are the Law of Moses and the covenant of grace, and if we have been born again, we have been delivered from living under the law. However, many people are living as if they were still under the law, because most churches are still preaching it. Believing that we must perform to get blessed is a clear indication that we are living under the law. Many people find themselves striving mightily to do everything right. Jesus died on the cross to end the law, establish the covenant of grace, and make us joint heirs with Him. This means the blessings God promised are rightfully ours by faith; no striving is needed.
  1. The old covenant was only for Jews, and it was based on what they did.
    1. The law is a conditional covenant based on our performance and self-effort. Jesus replaced the law with grace.
      1. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
      2. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
    2. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).
      1. The law demonstrates that we all need a savior. We cannot help ourselves.
      2. The law was only for the Jews, and so unless we are Jewish, we have no business trying to live under it. When the covenant of the law was given, anyone who was not Jewish was without God, and therefore, without hope.
      3. The Jews were God’s chosen people. If not even they could keep the law, then certainly no one else in the world could. We are deceived if we think we can.
    3. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:4-7).
      1. To redeem means to deliver, or pay a ransom, for someone’s freedom. This is the reason Jesus was born a Jew under the law.
      2. We are no longer servants to the law if we have been born again. As God’s children, we do not have to work to earn the blessings that are rightfully ours.
      3. Jesus died on the cross so that we, as God’s children and joint heirs, could receive the inheritance the Father promised.
      4. According to the law, heirs cannot receive what is in the will until the testator dies. Our inheritance includes things like redemption, prosperity, and peace.
  1. The new covenant is based on what Jesus did, and is offered to everyone who believes.
    1. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).
      1. Jesus died to save the whole world, but not everyone has been saved. This is because not everyone chooses to receive what He did for us.
    2. See to it that no one carries you off as spoil  or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy  and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah). For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full  and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts).  [Thus you were circumcised when] you were buried with Him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised Him up from the dead. And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, Having cancelled  and blotted out  and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees  and demands which was in force  and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside  and  cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross (Colossians 2:8-14, AMPC).
      1. We cannot receive anything good in life without Jesus.
      2.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).
      3. Jesus is the reason we are now free from the law; we need Him.
      4. The world’s motto of “God helps those who help themselves” is nowhere in the Bible, and it is not true. God helps the helpless, and at some point in time, everyone needs help.
      5. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
    3. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin(Romans 3:20).
      1. God gave the law to reveal sin and sinners.
      2. Our performance will never make us righteous.
      3. The law points out what is wrong with us, but it does not have the power to transform us.
      4. Before the law was established, the generation of Abraham was sinning, but there was no law in effect to call it sin. When Cain killed Abel, there was no law against murder.
  1. The law was never intended to make us holy or perfect; it is incapable of doing so.
    1. The law cannot make us righteous, but Jesus came and the Holy Spirit was sent so that we can have the power of transformation operating in our lives.
      1. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:3, 4).
      2. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Matthew 5:17, 18).
    2. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire…Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matthew 5:20-22, 27-30).
      1. Jesus raised the standards of the old covenant commandments. His intent was to get people to understand that they need God to successfully keep the law.
    3. The law was given to increase sin, not to increase holiness.
      1. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful (Romans 7:13).
      2. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet (Romans 7:7).
      3. What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions  and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to  and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged  and ordained  and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man] (Galatians 3:19, AMPC).
      4. But then Law came in, [only] to expand  and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it  and increased the more  and superabounded (Romans 5:20, AMPC).
      5. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
  1. The law was too perfect to keep, which is why Jesus replaced it with grace.
    1. Even as far back as when Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden, there was no temptation except for when there was law; only one law was in force.
      1. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17).
    2. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12).
      1. The law was perfect for the reason it was given. It actually was too perfect for an imperfect people to keep.
      2. God sent the law to be like a mirror, to show us what is wrong with us, but without the ability to fix the problem.
    3. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (Romans 3:31).
      1. We should hold the law in reverence because it points us to Jesus.
    4. So a previous physical regulation  and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness—For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God(Hebrews 7:18, 19, AMPC).
      1. The purpose of the law ended when Jesus died and was resurrected.
      2. There is now only one law under the covenant of grace. This law, the law of love, allows us to perfectly fulfill all the other laws from the old covenant.

Scripture References

Romans 6:14

Romans 8:3, 4

John 1:17

Matthew 5:17, 18, 20-22, 27-30

Romans 3:19, 20, 31

Romans 7:7, 12, 13

Galatians 4:4-7

Galatians 3:19, AMPC

Titus 2:11

Romans 5:20 , AMPC

Colossians 2:8-14, AMPC

1 Corinthians 15:56

James 1:17

Genesis 2:17

Psalm 46:1

Hebrews 7:18, 19, AMPC