The New Covenant of Grace (And Not The Law)
In Hebrews 8:6-13, the author of Hebrews continues showing the excellency and necessity of the New Covenant.
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.”
In verse 7, the author states, “For if that first (old) covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”
Think about it: Does God create faults? It seems yes. But if that is true, then there is something very seriously wrong with God. (I chuckle because there is absolutely nothing wrong with God.) In Romans 7, even the apostle Paul writes that there is nothing wrong with the law. It is holy, righteous, and good.
Then where does the problem lie? The answer is found at the beginning of verse 8. “For finding fault with THEM…” “Them” is the problem and that includes all of us – no exceptions, no excuses. We are the problem. (I can just imagine, jokingly, some of you saying right now, “God forbid He would find something wrong with me.”)
Yes, we are the problem due to indwelling sin. We always sin and directly oppose God (through our flesh). This is why God created the law to show us that “we” are the problem.
We need to know that “we” are the problem. We need to know the reality of indwelling sin. In our flesh dwells no good thing. I Corinthians 1:29 “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” We certainly can do nothing without Jesus. John 15:5 “Without me (Jesus) ye can do nothing.”
You can never keep any of the law. So stop trying to keep it. I repeat this frequently, but it is critical for you to understand why the law was given in the first place.
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Once you come to Christ, you are no longer “under the law.” You are now “under grace.”
Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.”
The purpose of the law is to condemn us, to show us we cannot keep it. This is why the law points us to Christ.
We come to Jesus and must, in our mind, drop the law. This is why it is a New Covenant. This is why Jesus did it all by fulfilling the law; we never could. This is why God asks from Romans 6:14 “Are You Under Law Or Under Grace?”
When will the majority of Christians finally realize what the Christian life “under grace,” and not “under law,” really means? I doubt ever in our earthly lifetime because of indwelling sin. The principle purpose of the law constantly needs to be reinforced to us.
Remember also that sin only receives its power from the law (I Corinthians 15:56). Reflect back again to Romans 7 to see the validity of sin becoming real because of God’s law. You will easily identify with the apostle Paul.
This is why we are in our flesh and sin frequently.
- When God says, “Don’t do this,” our flesh immediately responds, “I will.”
- When God says, “Do this,” our flesh immediately responds, “I will not.”
This is why I cannot stress enough that you must see the difference between “law and grace.” Once you do, you will passionately desire to live “under grace” for you will be embracing Jesus everyday. I assure you it is worth it because Jesus (and only Jesus) is worth it. The entire motivation of your Christian life will become love, only His love. Grace only drives you to love. Jesus is agape love. Jesus summarizes the law into two commandments – “Love God first” and “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” And Jesus has fulfilled the law. Paul even writes: “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Do you get the drift? Do you see my point?
We live under a New Covenant (of love and grace). Yes, only love becomes our motivation because love is never forced. We love God because we want to (grace), not because we have to (law). Jesus even gave us a new commandment (of love) that confirms life “under grace.” John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The apostle John also states that we love God because He first loved us. I John 4:19 “We love Him, because He first loved us.”
– excerpt Are You Under Law Or Under Grace? by Bob Bennett