March 16, 2014
I have just read the column of Mae Stallard in the March 2, 2014, issue of the Logan Banner. Everything she said is true, but she stopped short of making the most important distinction about our relationship with our Father. When we accepted the gift of grace of Jesus Christ, we did not become Israelites, we became Christians.
Apostle Paul said that the gospel of Christ came first to the Jew and then to the Gentiles (Rom. 1:16). Paul said that it was through the unbelief of the Jews that the Gentiles were brought into the New Covenant, to provoke the Jews to jealousy, so that some of them might be saved (Rom. 11:11-36).
Apostle Paul was accused of apostasy for teaching Jews to abandon Mosaism, but he showed that he was “… saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come” (Acts 26:22). God expects the Israelites to emulate us, not us them, and to put themselves under New Covenant grace.
The Ten Commandments are the very foundation of Mosaic law, and the followers of Jesus are not required to obey the Ten Commandments. We are required to obey what Jesus teaches us about them. Jesus changed some of them very little, but He changed some of them in a major way.
The Pharisees tried to use the Ten Commandments to destroy Jesus before He could fully establish His New Covenant (Matt. 12:14). First, they tested Jesus by bringing an adulteress to Him. Mosaic Law required that she must be put to death by the people, but Jesus refused. Jesus reserved the punishing of sinners unto Himself at the Day of Judgment (2Pet. 2:9).
The Pharisees also tried to use the commandment to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” to destroy Jesus. However, Jesus asserted His authority by declaring that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. If He had not been the true Son of God, Jesus and His disciples would have been put to death for defiling the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14).
Jesus did not establish His New Covenant of grace to simply be an addition to the Old Covenant. He established His covenant to replace the Old Covenant, and there are many scriptures in the Bible to prove that.
To mention a few, Apostle Paul said that the Old Covenant is waxed old and is ready to vanish away (Heb. 8:13). Jesus established His new and better covenant because the Israelites could not keep the Old Covenant (Heb. 8:9). Christians who justify themselves by a work of Old Covenant Mosaic law are fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4).
Also, the Old Covenant was our Schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, but after Christ is come, we are no longer under the Schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24). There must be a death of the Testator before a Testament can come into effect (Heb. 9: 11). Jesus went to the Cross and died to give His New Testament full force and effect. The Pharisees wanted to put new Christians under Mosaic law (Acts 15:5), but St. Peter pointed out that the Israelites couldn’t keep the law themselves, so why should a people who were never under Mosaic law, he put under the law that couldn’t he kept (Acts 1 5: 10).
The Republican Party, largely through the Fox News Network, is dragging the Christian Church into deeper and deeper apathy and apostasy by convincing Christians that they can obey Old Covenant law even though it is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Hating your neighbor for being lazy and on the public dole, taking action against those who persecute you, standing your ground, punishing sinners, racism, homophobia, fear, anger, and hatred are all either works of the law or works of humanism, and as such, are in direct disobedience to Jesus.
It is important to know that the Israelites were God’s chosen people, and that God gave them commandments through Moses by which to live, but it is even more important to know that we, as Gentile Christians, were never under Mosaic law, but under grace. If we obey Jesus, He will be our Mediator (l Tim. 2:5) and Advocate (John 2:1-6) when we stand before God the Father. However, if you bypass Jesus and commit your obedience directly to the Father, you will have neither a mediator nor an advocate.
It reminds me of an old adage about self-representation in man’s court of law. To put a new twist on an old adage, if you believe that you are righteous enough to go direct to God the Father and represent yourself, you will have a fool for a mediator, and an ass for an advocate.