about the true meaning of the law versus truth and grace
became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the
glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and
John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of
whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was
before me.' " From the fullness of his grace we have all received one
blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace
and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but
God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will plant the house
of Israel and the house of Judah with the offspring of men and of
animals. Just as I watched over them to uproot and tear down, and to
overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so I will watch over them to
build and to plant," declares the Lord. "In those days people will no
longer say, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's
teeth are set on edge.' Instead, everyone will die for his own sin;
whoever eats sour grapes—his own teeth will
be set on edge.
"The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new
covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will
not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers 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.
is the covenant I will make with the house 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. No longer
will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, '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." (Jeremiah 31:27-34)
(Also read the eighth chapter of
Hebrews, half of which is a transcription of this passage from Jeremiah.
What is noteworthy is that right after the expansive Old Testament
reference is a brief verse that boldly states that the law is "obsolete"
and is "disappearing.")
that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written
not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of
stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence as this is ours
through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to
claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He
has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter
but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(2 Corinthians 3:3-6)
whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord
is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being
transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes
from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:16-18)
all of 2 Corinthians 3-5 is a powerful exposition of this principle.)
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in
Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so
that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body
to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to
God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer
the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no
means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as
slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin,
which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks
be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed
the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from
sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:11-18)
my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may
be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God,
but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the
righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own,
they did not submit to God's righteousness.
Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for
everyone who believes.
describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who
does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by
faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' "
(that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the deep?' "
(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The
word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the
word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth,
"Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the
dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and
are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to
shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same
Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for,
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom.
law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a
law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would
certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the
whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given
through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until
faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to
Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come,
we are no longer under the supervision of the law. (Galatians
It is for
freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised,
Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man
who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole
law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from
Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await
through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor
uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith
expressing itself through love.
running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the
truth? (Gal. 5:1-7)
brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge
the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is
summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you
keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be
destroyed by each other.
So I say,
live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful
nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,
and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in
conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if
you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (Gal.
Galatians is an excellent explanation of how observance of the law for
justification— essentially: the earning of God's favor— is actually a
curse, as detailed in Deuteronomy.)
whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing
greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost
all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be
found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the
law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that
comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power
of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the
resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
As I urged
you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may
command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to
devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote
controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. The goal of this
command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and
a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to
meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not
know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
We know that the law
is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for
the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful,
the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or
mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders
and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound
doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which
he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:3-11)
perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with
immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable,
and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will
come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
death, is your victory?
death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of
sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give
yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your
labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:53-58)
5 is the best discourse from Jesus about how living for Him and in Him
is all about love surpassing the law. Jesus clearly declares that
following the letter of the law is not what is important, it is loving
(A quick note about antinomianism: the idea that
we don't need the law any more. Jesus expressly stated that the law will
never end— Matthew 5:17-20, and that it is good— Romans 7:7-25. Indeed,
the largest chapter of the entire Bible, Psalm 119, is all
about one theme: the law is perfect. What is it
perfect for? From God it is the light for holiness, to us it
exposes our sinfulness so we may drop our pretense and
humbly turn to God on His terms.
That then means living in Truth and Grace, essentially the perfect
fulfillment of the law in Christ through His love. A full survey
of Scripture makes this perfectly clear. In light of this it should be
acknowledged that many insidiously manipulate Scripture in order to
confuse and deceive, and to destroy the simple faith of a follower of
Christ by getting him or her to believe the law is now of no matter, and
in doing so can actually keep people burdened by the law.)
(Text is highlighted in each passage
to emphasis the main point. Rather than just offer those particularly
meaningful verses here, the full passage is transcribed for context.
Please read the entirety of Scripture for full understanding.)
Says About The Contracts
This page was originally posted by David
Beck at yourownjesus.net on
November 11, 2004