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Thread: covenant relationship

  1. #16
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Without any righteousness at all, the mercy of Christ would be meaningless. Faith in the OT had to have an expression of righteousness. And that was the Law.
    I don't understand where you're getting this idea. Could you respond more directly to Romans 4, because it seems to say the exact opposite?: "Righteousness will be credited - for us who believe [....] Through the righteousness that comes by faith ... Not through the law ..."

    Saying the mercy of Christ is meaningless if we aren't somewhat righteous is just shocking to me. What Scripture would you use to support that?? How would you explain:

    For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation [...]

    For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous [...]
    (Romans 5)

    How can you read this and say that our "righteousness" plays any role in our salvation?? It was 100% Christ's work.

    I don't agree because obtaining eternal life through the "promise alone" excludes righteousness.
    Exactly true. As we know, "no one is righteous - not one." Obtaining mercy requires no work of righteousness on our part, because Christ reconciled us while we were dead in sins. The effect of our new life is following His word - but this has nothing to do with obtaining eternal life. I would earnestly challenge you to find a single verse that says differently.

    And faith, to be real, requires righteous living. (see 1 John 1.6)
    Fellowship with "light" and "darkness" is not "good works" and "evil works", but faith and unbelief in the Son. Here's the full concept:

    The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us - that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1)

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it [...] The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world [...] To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1)

    And here is how we have fellowship with the light:

    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us [...] Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? (1 John 1 & 2)

    Then, righteous living (specifically loving others) is the fruit of fellowship with God and believing in the Son:

    My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins [...] Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. (1 John 2)

    So while I agree that the evidence of true faith is righteous living, this does not mean returning to the OT but belief and fellowship with Christ which has the effect of love for one another.

    So in the OT the Law was an honest expression of faith. And in the NT accepting Christ as a form of righteousness is also an expression of faith. It is just that Christ completes righteousness by disposing of all our flaws, OT and NT.
    This is where I resist 100% because of how detrimental it is to the true gospel. Christ did not complete anyone's righteousness. He was fully righteous on behalf of those who were fully condemned and unrighteous under the law.

    Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. (James 2)

    Nor do I agree that Israel's observance of the Law for national prosperity had nothing to do with saving individuals. It *all* had to do with saving individuals!
    What is your response to:

    For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3)

    The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it [...] Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith. (Romans 3 & 9)

    I don't know why there is such an aversion to following law among Christians?
    Because the law has been fulfilled in Christ. Going back to it nullifies the work He did.

    Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? [...] What does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman [...] For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery [...] You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. (Galatians 5)

    We must join our righteousness with God above in order to complete our salvation.
    I'm sorry, I just find this teaching so incredibly dangerous. Where are you getting it from??

  2. #17
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I don't understand where you're getting this idea. Could you respond more directly to Romans 4, because it seems to say the exact opposite?: "Righteousness will be credited - for us who believe [....] Through the righteousness that comes by faith ... Not through the law ..."

    Saying the mercy of Christ is meaningless if we aren't somewhat righteous is just shocking to me. What Scripture would you use to support that?? How would you explain:

    For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person - though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation [...]

    For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous [...]
    (Romans 5)

    How can you read this and say that our "righteousness" plays any role in our salvation?? It was 100% Christ's work.

    Exactly true. As we know, "no one is righteous - not one." Obtaining mercy requires no work of righteousness on our part, because Christ reconciled us while we were dead in sins. The effect of our new life is following His word - but this has nothing to do with obtaining eternal life. I would earnestly challenge you to find a single verse that says differently.

    Fellowship with "light" and "darkness" is not "good works" and "evil works", but faith and unbelief in the Son. Here's the full concept:

    The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us - that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1)

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it [...] The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world [...] To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1)

    And here is how we have fellowship with the light:

    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us [...] Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? (1 John 1 & 2)

    Then, righteous living (specifically loving others) is the fruit of fellowship with God and believing in the Son:

    My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins [...] Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. (1 John 2)

    So while I agree that the evidence of true faith is righteous living, this does not mean returning to the OT but belief and fellowship with Christ which has the effect of love for one another.

    This is where I resist 100% because of how detrimental it is to the true gospel. Christ did not complete anyone's righteousness. He was fully righteous on behalf of those who were fully condemned and unrighteous under the law.

    Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. (James 2)

    What is your response to:

    For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3)

    The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it [...] Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith. (Romans 3 & 9)

    Because the law has been fulfilled in Christ. Going back to it nullifies the work He did.

    Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? [...] What does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman [...] For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery [...] You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. (Galatians 5)

    I'm sorry, I just find this teaching so incredibly dangerous. Where are you getting it from??
    As I told you, 1 John makes a great effort to make it clear that Christianity is all about *righteousness.* I don't call it "OT righteousness," as you did, because that leads to the kind of confusion you're having. In reality, it's just obedience to God's word. That's what "righteousness" is--OT or NT.

    What makes righteousness "NT righteousness" is the fact Christ's atonement has covered our flaws, and has preserved our righteous deeds. The same goes for OT saints, who did righteous things, and needed their sins to be covered. They demonstrated, by faith, the need for their sins to be covered, by obeying the Law of Moses, which commanded them to make restitution for their sins and to apply the proper ritual, which in turn obtained God's mercy.

    There is nothing sinister about this, sister. It's just that we can get so "academic" in our doctrinal assertions that we fail to appreciate the real values involved. Righteousness is righteousness, whether it was in the OT or is now in the NT. Our righteousness is important, and not that only Christ's righteousness was important. His righteousness was important because it took our own flawed righteousness by faith and turned it into a cleansed righteousness, purified of all of its flaws. In embracing Christ we acknowledge not just our need for righteousness, but also our need to deal with our flaws.

    Righteousness has always been the product of God in heaven and man on earth. Righteousness has always been "from above," because God's word descends upon us from above.

    What was critical, however, was that Christ came to atone for our flaws, so that our righteousness could prevail for eternal life. Christ's coming did not depreciate our righteousness. It only depreciated the righteousness of those who found no need for Christ's atonement.

    To follow the Law without regard for divine atonement is an exercise in futility. It is getting not one step farther than Adam and Eve, who were kicked out of the garden. We can perform all the righteousness of the Law, but if we don't succeed in obtaining mercy for our sins, our righteousness is to no avail. Our sins will get us.

    Our righteousness will fail, because we will not accept that we need our sins to be completely dealt with. How much righteousness is enough? All sin must be condemned! And in the same sense, all sin needs to be forgiven.

    In sum, Paul is talking about 2 forms of righteousness. One, there is a righteousness by Law which spurns acknowledgement of our sin and of our need for mercy. It may indeed believe in good works. But it does not acknowledge the need to deal with all human sin.

    And two, there is the righteousness of Christ, which establishes our spiritual righteousness and preserves it by disposing of our sins. In following his righteousness we are acknowledging this fact. And all of the saints in the OT did the same by deferring to the Law of Moses and its requirements for sanctification.

    To say that righteousness is unimportant is to miss the whole meaning of the atonement, which was to put away our sins. We must do righteousness. But we must also acknowledge our need to completely put away sins. Faith thus expresses the need for and the capacity for righteousness. But it also expressed the need for mercy, while acknowledging that we agree with the need to condemn sin.

  3. #18

    Re: covenant relationship

    Faith, grace and kingdom automatically make us heirs of God in Christ and puts us in covenant relationship with God.

    God's everlasting covenant with Abraham (by reason of Abraham being a father of nations) points to the everlasting covenant that Christ (by reason of the Christ becoming the Father of nations) facilitates for us.

    Therefore, whoever has the faith of God has a covenant relationship better than that by circumcision of the flesh. And, whoever has the grace of God is circumcised in the heart. Both category of persons are heirs of God in Christ to which the new covenant will eventually apply.
    Grace and peace unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!

  4. #19
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    Faith, grace and kingdom automatically make us heirs of God in Christ and puts us in covenant relationship with God.

    God's everlasting covenant with Abraham (by reason of Abraham being a father of nations) points to the everlasting covenant that Christ (by reason of the Christ becoming the Father of nations) facilitates for us.

    Therefore, whoever has the faith of God has a covenant relationship better than that by circumcision of the flesh. And, whoever has the grace of God is circumcised in the heart. Both category of persons are heirs of God in Christ to which the new covenant will eventually apply.
    As far as I can tell I would agree with you. OT or NT men and women of God exercised faith both for righteousness and for grace. It was the pursuit of righteousness as well as the pursuit of atonement for sin. In pursuing atonement for sin it was an acknowledgment that something more than righteousness was needed--atonement for sin was needed, as well.

    I do believe that men and women in both testaments required a *covenant relationship* with God because only in this way are they covering both the need for righteousness and the need for mercy. Anybody can do good. But how does that get their sins forgiven? And how is that contrition for the evil that they have done?

    No, only by a *covenant relationship* are our flaws dealt with, while preserving the righteous deeds we do. Righteousness has always been done by a combination of God's heavenly word and our earthly obedience.

    But all men can do this. What we needed, according to God, was an acknowledgment of where we fall short, so that we can continually renew our intent to live in righteousness, and not gloss over our sins, ignoring them.

    We need to live righteous lives, while at the same time repenting of the things we do wrong, which are not in accord with God's word. Our relationship with God needs to be continually renewed. That is what a *covenant relationship* with God actually is!

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious View Post
    Faith, grace and kingdom automatically make us heirs of God in Christ and puts us in covenant relationship with God.

    God's everlasting covenant with Abraham (by reason of Abraham being a father of nations) points to the everlasting covenant that Christ (by reason of the Christ becoming the Father of nations) facilitates for us.

    Therefore, whoever has the faith of God has a covenant relationship better than that by circumcision of the flesh. And, whoever has the grace of God is circumcised in the heart. Both category of persons are heirs of God in Christ to which the new covenant will eventually apply.
    Whoever has faith in Christ also has a covenant relationship with Jesus and is saved. Therefore, the New Covenant which started at Pentecost applies to him.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    So here we have Paul create a dichotomy between Law and Faith. Paul certainly did not mean to exclude Faith from the Law. But he seems to have been saying that there are 2 divergent paths which are mutually exclusive--an inheritance by Law and an inheritance by Faith.

    I would then assume that the Law can either be properly used or improperly used. If it is being used as a means of inheritance, exclusive of Faith, then it is an improper use. If, on the other hand, the Law is pursued as an inheritance through Faith, then how can the Law *not* be part of Faith?

    I would never disagree with Scriptures. However, there was an aspect to following the Law that did involve Faith. I hope you see that?
    You have highlighted something I believe requires more than a cursory study. To be honest, I have skimmed the subject now and again but never stopping long enough for a detailed review. Here is the confusion for me:

    Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

    Paul says that the law is not of faith, ie, it is a ritual devoid of faith. The question therefore is, did the OT faithful keep the law through faith or did they by faith in God observe the law?

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    You have highlighted something I believe requires more than a cursory study. To be honest, I have skimmed the subject now and again but never stopping long enough for a detailed review. Here is the confusion for me:

    Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

    Paul says that the law is not of faith, ie, it is a ritual devoid of faith. The question therefore is, did the OT faithful keep the law through faith or did they by faith in God observe the law?
    Yes both times, and that is the key to what I'm saying here. We can pursue the doctrine of the new covenant academically, and parse it out, thinking we are properly representing biblical truth. But we can do that without actually understanding *what is meant,* and thus present doctrine that *sounds right,* but actually is not faithful to the *intent* of the doctrine. I'll try to explain.

    I completely agree with your notion that the OT saints pursued the Law through their faith because the Law was actually designed for people of faith--the People of God, or Israel. True Israelites, according to Paul, were those who had faith and pursued the Law by faith.

    Rom 2.13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

    Is Paul here talking about Jews who followed the Law without faith? No, when he talks about those who not only hear the Law, but also *do it,* he is talking about "true Jews" who are faithful to obey the Law out of genuine faith.

    Rom 2.8 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.

    The Jew who had been circumcised *spiritually* is someone who pursued the Law *by faith,* and not strictly hearing the Law and following it *outwardly.* So it is *outward observance* of the Law that Paul condemns as illegitimate, and not following the Law *by faith.*

    Rom 3.21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

    Otherwise, God was playing games with OT saints under the Law, and all of the laws He gave them meant nothing at all! But in fact the Law was the avenue of faith for Israel in the OT era, and was designed to distinguish their faith by *obedience* to the Law.

    This does not mean that righteousness was invalid. Rather, righteousness under the Law was completely valid as a work of faith, but could not obtain eternal life any more than Adam and Eve could obtain life after they had sinned. All the righteousness in the world could not deliver Adam and Eve from their transgression--not all of the righteousness they could muster--until Christ came and provided atonement for their failures.

    What Paul is after is distinguishing righteousness as inadequate during the time of the Law, pointing out that it needed to be complemented by the atonement of Christ. Otherwise, a real and complete relationship with God was impossible, since sins remained undealt with. How, after all, can God maintain a positive relationship with men and women who ignore the problems of their sin? The atonement of Christ was designed to not only forgive our sins, but to also provide grace to continue in righteousness despite previous failures.

    As to the verse you mentioned, that the Law was to bring life, this is just a summary statement of what the Law was designed to do. The blessings proclaimed on Mt. Gerazim, after Moses gave the Law, was a guarantee that Israel, when they were obedient to the Law, could be recognized by God as a righteous people, and would therefore obtain the signs of that good favor. They would be spiritually blessed wherever they go, and would also experience a degree of material prosperity. And their sins would be forgiven whenever they repent and call upon God for restoration.

    But this relationship of Israel with God under the Law provided only temporary atonement, and was only an expression of faith in the ultimate atonement of Christ, bringing eternal life to the nation. The Law could only bless Israel in this life. Christ's atonement brings the same, along with eternal life in the future life.

    So the Law could only bring rewards in this life, and could not bring eternal life. And that's what Paul was saying. Those who lived by the Law obtained life *in this age* through obedience to it. And of course this assumes that the plan is valid as long as the Law remains in play as a covenant. Once it was superseded by Christ's atonement, we have a new form of righteousness to follow, which the Law only looked forward to. Once we have final atonement, we don't need temple atonement any longer!

    The same thing applies to those who never were under the Law, the Gentile world. They deeds they do by faith in the concept of "good" merits them righteousness. But apart from entering into a covenant with God by which they access Christ's atonement, they cannot obtain eternal life.

    No, Paul is talking, in Galatians 3, only about those who "rely upon the Law" as a final atonement for their sins, as opposed to those in the OT who utilized the Law as an expression of hope in the final atonement for sins by Christ. Those of faith who obeyed the Law in the OT observed laws of atonement, knowing they only served usefulness in the present life. But inasmuch as their obedience was an expression of faith their obedience also served to show their trust in future atonement that would bring final redemption through Christ.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    In brief, Gal 3 is talking about Jews who continue to rely upon the Law of Moses, even though it has already been fulfilled in Christ. They show that their obedience to the Law is *not* of faith, inasmuch they reject the purpose of the Law, which was to practice temporary atonement until final atonement under Christ had come.

    The Law only brought life to Israel on a temporary basis. But it was designed to look forward to Christ bringing eternal life to the nation. Those Jews who rejected Jesus disqualified their obedience to the Law as false faith. They were only in pursuit of temporary prosperity in this life.

    Jews who rejected Jesus' atonement showed contempt for the laws of atonement under the Law, which had been designed to atone for Israel's sins until final atonement had come by Christ. If they were intending to "live by the Law" what they pursued was no better than Adam and Eve, who continued to practice righteousness, but could not be redeemed from sin apart from the atonement of Christ.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Bingo! I think from the creation of Man, male and female, this was God's projection of what He envisioned for Man's relationship with Himself, both individually and as a community.
    1 John... that which was from the beginning... "That" isn't "Whom". The passage is talking about fellowship. God has always desired a family and that was always His goal with humanity. One cannot have family without relationship.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    1 John... that which was from the beginning... "That" isn't "Whom". The passage is talking about fellowship. God has always desired a family and that was always His goal with humanity. One cannot have family without relationship.
    I cannot tell you how strongly I feel about this. I've been a Christian my entire life--not always faithful, but certainly zealous for God. We are a family, and God wants to relate with us! We are hard to deal with, and require years of maturity to develop a relationship that is substantial *in this life.*

    Of course, anybody, from the minute they are saved, can enter into a meaningful, spiritual relationship with God! In fact, I get encouraged when I see new believers on fire for God. They seem more spiritual than me, because their new-found relationship is so new!

    This relationship we are talking about is the very basis of righteousness and atonement combined. It is a tacit recognition that we will *always* put God ahead of our own way, which is what sin is. Those who want to do good periodically, but live lives independent of God, live a life that is pock-marked with sin. And this isn't the path of a relationship with God. Nor is it the basis of salvation. Salvation is, after all, an eternal relationship with God!

    But when we get saved we learn that if we want to go beyond just doing periodic works of righteousness, we can actually dispose of our sins by giving up the autonomous lifestyle. This is the relationship we speak of, and it is the *only way* to dispose of the very things that ruined man's relationship with God to start with.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    But serving the Law was also an expression of faith and in hope of Christ's mercy. To say that salvation completely excluded the Law is, I think, completely naïve. It was an avenue of faith in the sense that it expressed belief in both righteousness and the need for Christ to deal with our sins. Without any righteousness at all, the mercy of Christ would be meaningless. Faith in the OT had to have an expression of righteousness. And that was the Law.
    Isreal was saved before they were ever given the law. They had the blood on the door, and the Lamb inside of them before they camped out at Sinai. Getting out of Egypt is salvation. Pharaoh, a type of the old man, was put to death and they never saw him again. They were a "new nation" a "new creation" afterwards. Then they got the law of God. The law never has had anything to do with grace that brings salvation.

    Now, faith is certainly part of the law. For we follow Him leaning not on our own understanding. The kids that lived through the desert for 40 years purposed in their heart do do "all that was in the law" so that the promises of God would be fulfilled in them. There are conditional promises that depend on our obedience and our faith is often revealed (i.e. as James would say "seen") through obedience.

    I don't agree because obtaining eternal life through the "promise alone" excludes righteousness.
    We are to seek "His righteousness" that comes by faith. Not our own righteousness that comes through works. This is why we preach "faith alone". But faith will have works. And the saved, in the OT, followed the law or paid the consequences. So do we as NT beleivers.. except we follow the "spirit of the law" but not the letter.

    And faith, to be real, requires righteous living. (see 1 John 1.6) So in the OT the Law was an honest expression of faith. And in the NT accepting Christ as a form of righteousness is also an expression of faith. It is just that Christ completes righteousness by disposing of all our flaws, OT and NT.
    Brother, there's a difference between righteousness and sanctification. We are righteous, in Him, despite our flaws. Though we may not be sanctified. If we are not as righteous as He is, then we have on the wrong wedding garments and will not be allowed into the wedding feast! It is imperitive that we have His robe of righteousness on us rather than our own.


    Inheriting Canaan was a partial success because by observing the Law Israel did inherit Canaan. But it could never be a lasting possession under the Law due to the sin nature. Israel was doomed to failure.

    And so, the inheritance of Canaan was just the 1st step in Israel's eternal inheritance. It had everything to do with individual and national salvation. They were to know that their inheritance of the land could not last without Christ because sin would infect the nation. But those individuals within the nation could be reconsolidated under a remnant of faith, and thus provide a way for the nation to be saved.
    I think a worthy question would be what can we learn from the promised land? Is it possible there is a spiritual promise land for us in the here and now? I think so!


    I don't know why there is such an aversion to following law among Christians?
    Because we are no longer to follow the letter of the law. But the spirit of it we do follow. Your point about relying on Jesus is a good one. For example, we do not celebrate passover in the way of the OT. But we should still celebrate it! We have our own passover when we eat the Lamb and have His blood applied to the door of our hearts where Jesus is knocking. Then His judgment passes over us too. As the old hymn says "When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you". And we celebrate passover by singing about it, rejoicing in our salvation and God's great mercy, remembering that He brought us out of spiritual Egypt, and being full of gratitude for what He has done. We continue to celebrate it by eating the Lamb and His words.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  12. #27
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    In brief, Gal 3 is talking about Jews who continue to rely upon the Law of Moses, even though it has already been fulfilled in Christ. They show that their obedience to the Law is *not* of faith, inasmuch they reject the purpose of the Law, which was to practice temporary atonement until final atonement under Christ had come.

    The Law only brought life to Israel on a temporary basis. But it was designed to look forward to Christ bringing eternal life to the nation. Those Jews who rejected Jesus disqualified their obedience to the Law as false faith. They were only in pursuit of temporary prosperity in this life.

    Jews who rejected Jesus' atonement showed contempt for the laws of atonement under the Law, which had been designed to atone for Israel's sins until final atonement had come by Christ. If they were intending to "live by the Law" what they pursued was no better than Adam and Eve, who continued to practice righteousness, but could not be redeemed from sin apart from the atonement of Christ.
    Yes, I completely agree with this view.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Isreal was saved before they were ever given the law. They had the blood on the door, and the Lamb inside of them before they camped out at Sinai. Getting out of Egypt is salvation. Pharaoh, a type of the old man, was put to death and they never saw him again. They were a "new nation" a "new creation" afterwards. Then they got the law of God. The law never has had anything to do with grace that brings salvation.
    I say things a little differently, and it may be a matter of semantics. I would describe those in Israel who lived by faith as obtaining all the things you are describing. They obtained temporal salvation from the Egyptians, were given birth as a new nation, and obtain God's Law as a token of His covenant with them.

    But again, this was only temporal salvation, designed to give those in Israel who had faith a basis for believing in an ultimate salvation from sin, so that there would no longer be any separation between God and themselves. Everything about the Law declared a wall of separation between a holy God and an unholy people. They were called to holiness not because they were holy in and of themselves, but only because they were being given the opportunity to be holy in God's sight, by living by His righteousness and by benefiting from His temporal atonement for sin.

    Final salvation was thus believed for, as Israel was given an opportunity to have a relationship with God in the hope that this relationship would somehow have its wall of separation come down, enabling an eternal relationship with God. All that these Hebrews had by faith was designed to look forward to final salvation, which was not yet possible under the Law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    Now, faith is certainly part of the law. For we follow Him leaning not on our own understanding. The kids that lived through the desert for 40 years purposed in their heart do do "all that was in the law" so that the promises of God would be fulfilled in them. There are conditional promises that depend on our obedience and our faith is often revealed (i.e. as James would say "seen") through obedience.
    For sure. However, some of them had genuine faith. And others didn't. That's why the Law alone is not enough. Some follow the Law and do not comprehend that the atonement ritual was designed to show that all sin had to be dealt with--not just some of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    We are to seek "His righteousness" that comes by faith. Not our own righteousness that comes through works. This is why we preach "faith alone". But faith will have works. And the saved, in the OT, followed the law or paid the consequences. So do we as NT beleivers.. except we follow the "spirit of the law" but not the letter.
    I believe that *all righteousness* is based on "God's righteousness," whether men are aware of it or not, whether they believe it is so or not. God's word comes down from heaven, and speaks to the hearts of men. And when men respond to this word, conscious of it or not, they are able to do good works.

    But this doesn't save. Just the fact it is God's righteousness does not save them. What is really needed is righteousness plus atonement. Sins have to be forgiven. Unless they are, there is no basis for salvation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    Brother, there's a difference between righteousness and sanctification. We are righteous, in Him, despite our flaws. Though we may not be sanctified. If we are not as righteous as He is, then we have on the wrong wedding garments and will not be allowed into the wedding feast! It is imperitive that we have His robe of righteousness on us rather than our own.

    There is a difference between righteousness and atonement. We may do all kinds of works. But unless we deal with the thing that separates us from God we cannot have a relationship with Him. We can only use His word for doing good. We will still be separated from Him, and that's what damns us.

    I realize that we can be saved having done very little good in our lives. That's because we get saved before we are sanctified. We love because He first loved us.

    But men can do all kinds of good before they get saved. That doesn't sanctify them. That just makes them good men. Salvationis a matter of having a relationship with God. This is what gives us eternal life. If we want eternal life we must want God. And to want God we have to want to be good and do good.

    Furthermore, we have to want to be sanctified, which involves having our sins atoned for. Once our sins are atoned for, our righteousness is more than just doing good works. It is committing to Christ's righteousness, which has no sin at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    I think a worthy question would be what can we learn from the promised land? Is it possible there is a spiritual promise land for us in the here and now? I think so!
    The promised land is our sanctification, in my opinion. It is not just doing good, but more, embracing the righteousness of Christ, which is perfect righteousness, or flawless righteousness. It does no good to embrace some good and some bad. We must choose to follow the one who was *all good.*

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark
    Because we are no longer to follow the letter of the law. But the spirit of it we do follow. Your point about relying on Jesus is a good one. For example, we do not celebrate passover in the way of the OT. But we should still celebrate it! We have our own passover when we eat the Lamb and have His blood applied to the door of our hearts where Jesus is knocking. Then His judgment passes over us too. As the old hymn says "When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you". And we celebrate passover by singing about it, rejoicing in our salvation and God's great mercy, remembering that He brought us out of spiritual Egypt, and being full of gratitude for what He has done. We continue to celebrate it by eating the Lamb and His words.
    I don't care if Christians celebrate Passover. It is no longer a required ritual of the Law. If you celebrate it you would celebrate the fact it is fulfilled in Jesus.

    The Passover we generally celebrate, however, is the Communion, or Eucharist. We partake of Christ just as a man would eat a lamb. We consume his righteousness, and not just flawed righteousness. He participate in him, who is flawless and perfectly righteous. In doing so, we live by his spirit, and are able to have our flaws covered. By choosing him we are able to benefit from his atonement.

    And that's what the Law was designed to do--to express faith in the ultimate atonement, which tears down the veil separating us from God so that we may be eternally one with Him.

  14. #29
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Christ is our righteousness and atonement--not just our righteousness. The Law of Moses was the same way--it was both righteousness and atonement--not just righteousness. The failure in the Garden of Eden was this focus upon God's Law as a matter of being righteous, and ignoring the dangers of sin. To do right does not cover the sin--we must do right as well as have our sins atoned for.

    This really is the basis of the Gospel, in my opinion. It is faith in men expressing belief in both the righteousness of God and the atonement of God. It isn't enough to simply believe in righteousness, nor to just do righteousness. We must also have our sins atoned for, because this is the key to maintaining our righteousness forever. If we are to have our righteousness remain forever we must be able to not just do right, but to also maintain our relationship with God forever. And that involves removing the effects of our sin.

    So we need to both do good and to have our sins removed, or atoned for. Faith recognizes this dual need, for both righteousness and atonement. Without atonement we do not maintain a relationship with God. There is, by necessity, a relationship with God if we do righteousness, because doing right is a matter of relating to God's word--whether we know it or not. But when we do good sometimes, and at other times sin, we show that we have no regard for a lasting relationship with God.

    If we wish to have a lasting relationship with God we show this by our faith in God's atonement for our sins. Faith expressed this under the Law by its temporal system of atonement. And faith expresses this in the NT by accepting the means of atonement by Christ.

    We access Christ's atonement by both embracing his righteousness and his mercy. We acknowledge, first of all, that we are sinners and in need of mercy. And then we persist in doing right in light of his mercy. This is essentially a recognition that his atonement is valid, to enable us to go on doing right even though we have sin in us. Thus, through repentance in his name we show that we can access his atonement, and go on exhibiting his righteousness.

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    Cool Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Christ is our righteousness and atonement--not just our righteousness. The Law of Moses was the same way--it was both righteousness and atonement--not just righteousness. The failure in the Garden of Eden was this focus upon God's Law as a matter of being righteous, and ignoring the dangers of sin. To do right does not cover the sin--we must do right as well as have our sins atoned for.

    This really is the basis of the Gospel, in my opinion. It is faith in men expressing belief in both the righteousness of God and the atonement of God. It isn't enough to simply believe in righteousness, nor to just do righteousness. We must also have our sins atoned for, because this is the key to maintaining our righteousness forever. If we are to have our righteousness remain forever we must be able to not just do right, but to also maintain our relationship with God forever. And that involves removing the effects of our sin.

    So we need to both do good and to have our sins removed, or atoned for. Faith recognizes this dual need, for both righteousness and atonement. Without atonement we do not maintain a relationship with God. There is, by necessity, a relationship with God if we do righteousness, because doing right is a matter of relating to God's word--whether we know it or not. But when we do good sometimes, and at other times sin, we show that we have no regard for a lasting relationship with God.

    If we wish to have a lasting relationship with God we show this by our faith in God's atonement for our sins. Faith expressed this under the Law by its temporal system of atonement. And faith expresses this in the NT by accepting the means of atonement by Christ.

    We access Christ's atonement by both embracing his righteousness and his mercy. We acknowledge, first of all, that we are sinners and in need of mercy. And then we persist in doing right in light of his mercy. This is essentially a recognition that his atonement is valid, to enable us to go on doing right even though we have sin in us. Thus, through repentance in his name we show that we can access his atonement, and go on exhibiting his righteousness.
    Very good post randyk, I agree with your assessment. Christ's atonement keeps Satan from giving us a guilt trip thus hindering our walk with Christ. He wants us to dwell on our sin nature, instead of putting it behind us and moving on. Christ's propitiation is sufficient to cover our sins.
    John 15:17 "These things I command you, that ye love one another."

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