Summary: Opposing sin because it breaks the law is replaced by the Spirit inspired knowledge sin threatens the very concept of the godhead itself, intimate loving relationships.
IN GOD'S IMAGE 65 - FROM LAW TO RELATIONSHIP
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
We have been looking at the subject of the law in relation to the development of spiritual maturity in God’s holy people.
• We finished last time by looking at the first two reasons why the New Covenant instituted with Christ’s blood is so much more effective in producing the character and nature of God in His people than the Mosaic Covenant or Torah.
• The main reason for bringing about this dramatic change is the coming of the Holy Spirit who takes up residence in God’s holy people.
• In order for what Christ has achieved on our behalf to become a reality in our lives, the Holy Spirit by taking up residence in our hearts and minds is the means by which God now produces His holy nature and character in our lives.
Let’s briefly summarise the two points we finished with last time on why the New Covenant of grace is so much better at producing a holy people for God than the Old Covenant of law.
• 1) With our conversion we are given a new nature that wants to please God.
• This new nature is the fulfilment of Jeremiah 31:33 where God says, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”
• This new nature is none other than the Holy Spirit taking up residence in our lives imparting to us the very nature and character of God Himself.
• This change of heart is a massive transformation from the past and should not be underestimated.
• 2) We have been set free from the condemnation of the law as the demanding righteous requirements of the law have been fulfilled in us by Christ (Romans 8:3-4).
• This simply allows grace to be grace.
• The beauty of grace is we are accepted and continue to be accepted regardless of how far we fall short of the perfection demanded of the law.
• God knows this and this is why He does not put unrealistic expectations on us now we live under His grace.
• Christians, far too often, continue to place themselves under the uncompromising demands of the law when there is no need to.
Let’s continue with more points why the New Covenant is so much more effective in producing the character and nature of God in His people than the Mosaic Covenant or Torah.
• 3) The law which condemns and brings death only applies to the old sinful nature of Adam, not the new nature
• 1 Timothy 1:9-10 We also know that the 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, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.
• As mentioned above, the law, as a tutor (Galatians 3:24-25), has done its job in bringing sinners to repentance, but once it has completed its job, it no longer applies to believers who are now under grace and are now “slaves to righteousness.” under the direction of the Holy Spirit who now works with our new nature to develop spiritual maturity in God’s holy people.
• So when we try to control believers through the old rules and regulations of the law, we are not taking into consideration the reality of the Holy Spirit and our new nature.
• The new nature is under the control and direction of God’s Holy Spirit who gives us the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
• The other unfortunate consequence of living with the old sinful nature under the law is the proclivity to divert attention from oneself and apply the demanding requirements of the law to others.