Summary: Part five of the Symbols of the Covenants. The New covenant experience, from lesser to greater glory.
Symbols of the Covenants V: Greater Glory
I. Review of past topics, Hagar and Sarai, Earthly and Heavenly Sanctuaries (Law on the Stones vs. Law in the Heart). The Tutor: the law added because of transgression to bring us back into a relationship where God can work with us. Finally Children, Slaves and Heirs.
II. Lets begin in Romans 1:16 and 17. (read) I am proud of the Gospel because it has the power to change our hearts. The good news about Christ is the revelation of the righteousness of God in our lives through faith. The Just shall live by faith!
III. That is what we have been talking about through this whole series and today my goal is to bring it all together and really make it clear. To start out with we must look at what this revealed righteousness is. Lets go to Romans 3:19a “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law.” Now this could be a confusing text to those who believe that the Jews were under the Law and the Christian is under Grace. But if we continue on and read the rest of the text we find out who the law is for. “…That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Who is under the Law? “All the world.” Even Christians are under the Law when they sin, that is why we are so desperately in need of a Savior who lived the perfect life for us. Because even born again Christians sin and fall short of the Glory of God. And since the law is not there to give us righteousness but to show us our guilt, prevent us from making excuses, and as we learned earlier in this series to train us to do what is right, we need Christ’s perfect sinless righteousness. We need his life placed over us so that when God looks at us He only sees the perfect life of Christ’s wrapped around us and not our own sinful lives.
IV. So we see that the law is there for three reasons. To train us, to shut our mouth (prevent us from making excuses) and to show that every person in the world is guilty. Go with me to I Timothy 1:8 & 9. (read 8) What Paul is saying in context is that there are some people who are teaching or trying to teach the law but they really don’t understand what they are talking about. That is the problem I believe with much of Christianity today. They try to teach the law but don’t understand how it is supposed to be used. So here he says the law is Good if it is used how it was intended. Do you remember why the law was added? Let’s go on. (read 9) The law was added because of transgressions. The law is brought in to train people, show people their sin and prevent them from making excuses. There are basically three classes of people in the world. Heirs, slaves and Rebels. The Heirs serving from the desire of the heart not because they have to, they are under the law but it is not made for them. The slaves are those who serve the law and regulations out of fear. They are under the law as well but they have not entered into the true relationship receiving the righteousness of Christ on the heart, His righteousness in place of theirs. The Rebels are those who see the law of God and say “I see it and I understand it but I just don’t feel like keeping it and I’m not going to.” Rebels and slaves will not enter the kingdom of heaven it is only the heirs who will enter. So when we through faith accept Christ’s gift of HIS righteousness we become righteous at that moment. We are justified and righteous at that moment. So does the law have anything to say to us then, is it even for us then? No, it does not and it is not. But there is a step beyond this. The law also educates us on how we should behave. (Illustration: When you are transformed into the image of God and his righteousness becomes the desire of your own heart the law is useless to you. For example I am going to give you a command right now. If you do not obey this command you will die. This is no joke. This is the honest truth, if you don’t do what I am about to tell you to do you will die. Are you ready? Ok. BREATH!… That is a pretty pointless thing for me to tell you to do isn’t it? That is how useless the law will be to those who have been recreated into God’s image. It will tell you to do the things you already do instinctively and that you have no desire not to do.)