Old Covenant vs New Covenant

Our new message series kicked off on Sunday to a lot of response.

If you missed Sunday’s message, you can always listen and watch on our website, theorchard.life.  I’ll also include a link to the video below.

 

 

SUPER SUNDAY

One Super Service
10AM February 4
Gilmer High School Gym

Details and Directions

 


So, we started the “I Will” series on Sunday, talking about the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant.  Man, did I get a lot of feedback on that message… But nobody was shocked.  (maybe in part because we talk about this at The Orchard all the time)

I cast the Old Covenant in the light of “I will if you will,” and I made the case that church in general has misrepresented the New Covenant by “mixing and matching” with the Old Covenant.  Have you seen this?  How has that looked to you in the past?

Why do you think we New Covenant people tend to lean back into Old Covenant teaching? (I am a Christian, so these are the things I have to do)

Paul had to deal with this issue himself… In his day, some were insisting that believers in Christ also had to obey the Old Covenant… They viewed Judaism as sort of prerequisite for anyone wanting to become a Christian.  So, in their minds, if you wanted to be a believer, you had to first become circumcised, and you had to obey all the Mosaic Law.  How easy do you think it was for them to win over the man of the household?

Paul, in writing to the church at Colossae, made it very clear that it isn’t that you “don’t have to do that anymore,” but that Jesus has already fulfilled the law for us.

Colossians 2:11–23 (NLT)
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.  For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

So, what does this new freedom mean for us?  Can you think of ways that we have freedom that has been denied because “these rules seem wise?”

Wait… Aren’t there some things that should stay “hands off?”  Aren’t there some rules for us to live by?  Seriously… If I do the wrong things, won’t God get angry with me, won’t I fall away from Him?  Won’t I be on the outs with God and with others?

Galatians 5:1–4 (NLT)
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

So, Paul is writing specifically here about circumcision… But he is definitely saying that if you have to obey any ONE of the laws, you have to obey ALL of the laws. AND if you do that, you “have been cut off from Christ,” and have “fallen away from God’s grace.”

How does that strike you?

I know it is hard to believe… Surely there must be a difference between believers and non-believers.  Are you saying that I can live however I want?

Yes.

Because Jesus doesn’t want to change your behavior… He wants to change your nature.

He doesn’t want you to act like you are righteous… He wants you to BECOME righteous.

And once again, that is up to HIM… Not up to you.

Galatians 5:16–23 (NLT)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

So the question is… Who am I, really?  Am I dying to that old self, and am I really coming to life in Christ?  What does that look like in my life?

 

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