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THE GIFT OF HOLINESS
by linzy bruno
11/05/2017 / Christian Apologetics
In the beginning, God dealt with mankind under the dispensation of innocence, which quickly became the period of conscience and self-government. There have been several dispensations since The Creation. Dispensations are time-periods, featuring a specific method in which God deals with mankind; differing from that of the previous. These periods of time sometimes relate to a specific covenant or agreement between God and man. Scholars often arbitrarily divide and decide these dispensations independently from one another and comprehensibly leave out the period where mankind will be left to fend for himself because God’s Hand of Providence is lifted and Satan is given full reign over the earth, during the 7 year period known as the Great Tribulation, as this period clearly falls into a category of its own; one of a lacking dispensation and void of all covenants.
Understanding the varying dispensations and covenants in which God has used to deal with and will continue to deal with His people is prodigiously helpful when seeking to differentiate between the old covenant law and the new covenant in Christ, also known as the Church Age.
In the beginning, Adam was created innocent and through his quick decent into sin and deception, demonstrated for ALL of mankind his complete inability to recognize, let alone resist his natural wicked propensity. Then under the Mosaic dispensation, God gave His Law and created a sacrificial system in which man was able to find redemption when in violation of the law, by following tedious and highly defined instructions, in which He lavishly laid out in much of the Old Testament, (especially Leviticus.) Then, of course, through the magnificent once-and-for-all Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus, “the curse” of the law was lifted and believers could finally come to the Throne of God, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, which because of the Resurrection, came to live inside of every believer. Under the New Covenant, the individualistic enabling powers of God’s Spirit are poured out on believers to convict the spirit, teach repentance, provide direction, strengthen and enable the will of the flesh to willingly come under the will of GOD; this therein lies the glorious gift of holiness through faith in the Work and Sacrifice of Christ.
Jesus taught this in His Gospels and so did the Apostle Paul through his Epistles. The New Covenant is not an excuse to live outside of God’s Law, however, it divinely provides the freedom to not have to live under it and there is monumental value in understanding this distinction. God’s Laws should be loved, revered and regarded as holy and Christians ought to greatly respect them, teach them and display their commitment to them. The freedom from living under the curse of the law simply means God will deal with each sin and each sinner on an individual basis; considering everything to do with the present emotional state, maturity, knowledge, background and upbringing and most vital of all: the motive or driving force behind these.
*** THE NEW COVENANT MARKED THE END OF THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM AND REDEMPTION THROUGH THE DEATH & RESURRECTION OF CHRIST BECAME THE NEW SYSTEM. This biblical truth is as valuable to the believer as is understanding the Holy Spirit’s role in this Church Age.
“Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father, Who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Furthermore, Jesus observed the Sabbath. It’s true, He was living under the Law, but He would not have complied, had this contradicted the Will of His Father in Heaven AND He often referred to Old Testament Scripture, which further edifies the law (see Matt.12:3-5, 19:4 & 22:31.) In fact, the Laws of God were the only laws that mattered to Christ. That’s why He overturned the market tables that the Pharisees had allowed to be set up in The House of God in Matthew 21:12, as these were man-made laws, which defied God and His Law.
Moreover, the Apostle Paul teaches a plethora of freedoms in regard to this new dispensation, through faith in Christ in Romans chapter 3, but he also declares the preservation of the law. Actually, one overreaching principle the Bible teaches is to cherish God’s Perfect Law. It’s the strain and the weight to come under it without divine assistance; having to go-it-alone, that has been made obsolete! AMEN.
“Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” (Romans 3:31)
Christ died so we could be free from our own helplessness; the “curse” that came from the law. God gave us the law to show us how unworthy and incapable and weak we are to keep it, because we are weak, BUT also because the non-negotiable law is rigid and inflexible.
Under the law, if you kill someone because you walked in your house and found a stranger raping your daughter, you would still be punished. Under the law, when it comes to attending Church on Sunday, because that’s the day the services are, Christians are in violation of the Law if they know that Saturday is the real day of the Sabbath and Sunday was the day of pagan worship in the Old Testament. This is the freedom the Apostle Paul and Jesus were speaking about; God no longer requires the perfect following of the law, but deals with each of His people individually. Notwithstanding this truth; the Law is sacred and those who disrespect it will come under judgment. The overall regulations the law of God presents us with are simple and easy to adhere to. Most of us do not need to be threatened with damnation just to keep our hands clean of someone else’s blood, but there are extenuating circumstances that the law would not consider, like the aforementioned, but God does.
God’s New Covenant through Christ should be cherished, for under this covenant, if we love God, that love WILL incite a great desire to please Him, this, combined with cooperation with the Holy Spirit, IS what makes us holy and able to uphold the law. We obey out of our love, not out of following the law, this is what the Apostle Paul is teaching through the Epistles. It’s the difference between running to the law and then trying to apply it and wanting to please God more than wanting to sin and then the Holy Spirit equips us. This distinction changes everything: because we lean on God’s Spirit and abide in Christ, Who then transforms us: makes us able to obey out of our unfeigned love and this is how we fulfill God’s Laws, this is God’s gift of holiness! AMEN. Thanks be to God!
One last little bit of food for thought: in the Book of Malachi, the prophet Malachi describes the Second Coming of Christ on the Day of Judgement which will kick off Christ reign of Jesus on the earth and Malachi’s words from God at the end of the last chapter are: “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mt. Sinai for all Israel.”
There’s another verse in Malachi that points to the return of sacrificial offerings in chapter 3:2-3, Malachi describes Jesus' Second Coming and verse 4 says: “Then once more the Lord will accept offerings brought to Him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as He did in the past.”
So it does appear through further study that it IS the Desire of the Lord’s Heart that His people revere His Ways the the honoring of His Laws, Decrees, Commands, Precepts & Statutes.
Here’s one more:
“I am the Lord, and I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6a)
I have been writing for many years. I really got serious when my 3 kids were still quite young, as they inspired me to write children's fiction. I now have 21 Amazon publications. Also, I've just completed a Bible study course. Now I plan to go hard copy with my books, when I get the funds!
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