“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts, I will be their God and they will be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33, NIV). This was fulfilled when Jesus administered his new law during his Sermon the Mount in Matthew 5-7, and sealed it with his shed blood on the cross when he said “it is finished” (John 19:30). [See Hebrews 8].
Jesus forgives our sins when we repent and be born-again (John 3:16, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9, Matthew 26:28). But God’s grace is not a license to sin. The Old Testament law of Moses may be obsolete, but its not anything to ignore. The sins of God’s people in the past are still hostile to God from Christians today. Although we don’t have to be conscious of all 613 commandments (Yes, there’s a whole lot more than the 10 commandments), we should always repent and be led by the Holy Spirit so that we can give glory to God and live righteously.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17, NIV). Jesus knows what the OT Mosaic law meant far better than the religious hypocrites of his day, and he definitely knew how to keep the law. His new law raised the standards! For instance, the OT forbade murder and adultery, but the NT also forbade anger (Matt. 5:21-22) and lust (Matt. 5:27-28) because it’s really all the same. In other words, If you think it, you desire it! “As a man thinks, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). What the OT concealed, Jesus revealed in greater detail through his ministry and finished works.
My point of this post is to try to get people to understand that we are still called to obey God as Christians even though we have been saved by grace and not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). True faith results in genuine works that produce naturally from our born-again spirits (James 2:14-26). We are called to walk by faith by living according to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).
The Bible states in Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV), “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Before coming to Christ, we are slaves to our sins. We fall into temptation and drown in sin without God’s help. But with God, we become victorious through his Spirt’s guidance. So when we choose to live in sin and say that God’s grace covers us, we fool ourselves and even harm ourselves. Sin separates us from God, harms others, and ourselves because it disobeys God who is love.
“‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NLT
I have also found out that sinful lifestyles open up doors for Satan. For example, if you choose to be a thug, you will put yourself at risk for breaking laws, harming others, and potentially losing your life. Or, if you refuse to read your bible, you will not know God’s will for your life, and that will cause your life to suffer severe hardships for not seeking God’s wisdom. I am deeply sadden by the words of Hosea 4:6, “my people suffer (and are destroyed) from lack of knowledge!” Read the Bible because the Christian life is supposed to be abundant (John 10:10). If you’re not experiencing God’s favor, you aren’t living in his will. You can only find that will in His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Life is not going to be easy as a committed follower of Christ, but it will be worth it! [Matthew 5:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; 3:12]
Romans chapters 5-8 are very important messages for us to see the truth about God’s intentions for his people under his new covenant of grace. [See 1 Peter 2:16 after reading the chapters in Romans]. There are spiritual laws in the entire universe, and things always go wrong when we disobey God. God’s new law of grace and love is for us to receive with grateful hearts. And, obedience ought to be a natural loving response. Those who don’t obey, won’t bear any fruit in their lives and will ultimately show that they don’t fear God with awe and reverence. This also proves that they don’t truly understand how much he cared for them when he sacrificed his Son Jesus Christ. I used to be this person because I was ignorant and foolish. I had to learn the hard way and discipline my self to renew my mind so that my life can be transformed. I had to grow up and realize that my life belonged to God and that I had to spend eternity somewhere. [Romans 1:16-32] Although theres no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1), we should still aim to live godly because Jesus Christ did so much for us. In simpler words, we won’t go to hell for not living right, but we will go through a bit of hell on earth in disobedience.
We must realize that God’s part is to save but its our part and his intention that we choose to live righteously. We have the Holy Spirit to help us live out our holiness, but God isn’t going to do what he gave us the power to do. He’s in control, but he specifically gave the believer his Son and his Holy Spirit. [See John 3 and 14]
When I read the Bible, I become incredibly thankful that I have the privilege to receive salvation from Jesus by grace through faith. I know that I am saved, so I genuinely live a disciplined righteous life as a follower and disciple (learner-John 8:31) of Jesus Christ. My greatest desire is to teach others to do the same so that they can fulfill their purpose as humans created in the image of God. [See 1-2 Peter, Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians, and Titus for guides to transformation]. Blessings!