What Covenant was Jesus born under? Part 2
Jesus’ purpose was to provide salvation for the people of the world. Before we are ready to trust Christ for salvation, we need to know we are in need of salvation. Thus, the reason for the Old Covenant.
Paul writes: The law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith, now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian (Gal. 3:24-25).
Lets look at the sermon on the Mount...as it is called... to find the answer.
This teaching of Christ is the ultimate example as to the meaning of God’s Law, it shows that the only standard that God accepts to be in relationship with Him is perfection. Jesus taught this teaching to a nation that diluted that standard and had become fixated on experiencing political deliverance.
Now I can hear the religionists ask; “didn’t Jesus say that He didn’t come to abolish the Law?” He sure did. “Therefore it is still in effect and we have to strive to keep it in order to be accepted by God.
Well, what does the scripture say regarding that? “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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matt. 5:17-18).
The religionists are noted for quoting, “not one jot or tittle will disappear from the Law as long as there is a heaven and earth.” Yes...that would be the case as long as there was something in the law that was not accomplished! But, if everything is accomplished then the Law is completed and no longer invoked!
Yes, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law. BUT! He did come to fulfill it and fulfill it He did! He accomplished for us something we could not do in and of ourselves. Paul put it this way: Christ is the CULMINATION of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes (Romans 10:4). Hey...that is how we become perfect...it His through His righteousness.
Jesus' life and ministry took place under the Old Covenant therefore, they must be interpreted in light of that fact. Yes, sometimes His words ANTICIPATED the New Covenant, such as His teaching regarding the Holy Spirit, who would come after His death and resurrection. But it is critical to understand “Who said it to whom...and Under what covenant it was said when reading the scripture. Then and only then can you go on to find its correct meaning and its proper application for life living.
As believers living under the New Covenant we have the advantage of hindsight and able to view the law through the eyes of Jesus, in doing so we see its reality. We are not a people under the Old Covenant hearing the demands of the Law of perfect performance to avoid its curse. We approach Jesus’ teaching as believers who are indwelt by Christ. Jesus red words may teach God’s will for our attitudes and actions, but His acceptance is no longer tied to our do’s and dont’s. Christ now lives in us and empowers us to do His will.
That is the power of God’s love and grace.