The O/T’s focus was on what people couldn’t do. The N/T’s focus is on everything Christian’s get to do. Jesus taught more on what believers were born again to do than on what they were not to do. A saint’s focus is not on their past but on their destiny. Sin is not even on my radar. I am a saint that sometimes gets it, or does it wrong. I am no longer a sinner that rarely got it right.
The O/T’s focus was on the power of sin. Hence, lepers were quarantined and IF they ventured into town they had to scream, “Unclean! Unclean!” so that no one would come in contact with them. How humiliating! The Law quarantines people with their shame.
The N/T’s focus is on the power of love. Hence, when a leper approached Jesus wanting to be clean Jesus reached out His hand and touched the leper and made him clean.
Sin and the ravages of sin melt in the presence of a holy love!
Therefore, love is the principle thing. Greater love is demonstrated in laying down our lives, not exalting them. Greater love is demonstrated in protecting other people’s hearts, not in keeping some rule. Greater love is demonstrated in giving to those who cannot repay. Greater love is demonstrated in righteousness which is living in right relationship with God and man.
Love is the NEW Commandment! The Old [things, ways] has passed away. Behold, ALL things are NEW!
There are way too many Christians that live as if all the things that are new are coming in some future epoch. Jesus instituted the New Covenant the night before He was murdered by religious and political opponents that would not allow the truth to transform them. The ultimate stupid question was asked by Pilate, “What is truth?” as TRUTH stood innocently before him.
1 John 2:1ff – John wrote to little children [teknon = 4th level of maturity in the child stage] to let them know that sin was not normal for a Christian [“that you ‘may not’ sin”]. He also writes that “if” not “when” we sin we have an Advocate not an Executioner. He also writes that love is the old and new commandment. He goes on to write to the different levels of spiritual maturity and even at a cursory glance the reader can see that at the young man level they have overcome the evil one. Maturity is revealed when Christians overcome the evil one. Many believe the evil one to be satan. That is only a small portion of the truth. The real evil one is the Adamic nature that the enemy feeds on [dust of the earth] as sin entered the world through the first Adam.
God never intended for rules to govern His people. He instituted rules after the “church in the wilderness” rejected His heart. The rules are God’s parenthesis in our time filled world. The rules are an external form of government that even God knows will never work. This is why Hebrews 8 tells us the Old departed the scene.
The New Covenant is a covenant in the heart where relationship is the priority. This is an internal government. God has always wanted relationship with people who is heartfelt.
Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that grace carries more personal responsibility and that what is “hidden” in the heart is what is judged. Grace is stricter than the Law. “You have heard . . . but I say.”
Romans 13:8, 10 – “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
This is why the Ten Commandments are no longer relevant to the Christian. Love fulfills the Law. Jesus, Perfect Love, fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law. Those who are in Him, who were crucified with Him, who have been raised to walk in the NEWNESS of life no longer operate by keeping rules. We are called to protect God’s, and other people’s heart.
John is called the apostle of Love because he wrote extensively on it. It is interesting that he lived longer than any other of the original disciples. John [love] bridged the gap between the 1st and 2nd century church.
1 John 4 goes into great detail on love.
John states that Christian’s cannot even be punished by God. In verse 18 he tells us that perfect love [God’s love] casts out [evicts] fear. Fear is connected to punishment and the one who fears has not been perfected in love.
The next great revelation of God in the earth will be His perfect love. God’s people have to be transformed by this kind of love so that we can re-present the true and living God to a lost and dying world. We have to quit putting fear on people by using the Law to judge them. Our role in the earth is not to judge but to love.
Love confronts people’s sin, it does not overlook it. Love cares enough to say, “Stop sinning so something worse will not come on you.” Love meets people where they are but its goal is to assist them in getting to where God has called them to live – holy before Him and the world.
Love will allow a person to maintain a mismanaged life of sin. Why? Because love never tries to manipulate or control people.
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury