Friday, October 8, 2010

"Shall Not"

The law is a list of things to do and also things not to do.  I guess in the past my view has been that it is mainly things NOT to do - for example, 7 of the 10 commandments have a "shall not" in them.  The law itself isn't negative - it's good and holy for its purpose, which is to minister condemnation and death!  That sounds harsh, yet the law in all its beauty and perfection is meant to highlight sin and pronounce all under guilt from sin.  That way, all the world's sin could be put onto Christ and He could get rid of the guilt, condemnation, and punishment due because of it.  So the law wasn't given so we could keep it; it was given to show us we couldn't keep it and needed a Savior.

Jesus has done a wonderful thing.  He has made us to die to the Old Covenant law.  Now we have been raised with Him into a new creation world where we live under a different law, the law of the Spirit.  This law is something I sometimes can't quite explain, but I think it basically means that we are buoyed up in life by the very Spirit of Christ being within us.  The Spirit of Christ within us causes us to soar and fly over all condemnation and guilt.  The law can no longer accuse us, and sin can no longer cause us spiritual death.  We can thank God for the victory Christ brought us by taking our sin and our old selves down into the grave, that we might be raised up as new creations to walk in newness of life, the very life of Christ Himself!

We live in a new way in this new creation world.  We serve God not in the oldness of the letter but in the newness of the Spirit.  The old way was one of bondage that led to fear, but the new way is one of sonship leading to security!  We don't serve out of obligation or to earn rewards or acceptance.  We are carried along by the Spirit and serve out of love, because we are motivated to do so from within, from our new nature, which is just the Spirit of Christ at the center of our being!  His Spirit pours out the love of God in our hearts and we find ourselves compelled by that love to worship, to adore, to love, to minister, to rejoice!  We do it not because we have to but because we want to.  We are totally free yet at the same time drawn irresistibly by His love.  The strongest, greatest love in the universe is coming to us at every moment.  We are never out from under His loving and gentle gaze.  He is delighting in us at every second and so happy with us, His little children!  His heart turns flips as He thinks about us, which happens continuously.  He has made His home in us, never to leave, and has brought us home to Him, never to be put out.  We shall not ever be separated from Him or His love!

The old covenant law contained many "shall nots" which had a purpose that is now fulfilled.  We are not under that old legislation anymore.  Now we are under the new covenant where God provides all for us as a gift and we are free in Him.  This covenant also contains some "shall nots" - yet they are so different from the old "shall nots" - rather than making me feel depressed and guilty, they make me feel safe and warm and joyful in Him!  They are focused on our secure relationship with God rather than our erratic behavior, for the New Covenant has a relationship focus and not a works focus.  These are the "shall nots" I have found in the new covenant.  I only used Jesus' words in John.  I'm sure if I looked through the rest of the New Testament, I could find many more!  Anyway, here are those "shall nots" that I found:

His promises to all who believe in Him:

1 - You SHALL NOT hunger, but shall be fully satisfied with Him (John 6:35).

2 - You SHALL NOT thirst, but shall have within His very Spirit as an ever-flowing fountain of eternal life (John 4:14).

3 - You SHALL NOT walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

4 - You SHALL NOT be a slave to sin or the devil's lies, but shall be free indeed (John 8:32-36).

5 - You SHALL NOT perish, but shall have everlasting life (John 3:16).

6 - You SHALL NOT be snatched from His hand, but shall be safe (John 10:27-8).

7 - You SHALL NOT come into judgment, but have already passed from death to life (John 5:24).

8 - You SHALL NOT follow a stranger, but shall know and follow your Shepherd (John 10:4-5).

9 - You SHALL NOT have your joy stolen, but shall rejoice with great joy (John 16:22).

10 - SHALL NOT be left desolate, but shall have the His Spirit with you always to comfort you (John 14:16-18)!

With His very Spirit inside us as our best friend and LIFE, how can we go wrong?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  We shall not be put to shame but will always be led in triumph, love and grace!  All as a gift through Jesus' work for us and His wonderful grace, not ever through our efforts!  What a wonderful covenant the New Covenant is!

                     With love to all,

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! Gonna steal this for sharing at a Men's Group this coming Sunday. Thanks! Collin


May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14