discussion
Questions
APPENDIX
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A3  After Pentecost: From the Law to the Spirit


"whatever things the law says,

it speaks to those who are under the law...

you are not under law. "

Romans 3:19, 6:14



So... the law has nothing to say to you if you are a believer. Scripture says that you are in the New Covenant of the Spirit, not the Old Covenant of Law.  


 This page is presented in six sections:

  • General Overview
  • Explanation of Romans 3:19 and 6:14
  • A Little More About the Law
  • New Covenant of the Spirit
  • Group Discussion Questions
  • In Depth Studies in the Footnotes Section



General Overview

God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden roughly six thousand years ago. Many generations later, God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt and gave Moses the Ten Commandants in fire and smoke on Mount Sinai. Moses gave the Law to Israel. Mankind had existed for about 2500 years before the Law was given. Then the Law was in effect for roughly 1500 years until the New Covenant began at Pentecost, in roughly 33 AD. The children of God have now been in the Covenant of the Spirit for roughly 2000 years.  So, the Law of Moses was in effect for Israel only... and only from roughly 1500 BC till 33 AD.


The Law of Moses did not provide access to eternal life4. Physical prosperity in the land of Israel was the promise of God to Israel... but only if Israel obeyed the Law of Moses (See Exodus 19:5 and the entire book of Deuteronomy, especially 7:11-8:1, 28:1-68, most especially 8:1 and 28:64)). 


And since Israel included both believers and unbelievers, the Old Covenant was essentially a covenant with both believers and unbelievers3. After the nation of Israel broke the Old Covenant, Israel was removed from the land and God eventually replaced the Old Covenant with the New Covenant3, giving Israel a certificate of divorce (Jeremiah 3:6-10, especially verse 8). The Old Covenant (the Law) was always intended by God to be temporary, until the seed (Christ) came. (Note the word "until" in Galatians 3:19). The Old Covenant (the Law) was always intended to lead men to Christ (Galatians 3:24), who implemented the New Covenant of the Spirit by asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in 33 AD. But, unlike the Old Covenant, the New Covenant with Israel included only believers since all in the New Covenant know God3. See Hebrews 8:7-12, especially verse 11, "all will know me". 


Unlike the Old Covenant, the New Covenant included non-Jews. In other words, the remnant of Israel (true spiritual Israel, Romans 9:6, 27)) and believing Gentiles are party to the New Covenant.  See 2 Corinthians 3:4-8, and especially "new covenant" in verse 6. Verse 6 reveals that believing Gentiles are part of the New Covenant, since that letter was written to a predominately Gentile church as part of Paul's ministry in the "new covenant". For an in depth study, see footnote 3 near the bottom of this page titled, "Nation of Israel: Broken Covenant Replaced". 


Now, if you had been born physically as an Israelite, roughly between 1500 BC and 33 AD, you would have been born under the Law of Moses. All other people who were born physically were born under the Law of Conscience1 (Romans 2:14-16,  footnote 1.). Adherence to either law could not grant eternal life. The Law of Moses contained rules that Israel had to keep in order to stay in the promised land. Eternal Life for both groups, beginning with Adam and continuing forever, has always been by grace, through faith. This is true whether Israelite or non-Israelite, whether under the Law of Moses or under the Law of Conscience1.



Romans 3:19 and 6:14

"whatever things the law says,
it speaks to those who are under the law...
you are not under law. "

Romans 3:19, 6:14


We know that the book of Romans was written to believers in Christ from Romans 1:1-8, especially verse 8. Romans 1:8 states "your faith has been proclaimed throughout the whole world". Now, knowing that the book of Romans was written to believers, prayerfully consider again these two verses:

"whatever things the law says,

it speaks to those who are under the law...

you are not under law. "

Romans 3:19, 6:14


So... the Roman believers were "not under law". And "whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law". So, the law has nothing to say to you if you are not under law. Who is not under law? Believers in Christ are not under law.  Christians were made dead to the law by the body of Christ. See below: 

  • "Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ" (Romans 7:4).


Scripture says that you are in the New Covenant of the Spirit, not the Old Covenant of Law. 


The law has nothing to say to you. 


The scriptures are emphatic. 


As a believer in Jesus Christ you are:

  • not under law, 
  • dead to the Law, 
  • released from the Law, 
  • not under the jurisdiction of the Law and 
  • do not serve in the Law (the letter). 
(Romans 6:14, 7:4, 7:6, 7:1, 7:6).


As I have said before,  the law has nothing to say to you if you are a believer. Scripture says that you are in the New Covenant of the Spirit, not the Old Covenant of Law. And, as I said, I will explain from the scriptures. But before we investigate the New Covenant of the Spirit,  we must learn a little more about the Law: what it is and its purpose.



A Little More About the Law


The purpose of the Law...


The Law was only a shadow:

  • "For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near" (Hebrews 10:1).


The Law was a shadow of Christ. Christ was the "very image" of which the Law was a shadow (Hebrews 10:1-10). 



The Law was temporary (until Christ):

  • "Then why is there the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise has been made" (Galatians 3:19). 


Galatians 3:16 had already stated that Christ is the offspring, to whom the promise was made. So, the Law was added until the coming of Christ.



The Law is a tutor to lead us to faith in Christ:

  • "23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:23-24).



Believers are no longer under a tutor:

  • "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Galatians 3:25).


In other words, the law was a tutor. We are no longer under a tutor. So, we are not under law.



The Law is for unbelievers. It has nothing to say to you (if you are a believer):

  • "Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God" (Romans 3:19).
  • "For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).
  • "style="background-color: initial; letter-spacing: 0px;">Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ" (Romans 7:4).

The book of Romans is written to believers. Paul wrote to the Roman church "your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world" (Romans 1:8). Paul states that the believers (brothers) are "dead to the law" (Romans 7:4) and "not under law" (Romans 6:14). In Romans 3:19 (above), Paul said that the law only speaks to those who are under law. So, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, the Law has nothing to say to you. You are not judged by the Law, because you are under grace. You have been saved by grace: "by grace you have been saved, through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). Those who were without the Law but believed in Christ received imputed righteousness by grace, through faith... but those who had the Law, rejected Christ and tried to receive righteousness by doing good works did not receive imputed righteousness (Romans 9:30-33). 



What is the "Law"?

The Law contains the Ten Commandments and over 600 other rules handed down by Moses. The law was intended to be temporary, to lead us to Christ. As I have said before,  the law has nothing to say to you if you are a believer. Scripture says that you are in the New Covenant of the Spirit, not the Old Covenant of Law. 



The New Covenant of the Spirit

God provided various scriptures to explain the transition from living by Law to living by the Spirit. I will present two of the main transitional passages. One is from Romans. The other is from 2 Corinthians. Then I will explain what this has to do with Pentecost. Next, I will present many passages which detail what the Law does and does not do. Then, I will explain why we benefit from reading the Old Testament, even though the Old Testament contains the Law and even though the Law has nothing to say to you. Last, we will see if the Old Covenant applies to Post-Pentecost Believers, whether Jew or Gentile, Israelite or Non Israelite.


So the remainder of this subchapter is divided into six parts, A3a, A3b, A3c, A3d, A3e and A3f!


A3a Transitional Passage: Romans

A3b Transitional Passage: 2 Corinthians

A3c The Age of the Spirit

A3d What Law Does and Does not Do

A3e Why Read the Old Testament?

A3f Does the Old Covenant Apply to Post-Pentecost Believers?


Group discussion questions and a Footnote section are included at the bottom of this page, after A3f.


Please PRAY the following scriptures as described in subchapter 1.2. Please do not read them alone.




A3a
The First Transitional Passage
Romans 7:4-7


  • "4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death. 6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet"' (Romans 7:4-7).


There is a lot in that passage. Let's look at it, one aspect at a time.


The Law brought about death:

  • "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death" (Romans 7:5).
The penalty of sin is spiritual death (separation from God).


We have died to the Law and been joined to Christ:

  • "4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead" (Romans 7:4).


We have been discharged from the Ten Commandments:

  • "I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet"' (Romans 7:7).
  • Do not covet is the tenth of the Ten Commandments. Paul specifically uses it as an example of what he means by the term "law". And we are "discharged from the law" (verse 6). Some say that we are only discharged from ceremonial and sacrificial law. But Paul made it clear. We are discharged from the Ten Commandments.


We have been discharged from The Law to serve in the Spirit:

  • "6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).
  • "The letter" is a figure of speech for "the law". The transitional passage from 2 Corinthians will use this same figure of speech.


The change is in how we serve:

  • "so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).
The passage says that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. "The letter" refers to the letters engraved in the stone tablets, containing the Ten Commandments (2 Corinthians 3:7). The stone tablets were known as the "tablets of the covenant" (Hebrews 9:4). That we serve in a new way is repeated in the transitional passage from 2 Corinthians.


We no longer serve in the law. There is the new and the old, the spirit and the letter. We serve in the spirit. But what is meant by "newness of spirit' verses "oldness of the letter"? Some say that "newness of spirit" is to obey inwardly, in our hearts, instead of in an outward legalistic way. But that isn't new. That was true in the Old Covenant as well. 


Not Serving in the Oldness of the Letter:

The old way was "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein" (Joshua 1:8). The old way to serve was to focus on the written law to practice law. When Israel was under law, God's presence was in the portable tabernacle until the temple was built by Solomon. Then God's presence was in the temple. They were to pray towards the temple because that was where God dwelt (1 Kings 8:29-30). But in the New Covenant of the Spirit, God's Holy Spirit is within us (John 14:17). In the New Covenant of the Spirit, we serve by focusing on His Spirit and walking by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25, Subchapter 4.7 titled "Walk by the Spirit, John 4:23). See subchapter 1.1, "Learning to Read" for help in walking by the Spirit, through scripture. 


The Righteous Live by Faith, not Law:

  •  "'THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH'. The law is not of faith, but, 'The man who does them will live by them'" (Galatians 3:11-12).
In other words, the man who does them (laws) with live by them (laws). But the righteous live by faith, not law. One who lives by law, lives by the written code which can be seen with the eyes. 


But one who lives by faith lives by what is not seen with the eyes:

  • "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).


We fix our eyes on the unseen:

  • "while we don't look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).


We fix our eyes on our unseen Lord within, the Spirit:

  • "But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18).


The preceding two passages about the unseen and the Spirit closely follow and are connected with the second transitional passage from 2 Corinthians.



What does it mean to "serve in the Spirit"?

Well, first of all, to serve in the Spirit has something to do with a Spirit. We know this because the phrase "serve in the Spirit" includes the word "Spirit".  To serve "in the Spirit" also means to live "by faith". This is not the case for those who live by law. 


  • "'THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH'. The law is not of faith, but, 'The man who does them will live by them'"  (Galatians 3:11-12).


In other words, the man who does them (laws) with live by them (laws). But the righteous live by faith, not law. One who lives by law, lives by the written code which can be seen with the eyes. But we serve "in the Spirit... by faith", not in written rules (laws). We "serve in the Spirit" as we hear the Holy Spirit, by faith. Those who doubt that the Holy Spirit will guide them will not hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit (James 1:5-7). In the Introduction to this book you heard, from the scriptures, about the tremendous increase in intimate spiritual communication in the New Covenant compared to the Old. Subchapter 4.2 provides details about that spiritual communication. This spiritual communication comes to those who believe and do not doubt ( James 1:5-7, micro-subchapter 4.2a). I believe that serving by the Spirit is the same thing as walking by the Spirit. Click here to learn how to walk by the Spirit. Or, follow the table of contents to subchapter 4.7 titled, "Walk by the Spirit".


Now I will repeat a question from above.  What is meant by "newness of spirit' verses "oldness of the letter"? I hope that we have covered sufficient scripture to now render an answer. Here is the scripture:

  • "so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).


What is meant by "newness of spirit' verses "oldness of the letter"?


Rather than memorizing written rules from the Law like the Ten Commandments and employing human memory techniques to  remind us of God's way to serve... we live in intimate two way conversation with the Holy God who is within us. We intimately talk with Him about scripture and He reminds us of them from within, to do them, to serve Him, to follow Him, where ever He goes... to follow a living person within rather than a written rule.


Based on the occurrences of the phrase "Holy Spirit" in the New Testament verses the Old Testament, the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is one hundred times greater after Pentecost. I suggest that you take just a few minutes and review the introduction to this book and also subchapter 1.4 titled, "Fellowship with God: Plunging to the Depths". Fellowship with God is very different from simply living by a moral code. It is powerful, personal, pervasive, intimate and conversational. The introduction reveals what Jesus told the disciples before He was crucified:  Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would be IN THEM and therefore they would be fundamentally different from Pre-Pentecost believers... they would be "clothed with power from on high" (2 Corinthians 5:17, Luke 24:49).


Now that we have touched briefly on what it means to "serve in the Spirit", lets  return to the scriptures describing the transition from Law to Spirit.



Discharged from the Law,

Dead to the Law,

but NOT FREE TO SIN:

Above you saw that Romans 7:6 reveals that we have been "discharged from the law". And Romans 7:4 stated that we have "died to the law". Being discharged from law doesn't mean that we are free to sin. God anticipated that response and directly addressed it in Romans 6:15, "What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be!" (Romans 6:15). 


So, do we have no commandments in the new covenant? No. Jesus left one commandment: "This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he commanded" (1 John 3:23). So, the one commandment is loving faith. Jesus said that all the Law and the Prophets were based on the command to love (Matthew 22:37-40).


In the New Covenant, we have one law. But we don't serve in the law. We serve in the Spirit. Remember, Romans 7:6 said "we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter". Serving in newness of the Spirit involves spiritual communication, interaction and empowerment. The Holy Spirit will remind us of the words of Christ (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27). We are to yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 3:7-8).


The spirit interacts with New Covenant believers in new ways which will be detailed later in the paragraph titled "Serve in the Newness of the Spirit". Some say that we are discharged from the penalty of the Law, but that we are still supposed to focus on and obey the Ten Commandments. 


We do obey them but they are not our focus. The above scriptures said  "we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6). The tenth of the Ten Commandments was used as a case in point. We saw that the Law was temporary, that we don't live by law and that we live by faith. Those scriptures said that we don't serve in the "oldness of the letter". In the New Covenant, we do obey the Ten Commandments. But we do it by being in the presence of God and obeying the Holy Spirit. That is how we "serve in newness of the spirit." We live by faith, seeing the unseen and following the unseen.


Romans 3:19 states, "whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law." Romans 6:14 tells us, "you are not under law. " In the New Covenant, the law doesn't speak to us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us. For example, the Holy Spirit may put these words of Christ in your mind from Mark 10:19 "Do not commit adultery". You might think that those words came into your mind through your memory. But, instead it would be the living word of God  spoken by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:12). 


John 14:16-26 states that the Holy Spirit will "teach you all things" and "remind you of all that" Christ said.  That working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all believers is part of the New Covenant, but not the Old. This passage was explained in the Introduction to this book.


There are Christians today who are trying to practice Christianity by following rules. These are Christians who are in the New Covenant but living as if they were in the Old Covenant. A New Covenant Christian can have intimate spiritual interaction with God within. That is what the Six Paths illustrate.


Serve in the Newness of the Spirit:

  • "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever: 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him and doesn't know him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you" (John 14:16-17)
  • Verse 17 means that the Holy Spirit was "with" them before Pentecost, but "in" them after Pentecost.


  • "I have said these things to you while still living with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you." John 14:25-26
  • "the anointing which you received from him remains in you... his anointing teaches you concerning all things" (1 John 2:27).
  • "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law" (Galatians 5:18).
  • "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God" (Romans 8:14).
  • Some of the new functions of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost are: God in us, teaching, reminding and leading us. "Serving in Newness of the Spirit" includes obeying the Spirit when He teaches, reminds and leads. Serving in the Oldness of the letter is to focus on obedience to rules.


Joined to Another (to Christ):

The Roman's passage said "you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead".


The old covenant had a fault: "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second" (Hebrews 8:7). We can't do the law. It couldn't perfect us. It was only a shadow of perfection to come in Christ (Hebrews 10:1). We need God to live in us, to do the law in us. The indwelling Christ and Holy Spirit cured the fault: Christ fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17). Christ is in us (2 Corinthians 13:5). In this way, God put the Law on our hearts (Hebrews 10:16). We live no longer: Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). Christ is being formed in us (Galatians 4:19). So, "the fulfillment of the Law" is lived in us by Christ. We don't serve by the old covenant "shadow" of Christ (Hebrews 10:1).


Walking by the Spirit is the alternative to living by Law. It fulfills the law (Galatians 5:13-16). It bears fruit (Galatians 5:22 & Romans 7:4) The indwelling Holy Spirit regenerates, seals, renews, sanctifies, provides power, comprehension, joy, peace etc. Walking by the Spirit is clearly described in great detail in subchapter 4.7.


Summary:

The change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is a change in how we serve:

  • "so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).
  • We follow the lead of the Holy Spirit instead of a written code.




A3b
 The Second Transitional Passage
 2 Corinthians 3:4-8


  • "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God, 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away, 8 won't service of the Spirit be with much more glory? For if the service of condemnation... " (2 Corinthians 3:4-9).


The passage says that "the letter" was "engraved on stones" and came with glory so that the Israelites couldn't look at Moses's face (verses 7-8). They couldn't look at his face because his face glowed when he came down from the mountain with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. It glowed because he had been speaking with God (Exodus 34:28-35). So, the Ten Commandments were the "letters" "engraved on stones". The stone tablets were known as the "tablets of the covenant" (Hebrews 9:4). The tablets of the covenant contained the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28).

Now, I will repeat the passage from 2 Corinthians for your convenience:
  • "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God, 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away, 8 won't service of the Spirit be with much more glory? For if the service of condemnation... " (2 Corinthians 3:4-9).

Verse 7 calls the letters of the Ten Commandments the "service of death". Verse 8 mentions the "service of the Spirit". So, the Old Covenant was a "service of death", a "service of condemnation" (v 9) which 'kills" (v 6). But the "New Covenant... of the Spirit... gives life" (v 6).


Both the Romans and the 2 Corinthians passages say that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, not the old way of the letter (Law). They both link the old way with death.
Simply put...
We don't' serve God by 
1) focusing on the Ten Commandments, 
2) obeying them, 
3) by helping others to obey them.

We serve God by 
1) focusing on the Holy Spirit, 
2) by obeying the Holy Spirit, 
3) by helping others to obey the Holy Spirit.
 
A reminder: The phrase "Holy Spirit" occurs three times in the entire Old Testament. That's basically one occurrence for every three hundred pages. But in the New Testament, the phrase "Holy Spirit" occurs 95 times. That's one occurrence for every three pages. So, the phrase 'Holy Spirit" is one hundred times more likely to occur in the New Testament than the Old.
Post-Pentecost believers are fundamentally different from Pre-Pentecost believers... we are "clothed with power from on high" (2 Corinthians 5:17, Luke 24:49). The Old Covenant had a moral code. So do atheists. The Post-Pentecost believer has spiritual communication with the living God within. This is an active interaction. The Holy Spirit will even put ideas into our minds if we ask in faith (subchapter 4.2). 


Paul asked for prayer from the church at Ephesus, that God would give him words to explain the gospel.

  • "with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19 on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:18-20).
  • In requesting this prayer, Paul was serving "in newness of the spirit". He was serving God and "ministering" to others. He looked to God to give him the words to present the gospel. Then by faith, he spoke the words God gave him. Yes, the Holy Spirit will even put ideas into our minds if we ask in faith. 




A3c
The Age of the Indwelling Holy Spirit Began at Pentecost


It is time for a short review. Before Passover, just before Jesus was arrested and crucified, Jesus had a long conversation with His disciples in what is called The Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17). Jesus said


  • "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor... You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you... But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you" (John 14:16-26).


They were at the threshold of a new age, the age of the Holy Spirit... which began at Pentecost in Acts 2:1. They were about to exit the Age of the Law and enter into the Age of the Spirit "as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:6-8). The Holy Spirit would be IN THEM (John 14:16, 17, 26) and therefore they would be fundamentally different from Pre-Pentecost believers (2 Corinthians 5:17).


After Pentecost, the children of God would no longer be under law. Instead, they would be led by the Spirit:

  • "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law" Galatians 5:18
  • "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God" (Romans 8:14).


Spiritual communication from the Holy Spirit is not limited to the twelve apostles but is for Post-Pentecost believers. It is written:

  • "As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don't need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him" (1 John 2:27) (The anointing is the Holy Spirit.)
  • "But concerning brotherly love, you have no need that one write to you. For you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, 10 for indeed you do it toward all the brothers who are in all Macedonia. But we exhort you, brothers, that you abound more and more" (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
  • Both passages reveal communication of information directly from God into the mind of the believer. Both passages were written long after Pentecost. Neither were written to the twelve disciples. So, they both apply to the church at large. 1 John was written to those whom John refers to as "my little children" (1 John 2:1). A reading of the book makes it clear that the book is directed to all believers. 

 

So, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be "in" them, "remind" them of His words, lead them and teach them. This is a promise of spiritual communication after His death and resurrection... a promise of intimacy with God within... a promise of spiritual Fellowship with God, with the invisible Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father.

  • "you were called into the Fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:9).
  • "our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).
  • "the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14).


The Holy Spirit will give us the words for making disciples:

  • "praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19 on my behalf, that utterance (words) may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News" (Ephesians 6:18-19).
  • The Good News or "Gospel' is not just for conversion. That is why Paul wanted to preach "the Gospel" to the Roman church (Rom 1:15). The Gospel is also for sanctification... It is for making disciples. Making disciples encompasses both conversion and sanctification. Sanctification is done for us by Christ (Romans 6:22, Hebrews 10:10) and is also a process that we participate in (Romans 6:19, Philippians 2:12).


Conclusion

How do we serve in the Age of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit leads, directs, warns, empowers, reminds us of scripture etc. He even gives us words to communicate the gospel. We can resist the Holy Spirit and lie to the Holy Spirit. With these as a foundation, "serving in the newness of the Spirit" means to obey the Spirit as He leads, directs, warns, reminds us of scripture, and gives us words for making disciples. 


Scriptures detailing all of these workings of the Holy Spirit are presented in chapter 3. Walking by the Spirit is explained in subchapter 4.7.




A3d
What does the Law do?


This section presents twenty things that the Law does or doesn't do. Most of the scriptures presented are from chapters 3-5 of Galatians, chapters 3-8 of Romans or chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians. Those ten chapters are worth reading if you want to see these passages in context. If you do read them, please read them in the way of Path Five. PRAY them. Do not read them alone.


The Law has nothing to say to the child of God:

  • "Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law" (Romans 3:19). As believers, we are not under law. So, the Law has nothing to say to us.


The Law does not cause us to receive the Spirit:

  • "I just want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" Galatians 3:2. (The answer within the context is no.)


The Law does not complete or perfect us:

  • "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh?" Galatians 3:2-3. (Paul equates "works of the law" with works "in the flesh".)


The Law does not impart God's Spirit to us:

  • "He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:5). 
  • The answer within the context is that the Spirit is not given by works of law.


The Law does not empower miracles:

  • "He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:5).
  • The answer within the context is that God doesn't do miracles by works of law.


The Law does not justify us before God

  • "Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, "The righteous will live by faith" (Galatians 3:11).
  • "Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight" (Romans 3:20).


Following Law does not mean that we have faith:

  • "The law is not of faith, but, "The man who does them will live by them" (Galatians 3:12).


The Law does not provide a righteous way to live:

  • "The righteous will live by faith. 12 The law is not of faith, but, "The man who does them will live by them" (Galatians 3:11-12).
  • "them" refers to the laws. The man who is doing the laws will live by laws. But the righteous "live by faith".


The Law does not make us righteous before God:

  • "Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law" (Galatians 3:21).


The Law does not impart life:

  • "Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law" (Galatians 3:21).


The Law brings a curse:

  • "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who doesn't continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them" (Galatians 3:10).


The Law brings knowledge of sin:

  • "Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20).
  • "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet'" (Romans 7:7).


The Law brings wrath:

  • "For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience" (Romans 4:15)


The Law arouses sinful passions:

  • "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death" (Romans 7:5).
  • "But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead" (Romans 7:8).


The Law increases the transgression:

  • "The law came in that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly" (Romans 5:20)


The Law is prerequisite to imputation of sin:

  • "For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law" (Romans 5:13).


The Law brings life to sin so that sin can bring death:

  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 The commandment which was for life, this I found to be for death; 11 for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me" (Romans 7:9-11).


The Law brings life to sin so that sin can bring death:

  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:9)


It was this way for Adam and Eve. They were spiritually alive. Then God gave them a command "you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17). They ate of the tree and died spiritually. They were alive, then the commandment came, and they died. Before the fall, they had a propensity to sin. One might say that sin was the inevitable result. In a way, sin was asleep. But when the commandment came, sin became alive as they sinned, resulting in death.


I will present one way to understand this passage. I consider this interpretation to be a possibility.


I believe that infants do not know the difference between right and wrong. Then, as they grow up, at some point they come to know it.  But out of His grace, God then gives them some time before He holds them accountable. At that time of accountability, God's commandment comes, sin revives and they die spiritually.


I will present some scriptures which may provide some light. See Isaiah 7:16: "For before the child knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you abhor shall be forsaken." So, there is a time when a child can not distinguish between good and evil. But with passage of time, children come to the stage when they can discern between good and evil. Possibly Paul is saying that until we reach the age of knowledge of good and evil, we are alive in a sense. At some point after we have come to know the difference between right and wrong, after we have sufficient experience in that state, then we hear God's command and so the commandment has "come". After the commandment comes, man will inevitably sin.


I will repeat the subject passage for your convenience:

  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:9)

"Sin revived" may indicate that sin revived as to its power to condemn, which it first had in the sin of Adam. This is consistent with Romans 5:12-13 which preceded the subject passage "Therefore as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; so death passed to all men, because all sinned. 13 For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law." So, death passes to each, when each commits the first chargeable sin, which occurs after the age of knowledge of good and evil.


Genesis 8:21 states "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth". So, God says that man becomes evil in youth, not at birth.


David was a prophet. When his infant son died, he believed that his son went to paradise, not hell. He said, "But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:23). David believed that his dead infant son would be in Paradise because that is where David expected to go when he died. Romans 5:13 above appears to say, "sin is not charged" to the dead infant because law would not come to the infant until the age of knowledge of good and evil.


Some additional scriptures:

I believe that the age of knowledge of good and evil is different from the age of accountability. The age of accountability could be the age of twenty for some issues.  Numbers 14:29 indicates that those who were twenty and over would die in the wilderness and not enter the promised land. They were not held accountable for refusing to enter the promised land when God first instructed Israel to enter. I believe that people know to "refuse the evil and choose the good" before the age of twenty (Isaiah 7:16). But, out of grace, and to give young people time to find their way, God apparently did not hold them accountable until they were twenty. Deuteronomy 1:39 indicates that those who "have no knowledge of good or evil" will enter the land, but it did not say they were the only ones who would enter. Those who possessed knowledge of good and evil, but were under twenty, were also not accountable, and would enter the  promised land. I know of no scripture which indicates that the age of accountability for entering the promised land is the same as the age of accountability for being accountable for all sin.


Now, back to the Law...


The Law is a ministry of death:

  • "who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away" (2 Corinthians 3:6-7). "Engraved on stones" refers to the Ten Commandments.
  • "For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience" (Romans 4:15).
  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:9).
  • Everyone breaks the law and receives spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus defined law in terms that it is impossible to follow it perfectly. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;' 28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). We receive life by faith (John 3:16).


The Law was a shadow of Christ's sacrifice:

  • "1 For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near... 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:1-10).


To clearly see that the Law was a shadow of Christ's sacrifice, you may need to read all of verses 1-10. I only showed verses 1 and 10 above. If you are not familiar with the book of Hebrews, I suggest that you read all of chapter 9 as well.


The Law is not made for a righteous man, but for sinners:

  • "8 But we know that the law is good, if a person uses it lawfully, 9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine, 11 according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust" (1 Timothy 1:8-11).
  • Who is a "righteous person"? One who believes God is righteous.  "21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe" (Romans 3:21-22). "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3). One who has faith is deemed "righteous" by God: "Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, "The righteous will live by faith" (Galatians 3:11). We are "righteous", not because we stop sinning, but because of what Christ did: "For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Believers are not under law "For you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). If believers are "righteous" by grace through faith because of what Christ did, then it is reasonable that "the law is not made for a righteous person". 


  • Keeping the law does not make anyone righteous. And our acts of sin do not result in imputation of sin. To the contrary, God decides if sin will be imputed to one who commits sin. "For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law" (Romans 5:13). Sinners and the righteous are two separate groups of people. God decides who is righteous and who is a sinner. He makes His choice based on one criteria: Faith in Jesus Christ. Post conversion sin does not change one whom God has declared righteous into a sinner. The term "sinner" is a technical term in scripture. But few Christians use the term scripturally. Most have the unscriptural view that anyone who commits sin is a sinner.  



A3e 

Why Read the Old Testament? 


The Law is contained in the Old Testament, but all of the Old Testament is not Law. The book of Romans in the New Testament tells us "whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law" (Romans 3:19). Then Romans 6:14 tells Post-Pentecost believers "you are not under law." So, the Law has nothing to say to us as Post Pentecost believers. But Romans 15:4 tells us "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through perseverance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."


We read the Old Testament so that "we might have hope". 


The Old Testament records the history of God, man and the angelic realm. The Law of Moses was not given until Exodus chapter 20, the second book of the seventeen books of the Old Testament. By that time, 2500 of the 4000 years covered by the Old Testament had already taken place in Genesis 1 through Exodus 20. The Law of Moses was in effect in all of the remaining books of the Old Testament except probably the book of Job. 


The books of the Bible are sometimes grouped into three categories... as Law, Prophets or Writings. Some of the Writings are called the poetic books. These classifications are not all clear cut. For example: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are said to be the five books of Law. But, the Law of Moses was not given until Exodus 19. Therefore all of Genesis and the first eighteen chapters of Exodus was about God's interactions with mankind while man was not under Law.  So, beware... manmade classifications are not scripture.


In reading the Old Testament, we see how a perfect, all powerful, loving and just God worked to bring sinful, selfish and rebellious man into an intimate, joyful union with Himself. 


He, in whom hope is justified is revealed in the Old Testament. Many attributes of God, man and the angelic realm are revealed in these books. 


In the Old Testament, we see who deserves our trust and who does not. God, not man, is the only one who merits our hope.


"Cursed is the man who trusts in man" 

(Jeremiah 17:5)


We read the Old Testament so that "we might have hope" in God. 


So, if your are a believer in Jesus Christ, I prayerfully suggest that you do this: Read the Old Testament, being mindful of whether the subjects of your reading were under law or not. If you read about God's interactions with people under law, be aware that they were under law while you are not. Prophecies may pertain to people who are under law... or they may pertain to people who aren't. Prophesies may have been made to Israel while Israel was under Law. But those prophesies may pertain to a future period of time when Israel will not be under law. If you are aware of the distinctions regarding the Law of Moses, you may see the intended message more accurately. 


It is my opinion, that Genesis 1 through Exodus 18, and the book of Job pertain to periods in time when none of the participants were under Law. The remaining books of the Old Testament were written in periods in time when most of the participants were under law. In other words, Israel was under the Law of Moses in those books. Gentiles were not. Post Exodus 18 Israel was under law (under the Law of Moses.




A3f

Does the Old Covenant Apply to Post-Pentecost Believers?


No. The Old Covenant kills , is a service of death and is a service of condemnation. I will reveal this from a passage which you have already seen above.

  • "6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the that the Old Covenant kills (v 6), is a service of death (v 7) and is a service of condemnation (v 9). service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away, 8 won't service of the Spirit be with much more glory? 9 For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses. 11 For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13 and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn't look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. 14 But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away" (2 Corinthians 3:6-14).


This passage is contrasting the New Covenant (v 6) with the Old (v 14). As I have written before, the passage says that "the letter" was "engraved on stones" and came with glory so that the Israelites couldn't look at Moses's face (verses 7-8). They couldn't look at his face because his face glowed when he came down from the mountain with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. It glowed because of he had been speaking with God (Exodus 34:28-35). The Ten Commandments were "letters" "engraved on stones".  Essentially, the letters engraved on stones represents the Ten Commandments initially. Later, all of the Law was engraved on stone using plaster (Deuteronomy 27:1-8).  


I will repeat the passage for your convenience:

  • "6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenantnot of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away, 8 won't service of the Spirit be with much more glory? 9 For if the service of condemnation has glory, the service of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses. 11 For if that which passes away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13 and not as Moses, who put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn't look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away. 14 But their minds were hardened, for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains, because in Christ it passes away" (2 Corinthians 3:6-14).

We have just seen that that the Old Covenant of the letter represents the Law. This passage reveals that the Old Covenant kills (v 6), is a service of death (v 7) and is a service of condemnation (v 9).



So, does the Old Covenant apply to Post-Pentecost believers? No. 


The apostles did not administer it (v 6). In other words, they did not operate within the Old Covenant. Blessing could not come to believers of their day through the Old Covenant or they would have served their flocks in the Old Covenant. 



Does the Old Covenant offer benefit to believers in the future, whether they be Israelite, Jew or Gentile?


It does not appear so. The Old Covenant kills, as it is only a ministry of death and condemnation. The application of the Old Covenant today appears to be in judging those who had the Law, but rejected Christ and were therefore under the Law. Since the Law was a "service of death" to the children of Israel (v 7), it is hard to assert that a positive future benefit will accrue to them through the Old Covenant. Israel's future blessings will come through the New Covenant. By Israel, I mean the true or spiritual Israel... the remnant, not genetic Israel.



May it be beneficial to read and understand the Old Covenant? 


Yes, as A3e above has already explained, from the scriptures. We receive hope as we read the Old Covenant. But this hope comes to us, through the revelation, power and administration of the indwelling Holy Spirit who operates within us as a participant in the New Covenant. So, we may be blessed by reading about participants in the Old Covenant, but the blessing comes to us through the New Covenant.



To supplement the observations I have made from 2 Corinthians 3:6-14, I present the following scriptures, with observations:



The Law of Moses is no longer in effect for Israel: 

  • "then he has said, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He takes away the first, that he may establish the second" (Hebrews 10:9). 


This verse is part of a long explanation about the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. Verse nine, above, means that Jesus "takes away" the Old Covenant (Law) to establish the New Covenant. The words "covenant" or "Law" are used thirty times in chapters 7-10. Jesus is currently mediating the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6). I see that Jesus took away the first covenant, to establish the second. Some may posit that "He takes away" indicates a progressive removal of the Law, that some blessings from the Old Covenant remain for the nation of Israel. But 2 Corinthians 3:6-14 appears to indicate that the only remaining operation of the Law is that the Old Covenant kills, is a service of death and is a service of condemnation. Those future Israelites who belong to Christ will inherit the Land which was promised to Abraham along with non-Israelites who belong to Christ2. For more on this topic, see footnote 2 at the bottom of the page titled "Land, Seed, Citizens and Inheritance".



The book of Hebrews was written in roughly 66 AD. At that time, the first covenant (the Old Covenant of Law) was growing obsolete and ready to disappear: 

  • "In saying a new covenant, he hath antiquated the first: Now that which is antiquated and decayed, is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8:13, Common English Translation, Public Domain). 


In 70 AD, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed as Jesus predicted. The practice of the Jewish sacrificial system was terminated and has not been restored. You see, even though the sacrificial system involving animal sacrifice was made obsolete by the offering of the true sacrifice of the Christ (Hebrews 10:10), the unbelieving Jews continued to offer those meaningless sacrifices until the Temple was destroyed, as prophesied. Not only was the sacrificial system ended. Israel was no longer a nation. Verse 13 doesn't say that only the sacrificial system was about to disappear. It said that the "first" covenant was "about to disappear". It is the Old Covenant that was about to disappear. The Old Covenant is much more than the sacrificial system. It is the law, promises of that covenant, Old Covenant priesthood, life without an intimate indwelling Holy Spirit, etc. The Old Covenant has disappeared from the earth! But the passage said that the Old Covenant was "ready to vanish".  I see one remaining function of the Old Covenant. But this function takes place not in the earthly realm, but in the heavenly realm. 2 Corinthians 3:6-14 indicates that the Old Covenant kills, is a service of death and is a service of condemnation. So, the Old Covenant does still have at least one purpose that I have seen in the scriptures. And that purpose is in judgement, but not in blessing. Please read on prayerfully.


Unbelievers in Christ who have the Law of Moses will be judged by it: 

  • "For as many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law" (Romans 2:12).


If one has the Law of Moses but has rejected Christ, they are under Law. Such people will be judged by the Law. The Law speaks to those under Law. That is why Jesus said to those who had the Law but rejected Christ "There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope" (John 5:45, see vs 39-45). "Moses" is sometimes used as a figure of speech for "the Law". But, as scriptures above indicated, believers in Christ are not "under Law". For Your convenience, I will repeat those scriptures below:

The Law is for unbelievers. It has nothing to say to you (if you are a believer):

  • "Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God" (Romans 3:19).
  • "For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).
  • "Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ"  (Romans 7:4).


The book of Romans is written to believers. Paul wrote to the Roman church "your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world" (Romans 1:8). In Romans 6:14 (above), Paul states that the believers are "not under law". In Romans 3:19 (above), Paul said that the law only speaks to those who are under law. So, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, the Law has nothing to say to you. You are not judged by the Law, because you are under grace (6:14). Paul wrote, "by grace you have been saved, through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). Those who were without the Law but had faith received imputed righteousness by grace, through faith... but those who had the Law, rejected Christ and tried to receive righteousness by doing good works did not receive imputed righteousness (Romans 9:30-33).

 


The Law still exists in the Heavenly realm... for judgement of unbelievers:

  • "For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished' (Matthew 5:18). 


Though the Law doesn't speak to believers, it will speak to unbelievers in the judgement. So, the judgement of unbelievers is one event regarding which the Law will not "pass away" until the judgement is "accomplished". 



Unbelievers in Christ who don't have the Law of Moses will be judged by the Law of Conscience1

  • "for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ" (Romans 2:14-16). 


So, those who don't have the Law of Moses, will be judged by the Law of Conscience1




Group Discussion Questions

Please prayerfully answer the following questions:


1) In Part A3a, what is the difference in how believers serve in the new covenant compared to the old covenant?

2) Regarding we who are Christians, the scriptures above say that we have been discharged from the law, have died to the law, are not under law, that the law doesn't speak to us and that we don't serve in the law. What verse does Paul use to make it clear that he includes the Ten Commandments in his use of the term "law"? The answer is in Part A3a.

3) In Part A3a, which scripture tells us that... even though we are not "under law", we are still  NOT FREE TO SIN?

4) In Part A3b, which scripture reveals that our service in the "new covenant" is not service in the Ten Commandments?

5) In Part A3c, what forms of spiritual communication did Jesus promise to Post-Pentecost believers through the indwelling Holy Spirit?

6) The very end of Part A3d reveals that "The Law is not made for a righteous man, but for sinners." Is it scripturally correct to refer to coverts to Christianity as "'sinners"?

7) In the introductory words to this chapter A3, I asked you to "Please PRAY the following scriptures as described in subchapter 1.2. Please do not read them alone." Did you PRAY the scriptures in this chapter... or did you merely analyze them with your mind?

8) Why should we read the Old Testament?


All of the answers to all of these questions are provided in this chapter (A3).



Footnotes

1) Law of Conscience: 

The phrase "Law of Conscience" does not appear in scripture. But the words law and conscience do appear in one verse in such a way, so as to clearly present the doctrine called: the Law of Conscience. Please prayerfully consider:


  • "for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them" (Romans 2:14-15).


As you prayerfully consider this passage, I believe that you will see the Law of Conscience in those words of God. Some, who don't have the scriptures which contain the law, can have the law in their hearts anyway. Their conscience conveys these truths, these laws. The truths are carried in the conscience. Hence, the Law of Conscience. 


Questions arise... Can truth understood through the Law of Conscience save one's soul... to bring eternal life? What happens to those who have never heard a preacher of the Gospel? What happens to those who have never had access to scripture? The vast majority of people through history have had neither. Did God send all of those people to Hell? Regarding all those millions who only had understanding through the Law of Conscience... could they be in Heaven? What does scripture say?


These issues and the Law of Conscience are best understood in the context of a study of General, Special and Natural Revelation. A subchapter titled, "General, Special and Natural Revelation : The Law of Conscience" has been prepared to reveal what scripture has to say about these topics. Click here to open that subchapter!



2) LAND, SEED, CITIZENS and INHERITANCE


I will present what I see, from the scriptures... If you see something different, please let me know... let me know if my statements contradict a scripture. Please give me the reference, so that I may know God better. I am not concerned if my statements contradict any particular theological system as those are man-made. But scripture contains the very words of God.



LAND 

Now, God promised to give the land to the seed of Abraham. 


"14 Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, "Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for I will give all the land which you see to you and to your offspring (spermati in Septuagint, singular) forever. 16 I will make your offspring (sperma in the Septuagint, singular) as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring (sperma, singular) may also be counted" (Genesis 13:14-16). 


The promise of the land is to the singular seed (Christ). The promise of the land is also to the plurality of the seed. 



SEED 

Christ is the seed of Abraham. 


"16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his offspring (spermati). He doesn't say, "To descendants" (spermacin, plural), as of many, but as of one, "To your offspring" (spermati, singular), which is Christ" (Galatians 3:16). 


Later in Galatians God writes: 

"If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring (sperma) and heirs according to promise" (Galatians 3:29). Sperma is nominative, singular, neuter according to Bill Mounce's Interlinear. 


So, many people (plural) are Abraham's seed (singular). This makes sense since both Jewish and Gentile believers are the body of Christ. A plurality of people are the singular seed of Christ. So, I am Abraham's seed, as one of the plurality. This is very consistent with the "we are the body of Christ" doctrine. Since Gentile Christians meet the criteria of Galatians 3:29, because they "are Christ's"... Gentile Christians are Abraham's seed (singular)


I will repeat the scripture for your convenience:

"If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring (sperma) and heirs according to promise" (Galatians 3:29)


And Romans 4:16 affirms that Abraham is the father of believing Gentiles also: "Abraham, who is father of us all". "All" includes those who didn't have the Law of Moses, but had the faith of Abraham (v 16). 


There is more: 

Paul calls the Roman believing Gentiles "brothers" in Romans 1:13. Then Paul wrote to the Gentile "brothers" in verse one of 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, saying that the nation of Israel which came out of Egypt constituted "our fathers", who "ate the same spiritual food" (v3) and "drank the same spiritual drink" (v 4). They "drank of a spiritual rock which followed them" (v 4) and "the rock was Christ" (v  4). And Paul wrote that God's dealings with "our fathers" were "our examples" (v 6), recorded for "our admonition" (v 11). So, the word "our" in verse 1 referred not to the writers of 1 Corinthians, but to the recipients of 1 Corinthians, Gentile believers, brothers. So, all brothers, not just the writers of 1 Corinthians were to learn from the example of the fathers (vs 6,11). So, Paul wrote that the nation of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, who God renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28), are the fathers of the believing Gentiles


Of course,  Israelites who belong to Christ are also Abraham's seed. I say Israelites who belong to Christ, rather than genetic Israelites because of Romans 9:6-8 which states "they are not all Israel that are of Israel... not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as heirs". 


Promises passed through Abraham: 

  • not through Ishmael but through Isaac
  • not through Esau but through Jacob (Israel)
  • not to genetic descendants but spiritual descendants (children of the promise in Romans 9:6-8). Spiritual descendants include Gentile believers. 


Remember, only the remnant of Israel will be saved (Romans 9:27). And the remnant is those who have faith (Romans 9:32). Believers are the remnant.


Those who inherit the promises are those with persevering faith (Hebrews 6:12). For more on persevering faith click here to open What Variety of Faith Do You Have? Or, click here to read Once Saved Always Saved: Perseverance of the Saints. 


So, the scriptures indicate that Gentile Christians inherit Canaan... with believing Jews. There is more proof of this from the scriptures below in the paragraphs titled, 'Inheritance of the Gentiles".



CITIZENS OF SPIRITUAL ISRAEL

Believing Gentiles are citizens of spiritual Israel. The easiest way to see this is to view Ephesians 2:12, 13 and 19 together. Please prayerfully consider them below:

  • "12 that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ... 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:12,13,19).


The letter of Ephesians was written to the Christians in the Church at Ephesus. When the Christians in Ephesus were unbelievers, they were outside of the Commonwealth of Israel (v 12). A commonwealth is a type of civil government for a nation or state. Their nationality was not of the nation of Israel because they were aliens (v 12) and foreigners (v 19). But because they are "in Christ Jesus" (v 13), they "are fellow citizens" (v 19).


So, it is abundantly clear, directly from the scriptures written after Pentecost, that those who were born outside of the nation of Israel (Gentiles), became citizens of true, spiritual Israel by coming to be "in Christ... in the blood of Christ". Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ are "one new man" (Ephesians 2:15), fellow citizens (v 19) and participants in the promises (v 12). As participants in the promises, we Gentile believers have an inheritance. This is explained in Ephesians, chapter 3. Please read on... but read prayerfully.



INHERITANCE OF THE GENTILES

The inheritance of Gentiles was not revealed to previous generations: 

  • "4 by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit, 6 that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News" (Ephesians 3:4-6). 


The believing Gentiles are heirs (v 6). So, they receive an inheritance. The inheritance to be received by the Gentiles is an inheritance that was not known to other generations (v 5). At that time, roughly 61 AD, other generations had access to the Old Testament, because all of the Old Testament had been written well before 61 AD. So, it is clear that the Old Testament did not reveal this inheritance for believing Gentiles which Paul is presenting in Ephesians 3:4-6.  


So, what inheritance is Paul writing about in Ephesians 3:4-6?

He is not referring to grace and salvation for believing Gentiles. We know this because grace and salvation for Gentiles was known in previous generations, having been prophesied in the Old Testament (Galatians 3:8, 1 Peter 1:9-10). As I wrote before, Ephesians 3:4-6 above shows that the inheritance of which Paul writes was NOT revealed to previous generations (v 5). So, the inheritance to be received by the Gentiles which is mentioned in Ephesians 3:4-6 is something other than grace or salvation. So, what do the Gentiles inherit with Israelite believers ("fellow heirs" in Ephesians 3:6)? Well, in the previous chapter, Paul revealed that Gentile Christians became citizens of Israel. Here is the passage again:

  • "12 that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ... 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:12,13,19).

As citizens of a commonwealth, one has a right to live in the land. One of the covenants of promise was a promise of land. So, the land promised to Abraham and Israel would certainly be included. At the beginning of this footnote 2, I showed, from the scriptures, that believing Gentiles inherit the Land which God promised to Abraham, because those who belong to Christ are the seed of Abraham. But there is more... Have you read in Revelation 21:1 about the new earth which God will create after the great judgment? How about the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:2? Could believing Gentiles inherit the right to participate in the government of the new earth in the eternal state, from the New Jerusalem, after the Great White Throne Judgement? Yes! I believe that rights to participate in the government in the New Jerusalem during the eternal state are also included in this inheritance. See my last remarks below.



LAST REMARKS

If Gentile believers are not citizens of spiritual Israel, then where will they live in the eternal state? In the eternal state, believers will reside as citizens of the New Jerusalem. I would expect the New Jerusalem be be in Israel. After all, Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, where God resided and reigned from the Temple. And, the New Jerusalem is where the throne of God will be in the eternal state. And we will sit with God on His throne and rule the earth with God in the eternal state (Revelation 22:5). How can we sit with God on His throne (Revelation 3:21), ruling the earth with God, in the capital of Israel without being citizens of Israel? For a detailed account, from the scriptures, about the saints ruling the earth in the New Jerusalem click here.


For those who assert that Jewish believers have blessings which Gentile believers can not have, merely because of their genetics, I present the following:

"that he might create in himself, one new man of the two, making peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross" (Ephesians 2:15-16).  So, in Christ, there is one body, not two. And this passage is presented in the context of the Gentiles having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel but being made citizens. Romans asserts that "there is no distinction between Jew and Greek" (Romans 10:12). The word "Greek" in this passage is a figure of speech for a non-Jew. To assert that Gentile believers are denied blessings because of their genetics is certainly making a distinction... But the scriptures say that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek.


So, this is how I see the seed, land, citizenship and inheritance for the Gentile believer, from the scriptures. If I am incorrect, please correct me. If I am incorrect, I want to be corrected. But, if you believe that I am incorrect, please do not present your theological system against the scriptures I have presented. Scripture will not bend to systems of man. If you believe that I am incorrect, please present the scripture which you believe I have contradicted or misunderstood. 



3) Nation of Israel: Broken Covenant Replaced

Now, the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, was with the nation of Israel. Physical prosperity in the land of Israel was the promise of God to Israel if Israel obeyed the Law of Moses (See the entire book of Deuteronomy, especially 7:11-8:1, 28:1-68, most especially 8:1 and 28:64)).  And since Israel, through its history, had both believers and unbelievers, God's Old Covenant was a covenant with both believers and unbelievers. God's keeping of the Old Covenant was a conditional covenant, conditioned on obedience (Exodus 19:5, Daniel 9:4). At a certain point "all Israel" did not meet this condition (Daniel 9:11), broke the Old Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-32), was given a writ of divorce from God (Jeremiah 3:8), and sent away (Jeremiah 3:6-10, especially verse 8). All Israel was at that time "uncircumcised in heart" (Jeremiah 9:26). Every Israelite at that time, though they were Jews outwardly, they were "not a Jew" inwardly... none were Jews "by the Spirit" (Romans 2:28-29). Since Israel broke the Old Covenant, God decided to make the New Covenant of the Spirit to replace the Old Covenant of Law (the Law of Moses). See Jeremiah 31:31-32, Hebrews 8:7, 10:9, Hebrews 7-10. But the New Covenant would be for believers only.  With these thoughts in mind, the following scripture should make sense:


  • '31 "Behold, the days come," says Yahweh, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of mine they broke, although I was a husband to them," says Yahweh. 33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," says Yahweh: "I will put my law in their inward parts, and I will write it in their heart. I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 They will no longer each teach his neighbor, and every man teach his brother, saying, 'Know Yahweh;' for they will all know me, from their least to their greatest," says Yahweh: "for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."' (Jeremiah 31:31-34).


Verse thirty-four said:  "They will no longer each teach his neighbor, and every man teach his brother, saying, 'Know Yahweh;' for they will all know me,". Since unbelievers were party to the Old Covenant, the believers in the Old Covenant had to evangelize the Old Covenant unbelievers. That is why they said "Know Yahweh" to each other. But since the New Covenant does not include unbelievers, they don't say "Know Yahweh", for everyone who is part of the New Covenant knows Yahweh. Everyone in the New Covenant is a believer.


Jesus told the unbelieving leaders of the nation of Israel (Matthew 21:31-32) that "God's kingdom will be taken from you and given to a nation who will bear its fruit" (Matthew 21, especially v 43). The unbelieving Israelites in the Old Covenant were "broken off" when they rejected Christ (Romans 11:17). But, if "they don't  continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in" (Romans 11:23)... that they may be "saved" (Romans 11:14). But the Old Covenant believers came to believe in Christ when they heard the gospel since Jesus said "everyone who hears from the Father and has learned, comes to me" (John 6:45). So, the believing Israelites, in the Old Covenant, were the true Israelites or spiritual Israelites as some call them... That is why the scriptures say:


"For they are not all Israel that are of Israel" (Romans 9:6). 

So, there were believing Israelites and unbelieving Israelites. Believing Israelites were the true (spiritual) Israel. In the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), the true spiritual Israel... also known as the "remnant" (Romans 9:27) or "the seed"... will never be "cast off" (Jeremiah 31:37). 


So, the unbelievers in the nation of Israel no longer have a covenant with God because the Old Covenant has disappeared. Proof that the Old Covenant has disappeared is in A3f below. And, as you will see farther down the page, the New Covenant is with both believing Israelites and believing Gentiles. Believing Gentiles become citizens of Israel, an Israel which has no unbelievers (Ephesians 2:12, 13 and 19). See "CITIZENS OF SPRITUAL ISRAEL" in footnote 2 above, to see that Gentiles became citizens of Israel. 


God will continue to view this group of believing Israelites and Gentiles as the nation of Israel until a certain event occurs. That event is when the fixed order of the sea and the lights of the heavens, cease to follow their currently ordained order (Jeremiah 31:35-36). So, when the sea, sun, moon and stars cease to follow their currently ordained order, God will cease to regard believing Israelites and Gentiles as the nation of Israel. That event occurs in the eternal state in the New Jerusalem, after the Great White Throne Judgement, when there will be no more sea, no more light of the sun, moon and stars (Revelation  21:1, 23; 22:5). Then both believing Israelites and Gentiles shall all be known as "the nations" (Revelation 21:23-27). We shall all  be citizens of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-22:5) and reign forever (Revelation 22:5).



4) The Law of Moses did not Provide Eternal Life

As I wrote earlier, physical prosperity in the land of Israel was the promise of God to Israel if Israel obeyed the Law of Moses. Eternal life, righteousness and justification was always by faith (grace), not works (Genesis 15:6, Romans 3:20-23, Psalms 103:17). Abraham was the example of this since Abraham lived before the Law of Moses was given. He was credited with righteousness by faith (Genesis 15:6). So, it was established by scripture in Genesis 15:6, on page thirteen of my Bible, that righteousness came from God by FAITH. That has never changed. NEVER. All scriptures subsequent to Genesis 15:6 build on this foundation. They add new information but do not replace, alter or bend Genesis 15:6! Righteousness comes by faith and by faith ALONE. Our works do not make us righteous (Romans 3:20-23). And God's gift of righteousness results in eternal life (Romans 5:17-21, especially v 21). 


Romans 4:1-24 reveals that we receive righteousness in the same way as Abraham, by FAITH. It was that way for Abraham before the Law of Moses was given. It is that way for us now as Post-Law of Moses, Post-Pentecost believers (Romans 4:23-24). While the Law of Moses was in effect, everlasting life and righteousness were granted through faith (fear of God): 


  • "But Yahweh's loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting with those who fear him, his righteousness to children's children" (Psalm 102:17).



God Bless!

"whatever things the law says, 
it speaks to those who are under the law... 
you are not under law." 

Romans 3:19, 6:14

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