Power of an Endless Life
Once people leave the Wide Path that leads to destruction and choose to follow Christ, putting themselves on the Narrow Path, what is the standard that believers should live their lives by? Are we as Christians supposed to become followers of the Torah? Is the Old Testament Law now a requirement for the believer to obey?
Many Christians today have a biblical basis from scripture to say the ordinances found in the Old Testament are no longer required of God’s people. We do not sacrifice animals, nor do we observe many other ordinances in the Torah. Some will argue that even though we do not have to obey the ‘Sacrificial Law’ we have to obey the ‘Moral Law’ or the moral code of the Old Testament. But is this true?
Many will argue that we need to continue to follow the ‘Moral Law’ found in the Torah, after all God doesn’t want us to murder… does He? Of course the correct answer is no, God does not want us to comment murder. In fact God doesn’t want us to violate any of the ‘Moral Law’ found in the Old Testament. But if God doesn’t want us to violate this law, are we then bound to live under the influence of the Ten Commandments?
What if scripture actually teaches that those who preach this understanding of the gospel have actually left the gospel? What if keeping the Ten Commandments is exactly the opposite of what the hope is for the new believer?
Impossible you say?
As we already know, Jesus Himself went way beyond the commandment found in the Torah. It wasn’t good enough to simply not engage in the act of murder anymore. Jesus went right to the issues of the heart. The commandment only goes to the actions.
Mat 5:21-22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Jesus also address the heart and not the action of adultery, how much more being a person who covets or is envious? Jesus by going way above and beyond the ordinances makes it clear that the ordinance is only given to keep the actions of men bound to obedience but yet is incapable of keeping the heart pure. As I always say here at The Gospel According to The Gospel, a man can go to church all the days of his life and never commit the act of adultery, yet he can be full of lust all the days of his life.
Scripturally there is a big difference between the power of the ordinances found in the Ten Commandments and the power that Jesus asks us to live by as His followers. Hebrews 7: 19 says that the Law made no one perfect. Hence, you can obey it but not be made perfect. Just like the guy who goes to church his whole life and never commit the act of adultery yet being full of lust. Yes, scripture is clear, the Law makes nothing perfect.
Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Doesn’t Paul echo this same thought in the book of Romans when he says no man is declared righteous by observing the Law?
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Mistakenly, many people in the church think that God simply imputes His people righteousness and we are to live our lives out in duty, devotion and love to God by keeping the moral code of the Ten Commandments. Instead, scripture teaches that the believers are to be born again as new creations in creation through the power of the Holy Spirit given to us by the work of Christ in our lives. By being in the likeness of the new Adam (Jesus) we can actually live up to Jesus’ standard by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In many places and in many ways scripture speaks of the Law being completely done and over. In fact in Galatians it says that the Law came only until the seed (Christ) should come. The book of Hebrews goes through such a effort to explain to God’s people that the Law is null and void, it uses Melchisedec as main argument to this point.
Going back to the idea that the Law makes no one perfect or righteous in God’s sight, the writer of Hebrews say under the Levitical priesthood (the Law) perfection did not come to God’s people. Being so ineffective to make us perfect the first priesthood that was under Aaron is done away with and a new priesthood under the order of Melchisedec has been established.
Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Scripture does not continue that under this new priesthood we are freed from the bondage of the sacrificial ordinances, yet stillbound to the moral ordinances of the Law. Instead is says with the changing of the priesthood from Aaron to Melchisedec there is a necessity to also change the Law. But if the old Law was taken out of the way as having nailed to the cross, as Paul say in the book ofColosians, what is to replace the ordinances of the Ten Commandments that is is in the order of Melchisedec by which we believers are to live our lives?
Heb 7:12-15 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (13) For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. (14) For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. (15) And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
Just as scripture testifies to the huge difference from the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Levi, for only the tribe of Levi was to serve before the Lord in the temple, so there is this same huge difference in the ordinances of the Law compared to the hope we now live under through Christ our high priest who is like Melchisedec. But what replaces the Law for the believer?
The Law is null and void according to the gospel found in scripture. This is why Paul was calling the Galatian churches foolish and bewitched by wanting to go back to the Law. This is why Paul says the Galatian churches left the one (God) who called them by Christ Jesus, because they wanted to finish their faith by what was started in the Spirit by observing the Law. But don’t we do this when we tell people to be born again and now live to the standard of the moral code found in the Law (the Ten Commandments)?
The church has left the gospel that scripture preaches and screams to us when we tell converts to live according to the old priesthood by obeying the Ten Commandments. Instead, we are to live according to the new priesthood of Jesus Christ. We are to live according to the power of an endless life. Speaking of Jesus being in the order of Melchisedec, it says His priesthood was not in the order of the Law (that came through Aaron) but is instead in the order and power of an endless life.
Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (17) For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
And again the writer of Hebrews says the old Law under the order of Aaron is dusannulled because it could make nothing perfect. But there is one thing that can. The power of an endless life our better hope can and does make us perfect and brings us close to God.
Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. (19) For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
This is more than just imputing men righteousness. This is men who live in the power of the endless life through the Holy Spirit by which we become new creations is Christ Jesus in His likeness. Not just keeping an ordinance but having the man changed by being born again. This is why Jesus was not off His rocker when He told the church to be perfect as His Father is perfect. He didn’t ask the impossible, because He made the way for what was not possible through the old Law. Remember, the old Law was powerless and weak to make us perfect but the better hope based on the power of the endless life did!
This is why scripture can teach:
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
That is right. Jesus is not the author of eternal life for those who believe He existed or simply confess His name. He is the author of eternal life for those who actually obey His word through the power of the endless life given to us through our new priest in the order of Melchisedec in the power of the Holy Spirit.
How about this scripture, part of it is a favorite of many:
Rom 8:1-9 KJV There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (5) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
We have no condemnation if we are after the Spirit, after the power of the endless life, after the new priesthood in the order of Melchisedec. See how we are freed from the Law which is called sin and death. See how Paul says it is weak so God sent His Son to condemn sin, not in some abstract way but to do it in us, our sin nature. To be born again doesn’t mean is our sin nature that is imputed righteousness like some badge we get in the scouts. To be born again is to have the sin nature destroyed in our flesh by the power of the endless life… that better hope, which Hebrews says makes us perfect. We can actually be perfect if we walk according to this hope, something Hebrews and Paul says was not possible through the Law, but is now possible through the Spirit.
All of this is affirmed to us in the strongest way by Jesus being a priest in the order of Melchisedec and this according to an oath by God. This is why we have a ‘New Testament’ based upon the new priesthood that gives a better hope according to the power of the endless life. Not according to the Law so we can live moral lives according to the code but still have hearts full of sin.
Heb 7:20-22 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (21) (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) (22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
There are many more scriptures that speak of this truth in our gospel, but I have only touched on some to keep it “short”.
1. Anyone who teaches that we have to obey the moral code of the Ten Commandments have left the hope held out in the gospel.
2. Anyone who says we can not be perfect as our heavenly Father is has left the hope held out in the gospel.
3. Just like the Galatian churches, we are not to begin in the Spirit and try to finish our faith in the Law. What was powerless and weak before, is just as powerless and weak now.
4. God’s people are those who live according the better hope, better promises found in Christ Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit to live our lives in the power of the endless life.
For those critics of mine who say this isn’t the gospel according to scripture, please let me know how living in the Spirit violates the old Law? How does the fruits of the Spirit violate the Ten Commandments?
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
It isn’t that on one hand we are free to sin as believers or on the other hand bound to live according to the ordinances that can not make us perfect. Instead, we are to fulfill all righteousness by our sin nature being dead and living according to the power of the new Adam, the power of the endless life.
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
This is the gospel the church refuses to believe. Will you believe it?