Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:27
Two things require clarification……..and I apologize that I am not in a position to support my position with direct quotes from scripture. All my reference materials and sources are home and unavailable to me. Furthermore, time constraints preclude me from doing the necessary research in my regular Bible. That having been said, I offer the following:
When Jesus Christ said, "I did not come into the world to change the law, but to fulfill it", he did so in response to his motives being questioned. This being the case, he did not want muddy the waters at that time by acknowledging that he eventually overturn the established order of things (the prevailing laws of the day). The truth is that Jesus Christ, truly, did not come into the world to specifically change any laws, only to fulfill Old Testament prophesy. However, by fulfilling Old Testament prophesy the old laws were changed because they were no longer binding upon Christians. Jesus did not lie when he said, "I did not come into the world to change the law", because that was not specifically why he came here, however, because of Him, the laws were changed forever. This truth is so fundamental to the Christian faith that those who do not understand it are not Christian.
Some fundamentalist Christians latch onto the words, "I did not come into the world to change the law". Take them at face value and wrongfully conclude that Christ’s words mean that he intended his followers to continue to obey the old laws. Nothing could further from the truth and there are several places in the New Testament where Christ and the apostles make this perfectly clear. However, as I said, I will provide you with the references some time in September.
Similarly, some fundamentalist Christians have trouble understanding the meaning of "old" and "new" as used in conjunction with the two Covenants man had and has with God. A covenant is a pact or agreement and while it is possible to have two pacts or agreements in force at the same time, as in the old covenant is the first one and the new covenant is the second one, and both apply. However, this can only be true if the two covenants are not contradictory to each other. No one can legitimately enter into two agreements that contradict each other, because they necessarily violate one in order to fulfill the other.
The Old Covenant was behavior oriented. Finding favor with God was a matter of religiously following a code of laws that were inviolate. The new Covenant is faith oriented. Finding salvation is a matter of loving God and accepting Jesus Christ, His Son, as our Lord and Savior. Therefore, the two covenants under discussion are contradictory because the New removes the force of law from the Old. In other words, under the New, you will not displease God because you choose not to follow the laws of the Old Testament. Similarly, as some fundamentalist Christians strongly believe, if you obey the non-binding laws of the Old Testament, you will not find more favor with God than someone who doesn’t; a kind of added insurance in case God didn’t really mean what he said. God has promised us that his only requirement for redemption is that we love and accept Him. For someone to hold otherwise, it is necessary for them to demonstrate that God would save someone who is in disfavor with Him, which is absurd or demonstrate that God has provided us with two levels of redemption; one level for those who love and accept him and a higher level for those that do so and also follow the non-binding laws of the Old Testament, which is just as absurd. By so believing, the only people you will find favor with are those who believe the same erroneous things as you. In other words, you are a card carrying member of the, "Let’s Deceive Ourselves Into Thinking We Have An Inside Track With God Society"
In Conclusion, when Jesus Christ came into the world to fulfill Old Testament prophesy, he established a New Covenant that did not add to the Old Covenant, but instead, replaced it in its entirety. To hold otherwise trivializes a prime reason Christ came into the world, is an affront to God, and stands in denial of a major pillar of the Christian faith.
Main Page - Thursday, 08/19/04
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