The Bible can be said to be a book of covenants. It clearly presents God as one who loves to make covenant with men. God delights not in having a casual relationship with men, but in having a covenant relationship with men. God is always faithful to His covenant; He does not break His covenant in spite of men’s unfaithfulness.
God said in His Word,
“My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.” (Psa. 89:34 NKJV).
“What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
“By no means! Let God be true though every man be false…” (Rom. 3:3-4 RSV).
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13 NKJV).
God does not deal with people arbitrarily or haphazardly, but in accordance with His covenant with them. Therefore, it is very vital for you to understand God’s covenant with you, for this is what determines God’s dealings with you. You can know what to expect from God if you know and understand His covenant with you.
While God is the same throughout the ages; however, God’s covenants or dealings with men throughout the ages are never the same. The Bible teaches that there are different dispensations or divinely ordered ways of God dealing with mankind throughout the ages.
A dispensation is simply a period of time in which God deals with mankind in a certain way. Each dispensation is based upon a specific covenant.
There was a period when God was dealing with men based upon the Law He gave the children of Israel on Mount Sinai through Moses. This period spanned about 1500 years, from the Exodus until the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. This period is called “the dispensation of the Law” and it was based upon what is called “the Mosaic Covenant” or “the Old Covenant.”
Under the dispensation of the Law or the Old Covenant, God dealt or related with the children of Israel based on their performance, works, or obedience to the Law He gave them through Moses.
When the people abide by or obeyed the written code of the covenant, they prospered and enjoyed the blessings of the covenant. But, when they transgressed the written regulations, they came under the curse of the law and received condign punishment stipulated in the book of the Law (Exo. 19, 20, 24:1-8, Lev. 26, Deut. 28).
Moses said to the children of Israel according to God’s covenant with them in Deuteronomy 28,
1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country…
15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country… (NKJV).
The birth, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ marked the end, completion or fulfillment of the dispensation of the Law or the Old Covenant, and ushered in a new dispensation, covenant, or ways of God dealing with mankind. This is called “the dispensation of Grace” or “the New Covenant.” This dispensation will continue until the rapture of the Church, at the second return of Jesus Christ into the world.
The Lord Jesus clearly states, “Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfil them.” (Matt. 5:17 AMP).
Apostle Paul also testifies, “For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.” (Rom. 10:4 AMP).
The writer of the book of Hebrew also explains that “[Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance – since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the [old] first agreement.” (Heb. 9:15 AMP).
He further explains that “When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.” (Heb. 8:13 AMP).
In spite of the clear presentation and ample explanation of this truth in the Bible (-that God has made the first or the old covenant obsolete), yet many believers today are still serving God according to the old written code (the Mosaic Law), thereby missing out on the amazing benefits and blessings of the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ.
God is no longer dealing with mankind based on the written code or regulations of the Old Covenant. God has made the Old Covenant obsolete (put it out of use), and has established a New and Better Covenant with mankind through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The New Covenant is not an extension, elongation, or modification of the Old Covenant, but an entirely New and Different Covenant. Sadly, many believers and ministers of God today are still confusing or mixing the New Covenant with the Old Covenant.
The Scripture states, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17 NKJV).
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.” (Heb. 8:6-7 NKJV).
God does not demand or expect the born-again believers to serve Him, walk with Him, relate with Him, or respond to Him according to the old written regulations or requirements of the Old Covenant He made with the Jews on Mount Sinai. The Mosaic Law is not made for the New Testament saints. Sadly, many New Testament believers today are still striving to live by the Law.
What a sheer ignorance and foolishness!
Apostle Paul clearly presents this truth in 1 Timothy 1:
9 Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. (NKJV).
Unfortunately, many believers today are still ignorant of the truth that the Mosaic Law or the Old Covenant was not made for them. Many believers are still zealously serving God according to the requirements of the Old Covenant and striving to earn God’s love, acceptance, favour and blessing by their performance or adherence to the Law God gave the Jews through Moses.
Sadly, many preachers or teachers of God’s Word today are still passionately urging, pleading and advocating that God’s people should serve God or relate with God based on the written code of the Old Covenant, thinking that God’s love, approval, favour or blessing are still dependent on people’s performance or good works, and not solely on faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Through the body of Christ, the born-again believers have become dead to the Law and thus discharged or delivered from the Law. As a believer in Christ, you are no longer expected to live under the Law or in subject to the old written regulations of the Old Covenant.
Your worship, service or giving to God should no longer be regulated or determined by the letter, the old written code, or regulations of the Old Testament.
As a born-again believer in Christ, you have been delivered from the law, having become dead to the law through the body of Christ. Therefore, you are no longer under the law or expected to serve God in the oldness of the letter as the Old Testament saints did.
Apostle Paul encourages the New Covenant believers in Romans 7, saying,
4 Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.
6 But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. (AMP).
The New Covenant believers have been discharged from the Law (that is, release from the old code of written regulations). As a believer in Christ, you are no longer a slave to the Law. You have been discharged, delivered, or released to serve God in the newness of the Spirit.
Paul aptly states, “For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy].” (Rom. 6:14 AMP).
“But we know that whatever things the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law; so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be under judgment before God.” (Rom. 3:19 MKJV).
Beloved, if you are in Christ you are no longer under the Law as a slave. Christ has set you free from the old written code and curse of the Law. Therefore, you must ensure that you stand fast in the liberty that Christ has given you and allow no man to put a yoke of slavery on you again.
Paul warns the church in Galatia about the danger of becoming entangled again with the yoke of bondage (the Law) in Galatians 5:
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (NKJV).
Unfortunately, many believers today have become estranged from Christ and the blessings of His finished work because they would not heed Paul’s admonition to stand fast in the liberty of Christ and not to submit again to a yoke of slavery or bondage (the Law).
If the born-again believers are no longer expected to live by the Law, walk with God, worship and serve God, or give to God according to the specifications or regulations of the Law, how then should they live, worship, serve, and walk with God?
By living and walking in the Spirit!
By obeying the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit!
Paul clearly reveals and explains this truth in Romans 7:6
“But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:6 NKJV).
“But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. (Rom. 7:6 AMP).
“But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” (Rom. 7:6 NLT).
As a born-again believer in Christ, you are to be led by the Holy Spirit in your walk with God, worship and service to God, and in your giving to God. Sadly, many believers today are still worshipping and serving God under the obligation or the bondage of the Law. They give to God by fraction or percentage according to the specification or regulation of the Mosaic Law.
What an ignorance of the liberty they have in Christ!
The Scripture states,
“But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.” (Gal. 5:18 AMP).
“But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” (Gal. 5:18 NLT).
Beloved, are you walking with God, serving and worshipping God, and giving to God as one who is still under the obligation of the Law, or as one who has been delivered from the Law to serve God in the new way of living in the Spirit?
Examine your life and walk with God today!
You are a New Covenant believer and thus a subject of God’s favour and mercy, and not a slave to the Law. Therefore, arise today to begin to live as one who is indeed dead to the Law through the body of Christ, but alive to the Holy Spirit.
“For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy].” (Rom. 6:14 AMP).
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Gal. 5:1 NLT).
Live under grace and not under the law of Moses.