: Ephesians– overview of 2:14-18; Double Reconciliation, part 9 ~ The Law vs. the New Covenant

Wednesday July 3, 2019

Laws cannot make a man virtuous as God is. Life is more than law.


Christ came into the world in order to give us His life, which is the only life. The provisions of that life, the things that make it possible; forgiveness, wisdom, insight, an inheritance, the indwelling Holy Spirit – these were promised in the New Covenant which was given to Israel when their nation was destroyed (Jeremiah and Ezekiel) and they said farewell to their last earthly king.


It would seem ironic that God would reveal to them, at the time of their death and at the time when their last earthly king would sit on David’s throne – that the covenant of death would be removed and a covenant of life would be given. That New Covenant of life would be given by the one true King from heaven, the promised Son of David, through His own death, and it would be given to Jews and Gentiles during an unknown age, an age of mystery to them, but precious insight to us.


Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,


Eph 1:8 which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight


Eph 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him


Eph 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.


Eph 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 


Eph 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;


Eph 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.


Eph 3:4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,


Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;


Eph 3:6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,


Eph 3:7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.


The mystery is that the Gentiles would partake of the New Covenant along with Jews in an age prior to Christ establishing His physical earthly kingdom.


Eph 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,


Eph 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;


Eph 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.


Eph 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,


Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.


Laws are a part of life, but they are not life. God gives the old man the Law and he is found to be a lawbreaker. How does God give man life so that man can fulfill God’s law? Man can’t do it. There has to be a substitute. A qualified substitute has to establish life “for us.”


Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;


Eph 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.


In fact, to be under Law is to be under the dominion of sin. To be under grace is to be liberated and to live free.


Rom 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.


Being free isn’t free to sin, but free in way an adult is free of childish things. Under grace we are adult sons, holding the richest inheritance, responsible and perfect representatives of our Lord and our Father. Under grace He indwells us and His infinite laws are written upon our hearts, meaning we know them like we know ourselves.


Paul’s illustration in Rom 6:12-23 is the slave-market. In Rom 7:1-6, his illustration is the marriage bond. Paul imagines an objector: “Is the Law sin?”


Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin?


Paul cannot agree. Every commandment is holy and just and good. The Law brings sin to light, and it stimulates the very thing it forbids. Paul would write in 1Co 15:56 that the power of sin is the law.


1Co 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory.


1Co 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"


1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;


The law isn’t sin. The law reveals sin and actually entices man to sin, not calling him to, but planting a desire in him since he is fleshly and weak.


There is no fear in perfect love. We know that when we die, as sinful as we have been, as unknowing of the many sins we have committed, we know that we will not be punished. Fear involves punishment, but we are beloved and that perfect love from God casts out fear (1Jo 4:18). Yet, we fear God.


Our boldness is not one that leads us to sin. We don’t have a boldness based on ourselves like the Pharisee in the temple. We are like the publican in the temple who can’t raise his eyes to heaven, but we do raise our eyes to heaven because of Christ. Even Christ delighted in the fear of the Lord, Isa 11:3.


1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;


1Co 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.


So, is the Law sin? “May it never be,” says Paul. The power of sin is in the Law as the Law measures sin’s sinfulness. The Law brings sin to life and even stimulates it, while the Law is holy and righteous.


Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be!


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