We must be able to distinguish between Old Covenant and New Covenant thinking. Why is there a difference?
2 Good people obtain favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
This verse is indicative of OT (Old Testament, which is the Old Covenant) thinking in that God rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior. True? Well, kind of. Sin is missing the mark of doing things right. Only God knows what that right way is for all circumstances, and the only way for us to know is to have His Spirit in us– and for us to be on speaking terms with Him! A daily, continuous dialogue is vital to live right (righteously).
So, how DOES God reward and punish? Sin destroys, so a lot of what we call “the judgment of God” is really just natural consequences of living in this fallen world.
In the OT/Covenant, the Israelites lived by The Law. The Law was the “Guardian until Christ came” (Gal. 3:24). Now that Christ has come, we no longer need the Law as our Guardian to show us what is right (good and bad) because we have the Holy Spirit to teach us. As in the beginning, God’s number one Law, His essence, His greatest character quality and His highest desire is LOVE. It always has been and it always will be. Jesus came to live it, show it, and share that love with us. Now, with Christ inside us, we can know that love and learn to portray it to those around us beginning with our family, then our church family, and then to the world.
The only thing that counts is [the action of our] faith [believing what Jesus tells us] expressing itself through love. Gal. 5:6b
Could it be that we are still mixing an OT/OC concept of behavior with our Christianity? We need to get this right! According to Christ, we are to:
- Love God.
- Love our neighbor,
- Wash each other’s feet,
- Lay down our lives for each other.
What would the world be like if all Christians lived like this?
Let’s DO IT!