Which Covenant Do We Follow
by Jim Gordon
Did Jesus teach from the Old Covenant? Was the birth of Christ the beginning of the New Covenant? When does the Old Covenant end and the New Covenant begin? To be clear, the Old Covenant does not end with Malachi and the New Covenant does not start with Matthew.
Even though Jesus came to fulfill the Old Covenant through grace, the first thirty-three years that Jesus walked the earth He lived under the Old Covenant. He was required to follow all its rules and regulations. He even taught from those rules, yet those rules are no longer intended for us. ‘But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons’. Galatians 4:4,5
The Old Covenant ended when Jesus was crucified. When He said ‘It is finished’ He was saying the Law, the Old Covenant was fulfilled. When Jesus was resurrected the New Covenant began. We are no longer required to try and live under the Law and the way of the Old Covenant. It is finished!
Actually, the Law was never intended to be put upon those who were not Jewish. Yet, it seems many pastors taught that we were all under the Law until Christ came. Many pastors still teach that we live by grace but still need to try and follow the Law, especially the ten commandments. Funny they seem to forget about the other 603 laws that were given.
The Old Covenant was basically a tutor. A way God used to show the Jewish people that they were unable to live a perfect life on their own. It was a way to show them that they needed someone to redeem them and restore their fellowship with God. Jesus came and fulfilled the Old Covenant and upon his resurrection made a New Covenant of grace. ‘Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill’. Matthew 5:17
Now that the Law has been fulfilled in Christ, none of us are required to try to live by the ten commandments and the rules and regulations of the Old Covenant. We seem to forget that because of grace we now live by faith in Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin, we are no longer just a poor sinner saved by grace although we were sinners and we are saved by grace. We are now the righteousness of God through Christ. God no longer calls us slaves but calls us sons. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ. This is not to say that we should go out and do whatever we want. We do have freedom in Christ to do what we choose, but there are consequences if we choose things that God has warned us to stay away from. There are consequences, but there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus.
Today we choose to live a life pleasing to God because of love. Godly love is the fulfillment of the Law. We love God and we love others, we have been made righteous through Christ and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who guides us, teaches us and gives us strength. We do not love or please God out of obligation. We do not love God because we are trying to fulfill a set of rules and Old Testament laws that we could not live up to anyway. We do what is pleasing to God because we choose to do so because of love.
Jim Gordon and his wife left the institutional church after spending over fifty years within the system. Jim wanted a way to express his thoughts and concerns about the religious system and why he and his wife decided to leave the institution but not their faith in God. Jim can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org