I’m not sure what my real purpose was for doing this A New Covenant Look at… Series. Basically, it is a collection of essays on various practical topics about Christian behavior. I guess my chief goal was just to jot down the results of my studies and research on paper in the hope that my fellow believers will be both challenged and inspired and as a result grow in their faith. As of this writing, I have only one essay done, but I plan for many more to follow. However, as I have no real time limit or deadline to meet as I write these essays, and there is no real limit to how many essays I write, there is no way for me to know how long this series will take. My motivation for this series is simply to look at specific topics about Christian living from a New Covenant perspective, and to include practical applications and behavior while not being legalistic.
At this point, I think it would be good to explain what New Covenant theology is, as that is the lens through which I will be examining the subjects of my essays. Basically, New Covenant theology is a doctrinal view of God’s redemptive plan throughout history. Now, there are many, many aspects to this theology, but there is only one aspect that I need to explain in order to understand my essays. This aspect is a belief that the Old Testament was fulfilled by the death Christ on the cross, and that Christians now live under a New Testament, or Covenant, based on grace rather than law.
Under the Old Testament Law of Moses, every single aspect of Jewish life was regulated in minute detail, and the slightest infraction required atonement. The Law was impossible to follow, and its whole purpose was to show the failure of fallen man to meet God’s standards, to show that no matter how hard they try, humankind cannot achieve righteousness on their own. The Israelites were handpicked by God to be a special people with a special Law, and if anyone who was not an Israelite was not under this Law. Except for a few specific, individual cases in the Old Testament, if a Gentile wished to come to God, they could only do so by joining Israel and following all of the Law. The whole point of Israel was that out of the whole world, they were chosen to be an example of how to live. Yet they messed up, again and again, demonstrating that no one could live the way they were supposed to.
And that was the whole idea of the Law, to point to the coming of the Messiah. Jesus Christ was the only human in all history, past, present, and future, who kept all of the Law.(Mat. 5:17-18) In doing so, He was able to free His people and establish a new Law based on His work on the Cross. A Law that was free to everyone, a law that was no longer restricted to a specific ethnic people.(Gal. 3:28, Col. 3:11)
So, if you are a child of Christ, all of God’s wrath, anger, and hatred of sin was poured onto the Son on the cross.(Rom. 10:4) Christ suffered the full wrath of Hell so that we as wicked sinners could be free to follow Him. And now, according to 2nd Corinthians 3:3-6, Christians no longer live a list of rules, Christ’s children live under the grace and conviction of the Holy Spirit. And it is with this freedom in mind that I plan to discuss the subjects of my essays. Instead of being legalistic and making a long list of specific actions that are wrong, I will instead attempt to examine basic moral principles found in the Scriptures. And I hope that the following series will be edifying and help you grow in your walk with Christ. Now, if you are not a Christian, the following essay is not intended for you. If you do wish to continue and read the following essays, than I pray that they will lead you to the Light and Comfort of the world, Jesus Christ.