Christian Church of God - Grand Junction, Colorado

Christian Church of God, Grand Junction, Colorado    Statement #3 page two

New Covenant restores ‘the Law’ internally: Most professing Christians are under the impression that the New Covenant completely replaces the Old Covenant. That impression is understandable when we analyze how our modern culture thinks. However, the Bible was originally a Jewish document written to Jewish peoples and meant to be understood as they would have understood it. Traditional Jewish thinking employs what we would call ‘cyclical reasoning’ where a non-Jewish approach is what we call ‘linear reasoning’. A way to illustrate this would be the consideration of a ‘new’ moon. Linear thinking might lead a person believe that the moon is being removed and replaced by another moon. ‘Cyclical thinkers’ on the other hand would conceive of the matter differently. They would see the moon as going through its lunar cycle, and beginning its new phase all over again. A person employing cyclical thinking wouldn’t see the Commandments as being ‘done away’ in the sense of being replaced by a new set of commandments; they would see it ‘new’ in the sense of being refreshed or restored!

To be correctly understood, the New Covenant must take into account its cyclical considerations. The promise of a “New Covenant” is stated in both the Old Testament and in the New. The promise is worded thus: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:8) This statement’s wording confirms the cyclical nature of the Promise. It is not to be a whole new set of Laws. Rather, it is to be a restoration of something that existed from the beginning; only this time with a renewed application being implanted in our hearts and minds.

The Apostle John reinforces the premise with his statement in his first Epistle: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” (1st John 1:3-7) Two things are important here: First, the “new” commandment is the same as it was from the beginning. Second, the Commandments are HIS, referring to Christ! The pre-incarnate Christ was the Law giver at Mount Sinai. “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.” (2nd John 1:6) So many labor under the impression that the Law was given by the Father. Those who are unsure of this affirmation should remember that the Being who ‘followed them in the wilderness’ was, in fact, the one who became Christ. (1st Corinthians 10:4)

New Testament repeats the Commandments: In another conversation with a potential follower, Christ explained exactly what He meant by “keep the Commandments.” It wasn’t some new set of Laws but a re-application of the standards of conduct given back at the beginning.

That conversation is recorded in Matthew 19 beginning in verse 16. Here a young man is reminded that the Command-ments are a pre-requisite to ‘entering into life’. As to his question, Which?, He recited a representative few from the Ten Commandments: “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Giving more than half of them! (Omitting the one dealing with covetousness, which was the young man’s weak area!) Those professing believers who advocate that the Ten Commandments were ‘done away’ except for those repeated (re-stated) in the New Testament, cite passages such as this to justify not including unmentioned commandments.

In Romans 13:8-10 Paul also reiterates the Ten Commandments, in the context of their undisputed applicability to Christian life. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

The Greatest Commandment: Advocates of New Covenant theology represent that their view incorporates a GREATER Commandment, specifically that given by Christ in Matthew 22:36-40. “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two command-ments hang all the law and the prophets.” This is used by some to excuse disregarding the OLD Law, as though He was announcing a ‘new’ set of Commandments. What casual worshippers fail to note is that this is not new at all! It is merely a recitation of an Old Testament passage; Deuteronomy 6:5-6. What He was reminding them of by this answer is that the Law of God explains HOW to love God and HOW to love neighbor.

End-Time Saints are Commandment Keepers: What better record could there be of the enduring application of all of the Commandments to God’s Way of Life than to see the condition within the Christian Community in the end time. Revelation commends them for their fidelity and their testimony (alluding to both the Old and New Testaments?) “And the dragon was

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