Covenant of the Spirit
This is a progression of ideas from the OT to the NT and explains the nature of the NT
First the OT
Deuteronomy 6:25 (NASB95)
25“It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.
Righteousness if all commands obeyed
Absolute God—No sin allowed to stay before God, otherwise Christ would not have died
approximately 613 laws (Mitzvas)
Moral laws- 10 commandments
Sacrificial priestly laws- Leviticus, Day of Atonement, Passover
Social laws- Circumcision, Feast of Booths
It was right in OT times to obey the law to the “T”
Do these apply now and why or why not?
- God is without Changing.
James 1:17 (NASB95)
17Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
- It was God’s plan to have a New Covenant
–New and different
Jeremiah 31:31–34 (NASB95)
31“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
God did not change but His plan was to change covenants
He foretold it and he foretold the Person who would bring it about and tell us about it, Namely Jesus Christ
Galatians 4:4–5 (NASB95)
4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
He obeyed the 613 mitzvas
Galatians 3:24–25 (NASB95)
24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Romans 4:16 (NASB95)
16For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
The Law is based on works, The New Covenant on grace
Romans 9:30–33 (NASB95)
30What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
33just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
All this is to say that the NC is more excellent covenant that the OT pointed to but God had a plan that the OT time would point to Christ and Salvation by faith, which is undeserved and not earned, Christ accomplished the requirement of pure righteousness. We have access to this by faith not works.
Now what is it we believe in for Christ’s righteousness to be in us?
Mark 1:14–15 (NASB95)
14Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Matthew 5:17 (NASB95)
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
The standard of Jesus righteousness was the 613 mitzvas as well as what is right in the Father’s eyes
1 Corinthians 15:1–4 (NASB95)
1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
John 3:16 (NASB95)
16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Repentance and belief in Christ being the Holy Son of God, and Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, for God’s forgiveness and eternal life.
We have Christ’s sacrifice applied to us by faith.
So what applies from the OT part of the Bible
- God’s morals do not change –Murders, false witness, stealing, adultery
- Christ is the eternal perfect sacrifice forever—atonement sacrifices done away with, this is explained in Hebrews and other places in the NT
- Dietary laws etc. no longer hold- Paul explains the nature of the NT
- Law of Christ is based on the leadership of the Holy Spirit
- Deals more with dying to oneself and one’s fleshly desires and living for the Spirit
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NASB95)
16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
But We live under a new and different covenant than the OT and it must obey the law of Christ which is the law of the Spirit that is written on our hearts and minds.
Ezekiel 36:26–27 (NASB95)
26“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
Before Moses had Holy Spirit but the congregation did not. (Num 11:25)
Luke 3:16 (NASB95)
16John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Galatians 3:2–5 (NASB95)
2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
4Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
5So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
Now all Christians receive the Holy Spirit by faith and that by hearing of the Word of God initially the Gospel.
The New Covenant is fulfilled by faith in Christ, Christ within the believer (The Holy Spirit, fulfills the righteous requirement of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to obey Christ also.
Justification—Christ makes us holy one’s by His blood
Sanctification—we have to be in a process of shedding off sin
Galatians 5:16–26 (NASB95)
18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Romans 8:1–17 (NASB95)
1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Galatians 2:16–21 (NASB95)
20“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
21“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
God has not changed
God’s plan was always a New Covenant and that New Covenant is a new different covenant
The requirement of the NT which is the work of Christ is applied to a person by faith—especially the Gospel
The Spirit writes the Law of Christ on our heart and mind
Following the Spirit and putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh is now how we obey
We must die to our self and let Christ live within us.