Monday, May 08, 2017

SCRIPTURES THAT TEACH THE NEW COVENANT OF GRACE


One of the most important things I've learned over the years that I have been a believer is that God's Grace or Unmerited Favor is a central theme of the New Testament. I have also learned that it is often the subject of frequent attacks by those who  misunderstand that God the Father is not only a God of Justice and Judgment, but a God of Mercy and Compassion. In response, I have written this article, which quotes many of the Scriptures that support the reality and power of the New Covenant of Grace that was cut with Christ's shed Blood on the Cross.

Those who deny the Power and Gift of God's Grace say that Yahshua's blood sacrifice on the Cross for our sins is MEANINGLESS because we are all still subject to the Law, and will not be forgiven for one transgression - no matter how small - unless we repent and turn completely away from sin. These Judaizers or deniers of God's Grace often say that we have to be perfectly free from all sin through repentance and self-sacrifice, or we will go to Hell. But they overlook the fact that many of us may be committing sins that we are unaware of, and therefore cannot repent of them.

In effect, these Legalists are denying the extent of God's Mercy and Forgiveness. However, the New Testament clearly shows that Grace is a product of God's compassion, and denying Grace is denying that God has compassion. Furthermore, we are called to show God's mercy and compassion to us by giving it to others. By extending the unmerited favor and compassion of God to us by forgiving those who have sinned or transgressed against us, whether they are sorry or not, we continue to be covered by God's Grace. As Yahshua or Jesus said:
Matthew 6:14-15 ~ “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
There is a Kingdom Principle at work here about the blessings of mercy, compassion and forgiveness that Yahshua laid out clearly in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. This Parable illustrates what Yahshua meant when He said that we need to forgive our brothers up to seventy times seven:
Matthew 18:21-22 ~ The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant ~ “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
     28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
     32 “Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
As this Parable shows, the King - who signifies God the Father - forgave the massive debts of a servant who owed him much. But this wicked servant did not extend the same mercy to one of his own workers, and would not forgive his much smaller debt, but sent him to debtor's prison. So the King was angry with the servant who owed the greater debt, and made him pay for all His sins by sending him to be tortured, which is what happens to unforgiven sinners in Hell.

So this Parable clearly illustrates that we are called to show mercy and compassion by forgiving others, just as we have been forgiven. This is why the Apostle Paul said that all those who are born of the Spirit of God, which is the seal of our salvation in Christ, are now under no condemnation. He said this in his Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8, and in Ephesians, Chapters 1 and 2:
Roman 8:1-5 ~ “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
Romans 8:9-15 ~ “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Ephesians 1:11-14 ~ “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 1:4-10 ~ “...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”
Ephesians 2:1-10 ~ “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Paul also laid out the truth that no one is saved by the works of the law, but only by faith in the saving work of Christ on the Cross. He said this in the third Chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians:
Galatians 3:5-12 ~ “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”[Genesis 12:3-4] 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”[Deut. 27:26] 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”[Habakkuk 2:4] 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
We are also told in the Epistle to the Hebrews that Yahshua serves as our High Priest and Mediator before the Father. He who has covered our sins with His shed blood will not leave us defenseless. As our High Priest before the Father, Christ serves as the Mediator of the New Covenant of Grace:
Hebrews 4:11-16 ~ “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 8, Entire Chapter: ~ “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”[Exodus 25:40] 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says:
     “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:31-34] 13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
Hebrews 9:11-15 ~ “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
The teachings in Hebrews are summed up by the Apostle John, who says Yahshua serves as our Advocate before the Father. This means that, if we Love Yahshua and belong to Him by faith, He will not allow us to be condemned:
1 John 2:1-2 ~ “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
So then we are under a New Covenant of Grace that is administered by Yahshua or Jesus, our great High Priest, our Mediator and Advocate before the Father, who forgives us our sins when we are covered with His blood sacrifice through our faith in and love for Him.  By faith, we are also covered by His Grace, which is God's unconditional forgiveness of all of our transgressions against Him. According to Ephesian 1:7 and Hebrew 9:14 (quoted above), this is because God no longer see us and our sin when are covered by Christs blood. Instead, God sees His Son and His precious shed blood that washes away our sins.

Indeed, all who are in Christ by accepting His blood sacrifice and being born again by His indwelling Spirit are covered by His Grace. For this reason, as long as they continue in their faith, believers are continually seen as spotless lambs that are free of transgressions before the Father. As such, they are heirs according to the promises made to Abraham and Sarah, the free woman, as this illustration taken from my book "The Language of God in Humanity" clearly shows.

This is why I am so deeply grateful for God's Gift of Grace!

Thank You Yahshua!
Praise God For His Gift of Grace!

With Love From
Your Sister In Yahshua,
Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry
http://pillar-of-enoch.com

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