God Speaks Through the New Covenant
“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” – Deuteronomy 7:9
Hey friends! Thanks for staying along for the ride on this journey! I appreciate you!
We discussed how God speaks through His Son through the Bible. He doesn’t speak to us through our feelings or through burning bushes or through dreams. He’s given us the Bible as our guide to know how to live our lives. But there are a lot of commands in the Bible.
Do we have to obey every specific command in the Bible in order to live within God’s will? Let’s consider the question.
Recall Genesis 6:14: “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.” That’s a specific command, but God doesn’t expect us all to run outside and start building huge arks. The command was specifically given to Noah. Similar is true of the command in Deuteronomy 21:20-21 to stone a stubborn and rebellious son. God does not want parents to stone their kids for being disobedient. That was a specific command, for a specific people, at a specific time.
Consider Numbers 29:2: “You shall offer a burnt offering as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish.” That’s a command, but must we obey it today? The answer is an emphatic no. The command was given to the Hebrews.
And then, in Numbers 15:32-36 there is the command to stone the man who gathered wood on the Sabbath and who did not observe it as God had commanded. That command is not for us.
It is not required of us to build an ark, to offer up animal sacrifices, or to stone anyone who breaks the Sabbath. Colossians 2:14-17 tells us that Jesus nailed those handwritten requirements to the cross. Hebrews 10:4 tells us that it’s impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Furthermore, Jesus offered His own blood so that we can have eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12).
“Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross […] So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” – Col. 2:14, 16-17
Since Christ nailed those commands to the cross, no person should judge another person in matters of eating meats, observing special holy days, or keeping Sabbath days because they have been taken away – nailed to the cross.
The Old Covenant has been nailed to the cross, and the Ten Commandments are a part of that covenant. I submit that we are no longer obligated to keep the Ten Commandments. The commandments were for the Israelites and they were nailed to the cross. We are under a new covenant.
Remember, it’s the words of Jesus that will judge us in the last day (John 12:48). While we are not obligated to keep the Ten Commandments, the New Testament does command us to do all of those things listed except to keep the Sabbath. See Matthew 4:10, 1 John 5:21, Matthew 5:34, Ephesians 6:2, 1 John 3:15, James 2:11, Ephesians 4:28, Ephesians 4:25, and Romans 13:9.
You will not find in the New Testament where we are commanded today to keep the Sabbath. In fact, the Scripture says to let no man judge another regarding the keeping of the Sabbath.
While it is true that that Jesus worshipped on Saturday (Luke 4:16), it was fitting for Him to fulfill the whole law (Matt. 3:15; 5:17). He was living under the Old Covenant. His New Covenant did not come into effect until after He died (Heb. 9:16-17).
Remember, the Old Law was in force until it was taken away by Jesus when He died on the cross. Yes, the Old Testament scriptures were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4) and we can glean from it principles for living, but we are not obligated to keep the commands of the Old Testament.
God speaks to us today through His Son, through His Apostles, through the Bible, through the New Covenant that was given by Christ. And He’s calling for us all to repent – to stop committing whatever sins and wrongs that we have in our lives and turn to serving Him.
We don’t have to try to keep every single command of the Bible. We have seen that every command in the Bible does not necessitate that we obey it. We must, however, obey Christ and His words.
God is speaking to us today. Will you listen?
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Adapted from “God Speaks Today” lessons, by Jerry A. Jenkins