Tuesday, December 5, 2017

New Covenant = New Law


New Covenant = New Law

Under the New Covenant there are no outward day keeping commandments (days,month,seasons or years - Galatians 4:10).  We may give special days to the Lord such as Christmas but these are not commanded as something that we must do. (Romans 14:5,6) Sadly there are some "christians" that are saying that we must obey Jewish commandments and ceremonies - just as they were fighting for this in apostle Paul's day. Let us accept the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and be careful regarding these issues. Do not be afraid to point these things out to fellow believers. - Brother Eric

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A covenant means an arrangement made between two people through which they enter into a certain relationship. It is not, in the biblical usage, an ordinary agreement, because the contracting parties enter into an ordinary agreement on equal terms. But in the biblical sense of covenant, it is God who is the prime mover and approaches man to offer him a relationship upon conditions which man could neither initiate nor alter but only accept or reject.

The word Paul uses for new when he speaks of the new covenant is the same as Jesus used and it is very significant. In Greek there are two words for new. First, there is neos (Greek #3501), which means new in point of time and that alone. A young person is neos (Greek #3501) because he is a newcomer into the world. Second, there is kainos (Greek #2537), which means not only new in point of time, but also new in quality. If something is kainos (Greek #2537) it has brought a fresh clement into the situation. It is the word kainos (Greek #2537) that both Jesus and Paul use of the new covenant, and the significance is that the new covenant is not only new in point of time; it is quite different in kind from the old covenant. It produces between man and God a relationship of a totally different kind.
   
   ~William Barclay
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Some people even today follow strict outward rules which "have an appearance of holiness and spiritual maturity" but we are not to confuse such issues with true Christian worship and practice. Some encourage all to keep certain dietary laws. Such practices can make one feel more "justified". All asceticism issues are basically dealing with some kind of self-justification. As Christians Jesus Christ has justified us and made us holy unto Himself. - Brother Eric

Followers of Christ are told to deny self (Luke 9:23), but asceticism takes this command to an extreme. The Bible never suggests that a Christian should purposely seek out discomfort or pain. On the contrary, God has richly blessed us “with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). The Bible warns of those who “forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods” (1 Timothy 4:3); thus, it is erroneous to believe that celibates who abstain from certain foods are “more holy” than other people. We are under grace, not under the law (Romans 6:14); therefore, the Christian does not live by a set of rules but by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Christ has set us free (John 8:36). In many cases, the ascetic practices self-denial in order to earn God’s favor or somehow purge himself from sin. This shows a misunderstanding of grace; no amount of austerity can earn salvation or merit God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). (From here)

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Scripture for those who wish rules 
(such as vegetarianism & day keeping)

1st Timothy ch.4

Warnings against False Ascetic Rules

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.[a]
They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable[b] by the word of God and prayer.

A Good Servant of Christ Jesus

If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters,[c] Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
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Christians not commanded to keep special times.....

Galatians 4:10New Living Translation (NLT)

10 You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years.


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