New is Now

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The comfort of the old prevents the fullness of the new. We want to know the thing that we know to the point that we are often times unwilling to release it so we can enjoy the promise of tomorrow. Moving forward is often hard and many of us simply won’t do it. This is true within the church; maybe especially true within the church.

We really like to know that there is right and that there is wrong so we can, 1) act right for approval, 2) decide if others are worthy based on the way that they act, and 3) compare ourselves to their failures and feel even better about ourselves. There was a shift, however, and our hanging out in the rules has resulted in great damage to the reputation of Christ.

Matthew 5: 43-45 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

That was the intersection where many of us fail to make the transition. The place where they had heard it said was in the Old Testament (which was the only Testament at the time). The new covenant, or New Testament, was being unveiled by Jesus as He took them from the judgment that comes from rules to the grace that comes from relationship. He was moving those with ears to hear into sonship (“so that you may be sons of your Father).

We’re missing this. We’re hanging out in the old hate against those who we believe oppose us. We are fine with loving our neighbor as long as we judge them to be like us, but we resist the love of those that resist us. The Old Covenant is being practiced in most “Christian” churches today. It’s time to transition to the new. It’s time to be sons.

God loves you even in your judgment, pride and other crap. He neither rejects you nor promotes you because you aren’t homosexual or whatever other sin you deem to be unacceptable compared to yours. He accepts you by the grace of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He offers the same grace to everyone through this two-thousand year old new reality. It’s time to switch over.

2 thoughts on “New is Now

  1. I agree that Jesus has brought a new grace that is different from (most of the) rules of the old covenant. Your example of Mt. 5:43f. shows that this grace now includes loving enemies, unlike rules of the old covenant that included destroying all their enemies (the Canaanites) in the promised land. Jesus does, however, include some rules from the old covenant, such as not murdering (Mt. 5:21f., now interpreted to include not condemning a brother by calling him a “fool”) and not committing adultery (Mt. 5:27f., now interpreted to include lustful desire for a woman). All of this is defining what Jesus’ kind of love involves; and Jesus, as king, commands this kind of love for his kingdom (of disciples); they are the new king’s rules. The grace of the new covenant includes not only forgiveness (due to Jesus’ sacrifice) but also this new kind of love (empowered by Jesus’ grace-gift of the Spirit).

    • Thank you for your comment . . . I believe the shift was from external to internal. It was not additional rules to follow (e.g. hate added to murder), but the nature of our heart changing through His sacrifice and grace (so our heart no longer hates, thus we don’t choose murder). Our efforts to apply it from the outside-in as we relate to others was never the intention.

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