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1. Law of Grace

Precept – Remember the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins is based on God’s Grace to Each Other

1. The Law and its application – this simply means what we have to do

The Law of Grace is three-fold as it is Grace from the Father, the Son and the Spirit. It is Grace because it involved a personal cost to the Father and the Son. The Father gave His Son, and the Son gave His Life. The reason for God’s grace to Each Other is because God enjoys being God the Forgiver. For man, He is God the Forgiver, who became God the Creator. Forgiveness of sins is not an afterthought or a knee-jerk reaction for God. God counted the costs before He created this world and mankind.

It is time to stop looking at forgiveness from the perspective of sin. We must look at forgiveness from the perspective of Grace. Only then would we begin to realise the sovereignty and pure genius of God. He did not make a mistake when He made man, though man sinned by forsaking God. He made man and gave us freewill, so that He may forgive us when we make choices that forsake Him.

God’s grace to Each Other has enabled us to be beneficiaries of Their Grace. This Grace is sealed with the blood of the Lamb, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins in the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins forged between the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the Helper of the Covenant. His power made it possible for the Covenant to be fulfilled.

a) For the condemned, it is grace from the Father in the Law of Grace. John 3.16: “For God so loved the world He gave His One and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is what the Father gave: His Son.

b) The second Law of Grace is for the believers and disciples of Jesus. John 6.53-56: “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in Him.” This is what the Son gave- His flesh and blood, which is His life.

c) The third Law of Grace is from the Holy Spirit for overcomers. 2 Corinthians 12.9: “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” This confirms His role as the Helper of the Covenant.

Law of “Un-grace” is the unforgivable sin: “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”[1] This confirms that the Covenant is only between the Father and the Son. Because the Holy Spirit is not part of the Covenant or agreement, the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven. The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin of defiance and deliberate rebellion against the Holy Spirit.[2]

2. The attitude in obeying the Law of Grace

Obeying the Law of Grace means that you believe in the Son of God, and you obey Jesus’ commands to eat His flesh and drink His blood.

The effect of eating His flesh and drinking His blood is that we are cut off from the Law of Moses and the Levitical Law. The Father said that the life of a creature is in the blood, and it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.[3] This is THE COMMAND of the New Covenant that sets you free from the Law of Moses because Leviticus 17.14 forbids the drinking of blood of any creature. It is also THE COMMAND that sets itself apart from all other covenants, in which the participants had to obey the Law of Moses. We must obey this command under the New Covenant[4] and then other commands of Jesus under this Covenant.

The eating and drinking of Jesus’ blood is the outward sign of our practise of Jesus’ command under the New Covenant.[5] Just as observation of the Sabbath is the outward sign the Israelites displayed as they practised the Lord’s command under the Covenant of Healing and Deliverance,[6] and circumcision is the sign of the Covenant of Blessing between God and Abraham and his descendants.[7]

It is also important to obey this command because life is in the blood of Jesus. This one command embraces and includes what we need to believe in Jesus- that He is the Son, that He sacrificed His life for us, that He is the Way to eternal life, and that it is possible to always be with Him (remain in Him).

If you cannot accept the command to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus, the Son of Man, in order to have eternal life, how then can you accept and obey the other commands that come from Him?

If you say you believe in Jesus, but refuse to eat His flesh and drink His blood by faith, what then do you truly believe of Him? Therefore, this command is like the gate to the narrow road. And the ease that a Gentile can receive it, compared to a Jewish person, is God’s grace to the Gentiles, so that by our faith and obedience, the Kingdom of Israel is led back to Jesus to say, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.”[8] This is what the apostle Paul was talking about in Romans 11 when he told the Gentiles that we are the grafted branches and we are not to boast and be arrogant.

Do NOT think for a second that the fate of the Jewish nation does not concern us Gentiles, because Jesus linked His return with these words, which must come out of the mouths of those of Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem… For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

The attitude then is your heart and mind in believing and obeying Jesus.

Don’t be afraid; just believe.[9]

Consider carefully what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.[10]

Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.[11] Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.[12] Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.[13] (Hypocrisy is a stumbling block to faith in Jesus because hypocrisy is not based on truth and the love of truth. We are not to be slack and must know the words of Jesus in order to discern the words of men.)

3. The authority and jurisdiction that we should obey the Law of Grace

AUTHORITY TO LISTEN TO JESUS AND TO OBEY HIS COMMANDS: The Father said, “This is My Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[14] This is the Father’s command to Jesus’ disciples, and is also the authority from the Father to us to listen to Jesus. If there is no command from the Father to listen to Jesus, we would have no reason or right to obey Jesus in the first place.

AUTHORITY TO LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Son said, “He who has an ear, let him hear and understand what the Spirit says to the churches.”[15] This is Jesus’ command to His churches, which consist of believers and disciples – to listen and understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.

4. The intent/purpose of the Law of Grace

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.[16]

This is important because we must always remember that God created us to live and not to die. He created us to know and understand Him, not to be distant from Him.

5. The evidence of obedience and disobedience of the Law of Grace

REPENTANCE BY ALL: This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.[17]

OFFENCE AND DESERTION BY BELIEVERS AND DISCIPLES: On hearing it, many of His disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that His disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray Him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled him.” From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.[18]

6. The rewards and consequences

Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s One and only Son.[19]

I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.[20]

Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.[21]

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.[22]

7. Decree of the Law of Grace

I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am![23]

(Pre-existent Grace)




 

2. Law of Forgiveness

Precept – This involves what you have to do in your relationship with another person. In this case it is forgiveness, in honour and imitation of the Lord who forgave you of much first.

1. The Law and its application – what we have to do and how we do it

a) The first Law of Forgiveness is, “Love your enemies.[24] How do we do this?

· Pray for those who persecute you[25]

· Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you[26]

· Pray for those who carry you away by force and persecute you.[27]

What do we forgive?

According to the prayer that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them in Matthew 6.12- we should practise forgiving all:

i) sins[28]

ii) debts[29]

iii) offences[30]

iv) faults[31]

v) trespasses[32]

vi) transgressions[33]

of:

1. the people who sin against us;

2. the people who sin against Jesus by disbelieving in Him;

3. the churches who sin against Jesus by disbelieving His words and disobeying in His commands, either by ignorance or willfulness;

4. the churches who sin against Jesus by not putting into practice the command of Jesus to hear and understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.

b) The second Law of Forgiveness is: Love one another as Jesus has loved us.”[34]

Who are our fellow disciples?

For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother.[35]

If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.[36]

My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.[37] (This means, those who listen to Jesus and put His words into practice.)

How do we love our fellow disciples?

· If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”[38]

· If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”[39]

· Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command.”[40] On Wednesday, we were taught that inseparable love is love that is beyond reason, and the proof of inseparable love is to lay down your death, not just your life, for Christ’s sake.

2.The attitude in obeying the Law of Forgiveness

Obeying the Law of Forgiveness means that you love your enemies and love your fellow disciples as Jesus as loved you, by practising the above-mentioned things.

Forgive your brother from your heart.[41]

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.[42]

3. The authority and jurisdiction of the Law of Forgiveness

JESUS’ AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS: The Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins.[43]

OUR AUTHORITY FROM JESUS TO FORGIVE SINS: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.[44] But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.[45] (Therefore, the Holy Spirit is our Counselor in power and in strength, because His power is made perfect in our weakness. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and the Lord rejoices when we repent for He enjoys forgiving.[46] So likewise, we are to enjoy forgiving in honour of the Lord.)

4. The intent/ purpose

SONSHIP (when we love our enemies): But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.[47]

DELIGHT (when we love one another as Jesus has loved us): A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.[48] This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.[49]The world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me.[50] (This is the delight of this age & age to come.)

5. The evidence of obedience and disobedience of the Law of Forgiveness

LOVE: Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.[51]

FRUITS: The Parable of the Fig Tree (all leaves, no fruits) – Early in the morning, as Jesus was on His way back to the city, He was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.[52] Jesus said, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”[53] Jesus said that no one is good except God alone. God is the Joyful Forgiver, who created for His enjoyment. And He created in His perfection with the provision that He would need to forgive. That is why it is written in the book of Genesis that God saw all that He had made and it was very good. It is very good when you see what you have made because you can then enjoy the purpose for which you made it for.

HYPOCRISY: Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”[54] (You are a hypocrite when you profess to believe in Jesus but you do not forgive others. By your faith, you testify that you are a beneficiary of the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins. The hypocrisy is when you have received one thing (forgiveness), yet do something to the contrary to others (withhold forgiveness).

6. The rewards & consequence

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.[55]

7. Decree of

the Law of Forgiveness

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.[56]

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.[57]

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.[58]

3. Law of Repentance

PRECEPT – This is what you have to do in honour of the grace and forgiveness you have received from the Lord. When you have done it, you can then tell others to do the same; in this case, it is repentance.

1.The Law and its application

Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.[59] The time promised by God has come at last! The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News![60]

2. The attitude of the Law Repentance – just means your attitude when you repent

Obeying the Law of Repentance is to repent of your sins and preach Jesus’ command to repent.

· Be earnest and repent[61]

· Be zealous and repent[62]

· Be diligent and turn from your indifference[63]

· Be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent[64]

3. The authority and jurisdiction

AUTHORITY TO NOT ONLY OBEY, BUT ALSO PREACH THE COMMAND TO REPENT: All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.[65]

AUTHORITY TO TESTIFY ABOUT JESUS: When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me. And you also must testify, for you have been with Me from the beginning.[66]

4. The intent/ purpose

JOY OF THE LORD: I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent[67]In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.[68]

5.The evidence of obedience and disobedience of the Law of Repentance

HUMILITY: Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank You, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give You a tenth of my income.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to Heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.[69]

LOVE: If you love Me, you will obey what I command.[70]

6.The rewards and consequences

Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.[71]

I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.[72]

7.Decree

I do not take pleasure in the death of anyone. Repent and live![73]

And there we have it. The statutes of the three Laws of the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, which we can sum up in 30 seconds:

1. Law of Grace – Believe in Jesus and obey His commands.

2. Law of Forgiveness – Love your enemies and love one another as Jesus has loved you.

3. Law of Repentance – Repent and preach/testify repentance.

So then, do you see why Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light? Is it so hard to obey the above commands of Jesus?

REASON:

The reason why the Lord is identifying the Laws of Grace, Forgiveness and Repentance under the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins is for us to firstly know its purpose and understand our obligations, rights, authority, and what we stand to lose and gain under this Covenant. It helps us to differentiate between Jesus’ words and Jesus’ commands, because not all of His words are commands. Jesus taught parables and explanations that flow from His commands. He also corrected, rebuked, prayed and encouraged. He said many other things, but only the commands of Jesus are the Law of Jesus under the New Covenant. The Holy Spirit is putting the Law of Jesus into proper perspective for us in terms of the New Covenant. The only reason why He showed us the seven elements of the Statutes was to help extract the commands from the words of Jesus, and to understand the Covenant better. We must practise and preach the three Laws with the attitude Jesus commanded.

The second purpose is none other than for judgment. If you profess to be a Christian or a believer of Jesus, you will be judged in accordance with these three Laws under the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins. Have you believed in all the words of Jesus? Have you obeyed all His commands? Do you listen to Him, and hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches? Do you forgive, and enjoy doing so? Do you practise loving your enemies and fellow disciples? Do you even know who they are? Do you practise unceasing repentance? Do you preach repentance because the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God are near? When your obedience is complete, you may even judge others in accordance with these three Laws under the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins.

So I leave it here until next time when the Lord declares the Law of Judgment.

Amen Holy Spirit.


 

[1] Mark 3.28-29

[2] Numbers 15.29-30: “But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised the Lord’s word and broken His commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.”

[3] Leviticus 17.11

[4] Mark 14.24

[5] Matthew 26.28

[6] Exodus 15.26 Healing; Genesis 15.13-16 Deliverance

[7] Genesis 12.2-3; 17.4,11

[8] Matthew 23.28

[9] Mark 5.36

[10] Mark 4.24

[11] Luke 12.1

[12] Matthew 16.6,11

[13] Mark 8.15

[14] Matthew 17.5

[15] Revelation 2.7,11,17,29; 3.6,13,22 NIV and NLT

[16] John 6.39

[17] John 3.18-20

[18] John 6.60-66

[19] John 3.18

[20] John 5.24

[21] John 17.3

[22] John 8.32

[23] John 8.58

[24] Matthew 5.43

[25] Matthew 5.44

[26] Luke 6.27-28

[27] Matthew 5.44 Peshitta

[28] Matthew 6.12 NLT

[29] Matthew 6.12 NIV/ESV

[30] Matthew 6.12 Peshitta

[31] Matthew 6.14-15 Peshitta

[32] Matthew 6.14-15 NKJV

[33] Matthew 6.14-15 NASB

[34] John 13.34

[35] Matthew 12.50

[36] Matthew 8.31

[37] Luke 8.21

[38] Matthew 18.15

[39] Luke 17.3

[40] John 15.13

[41] Matthew 18.35

[42] Matthew 6.5-7

[43] Matthew 9.6, Mark 2.10; Luke 5.24

[44] John 20.21-23

[45] Acts 1.8

[46] Nehemiah 8.10

[47] Matthew 5.44

[48] John 13.34-35

[49] John 15.8

[50] John 14.31

[51] Luke 7.47

[52] Matthew 21.8

[53] Matthew 7.17-18

[54] Matthew 23.28

[55] Matthew 6.13

[56] Matthew 5.48

[57] Luke 6.36

[58] Luke 6.36 NLT

[59] Matthew 3.2 NLT Footnote [a] Or has come, or is coming soon.

[60] Mark 1.15 NLT

[61] Revelation 3:19 NIV

[62] NASB, Peshitta, ESV

[63] NLT

[64] AMP

[65] Matthew 28.18

[66] John 15.26-27 We are to testify with the Holy Spirit.

[67] Luke 15.7

[68] Luke 15.10

[69] Luke 18.9-14

[70] John 14.15

[71] John 17.3

[72] Luke 13.3

[73] Ezekiel 18.32

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