Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 02/13/19

Finding the NEW in Covenant and Commandment

chase grace embrace grace

STORY: All About that Grace

I am a former legalist. I didn’t set out to become a legalist. Didn’t even want to be one. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I believed the people who taught a letter-of-the-law type religion that left no room for grace and encouraged being judgmental towards others.

But then I heard the word “grace” in a whole new way and started pursuing grace. Chasing grace. Embracing grace. The more I did, the more legalism shed off of me. Layers and layers that I didn’t even know had built up over time.

Now I cherish the Law in a whole new way—I’m not throwing it out with the proverbial bath water. It is because of being in love with the Lawmaker and Grace-giver that I now see others as He sees them. Every once in a while, legalism sneaks up on me and I have to call it out. Show it the door and invite it to leave. It’s a process! Today’s devo-study on the new covenant and new commandment reminds me of God’s precious gift to enter a new freedom.

STUDY: New Covenant / New Command

“The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.” Jeremiah 31:31 (NLT)
  • The word “covenant” means: contract, treaty, promise, pledge, bond or pact.
  • To have a “new” anything, there must first be an “old” or “prior” version. The new is the 2.0 version! What was the old covenant God had with His people?
  • What is the new covenant?
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)
  • Just like we’re in a new covenant, we’ve also been given a new commandment. What do you think of when you consider what the old commandments are?
  • Who gave the new commandment (who is speaking here)?
  • What is the new commandment?
  • What will the new commandment accomplish when we obey it?
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. Romans 7:6 (NLT)
  • According to this verse, what was the old way?
  • To what are believers no longer captive?
  • What was the process of being released from it?
  • What is the new way of living?
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 2 Corinthians 3:6, 8 (NLT)
  • Paul is the author here. He and his ministry team were enabled by God to serve in this new covenant. What is the new covenant not?
  • What does the new covenant pertain to, according to this passage?
  • We have a new way. What makes it possible to expect a far greater glory under this new way?
He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Ephesians 2:15 (NLT)
  • The old covenant, the old commandments, the old way—pertained to the letter of the Law as found in the Old Testament and up until the time of Jesus.
  • How did Jesus end the old system of law?
  • Who became the people of God after the price Jesus paid on the cross to offer a new peace relationship with Himself and with two people groups?
But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Hebrews 8:10 (NLT)
  • The new covenant opens up the ability to be God’s children to gentiles and Jews alike. It encourages the grace of having the spirit of the Law, versus the old way of keeping the letter of the Law.
  • What does this passage show you about the new covenant?
  • Is the Law still important?
“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Hebrews 10:16 (NLT)
  • This passage is two chapters after the one we discussed above. The meaning in this verse is to emphasize the principle already taught, by repeating it.
  • How is God’s laws in your heart?
  • How is God’s laws written on your mind?
I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. 2 John 1:5-6 (NLT)
  • We circle back here, toward the end of the Bible. Loving one another is not a new commandment—it is something God established from the very beginning.
  • Love means doing what?
  • Why do you think love is the primary focus of both the old and the new covenant...the old and the new commands?

STEPS: Pursue the New

  1. Love the Law. Grace isn’t about abandoning the Law. How can you actively love the Law in a new way?
  2. Love grace. Have you discovered daily grace — the kind that goes way beyond saving grace? Embrace grace in a whole new way.
  3. Love others. What about the new covenant and the new commandment empowers you to love others in a new way?

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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