How do we apply the New Testament?

How do we apply the New Testament?

  • It consists of the 4 Gospels, 1 Acts, 22 Epistles to the Churches. (Total 27 books)
  • The New Testament books begin in Matthew with the birth of Jesus Christ.

But when did the New Covenant actually begin? 

  • It was not at the birth of Jesus. He was born under the old covenant (law).
  • Galatians 4:4 “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” 
  • The New Covenant only began with Christ’s death on the cross: (Matthew 26:28)
  • Hebrews 9:15-17 “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—NOW that he has DIED as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. ​​In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.”
  • Jesus made a new covenant on the cross offering forgiving of sins committed under the law. 
    • Jews were guilty of breaking the law. Gentiles were guilty of being outside the law (Eph 2:1-11).
  • The New Covenant only began on the cross – not before that.
  • Before the cross, Jesus had to fulfill the Righteousness of the Law. 
  • We see that Israel was trying to be righteous by the law:

Romans 9:30-32 “the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works…”

  • Gentiles did not pursue Righteousness by the law. But we received Righteousness by faith in Jesus.
  • Israel pursued righteousness by law (works) and they failed. They should have pursued it by faith in Jesus

Romans 10:1-10 “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the END of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. 5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

  • These are two OPPOSITE ways of attaining Righteousness : LAW vs FAITH  (Doing vs Done)
  • The Righteousness of the Law is all about what MAN is DOING (LAW)
    • The law says that those who DO ALL works (10 commandments + 603 rules) will be righteous.
    • The law is not a buffet. A person cannot pick and choose from the law. It requires perfection.
    • James 2:10 “whoever keeps the WHOLE law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking ALL of it.”
    • Galatians 3:10-14 “For all who RELY on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to DO EVERYTHING written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith. The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
    • Law is “do good – be blessed, do bad – be cursed” (Deut. 27-28) ==>Judgment based on WORKS.
    • Faith is “Jesus did good and He was cursed. We sinned and are blessed by faith in Jesus”. ===> Salvation based on GRACE through faith.
    • The law is the OPPOSITE of faith.
    • Christ alone fulfilled the law so that righteousness is freely given to all who believe in Him.
  • Righteousness of Faith is BELIEVING in what JESUS has DONE (GRACE).
    • The righteousness of faith says that those who believe in Jesus are righteous.
      • Deuteronomy 30:12-13 (Salvation is not far away up in heaven/down deep in the sea. It is not something hard to obtain. It is right near you! Just simply believe in Jesus)

Let us see how Jesus fulfilled the law:

1. Righteousness (Sermon on the Mount)

Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to FULFILL them

  • Jesus told Israel that He is the fulfillment of all the prophecies and the law.
  • Jesus is the only ONE who fulfilled the law by His sinless life and death on the cross. Nobody else.
  • Jesus explained the true righteousness of the law to Israel here:

Matthew 5:20-22,27-30,43-48 For I tell you that unless your righteousness EXCEEDS that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell………….“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell…………. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be PERFECT, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  • Jesus was not preaching the Righteousness of Faith.
  • He was preaching the Righteousness of the Law to Israel. WHY did He do that?
  • The New Covenant did not begin until the Cross.
  • Before the cross, Jesus is dealing with Israel who are under the old covenant:
  • The purpose of the law (to silence the self-righteous people and show that nobody is righteous)
    • Romans 3:19-21 “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin
  • The Jews/Pharisees thought that they were righteous by works of the law (10 commandments, etc.).
  • Jesus showed that the righteousness of the law demanded perfection in works.
  • The Jews thought that they were righteous because they did not commit murder and adultery.
  • But the Law judged even those who sinned in their heart without doing the misdeed.
  • Jesus fulfilled the law because He never sinned and yet He was condemned by the law.
  • The Jews thought that circumcision saved them. 
    • But Jesus said that they had to cut off the body parts that sinned, to enter heaven.
    • Jesus did not sin but His body was cut on the cross for our sins!
  • The Jews thought they were righteous by loving their neighbor and hating the enemy.
    • But the Law required that they be PERFECT like God by loving enemies, turning the other cheek.
    • Jesus loved His enemies because He is PERFECT like God and yet was condemned by the law.

Jesus said that He alone fulfilled the law: No other person was righteous by the LAW.

  • Jesus fulfilled the law in TWO WAYS:
    • The law demanded perfection.
      • Therefore Jesus had to be perfect in His life without committing any sin, loving His enemies, until His last moment on the cross. 
      • He is PERFECT and RIGHTEOUS as GOD because He did not sin.
    • The law demanded judgment for sins. 
      • Jesus had to die for the sins of the world on the cross.
    • On the Cross, He fulfilled BOTH the demands of the law, and said it is FINISHED (John 19:30). 
    • God’s plan worked wonderfully. If Jesus had sinned, then He would not be resurrected. But He rose from the dead because He fulfilled the law for our sake.
  • JESUS LOVED US SO MUCH : He did all of this FOR US because we could not do it.

How do we apply this?

  • If a believer tries to be righteous by the law, we can become self-righteous but later on it can be very discouraging because these demands are impossible. We have to realize that Jesus fulfilled the law so that we are righteous by FAITH and not by works of the law.
  • Jesus said Matt 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled”
    • The person who cannot save themselves, believes in Jesus to receive His righteousness..
  • Before the cross, Jesus mostly preached the righteousness of the law.
  • After the cross, we see that the Apostles preached the righteousness of Faith:
  • Romans 3:21-25 “But now APART from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified FREELY by his GRACE through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by FAITH.”
    • The law and prophets testify that Jesus is Righteous. We who believe in Him are righteous.
    • Christ’s Righteousness is given freely not by law….but by GRACE received through FAITH.
  • Romans 6:23 “The WAGES of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • WAGES are given to those who trust in their works: (payment for their works)
    • Anyone who trusts in their works will receive the wages for their works.
    • The Law gives a score of 100 or 0. Obey everything to be Perfect or be declared a sinner. 
    • To “sin” means to break even 1 commandment, which is equivalent to breaking ALL of it.
    • They receive wages of eternal death and condemnation (1 Corinthians 15:56, 2 Corinthians 3:7-9)
  • Those who trust in Jesus and not in their works, receive the Righteousness of God
    • Romans 4:4-5,24-25 “Now to the one who works, WAGES are not credited as a GIFT but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as RIGHTEOUSNESS……God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
  • God’s Righteousness is not earned by works but it’s a GIFT received by faith.
    • Romans 5:17-19 “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the OBEDIENCE of the one man (JESUS) the many will be made righteous.”
  • The wages for Christ’s obedience was given to us believers as a GIFT.
  • Jesus took our sins on the CROSS and gave believers His Righteousness through legal exchange  
  • (2 Corinthians 5:21” God made JESUS who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in CHRIST we might become the righteousness of God.”) This is how Jesus fulfilled the law to give Righteousness to all who believe!
  • This is why the righteousness of faith in Christ was preached only AFTER the cross. 
  • The believer is not under the law but we are under GRACE (salvation)
    • Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by FAITH into this GRACE in which we now stand.
    • We relate to God by GRACE through faith…..Not by WORKS/law (The law is NOT faith). 
      • We relate to God by His LOVE. We receive His LOVE and love others.
      • Not relating to God by doing works to gain favor/blessing.
    • The law exists until the end of the world to judge unbelievers (sinners) (Matthew 5:18)
    • 1 Timothy 1:9-11 “We also know that the law is made NOT for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”
    • The law INCREASES sin in unbelievers so that they DESPAIR and come to Jesus for salvation.
    • Romans 5:20 “The LAW was brought in so that the SIN might INCREASE. But where sin increased, GRACE increased ALL the MORE,”
    • 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 “The sting of death is sin, and the POWER of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
    • When Paul heard the 10 commandments, “You shall not covet”…..he coveted even more! 
    • We all inherited sin from Adam. But sin is empowered by the law. It makes sin exceedingly sinful
    • Romans 7:1,7-13,22-25 “for I am speaking to those who know the law………. What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.”………… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
    • The law is holy and righteous. But it trapped Israel in prison until Christ came to set them free.
    • Galatians 3:22-25 “But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”
    • God gave the law so that Israel would stop trusting in works AND Christ would die for our sins.
    • When Israel was under law, they sinned so much that they crucified Jesus Christ on the cross.
    • The GRACE of God was revealed MUCH more on the cross when Jesus’ death forgave the sins!
    • This was why Jesus preached the law before the cross.
    • Israel was released from the law by the CROSS. By trusting in Jesus they die to the law, to bear the fruit of the Spirit. When we relate to God by GRACE and not WORKS (law). Romans 7:4-6
    • When a person believes in Christ, the person is not under law but is now righteous by faith.
    • Romans 10:4 “Christ is the END of the law so that there’s righteousness for everyone who believes.”
    • The believers are not under law but under GRACE. Set free from law (that empowered sin).
    • Romans 6:14 “sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
    • If we struggle with sin, that means we need more GRACE, believing that Jesus made us Righteous.
    • We are led by the Spirit of GRACE and not the law ( Galatians 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”) (led by the Spirit is the same as having the Spirit)
  • When we believe in Jesus, we have become as PERFECT as the Father because of the cross.
    • Hebrews 10:10,14 “… we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by one sacrifice he has made PERFECT forever those who are holy.”
  • We become PURE in heart by FAITH in Jesus and we see God.
    • Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”.
    • Acts 15:7-9 “God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.”
    • John 14:6-7 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From NOW on, you do KNOW him and have SEEN him.””
  • We fulfill the law by faith in Jesus that produces love for others (Romans 13:8, Gal 5:6). But our behavior will never be perfect as Christ because He alone truly fulfilled the law to make us perfect and righteous by faith.

2. Carrying the cross

Jesus also showed Israel that He loved God with all His heart, soul, and strength according to the law:

Luke 14:26-27,33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple……..those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

Matthew 16:24-26 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

Luke 12:31-33 “But seek his kingdom….Sell your possessions and give to the poor….”

  • To love God with all their heart/soul/strength meant to forsake everything and carry the cross like Jesus.

Jesus explained it to the rich young man:

Matthew 19:16-26,16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what GOOD THING must I DO to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be PERFECT, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, FOLLOW ME.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

  • The man asked Jesus “what good works are needed for salvation?”
  • Jesus did not say “believe in me”. Jesus told him to keep the 10 commandments (law) for salvation. 
  • Why did Jesus do that? The man was under the law, trusting in works for salvation. 
  • Jesus preached the Righteousness of the Law to Israel before the cross (Romans 10:5). 
  • Luke 10:25-28 “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the LAW?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
  • Jesus showed that he was lacking one thing (actually he lacked everything!)
  • Because the law demanded PERFECTION: to love God with ALL their heart/soul/strength.
  • Jesus preached the law: BE PERFECT, sell everything, follow Jesus to the cross.
  • The man went away sad because he could not keep the law. 
    • He could NOT love God with ALL his heart, and love his neighbor. He loved money. 
    • Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
    • Nobody in Israel loved God with all their heart, soul, and strength.
    • This was not only a problem only for rich people. Being rich is not a sin. 
    • Even a poor person is not perfect by the law.
  • Jesus showed that it is impossible for man to save himself but ALL things are possible with God.
    • How did God make it possible? God became a man through JESUS
    • Jesus did the impossible task of loving God with ALL his heart, by giving up everything and dying on the CROSS without sinning. Jesus accomplished “mission impossible”.
  • After the CROSS, Salvation is possible by GRACE since Christ carried the cross to fulfill the law. 
  • After the CROSS, the jailer asks the same question? What must I do to be saved? A NEW ANSWER
    • (Acts 16:29-31) “The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

How did Jesus deal with His disciples?

  • The disciples left everything and promised that they would follow Jesus to the cross. 
  • Peter boasted that he would not deny Christ.
  • But Jesus said that ALL the disciples would fail. Peter denied Christ 3 times. 
  • (Mark 14:22-31,50 “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd,  and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same….Then everyone deserted him and fled.”)
  • Jesus died alone on the cross because He was the perfect sinless offering for our sins.
  • The New Covenant began on the cross when He died. Jesus alone carried the cross.
  • Of course, the apostles and many believers were killed for believing in Jesus in the last 2000 years. 
    • But there’s a big difference. We cannot compare them to Jesus.
    • Believers are not perfect in behavior. But Jesus did not sin.
    • Believers are not being persecuted for anybody’s sins. Jesus died for the sins of the world.
    • Isaiah 52:14-53:12 described it as the worst suffering EVER experienced by any human being.
    • This is why only Jesus truly carried the cross. Nobody else can match it.
  • Believers are not called to deny ourselves and carry the cross like Jesus. Why?
    • Believers were crucified with Christ and raised with Jesus and seated in heavenly places.
    • Galatians 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
    • Galatians 2:19-21 ““For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!””
    • What does this mean?
      • I am crucified with Christ = I stopped trusting in my works for salvation = I died to the law.
      • I no longer live (The old self has gone. I am not a sinner trusting in the law)
      • Christ lives in me (I am a new creation because Christ lives in me)
      • I believe in Jesus who loves me and He died for me.
      • I am righteous by faith in Jesus by God’s Grace and not my efforts under the law.
    • As believers, we are not called to “deny ourselves” or “crucify ourselves”. Our OLD SELF was crucified with Christ. We have received a NEW SELF because we were raised with Jesus.
    • Romans 6:6-7,11,18 “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin…..11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus…..18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
    • Colossians 3:9-10 “….you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Renew the mind)
    • Eph 2:6 “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”
    • We are not carrying the cross but we are seated with Jesus in heavenly places.
    • Jesus did ALL the work. We received it by GRACE through faith and not by our works.
  • We don’t have to forsake everything to receive the KINGDOM and RIGHTEOUSNESS 
    • We already have the kingdom and His righteousness by faith in Christ.
    • Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
    • Colossians 1:13-14 “For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we HAVE redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
    • When we believed in Jesus, we received the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of ALL sins and God’s righteousness as a FREE GIFT (Acts 10:43-44, Colossians 2:13, Romans 3-5)
    • Colossians 2:13 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,”
  • The CROSS shows us to first receive Christ’s unconditional love & then love others.
  • John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
  • We are not under the Ten Commandments of the law.
  • We are not called to “love God with ALL our heart,soul,strength” because we can’t do it. Only Jesus did it under the law. He gave a NEW commandment. Believe in Jesus and love others as He loved us. 
  • This is the NEW Covenant. Receive Christ’s love to be saved. Then love others to express our salvation.
  • 1 John 3:23 “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.”

3. Forgiveness: (Lord’s prayer)

  • Matthew 6:9-15 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
  • Jesus said that the main emphasis of the Lord’s prayer was about receiving God’s forgiveness based on how they forgave others. Therefore this was a daily prayer of salvation before the cross.
  • How many times did they need to forgive others (Matthew 18:21-22)? Jesus said 7*70 (7 is perfection), otherwise they would not be forgiven. “Be perfect as the Father” to be forgiven.
  • Why didn’t Jesus say “believe in me to be forgiven”? He had not yet died on the cross to forgive us. 
  • Jesus was preaching the righteousness of the law: forgive others to be forgiven by God. But nobody could do it. Jesus was the only One who forgave everyone PERFECTLY like the FATHER. 
  • Jesus preached for 3.5 years, living with them, loving them, healing & providing for them, washing their feet, and yet His own people crucified Him, His apostles deserted, denied and betrayed Him, and yet in His most humiliating moment on the cross, He forgave them. Nobody but Jesus is capable of being so forgiving.
    • Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
  • Why did Jesus tell them to keep praying daily for salvation?  We see the answer here:
  • Luke 11:10-13 “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
  • Before the cross, they were told to pray DAILY for the Holy Spirit to come. (Daily prayer for salvation)
  • The Holy Spirit could only be given under the New Covenant AFTER the Cross and Resurrection.
  • After Jesus fulfilled the law on the cross, the Apostles preached:
    • Believe in Jesus Christ and you will receive the forgiveness of sins (and receive the Holy Spirit).
    • They did not preach “forgive others to be forgiven by God”.
  • After the Cross, we see that we are forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit:
    • Acts 10:43-44 “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins through his name. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.”
  • The Lord’s prayer was about Salvation that was fulfilled through faith in Jesus Christ
    • OUR FATHER in HEAVEN
      • After the cross, God became our Heavenly Father when we believed in Jesus to receive the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14-15).
    • YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH
    • God’s will was done when Christ died on the cross to fulfill the law and make the New Covenant. 
      • Hebrews 10:8-10 “First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your WILL.” He sets aside the first (Old covenant) to establish the second (New Covenant). And by that WILL, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
      • God’s will made the believer perfect and holy by the death of Jesus on the cross.
    • God’s will is that we believe in Jesus to receive the Holy Spirit (kingdom) on earth.
      • John 6:28-29 “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
    • YOUR KINGDOM COME….
    • When we believed in Jesus, God’s kingdom came in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
    • GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD.
    • Israelites literally ate the daily bread of manna in the wilderness but they died. 
    • But when we believed in Jesus Christ, He became our BREAD of LIFE (John 6:31-35) and we will never hunger/thirst and we will live forever with Jesus.
      • John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
      • John 6:47-51 “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
    • FORGIVE US OUR SINS
      • We have received forgiveness of past, present, future sins (ALL sin) when we believe in Jesus (Acts 10:43, Colossians 2:13). 
      • Therefore, we forgive others as Jesus FORGAVE us. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
    • DELIVER US FROM EVIL
    • Believers have been delivered from evil
      • Colossians 1:13 “For God has RESCUED us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves
      • The devil cannot take away our salvation
      • John 10:9-10,27-30 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full…….My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall NEVER PERISH; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
    • Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the Lord’s prayer is fulfilled.
    • Now we pray to God our Father in the name of Jesus. 
      • The Lord’s prayer belonged to the Law before the cross. It was not under New Covenant.
      • The Lord’s prayer was until Jesus died, rose again and sent the Holy Spirit.
      • Before the cross they had not prayed in Jesus’ name because He had not yet died and brought salvation.
      • John 16:24 “Until now you have NOT asked for anything in my name.”
      • After the cross, the believer received salvation and now prays in the name of Jesus Christ.
      • John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name

SUMMARY: How do we apply the New Testament? It is through the CROSS and Resurrection:

  • Before the cross, Christ preached the impossible demands of the Law so that Israel would stop trusting in their works and believe in Him for salvation.  
  • The New Covenant of GRACE began on the CROSS.
  • After Christ died and rose again, they received the Holy Spirit, …. the Apostles were sent to preach the Gospel of Christ’s death & resurrection:  1 Corinthians 15:2-4 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 
  • The Apostles preached Righteousness of Faith after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus:
  • Acts 10:43 “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in Jesus receives forgiveness of sins through his name
  • Acts 13:38-39 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a righteousness you were NOT able to obtain under the law of Moses.”
  • The law was no longer preached. But the Gospel of Grace has been preached since then.
  • The cross shows us that we are righteous not by works/law but by grace through faith. 
  • The law demanded Righteousness.
    • PERFECTION – love God with all the heart and love neighbor as self
  • Jesus is the Only One who obeyed the law (10 commandments + 603 ordinances)
    • The law demanded perfection and Jesus fulfilled it by His sinless life.
  • The law demanded death for sins, and Jesus fulfilled it on the cross, rising from the dead.
  • The Righteousness of God is only found in Christ.
  • When we believe in Christ, we are Righteous as God because Christ lives in us.
  • Jesus Christ crucified is the central theme of the entire Bible.
  • Jesus took our sins on the cross and gave us the righteousness of God as a free gift by His resurrection.
  • We are not righteous by the works of the law, but we are righteous by faith in Christ.
  • We are not carrying the cross, but already raised, and seated with Christ in heavenly places.
  • We received forgiveness ONCE by faith in Jesus and not in installments by forgiving others.

EXTRA-NOTES:

The purpose of the LAW is to make sin increase so that they come to Jesus for salvation.

  • Romans 5:20 “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 “The sting of death is sin, and the POWER of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
  • When Paul heard the commandment, “You shall not covet”…..he coveted even more! We all inherited sin from Adam. But sin is empowered by the law. It makes sin exceedingly sinful
  • Romans 7:1,7-13,22-25 “for I am speaking to those who know the law………. What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.”………… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
  • The law is holy and righteous. But it trapped Israel in prison until Christ came to set them free.
  • Galatians 3:22-25 “But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”
  • The law increases sin but grace forgives and reduces it in our lives:
  • Romans 6:14 “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
  • When Israel was under law, they sinned so much that they crucified Jesus Christ on the cross.
  • The GRACE of God was revealed MUCH more on the cross when Jesus’ death forgave the sins!
  • This was why Jesus preached the law before the cross.
  • When Jesus preached the law to Israel, the sinners came to Him by faith. The self-righteous became more sinful and they crucified Jesus. As a result GRACE came to the world.
  • After the Gospel was preached, 3000 of the Israelites who had crucified, now Jesus believed in Him on the day of pentecost (Acts 2:36-41). Many more believed now that Grace has come! 
  • When the law was given on Mt.Sinai, 50 days after the Passover, 3000 died on the same day because of idol worship. The law had increased sin. But when Grace came on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after the cross, 3000 Jews believed in Jesus to be saved. Billions of people have believed in Jesus thanks to GRACE.
  • The ten commandments (law) brought condemnation and death. Christ’s Grace has far greater glory and brings righteousness and eternal life as a free gift by faith.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 “7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
  • When a person believes in Jesus, they died to the law and receive the Holy Spirit to bear fruit.
  • Romans 7:4-6 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

Before the cross, Jesus preached the law only to Israel.

  • Christ taught the law to Israel before the cross (not to Gentiles). 
  • Matthew 10:5-6 “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” 
  • Romans 15:8-9 “For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.”
  • Jesus told them to cut off body parts to avoid sin. But even that cannot change the heart (Matthew 15:19). When a person believes in Christ, we receive a new heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:17-18, Romans 5:5). 
  • The Apostles could not preach the GOSPEL before the CROSS. They did not know that Jesus was going to die on the cross and be resurrected to fulfill the law (Luke 18:31-34, Mark 8:31-33).

Before the cross, Jesus dealt with Gentiles by FAITH and not the LAW

  • Gentiles were not given the law (Psalm 147:19-20 “He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the Lord.”)
  • The Gentiles have their own moral codes/religions that make the conscience guilty being a law unto themselves (their moral codes are similar to the law). (Romans 2:14-15 “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”)
  • Under the Old Covenant system, God’s people were Israel. The Gentiles were lost without God.
  • Jesus only called TWO people with GREAT faith. Both were Gentiles not under law.
  • The Roman centurion was blessed because of his great faith
  • Luke 7:2-9 “​​2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”
  • Jesus blessed the Canaanite woman’s great faith
  • Matthew 15:22-28 “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s (Israel) bread and toss it to the dogs (Gentiles).” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.”
  • Gentiles were dead outside the old covenant because of uncircumcision but now made alive by faith in Jesus because of the cross where the new covenant came to forgive ALL sins! 
  • Colossians 2:​​13-14 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”) 
  • (Ephesians 2:1, 11-13 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,….Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”) After the cross, both Jews and Gentiles are saved by faith in Christ and not by the law. ( Galatians 3”26-28 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” )
  • Fact: A lot more Gentiles have believed in Jesus without knowing the law compared to Jews.
  • This proves Romans 9:30-32, the Gentiles who did NOT pursue Righteousness by the law actually received the Righteousness by FAITH. Israel trusted in the law and rejected Christ.

The Jews thought that they were righteous by works and crucified Jesus because of two things:

  • When Jesus healed the man on the sabbath, they accused Him of breaking the law (Matthew 12:11-14. Exodus 31:14). When Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic, they thought he was blaspheming by claiming to be God. (Matthew 9:1-3, Matthew 26:65, Leviticus 24:14, Hebrews 13:11-13, Exodus 29:14)
  • They crucified Jesus thinking that He broke the law. But actually Christ’s death on the cross was bringing forgiveness for their sins under the law that they themselves broke!

What about people before the Cross ? How were they saved?

  • Hebrews 11 shows that they looked forward by FAITH to JESUS for salvation in the FUTURE.
  • Hebrews 11:39 “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us (Christians) so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
    • They would become righteous only when Jesus came. 
    • This is because only Jesus is the Righteousness of God. He is the one who NEVER sinned.
  • Abraham looked forward to FUTURE salvation in Jesus 
    • John 8:56-58 “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!
  • Abraham was righteous by faith before the law came. This shows that nobody was righteous by the law.
    • Romans 4:13 “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
  • The law was a temporary covenant of 1500 years until Christ came to make us righteous by faith.

Galatians 3:16-19 “16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.” 

  • Not all Israelites were condemned for 1500 years. Some were saved by GRACE through faith.

Romans 11:1-6 “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

Did the Law end on the cross OR only when the world ends?

  • The Old Covenant was a temporary covenant from the time of Moses till the Cross. During that time, the only way for man to relate to God was through the 10+603 commandments of the law.
  • The old covenant was necessary so that Jesus would die on the cross for sins to fulfill the law and make a New Covenant for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:15-17, Hebrews 8:13)..
    • Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete…”
  • Now, God is no longer commanding people to relate to Him through the law. It is an obsolete system.
  • When a person believes in Christ, the person is not under law but he is righteous by faith.
  • Romans 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
  • But the law exists until the end of the world to judge the unbeliever (1 Timothy 1:8-11).
    • Matthew 5:18 “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
  • The believers are not under law but under GRACE (Romans 6:14, Galatians 5:18, Romans 7:4, Galatians 2:19)
  • God has only One Covenant today for salvation: the New covenant.
  • Now the only way to come to God is by faith in Jesus Christ in the New Covenant.
  • We are not blessed by blessing Israel anymore (that was only true in the old covenant).
  • We are blessed by faith in Jesus (Ephesians 1:3-7).
  • People from all nations (including Israel) can enter the New Covenant by faith in Christ.
  • Israel will finally believe in Jesus under the New Covenant in the future. Romans 11:25-27 “…Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.

Jesus had to fulfill the law by being perfect in obedience until the cross.

Hebrews 2:9-11 “9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation PERFECT through what HE SUFFERED. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

  • Jesus suffered and died, being perfect through His death on the cross without sin.
  • That is how He fulfilled the law to give Righteousness FREELY to ALL who believe.

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