June 18 I Thursday
“But God found fault with the people and said: ‘The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.’” —Hebrews 8:8
Under the New Covenant, God is going to be integrated into our hearts and minds, so that His law lives within us by the presence of His Son. In Jesus Christ, we have a new righteousness, not of our own, but we are clothed in the pure and flawless righteousness of Christ.
God puts the same law He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai in our hearts and minds so they are no longer externally imposed. “I will put My Spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:27). What is going to happen? “I am going to move you to follow My decrees and keep My laws.” The law is not fulfilled by human ability, but by the revolution that has taken place in our hearts where the Spirit of God is at work within us to keep His laws.
The Christian life does not consist of a set of rules we try our best to implement; it is the life of Christ as our source and strength. Galatians 3:24 says, “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.” The KJV translation says,
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” This paints a very practical picture in that the law, having exposed our brokenness, sin and failure, brings us to Christ. We then discover what is impossible to us is possible to Christ, and He becomes our means of expressing the moral character of God.
The essential difference between the Old and New Covenants is that the commandments under the Old Covenant become promises under the New Covenant. This, of course, is the wonder of the gospel. Under the Old Covenant, the law worked from the outside in and was a daily drudgery and hardship of the people doing all they could to keep the rules. Many Christians today are still trying to do the same. It may work for a short while, but they will always lapse back into failure, because right alongside their good intentions is a corrupt nature that is alive, active and well. We can no more escape our sinful natures than we can the law of gravity, which is why we need the indwelling Spirit of Christ, the only one capable of living the Christian life.
Every Christian is incredibly blessed with the righteousness of God imputed to us by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. But we are also remarkably blessed by the imparted righteousness of Christ that works in us to exchange earthly desires and lusts with a hunger for righteousness. When we come humbly to Christ in all our sin and brokenness, we have a new relationship with our Lord and Saviour—one that will change our lives!
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, You are the only means by which I can live a godly life, and I thank You for your Spirit in me, conforming me to your likeness.