New Covenant Ways – BT15: The ‘WAY of righteousness’ is completely different in the New Covenant
New Covenant Ways – BT15: The ‘WAY of righteousness’ is completely different in the New Covenant
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So many terms used in the Old Testament were redefined after ‘New revelation’ came to be used in the New Testament – see Bible Info – BT1. That’s also what has happened with “the way of righteousness” as we shall see. Many Christians don’t even know the basic differences between the OT and NT for many such terms, even what is critical for their salvation. Ignorance is not bliss – it’s fatal!
It’s so sad that so many Christians and churches still think that to be more “right and pleasing with God,” or more “holy or sanctified or ceremonially ‘clean’ and pure,” or more forgiven, or more approved of, or more loved, and to receive more blessings from God, that they need to make sure they are obedient to at least some of God’s commandments, whether any of the 613 OT ones or 1000s they derive from the NT teachings I’ve seen posted on the internet. But this obedience is all at some “level or measure” they have pre-determined by often cherry-picking from the “low-hanging fruit” like tithing or fasting or food laws.
However, a “measuring stick” is exactly the essence of the meaning of nomos or torah “Law” – measuring up to God’s standards by the “works of righteousness.” They unfortunately think they can go back to using a “measuring stick” of obedience because once again, they don’t understand the radical difference of the New (a) Covenant of “righteousness by trusting-relying-faith because of the unmerited, unearned, undeserved unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace” that “shares nothing in common with what is before it” because of the very definition of “New” (a). <Notes> a) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior. If you’ve been reading the BLOGS up to this point, you should understand this by now!
They also don’t understand that if you try to keep even ONE commandment of the Law to be more “right and pleasing with God,” even something easy to accomplish as circumcision, the seal of the old covenant, then as Paul says, “I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole Law” (a). Well, is that a solution? James 2:10 adds: “For whoever [b] tereo watch-to-guard-carefully-to-maintain the whole Law but actually fails-stumbles-errs in ONE point has already [with ongoing results] become guilty of the whole of it.” <Notes> a) Galatians 5:3, b) future tense: intends to.
So, you can’t really “cherry-pick from the low-hanging fruit” as so many churches, cults, and religions do! They are trying to mix the old covenant Law of commandments of “works of righteousness” that earns, merits, and deserves God’s conditionally-loving favor with the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant gospel logos message of unearned, unmerited, and undeserved unconditional-loving favor-of-grace acquired only by trusting-relying-faith, but Law and Grace are like water and oil don’t mix because they are polar opposites!
Paul thus warns: “You are severed from Christ – you who would be made-declared righteous/justified (a) by the Law; you have fallen away from unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace (b) . . . [you] have done away with (c) the unconditional-favor-of-grace of God, for if righteousness [really] were through the Law, then Christ died for no purpose” (d). Paul said twice for emphasis, “Let him be accursed” for anybody or any angels should be “preaching/teaching anything but the gospel” of unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace acquired only by trusting-relying-faith, because this is “a different gospel – not that there is another” (e)! <Notes> a) daikoo: is used for both legal justification or made/declared righteous, and depending on the context the difference can be negligible, b) Galatians 5:4, c) set aside, disregarded, rejected, nullified, voided, d) Galatians 2:21, e) Galatians 1:6-9.
The OT prophesied in Jeremiah 33:14-16 the radical shift of how righteousness is acquired in the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant: “Behold, the days are coming, declares Yahweh, when I will fulfill the promise I made . . . I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and He shall execute justice and/coupled righteousness (a) in the land . . . and they will be saved . . . And this is the name/authority by which it (the Branch) will be called: ‘Yahweh is our Righteousness.’” <Notes> a) daikoo: is used for both legal justification or made/declared righteous, and depending on the context the difference can be negligible.
The New Testament echoes that Christ is the “Holy and Righteous One” (a) but of mankind the NT says, “none is righteous, no, not one; . . . no one does good, not even one” (b). Therefore Christ alone is “the Righteous [one] for the unrighteous [ones]” (c) since “by the righteousness of our God and/coupled Savior Jesus Christ” (d) therefore “One Act of righteousness [by Christ’s death] leads to righteousness and zoe genuine-life for ALL men, . . . so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made/declared righteous (a)” (e), because “for our sake God made Christ to become sin who knew no sin, so that [located] IN Christ we might become the righteousness of God” (f). There are 2 possible sources/ways of righteousness – one outside of Christ (Law) and one INside Christ. <Notes> a) daikoo: is used for both legal justification or made/declared righteous, and depending on the context the difference can be negligible, b) Acts 3:14, 4:27, 30, 7:52, 22:14; Mark 1:24; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:1, 3:7, c) Romans 3:10-12 citing Psalms 14:1-3, 53:1-3, d) 1 Peter 3:18, e) 2 Peter 1:1, f) Romans 5:18-19, g) 2 Corinthians 5:21.
The New Testament’s logos gospel message makes it clear where righteousness comes from: “The righteousness of God is revealed (a) – from [one step of] trusting-relying-faith to [another step of] trusting-relying-faith” (b), “manifested apart from the Law, although the Law and Prophets bear witness/testify to it – the righteousness of God through trusting-relying-faith IN Jesus Christ for all who have trusting-relying-faith . . . made/declared righteous (c) by His unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace as a free grace-gift, thru-the-realizing-channel-of the redemption (d) that is by the means of Christ Jesus, whom God publicly displayed at His death [to be] a propitiation (e) thru-the-realizing-channel-of trusting-relying-faith by the means of His blood toward-reaching demonstrable-proof of His righteousness thru-the-realizing-channel-of the remission of sins . . . that God might be just/righteous (c) and the justifier/righteous-maker (c) of the one who has trusting-relying-faith in Jesus” (f), just like with Abraham, having “trusting-relying-faith counted/credited to us as righteousness as well . . .the righteousness of trusting-relying-faith . . . a righteousness that is by trusting-relying-faith . . . the righteousness based on trusting-relying-faith” (g), “absolutely in fact not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through trusting-relying-faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that relies on trusting-relying-faith” (h), “the righteousness that comes by trusting-relying-faith” (i). You would think after the NT says it so many times Christians would believe it, but many don’t, so they go back to at least 1 of the 613 OT commandments or start making up their own by converting teachings into entole commandments.
<Notes> a) uncovered from being hidden, b) a common Greek idiom meaning step by step to the end: Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38 – see Obedient Steps of Faith page, c) daikoo: is used for both legal justification or made/declared righteous, and depending on the context the difference can be negligible, d) by ransom payment, e) There are 2 Greek NT nouns hilasterion or hilasmos and 1 verb hilaskomai that speak of a divine “propitiation” or “substitutional atonement” that is an exchange of our unrighteousness for Christ’s righteousness by the death and resurrection of Jesus, f) Romans 3:21-22, 26, g) Romans 4:9, 11, 13, 22, 9:30, 10:6, h) Philippians 3:9, i) Hebrews 11:7.
As Christian musicians, why are we still trying to be like the world’s religions, even the OT one, that always have commandments to obey in order to be “pleasing and right with God?” Jesus came to do away with religion, to restore us back to relationship with God, by His one act of obedience, by His righteousness. The only thing we can do, the only commandment in the NT to be saved is to totally surrender to Christ as Lord by having trusting-relying-faith in Him. That is the gospel! See Logos Word of God – BT15. To do any other commandment for God obligates you to ALL of them – you can’t cherry pick. By the Law absolutely no one will be found righteous. Christ is the only Way to the Father.
Lord, thank You Jesus wiped all the commandments, nailing them ALL to the cross, so now we are made righteous and justified by our trusting-relying-faith in Your perfect, completed work on the cross. We have totally surrendered, repented, and publicly confessed our sins at our water-baptism for salvation. Now we live only 1 other commandment as saved Christians, your completely-different-in-kind New Commandment to unconditionally-love one another just the way you did. It’s that simple – see Logos Word of God – BT16.
Spiritual Education, You can’t use a measuring stick of obedience to determine if you’re right and pleasing with God, a measuring stick is the righteousness of the Law, Righteousness is by grace through faith in Christ’s obedience, obeying 1 part of law obligates you to keep it all – you can’t cherry pick, Law keepers are severed from Christ’s grace, the gospel doesn’t preach any part of the Law, Righteousness comes from Christ not us