“Religion and legalistic Christianity are tools the enemy uses to limit the damage done to his kingdom by the finished work of Christ. He uses religion to keep people out of the Kingdom of God through the lie of works-based salvation. He uses legalistic Christianity to keep true Christians from being able to demonstrate and display to the world the glorious Gospel of grace, and thereby limiting the impact a transformed life should have on the world.” (Pure Grace, page 87-88)
The performance based approach in relating to God that is the hallmark of legalistic Christianity does not allow the glorious transformational work of the Holy Spirit to function properly. When one is always fearful that God is angry and disapproving, intimacy with Him is limited. Grace invites us to come boldly and without hesitation into God’s presence. It is there, in His presence, that we are transformed and matured. Legalism in all of its forms is a deadly deterrent to growing up in Christ and allowing love to regulate our lives. If I were the enemy, I would use the tactic of legalism too!
“Jesus kept the law and fulfilled its requirements for us. He did for me what I could not do for myself! This New Covenant is between God and His dear Son. Our part is to believe and receive what Jesus died to give.” (Pure Grace, page 77)
Since God’s grace is freely given, there are only two possible responses. One can reject grace or receive it. Grace cannot be earned; it is a gift. Therefore, to be possessed, it must be received. Receiving grace is impossible if one doesn’t believe it. Believe and receive! The New Covenant is massively important to all Believers but the practical benefits of this magnificent covenant are missed if one doesn’t believe it and receive it. I CANNOT EARN THE BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS OF THE NEW COVENANT!! Jesus “earned” the blessings for me and I honor Him by receiving what cost Him his life to give. When any Believer receives by faith what Jesus freely gives, he is blessed indeed!
“Our union with Christ and our free access to our Heavenly Father begins to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us. The New Covenant guarantees that God’s throne is a throne of grace and as we access His presence and continue to abide there, we are transformed into His image. If we will continue to “see” Him, we will become like Him. Human effort through law keeping will not produce Christ-likeness. The New Covenant will. ” (Pure Grace, page 75)
Maybe a better way to say it is that an understanding and belief that we (Believers) are recipients of the New Covenant by faith and that truth will produce Christ-likeness in us. Our understanding of the New Covenant is corrupted and made ineffective in our daily lives if the Old Covenant is mixed with it. THERE MUST BE NO MIXTURE OF THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW!! The New Covenant guarantees full and absolute access to our Heavenly Father and His presence is the dynamic that transforms us into His Image. “The letter kills but the Spirit brings life”.
“Jesus has perfected for all time those who have been made perfect. (Hebrews 10:14). Please don’t argue with God about this. Don’t allow the enemy and his agents to move you off this glorious truth regardless of how hard it is to believe. If you will accept the reality that you are fully sanctified and wholly acceptable to God without sin attached to you, a remarkable thing will slowly begin to happen. You begin to be transformed through the renewing of your mind into the image of God. Love begins to govern your life, love for God, love for yourself, and love for others. You begin to become who you were created to be. That is the power of the New Covenant at work in you. ” (Pure Grace, page 75)
“Jesus could offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice because He was perfect; and in the doing of that, we who believe have been perfected too!” (Pure Grace, pages 73-74)
One cannot be in union with a Holy God without being sanctified (made holy). Sanctification is not progressive as so many believe and teach. It is fully accomplished when one believes. Hebrews 10:14 clearly says “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified”. The blood of bulls and goats could never “take away” sins but only cover them. Because Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect, He accomplished the great and glorious miracle of taking away our sins and bringing us (believers) into union with God. When a believer sins, the sin is not “taken into account”. (Romans 4:8). We all are more blessed than we can possibly imagine!
“There are some who think of themselves as priestly caretakers of God’s children, but Jesus is the only High Priest. We don’t have either right nor authority to add our fleshly requirements and idiotic rules to the gloriously designed and perfectly performed covenant Jesus shed His blood to provide for us all. Some may think they are doing a great service to God’s people by amending the New Covenant to reflect their legalistic prejudice, but they need to think again. They are, in actuality, performing a great service for the enemies of Christ and His people. Bottom line–the New Covenant is perfect as it is” (Pure Grace, pages 73-74)
God knows what He is doing. The transformation into the image of Christ in practical ways that impacts daily living begins not with behavior modification or sin management techniques, but with the knowledge that Jesus is the perfect mediator of a New Covenant that is based on His performance not ours. The truth is what sets Believers free to be what Jesus died to make them.
“Any attempt to add human performance to the New Covenant must always be confronted aggressively and resisted with determination.” (Pure Grace, page 73)
The New Covenant is to Believers what the constitution is to the USA but more so! It is the basis on which we stand before our Holy God. Believers are in union with God and the New Covenant is the guarantee that this remarkable truth will never change! To add human performance to the New Covenant is to disavow and cheapen this most holy and immutable reality. The primary method of religious attack against the New Covenant is adding mixture of human performance to this wholly God performed Covenant. The Old Covenant has “passed away” and must never be resurrected and mixed with the new. We must defend and proclaim the New without mixture of the old!
“He died to give us all the benefits and blessings of this perfectly performed and executed covenant. We must never allow religionists and legalists to tag on addendums of human performance to this divine contract.” (Pure Grace, pages 72-73)
This statement is a reference to the New Covenant that Jesus mediated for us. It is a “Divine” covenant in that it is established between our Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son! Jesus performed the will of God by being born under the law and keeping the law perfectly. He then shed His blood to ratify the covenant, doing away with the old and establishing the New. This covenant is perfect and cannot be improved upon. It is also permanent and will never pass away. Believers receive the extravagant promises of the New Covenant by faith and faith alone! To add human performance to the covenant is heretical and demonic and results in grotesque bondage. I pray you will never allow anyone to add to this Divinely executed and perfectly performed covenant!
“The writer of Hebrews, or anyone else for that matter, did not have the capacity to express how much better the promises of the New Covenant are to us! This New Covenant is almost beyond belief, and is so good and thorough, that many stumble over its promises and won’t allow themselves to receive the full measure of its provisions” (Pure Grace Page 72)
This quote is referencing the statement in Hebrews that the New Covenant is based on better promises than the Old Covenant. This is an understatement of monumental proportions! The promises of the new are almost unbelievably better than the old! The New Covenant is based on the performance of Jesus and promises us eternal life. It is a covenant between our Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son that we access by faith. The greatest promise of the New Covenant is that we who believe are sons and daughters of God and absolutely nothing can change that fact! The New Covenant is our source of security and the basis of our eternal hope. It is unchangeable, immutable, and absolutely perfect in its design. It is the foundation on which all Believers stand and it is unshakeable. Welcome to the NEW!
“We all have access to God provided by Christ our High Priest in the same measure that He does! There is no “cleaning ourselves up” before we enter His presence or come before His throne. Jesus has already “cleaned us up” to the point of perfection. Nothing we can do will add anything to that finished work. ” (Pure Grace Page 71)
It is important to remember what it takes to have “access” to God. Only those who are without any sin attached can be in union with Him! That is precisely why God had to remove our sin from us; why Christ “took our sins away”. Access to God, for the Believer, is fully available and never restricted in ANY measure for ANY reason! The erroneous religious idea that God withdraws from Believers if they have “unconfessed” sin in their lives is a lie that corrupts the glorious gospel. The devil must rejoice over such nonsense. COME BOLDLY BEFORE HIS THRONE!