Most Christians have a good understanding of both the Old and New Covenants, but some assume, that under the New Law of grace, they are now free of any responsibility.
Although we receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, our Christian liberty does not include the right to deliberately, or carelessly live a life of sin. Just the opposite, the Christian is to attempt to live a life that resembles Jesus.
The Apostle Paul was speaking to Christians when he said,
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual
immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because
of these, the wrath of God is coming," (Col 3:5-7).
"You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips."
Since Jesus Died for Our sins, we are no longer required to keep the Old Testament laws as a way to go to Heaven, but in general, the things that were sins in the Old Covenant, for instance the ones listed in the "Ten Commandments," are still sins.
In John 8:3-11 the Pharisees brought an adulteress woman to Jesus who, according to the Old Testament Law, deserved to die. Although Jesus did not condemn the woman to death, neither did He say to her "you have done no wrong;" nor did He say, "now that I am here what you have done is no longer a sin." He confirmed her sin by saying to her, "go and sin no more."
The adulteress woman had committed a sin that demanded the death penalty. She knew it, the ones who had brought her to Jesus knew it, and most certainly, Jesus knew it. However, Jesus, being God, had the authority to forgive her sins, which He did.
This was a Law of God, and like the laws controlling the universe, even the rising and setting of the sun, it was a law that had to be fulfilled.
A short time later Jesus fulfilled the Law on her behalf by dying
on the cross in her place. Not only did He die for her sin, but for the sins of
all who would believe in Him.
God's people are no longer required to observe the laws, rules, or rituals of the "Old Covenant" as a Way to Enter into Heaven, and it is impossible, by their own power, to live good enough to enter. Entry into Heaven is only through belief and faith in Jesus.
Law of the Spirit: "...through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom 8:2)
Eph 2:8-9 says it so well, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."
“If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15)
Christians obey the commandments, not as a way to enter heaven, but out of love, reverence, and respect for their Savior, and because it was His commandment! According to the above scripture, our striving to live moral and pure lives, is an indication of our love, faith, and devotion to Him.
Since the Holy Spirit now lives within each and every born again believer, to guide, comfort and instruct, Christians should be able to live even more morally than the people in the Old Testament.
In His Great Intercessory Prayer, Jesus had just finished praying for the
disciples, and was now praying for those in the future who would believe in Him, because of
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us...,"
We enter into the New Covenant by believing in and accepting Jesus as our Savior, God then accepts Jesus death as payment for our sins. He then sees us as He does Jesus, perfect, without sin or blemish.
The only way to enter into God's presence is through Jesus. When Jesus was crucified, the veil of the temple separating the "Most Holy Place," representing the very presence of God, was torn from top to bottom, signifying the end of the separation of God and man.
Jesus death on the cross makes it possible for our spirit, joined with His, to enter into the very presence of God, a place so beautiful and glorious that it is beyond man's ability to imagine, and too wonderful for words to illustrate.
Some day we will be there, but even now, through the Spirit, and because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can enter His presence and commune with Him, call Him "Father" and, along with our petitions, offer our adoration and praise.
Through the New Covenant, we can place our faith in Christ and become one of God's children; and, one day we will be welcomed home to spend eternity with our Savior!
Samuel L Mills