Who Are You Intimate With?
As my last installment concerning the difference between obedience to the Old Covenant Law and New Covenant Grace I would like to relate a recent illustration that I think shows the difference perfectly. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine who is part of the “Messianic” Believers group here in prison was asked to give a brief teaching on the bread and cup.
Normally when men are asked to teach on The Supper, they immediately go to the Passover Meal. I understand the reason for that. It was this meal that Jesus transformed into the Lord’s Supper celebration, what some call Communion. In any case, my friend compared this meal to a marriage covenant. He said that this was how the Israelites viewed it. He brought in Hosea, Song of Solomon, and various other passages including parts of Jeremiah and Isaiah to show this.
I thought that this idea was exactly what Paul thought of when he wrote (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) the passage in Romans 6:14 through 7:4. It was exactly this chain of thought that Paul was talking about when he declared that we were freed from the Law when Jesus died and we are now married to Jesus.
I want you to think for a minute. If you are married (or dating someone) and all that they talked about was their old flame, how would that make you feel? Every restaurant they took you to, all they talked about was what they did in their last relationship. What if they always compared you to their past boyfriend or girlfriend? How would you feel? What would you think?
When a man marries a woman, the woman takes the man’s last name. It is a dedication to that new relationship. You are not “test driving” or “trying things out,” but you are committing yourself to a new life. There is no polygamy. There is no adultery. You are now husband and wife, as the traditional marriage vows say, “Until death do us part.”
In Romans, Paul states that you are either married to the one or you are married to the other. And, if you are married to the one and flirting with the other you are committing adultery. May I paraphrase that? You are either Joe “Keeper of the Law” or you are Joe “Follower of Jesus.” You cannot be both or you are committing adultery.
Are you married to Jesus or to Moses? Who you are intimate with is all important. The one who is intimate with Jesus will keep the spirit of the Law because Jesus gave it. It expresses his character. The one who is intimate with Moses can only try to keep the Law because there is no life in the Law of Moses. Even Jesus said in John 17:3 “This is eternal life that they may know you the only true God and His Son (Jesus) who you sent.”
So, do you intimately know Jesus? Or, do you intimately know Moses? Jesus is the answer for the world today, to coin a phrase from an old song.