Jesus, The Law, and The Holy Spirit!

by Rick

We have been in this series, learning from the life of Jesus, for a few months, and we are now just a couple of weeks away from Resurrection Sunday.  I have been sharing messages with you about the importance of the cross and how Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection changed everything!  Today’s message will flow in that same vein.  

Before I get into the teaching this morning, I want to thank you for your feedback.  The outpour of love I have received from this series has been a true blessing.  Someone shared with me, as a result of yesterday’s message, that these messages have changed their life.  I cannot tell you how humbled and thankful I am that God has called me to do this.  I do what I do by His grace and for His glory.  I am, like those that I preach about, a grace case.  I am who I am and what I am by the grace of God, and my desire is to ensure the grace of God on my life shall not be in vain.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  The Law was a guardian designed to protect you until Jesus came.

Let’s look at Galatians chapter 3:23-29.  

Paul said, “Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the Law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The Law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the Law as our guardian.” The Law was like a tutor, or a nanny, that protected God’s followers by warning them what NOT to do. But simply telling me what NOT to do does not really help me understand what I SHOULD be doing. That is the role of the Holy Spirit.  

Paul continues, “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.”  

a) Paul called The Law of Moses a guardian or tutor. This guardian or tutor was designed to “protect” believers until Jesus came. It was not the ultimate solution.

b) The guardian of The Law protected God’s people by telling them what NOT to do. But it never empowered them to do what God wanted them to do, nor did it give Old Covenant believers access to the supernatural. It was okay, and it served its purpose, but it was not God’s best.  

c) Once Jesus came, Paul said, “we no longer need the law as our guardian,” and we are now able to live a life of faith. Through faith in Jesus, we have access to the supernatural. This is God’s best. Once we are Born-Again, the supernatural is now natural to us. 

d) Jesus gave us access to the Holy Spirit. Like The Law, the Holy Spirit will tell us what NOT to do. But unlike the Law, the Holy Spirit will also tell us what TO DO in order to maximize our purpose and potential in life.

e) When we accepted Jesus as Lord, we were baptized into Christ, and Paul says it is like, “putting on new clothes.” While the Old Covenant was external and it could never really change you, on the inside, the New Covenant changes you from the inside-out. When you are in-Christ, and Christ is in-you, you are Born-Again, and all things are new.

f) The Old Covenant was limited to the descendants of Abraham, and the culture favored men. Under the Old Covenant, women and Gentiles were treated as second-class citizens. However, the New Covenant is open to all people, regardless of race or gender. Blacks and Whites, Hispanics and Asians, Catholics and Baptists, Pentecostals and Protestants, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.  

Once you are filled with God’s Spirit, there is nothing you can’t do. Because there is nothing God can’t do, and He is living inside of you. At this point, your life is not about a set of rules that tell you what you should not do. Once you are filled with God’s Spirit, you are to be led of the Holy Spirit in all things. He will tell you what to do and not to do. He will tell you where to go and what to do when you get there. He will give you wisdom that exceeds your education and experience. He will give you favor with men, so people will go out of their way to help you in ways you cannot help yourself.  

Simply put, once you are Born-Again, it’s a whole new world! All bets are off! All limits are gone! All things are new! Your life is not about a list of “thou shalt nots.” Instead, your life is about the reality that you can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who gives you the grace to do what you could never do without Him! Please open your heart to this reality. This is the power of the New Covenant Jesus died to usher you into!     

2.  The Law can be like an infection in your belief system.

(Galatians 5:6-9 The Passion Translation)  

6 When you’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.

7 Before you were led astray, you were so faithful to Messiah. Why have you now turned away from what is right and true? Who has deceived you?

8 The One who enfolded you into his grace is not behind this false teaching that you’ve embraced. Not at all! 

9 Don’t you know that when you allow even a little lie into your heart, it can permeate your entire belief system?

Another translation of verse 9 reads, “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 

a) The Apostle Paul visited southern Galatia on his first missionary journey (Acts 13–14). Scholars date the trip early in his ministry, around 47–48 AD. Paul preached the Gospel of God’s grace during his trips, and as a result, churches were planted everywhere he went. Years later, he wrote to the Galatians, clearly frustrated with the fact that they had allowed Jewish converts to Christianity (like he was) to add The Law to grace. He told them clearly, ‘When you’re placed into the Anointed One [Chrst Jesus] and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.” (Gal 5:6). Paul says that by adding performance-based religion to the grace Jesus provided, the Galatians were “deceived” and “led astray.” The sad truth is that today, many Christians are in the same boat thousands of years later. They have added religious requirements to God’s grace as conditions for righteousness. As if you could ever be righteous by works. Please don’t be deceived like the Galatians were. If you are Born-Again, you are righteous. But you are not righteous because of what you do or fail to do. You are only righteous because of what Jesus did. You are righteous by faith, and your faith accesses God’s grace.

b) The Apostle Paul said, “The One who enfolded you into his grace is not behind this false teaching that you’ve embraced. Not at all!” (Gal 5:8). The false teaching Paul is talking about is adding works to grace as a requirement for righteousness. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he explained this clearly. He drove home the point that God’s grace is a gift. You cannot work for a gift. All you can do with a gift is receive it. If you try to work for it, then the gift is no longer a gift. At that point, it becomes payment for your effort. Paul said it this way, “And since it is by God’s grace, it can’t be a matter of their good works; otherwise, it wouldn’t be a gift of grace, but earned by human effort.” (Romans 11:6). Going back to Galatians, Paul was upset that someone had convinced the Galatians to mix God’s grace with human effort. This mixture is dangerous because it can contaminate your entire belief system. Paul went on to say, “Don’t you know that when you allow even a little lie into your heart, it can permeate your entire belief system?” (Gal 5:9). Just like a little yeast works itself through an entire batch of dough, a little lie, or a little deception, can work its way through your entire belief system. Before you know it, you won’t look in the mirror and see yourself as righteous because of what Jesus did. You will start seeing yourself as righteous because of what you do. This is self-righteousness. Or even worse, you will allow the level of your faith towards God to be contingent upon your perceived goodness towards Him. Meaning that if you perform good, you will expect good. But if you perform bad, you will expect bad. If you get to the point where you believe this way, then Jesus means nothing to you. You have made Jesus irrelevant! You are living no different than the Old Covenant believers who lived before Jesus came. You are living by works, not by faith in God’s grace. Please don’t let this be you.

3.  Jesus died to restore the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is the key!

Let’s look at Galatians 5:18 from several translations.

(Galatians 5:18 Easy to Read Version)  

“But if you let the Spirit lead you, you are not under law.”

(Galatians 5:18 New Living Translation)  

“But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.”

(Galatians 5:18 The Passion Translation)  

“But when you are brought into the full freedom of the Spirit of grace, you will no longer be living under the domination of the law, but soaring above it!”

(Galatians 5:18 Amplified Bible)  

“But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.”

a) The Bible says, in no unclear terms, that once you are led by the Holy Spirit (meaning that you are Born-Again, God’s Spirit is IN you, and you are actually allowing Him to lead you in all things), you are not under obligation to the Law of Moses. These are not my words. They are God’s words, penned by the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Himself. You can argue against it. You can reject what the Bible says, even though it is written in plain English. But what you can’t do is change what God said. If you are led by God’s Spirit, you are NOT under The Law. Period.

b) We already learned that The Law of Moses was given as a tutor (Gal 3:24). It served as a guardian until Jesus came. Once Jesus came and ushered us into the New Covenant, we no longer needed a tutor or a guardian. Our Heavenly Father Himself, in the form of His Spirit, lives inside of us. Please allow Him to lead you. This is how we get to live like Jesus lived in this world. This is how we become human conduits of the divine. This is how we get to the point where people come in contact with God Himself when they come in contact with us. And that’s the goal!

c) I sometimes provide you macro views of the Bible because sometimes you don’t get a clear picture until you “zoom out.” I will do that again here.

Here is a breakdown:

God created Adam in His image. He placed His Spirit down inside of Adam. Adam was given divine authority and power. He was created to rule and dominate this planet. To ensure Adam had the freedom to make his own decisions, Adam was given one rule. Guess what? He broke that rule. As a result, sin and death were introduced into the world. Adam was kicked out of the Garden, and every human being born after Adam was born in sin and shapen in iniquity. Billions and billions of people were made sinners because of one man.

God then chose to bless Abraham. God did not give Abraham any rules. Had God given Abraham even one rule, he would have surely broken it. Because we, as humans, are not perfect. Since we are all born with the nature of Adam, we are born as rule-breakers. You don’t have to teach a baby to lie or to say “no.” We are all born that way.

430 years after Abraham, God gave The Law to Moses. There were 10 commandments written on tablets of stone and 603 more commandments. These rules were NOT designed to make men right. Rules cannot make you right. They can only show you when you are wrong. These rules were designed to prove to man that we need a Savior. That Savior came. His name is Jesus. He saved us from our sin. He delivered us OUT OF everything Adam got us INTO.

Jesus restored us to the fellowship and intimacy Adam had with God the Father in the Garden. Like Adam, Jesus walked around with the Holy Spirit inside of Him. Jesus did not focus on rules. He only said what He heard the Father say. He only did what He saw (by revelation) the Father do. Adam (before the fall) and Jesus (in the New Testament) were not rule-based. They were both spirit-based. This is how we are supposed to live today.

The Bible tells us that if we are led by the Holy Spirit, we are NOT under the bondage associated with The Law of Moses. Like Jesus, you can now be led by the Holy Spirit every day, in every way. This is how we are supposed to live. This is the gospel. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. This is the only way you will ever become the man/woman you were born to be. Living led by God’s Spirit, empowered by His grace, and doing all you do for His glory!  

Please remember this on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday because that is what we celebrate Jesus for. And then remember it every day of your life, so you can become the man/woman you were born to be, by God’s grace and for His glory!

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, I thank you for taking the time to teach me Your Word.  Your Word changes the way I think, feel and make decisions.  Your Word changes me from the inside-out.  My mind is being renewed daily through Your Word.  I learned today that the Law was given to be like a guardian, to protect Your Old Covenant followers, until Jesus came.  The Law of Moses was limited, but the New Covenant of Grace is not.  

Under the New Covenant, I have been Born-Again by Your Holy Spirit.  Your Holy Spirit now lives in me 24x7x365.  Your Spirit lives inside of me like it did in Adam, before the fall, and in Jesus while He was on the earth.  So I don’t need an external set of rules to guide me.  Your Spirit, who lives in me, guides me every day in every way.  

Your Spirit, who lives inside of me, gives me access to Your wisdom, favor, and supernatural power.  Additionally, I have put on Christ, and it was like putting on new clothes.  I am different.  I have been changed.  I have been made new.  I am in Christ, Christ is in me, and I will never be the same!  This is how I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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