(Part Four of a Five Part Series)
To those who slumber in this day.
“Hearken unto me, my people;
and give ear unto me, O my nation:
for a law shall proceed from me,
and I will make my judgment to rest
for a light of the people.
My righteousness is near;
my salvation is gone forth,
and mine arms shall judge the people;
the isles shall wait upon me,
and on mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look upon the earth beneath:
for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke,
and the earth shall wax old like a garment,
and they that dwell therein
shall die in like manner:
but my salvation shall be forever,
and my righteousness shall not be abolished”
The literal translation of Isaiah 51:4 is “…For a law from Me shall go out…” (in other words this is the law of His own being; it proceeds out from Him to His own). The people being addressed here are satisfied with a declared righteousness. Overcoming, victory over sin and growth in righteousness are not elements of their everyday life. They have settled into a religious experience which is uneventful and static. The Lord is here proclaiming to them that there is A LAW going forth from HIM; a law of life that saves us from the law of “sin and death”. This LAW is the basis of the New Covenant and it speaks of something far greater than a legal righteousness. It has come to free us to live and dwell within the life and power of the SON! As the scriptures declare…”That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).
We are struck with the power of these two laws; the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39) and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. These are two distinct LAWS that govern the ministration of the two covenants which God made with HIS people. Both are clearly mentioned in the Old and New Testaments for us to see and be instructed. In the Old Testament we first see the giving of the LAW (torah) at Mount Sinai, and later we see the promises of God pointing to a LAW (torah) that would go forth from Mount Zion. Paul clearly refers to these in the letter to the Galatians as does the writer of Hebrews…
THE FIRST LAW
“…which things are symbolic.
For these are the two covenants:
the one from Mount Sinai
which gives birth to bondage,
which is Hagar
for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia,
and corresponds to Jerusalem
which now is,
and is in bondage with her children—
but the Jerusalem above is free,
which is the mother of us all”
GALATIANS 4:24 – 26
THE SECOND LAW
“But you have come to Mount Zion
and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem”
These LAWS govern the scope and the relationship of these Covenants. They set out the WAY of approach to the Almighty God and the context in which HIS blessings are to be received unto the purpose of God restoring fallen man unto righteousness.
“For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by the which we draw nigh unto God”.
The Law that goes out from Mount Zion is a Law of Life and Divine Enablement. It is a Law that is the governing principle of the New Covenant. It is the LAW that separates between the living and the dead; a law that can only function, govern and be active within the lives of those who have the Life and Power of the SON by faith. This law cannot be known apart from the SON for it is the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”!
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law
might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit”
ROMANS 8:2 – 4
The LAW OF the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus HAS been given; given so that we may walk in the righteousness of God in this world because we walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
This “HEARKEN” is written to people who cling to their “rights” to live as they please and to hold on to the sins of the flesh; after all (so it is reasoned) they are now under grace. This HEARKEN is spoken to people who must be reminded that “His salvation has gone forth” (freedom from sin) and “that His arms shall judge the people”! These are people who believe that they are no longer responsible for the consequences of their choices or their actions. This is the “Religion” of our day and the reason the World has seen so little light. It is the reason that the church has so many defeated Christians.
This “HEARKEN” is written to a people who need to be exhorted to “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath”. They are being reminded that they are “seated with Christ in heavenly places” and that they are to “seek the things above” not the things of the earth. They are reminded here that “the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner”. It is a sobering word given in a sobering time.
In Romans 7, Paul describes the Christian Life lived without the POWER of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus,
“For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice;
but what I hate, that I do.
If, then, I do what I will not to do,
I agree with the law that it is good.
But now, it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me
(that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;
for to will is present with me,
but how to perform what is good I do not find.
For the good that I will to do,
I do not do; but the evil I will not to do,
that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do,
it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me,
the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God
according to the inward man.
But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!“
ROMANS 7:14 – 25
(Romans 8 is God’s answer to Romans 7!)
This LAW that governs the life and reality of the New Covenant is available to the people of God by Faith. Not a faith that is in word but a faith that produces the deeds, the life and the reality. Paul, caught up in the apprehension of the fullness of this LIFE, spent his life in the pursuit, apprehension and the power of THIS law of life in Christ Jesus.
Let us take note of His admonition to us to live and walk in the LAW of Life in Christ Jesus. This is the LAW that is going forth from Mount Zion the heavenly Jerusalem (where the King of kings reigns). Let us give heed to live by the wonder of the LAW of HIS LIFE.
“For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace…
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live”