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BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 158
Australia

 A New Covenant of Grace


From Andrew Murray’s book “The Two Covenants”:

Chapter 14

The New Covenant: A Covenant of Grace

"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."—Rom. vi. 14.

The words, Covenant of grace, though not found in Scripture, are the correct expression of the truth it abundantly teaches, that the contrast between the two covenants is none other than that of law and grace. Of the New Covenant, grace is the great characteristic: "The law came in, that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly" (Rom. 5:20).It is to bring the Romans away entirely from under the Old Covenant, and to teach them their place in the New, that Paul writes: "Ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14). And he assures them that if they believe this, and live in it, their experience would confirm God's promise: "Sin shall not have dominion over you." What the law could not do—give deliverance from the power of sin over us—grace would effect. The New Covenant was entirely a Covenant of grace. In the wonderful grace of God it had its origin; it was meant to be a manifestation of the riches and the glory of that grace; of grace, and by grace working in us, all its promises can be fulfilled and experienced.

The word grace, is used in two senses. It is first the gracious disposition in God which moves Him to love us freely without our merit, and to bestow all His blessings upon us. Then it also means that power which this grace bestows upon us to work in us. The redeeming work of Christ, and the righteousness He won for us, equally with the work of the Spirit in us, as the power of the new life, are spoken of as Grace. It includes all that Christ has done and still does, all He has and gives, all He is for us and in us. John says, "We beheld His glory, the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). "The law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (1:17). "And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace"(1:16). What the law demands, grace supplies.

The contrast which John pointed out is expounded by Paul: "The law came in, that the offence might abound" (Rom. 5:20) and the way be prepared for the abounding of grace more exceedingly. The law points the way, but gives no strength to walk in it. The law demands, but makes no provision for its demands being met. The law burdens and condemns and slays. It can waken desire, but not satisfy it. It can rouse to effort, but not secure success. It can appeal to motives, but gives no inward power beyond what man himself has. And so, while warring against sin, it became its very ally in giving the sinner over to a hopeless condemnation. "The strength of sin is the law" (1 Cor. 15:56).

To deliver us from the bondage and the dominion of sin, grace came by Jesus Christ. Its work is twofold. Its exceeding abundance is seen in the free and full pardon there is of all transgression, in the bestowal of a perfect righteousness, and in the acceptance into God's favour and friendship. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7). It is not only at conversion and our admittance into God's favour, but throughout all our life, at each step of our way, and amid the highest attainments of the most advanced saint; we owe everything to grace, and grace alone. The thought of merit and work and worthiness is for ever excluded.

The exceeding abundance of grace is equally seen in the work which the Holy Spirit every moment maintains within us. We have found that the central blessing of the New Covenant, flowing from Christ's redemption and the pardon of our sins, is the new heart in which God's law and fear and love have been put. It is in the fulfilment of this promise, in the maintenance of the heart in a state of fitness for God's indwelling, that the glory of grace is specially seen.

In the very nature of things this must be so. Paul writes: "Where sin abounded, grace did more exceedingly abound" (Rom. 5:20). And where, as far as I was concerned, did sin abound? All the sin in earth and hell could not harm me, were it not for its presence in my heart. It is there it has exercised its terrible dominion. And it is there the exceeding abundance of grace must be proved, if it is to benefit me. All grace in earth and heaven could not help me; it is only in the heart it can be received, and known, and enjoyed. "Where sin abounded," in the heart, there "grace did more exceedingly abound; that as sin reigned in death," working its destruction in the heart and life, "even so might grace reign," in the heart too, "through righteousness into eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:20-21). As had been said just before, "They that receive the abundance of grace shall reign in life through Jesus Christ" (5:17).

Of this reign of grace in the heart Scripture speaks wondrous things. Paul speaks of the grace that fitted him for his work, of "the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of His power" (Eph. 3:7). "The grace' of our Lord was exceeding abundant, with faith and love" (1 Tim. 1:14). "The grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain, but I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10). "He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). He speaks in the same way of grace as working in the life of believers, when he exhorts them to " be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" 2 Tim. 2:1); when he tells us of "the grace of God" exhibited in the liberality of the Macedonian Christians (see 2 Cor. 8:1-3), and "the exceeding grace of God" in the Corinthians; when he encourages them: "God is able to make all grace abound in you, that ye may abound unto every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8).

Grace is not only the power that moves the heart of God in its compassion towards us, when He acquits and accepts the sinner and makes him a child, but is equally the power that moves the heart of the saint, and provides it each moment with just the disposition and the power which it needs to love God and do His will.

It is impossible to speak too strongly of the need there is to know that, as wonderful and free and alone sufficient as is the grace that pardons, is the grace that sanctifies; we are just as absolutely dependent upon the latter as the former. We can do as little to the one as the other. The grace that works in us must as exclusively do all in us and through us as the grace that pardons does all for us. In the one case as the other, everything is by faith alone.

Not to apprehend this brings a double danger. On the one hand, people think that grace cannot be more exalted than in the bestowal of pardon on the vile and unworthy; and a secret feeling arises that, if God be so magnified by our sins more than anything else, we must not expect to be freed from them in this life. With many this cuts at the root of the life of true holiness. On the other hand, from not knowing that grace is always and alone to do all the work in our sanctification and fruit-bearing, men are thrown upon their own efforts, their life remains one of feebleness and bondage under the law, and they never yield themselves to let grace do all it would.

Let us listen to what God's Word says: "By grace have ye been saved, through faith; not of works, lest any man should glory. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).Grace stands in contrast to good works of our own not only before conversion, but after conversion too. We are created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God had prepared for us. It is grace alone can work them in us and work them out through us.

Not only the commencement but the continuance of the Christian life is the work of grace. "Now if it is by grace it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace; therefore it is of faith that it may be according to grace" (Rom. 11:6; 4:16). As we see that grace is literally and absolutely to do all in us, so that all our actions are the showing forth of grace in us, we shall consent to live the life of faith—a life in which, every moment, everything is expected from God. It is only then that we shall experience that sin shall not, never, not for a moment, have dominion over us.

"Ye are not under the law, but under grace." There are three possible lives. One entirely under the law; one entirely under grace; one a mixed life, partly law, partly grace. It is this last against which Paul warns the Romans. It is this which is so common, and works such ruin among Christians. Let us find out whether this is not our position, and the cause of our low state. Let us beseech God to open our eyes by the Holy Spirit to see that in the New Covenant everything, every movement, every moment of our Christian life, is of grace, abounding grace; grace abounding exceedingly, and working mightily. Let us believe that our Covenant God waits to cause all grace to abound toward us. And let us begin to live the life of faith that depends upon, and trusts in, and looks to, and ever waits for God, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, to work in us that which is pleasing in His sight.

Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied!


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Jade

 2016/11/28 3:39Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 774
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: A New Covenant of Grace

Dear sister,
Thank you for posting per my question in the other thread. Tho I was hoping to hear from you personally I accept that you allow Mr Murray to speak for you in your understanding of grace.

While I by no means want to cause you distress or offence, I strongly disagree with this presentation of the grace of God. Without starting an argument I'll just point out a few bibical truths... Firstly - God is the same and has not and will not change... (man divided up the Bible not God) the same God that gave us the law is the God of grace in fact it was an act of grace to even give us the law. The two are not in contrast but are in concert. Secondly - the scriptures, as Mr Murray points out, do not refer to the new covenant as the "covenant of grace" and that's because it would be not only misleading but inaccurate, otherwise God would have not withheld this from His beloved children. Thirdly - never not once does the scriptures say that grace is eternal and yet clearly declares that the law is eternal....yea even our Lord Himself declares it! In fact 1 John clearly states that if we say we love Him but don't keep the commandments we lie. Fourthly - Jesus Himself (according to scripture) didn't use the word grace even once! I bring this up not to thwart grace, God forbid, but to simply illustrate its role in our salvation. Jesus did however preach the law and repentance and He is our eternal life:) So (for me) the presentation of grace by Mr Murray could not possibly be fair and accurate as it seeks to frame the grace of God in a narrative that is incomplete and therefore false,... which the scriptures themselves clearly and repeatedly warn about.

Again dear sister, I mean no offense to you or anyone who may read these words tho I do hope you will pray and seek the Lord on this as I am confident that He, by His spirit, will bare witness to the truth.


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Fletcher

 2016/11/28 6:39Profile
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Joined: 2011/7/12
Posts: 2296


 Re: Flether

Brother respectfully I beg to differ with you. Our brother Andrew Murray has adequately summarized the contrast of the Old and the New Covenant. In my understanding of the New Testament I do not see a perpetuity of the law particularly in ruling the heart of the believer.

If anything the following scriptures teach that there is a distinction between the old and the new covenant. A distinction between law and Christ.

John 1:17

For the law was given through Moses, Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Romans 7:4

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the law through the body of Christ, so that we might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Romans 10:4

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Colossians 2:16-17

Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day - things which are a mere shadow of what is to come but the substance belongs to Christ.

There are other scriptures that I could bring the bear in this discussion. But the New Testament teaches that the believer is under a different Covenant. I would prefer to call it the New Covenant. The New Testament teaches that the believer under the new covenant is ruled by the Holy Spirit. He has not ruled by the law of Moses.

Galatians 5:18

For those who are led by the Spirit, are not under the Law.

Romans 8:1-5

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do weak as it was in the flesh, God did, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Brother as you say my intention is not to start an argument. But I am reasoning from the scriptures that we are under a new covenant. And that there is a distinction between the old and the new covenant. Brother Andrew Murray has quite adequately explained the distinctions. And those distinctions are borne out by the scriptures. Particularly the New Testament writings.

Again simply my thoughts respectfully submitted.

-bbs-





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Brother Blaine

 2016/11/28 7:20Profile
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 158
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 Re:


Fletcher,

So how do you become holy as God is holy?



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Jade

 2016/11/28 7:23Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1139
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Online!
 Re:

Surely the clue is in the title, 'A NEW covenant'.


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Dave

 2016/11/28 7:28Profile
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Joined: 2011/7/12
Posts: 2296


 Re: Jade

Sister I think the following verses below will answer your question,

Peter 1:13-16 (NASB)

13 Therefore, [a]prepare your minds for action, [b]keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely ON THE GRACE [c]to be brought to you AT THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. 14 As [d]obedient children, do not [e]be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but [f]like the Holy One who called you, [g]be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

In other words it is the grace of Jesus that makes us holy as God is Holy.

---CAPS for emphasis only---

-bbs-


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Brother Blaine

 2016/11/28 7:32Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1580
Alabama

 Re:

It is important to remember that both the law and grace reflect our God's nature. Grace does so more fully than the law. "For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:17. "We beheld his glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14. Jesus in the flesh is the fullest expression of God. "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" Hebrews 1:3.

The law is the schoolmaster of Israel to bring them to Jesus, keeping them even today in a tutelage and guardianship until all Israel shall be saved. Galatians 3:24, Romans 11:26. It works, too, as a mirror of the sinfulness of unbelieving Gentiles. Romans 3:19. All have sinned. Romans 3:23. Sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4.

It is the knowledge of the law that makes a man complete. It converts the soul. Psalm 19:7. How does the law of God act as the grace of God? By making me aware of my sin and bringing me to godly sorrow. Romans 3:20. Godly sorrow leads to repentance unto salvation. 2 Corinthians 7:10. It is the goodness, kindness and grace of God in this respect that leads me to Christ. Romans 2:4.

The law is the beginning of grace. Grace is the fulfillment and purpose of the law because law brings us to it. Romans 10:4. The law, if I am allowed to make the imperfect comparison, is like the tubes inside a plant stem that bring us from the miry clay to the flowery fruit of grace in Christ Jesus.

One plant, two components, neither without the other, one purpose, to bring us to the light of the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, and to hold us there until we be transformed into His image in the eschaton.


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Tim

 2016/11/28 7:49Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 774
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: sister Jade

Copied from the other thread;
"Whereas holiness and righteousness are eternal and are therefore more demanding of our attentiveness. Holiness is the result of righteousness, which is the result of obedience, which is the result of faith toward God which can't come without repentance. While it's true that grace enables to respond to the Lord, a person can be justified/forgiven but if there is no repentance then that person makes te grace of God of none effect and we ultimately fail the grace of God-which teaches us to live holy lives."


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Fletcher

 2016/11/28 8:02Profile
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 158
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 Re:


Thank you Dave. Exactly.


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Jade

 2016/11/28 8:18Profile
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 158
Australia

 Re:


Thank you Brother Blaine. Perfect answer.


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Jade

 2016/11/28 8:19Profile





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