Failing the New Covenant

Those so-called Christians who try to enforce righteousness on unbelievers is the main reason I wrote my recent post about the Two Kingdoms. The Law (Mosaic Old Covenant) wasn’t effective in itself to produce godliness. God’s Law was a spotlight to expose unrighteousness so that the conscious-stricken petitioner would make use of the remedy of sacrifice. The book of Hebrews makes the same case: The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God (Heb. 7.18-19 NIV). This is the reason The New Covenant was promised in Jer. 31.31-34. No one can be redeemed unless they first recognize the depth and seriousness of personal sin.

It’s striking how some Christians more resemble Pharisees with their punctilious observances and heavy-handed censure of their targeted opponents than Jesus and Paul. Rom. 2.14-15 makes my argument for me. Though several viewpoints exist as to whom Rom. 2.14-15 references (I held a divergent view, initially), in the end, it can only refer to the redeemed: (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) (NIV). This parenthetical of Paul’s argument is against a judgmental Jew who wanted to impose the Law upon new Gentile believers (see vss. 17ff.). Rom. 2.14-15 is the explanatory glue holding chapter two together and greatly contributes to the letter’s theme of spiritual transformation by faith.

Here is a report and protest about a recent debate focused on the issue of how to translate righteousness to greater society.

A Response to Brad Littlejohn on Religious Liberty — Ad Fontes

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