What is different under the New Covenant, is that we are to follow Jesus Christ daily in a relationship now available with God our heavenly Father, through the power and enablement of the Holy Spirit. We are no longer to order our behavior under the system and knowledge of the Law. “Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the Law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:4). “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” (Rom. 8:3-4). This makes it clear that just knowing what to do and not to do, couldn’t give God’s people the power to do it. The flesh was the only power source which His people could draw from under this system. And the flesh (your intellect, education, talents, abilities and willpower) is weak. The flesh is unable to yield the results for anyone not to be dominated by the power of sin (Rom. 8:3). The Law is like a speed limit sign. It informs you not to drive over a certain mph., but does not provide you with any power or change of desire in your heart not to break this commandment.
That is why living under “Law” never could effect the inward condition of mankind’s heart. In the Bible, the term “Law” refers to the civil, ceremonial and moral aspects of the Old Covenant given under Moses’ leadership. Under the Old Covenant God’s people were to live their lives within the framework of Law. If they did, they would be blessed. If they operated outside of His laws, they would be cursed. But, we must notice in reading the Old Testament that God wasn’t waiting to curse His people the moment they messed up. In fact, He put up with gross idolatry and sin for decades at times before He would chastise them. And, He never disciplined His people before sending them a prophet to warn and encourage them to repent. And if they would repent, judgment would not come. God is never wanting to judge people according to their sins. He always desires to give mercy and grace. But if they won’t repent and accept His free gift of salvation by Faith, He has no choice but to judge them.
Law also refers to a system of living under the Old Covenant. The New Covenant believers had to constantly be warned not to fall back into this mindset. Under the Old Covenant, the children of Israel were told what the right thing and the wrong thing looked like concerning their behavior. The Ten Commandments and the other laws on how to conduct business and operate in daily life were given to help them. And, they were to try and do the “right thing”. But this knowledge was not the means of their redemption. There was something they were still missing. They knew who the One True God was. They knew what good behavior did and didn’t look like. But, they didn’t posses the power or strength to live it out in their daily lives. They could keep the moral laws up to a point, but they would continually fail to do everything that was right all the time. The sin nature still held them captive in their minds and heart.
It should be noticed that God’s solution for sin is not just a “one time event”. It definitely has a beginning when one first Believes and becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. But God did not eradicate the sin nature from within your mortal body. He never promised He would always shield you from the Devil’s attacks. God doesn’t automatically empower us to live a victorious life over the flesh, the sin nature and the Devil. If that were true, our flesh would never have sinful desires. If He did automatically strengthened us, christians would rarely sin. Although it is not automatic, God does desire to dispense His grace, goodness and enablement to all of His children. Why He allows problems to be present in our lives will be discussed later. But the Bible says, mankind’s redemption is a continual process with continuing benefits.
God’s solution was to make individuals spiritually alive unto Him, have an ongoing relationship with them and then strengthen them daily with His power to live free from sin’s dominance in their flesh until they receive their new glorified body that doesn’t have a sin nature (John 3:3, Heb. 10:14-22, Rom. 6:14, 1 Cor. 15:42-46,53-54). All this would come by grace, meaning we never can earn it or get to the place where we deserve it. Grace is simply the goodness of God given to underserving humanity. Without His grace, mankind could not receive anything from God, but punishment. However, God doesn’t want to punish us. He wants to give us love and blessings and redemption (2 Pet. 3:9). It is God’s will that Believers continue to experience the benefits of their redemption. But, the flow of grace can be hindered by Believers. It is not automatic. We can frustrate (hinder receiving) the grace of God by living according to the system of law. By relying on our flesh to be the means by which freedom from sin can be achieved. Paul said, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21). The price of this redemption has already been paid. The ONLY requirement to receive these benefits is not in what you do, but according to your Faith (reliance, trust and dependence) in what God has already done by allowing His Son to go to The Cross for you.