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Pointers along the way #47

The new testament way of life
- Jacob Ninan

One essential difference between the way of life in the old and new testaments (not the books but the covenants) is how we obey God. The old covenant gave a list of commandments which had to be obeyed, and whenever there was need for further explanations the people could go to the priests or the prophets. What is the difference in the new covenant? Is it that we have been given more number of commandments or a higher standard?

The difference is that in the Old Testament people obeyed a set of commandments, and in the New Testament we obey a Person. Another difference is that in the Old Testament people obeyed because they were afraid of the punishment for disobedience or because they wanted the rewards of obedience, but in the New Testament we obey because we love Jesus who has given Himself for us (1Jn.4:19:Jn.14:15).

The Bible says that God has not left us with laws or commandments but given us Someone who will be with us forever (Ro.7:4). In other words, we don't have to mechanically refer to the book of the law and see what we should do, but we can turn to Jesus and ask Him, "What do You want me to do, Lord?"

When Jesus went up to heaven, He sent us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Helper who would be with us forever (Jn.14:16). He will lead us into all the truth, and bring to our mind what we have learned earlier (Jn.16:13;14:26). He will not only tell us 'the truth,' but He will do it with compassion, understanding and encouragement.

If we seek Him and listen to Him, we will also grow in our relationship with Him and experience the riches of His grace upon our lives in every way. Let us learn this way of life.

It is not that we don't need the Bible any more! The Holy Spirit teaches us His ways through the Bible which was inspired by Him in the first place. He makes the words come alive for us in the different situations. But it is no longer a cold dependence on the written word but a day by day relationship with the living God.