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Msindisi Monthly #125

March 3, 2015

SALVADOR AND DIANNES MSINDISI MONTHLY

Number: 125          Mar 2015

 

P. O. Box 1481

Vryheid 3100

KwaZulu Natal

South Africa

 

+27 (0) 72 8311008

+27 (0) 72 3843786

 

Email: msindisi@gmail.com, salv.di@gmail.com

 

KwaZulu Mission Website: www.kwazulumission.com

 

KwaZulu Mission Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kwazulumission

 

 

 

This month has flown by so quickly but I guess that is not a surprise considering it is the shortest month of the year. We thank God for His faithfulness and guidance in our lives and for the love and support of his people in various ways. One of God’s answers to prayer has been in the form of Salvador’s parents visiting, John and Amelia Hayworth. They fly out tonight and will be landing tomorrow in South Africa. Salvador has been praying about this for two years. God’s timing is always perfect. We trust that this visit will be a blessing as they experience the ministry, relationships with believers and also see something of South Africa. It will be John’s birthday while they are here so we will treat him with a game drive at a local game reserve.

Ministering at the Care Bear Creche

Ministering at the Care Bear Creche

At the beginning of the month Salvador and Phumlani have continued the outreach in the new area of KwaBhekephi and there has been some positive response in the area. Apparently there are some brethren in this area that were saved in a tent ministry and have continued. There has been some gospel influence as one of the local Zionist churches have rejected ancestral traditions and are known to have done so by others in the area. One lady confessed to have decided to respond to the gospel message that we preached so we have started visiting her whenever we go to the area. But our heart is to start a bible study in this community and it seems that it may start in April. We would like to support those believers who are already in fellowship to help ground them in doctrine.

Phumlani Preaching

Phumlani Preaching

Phumlani preaching again

Phumlani preaching again

Kids under thorn tree while Phumlani preached

Kids under thorn tree while Phumlani preached

Playing hymns before preaching in KwaBhekephi

Playing hymns before preaching in KwaBhekephi

Salvador Preaching the Gospel

Salvador Preaching the Gospel

People listening to the gospel in the heat of the day

People listening to the gospel in the heat of the day

Cecil Peasley who was supposed to come out in the middle of the month had an accident and therefore was not able to come out. He is apparently okay but has had to remain in Gauteng for his recovery. So the gospel meetings were cancelled but Jannie, from Bethany Baptist church, did not want to cancel the outreaches to the prisons and the school. Therefore, he asked if Salvador would preach at the prison. On the one day Salvador addressed the women and the following day he addressed the men. The Gospel seemed well received by both but more response came from certain men. One particular gentleman wanted to seek God to gain liberty in his personal life and transformation. He was touched by personal testimony that Salvador gave of his uncle. Jannie received details of a couple of gentlemen and will follow up with preparing some literature that he can drop off for them at the prison.

Di washing clothes

Di washing clothes

The Zulu congregation continues as usual. Phumlani has been teaching some very good messages. He asked Salvador to preach this month, which he did on the darkness and the fire of God in light of Nadab and Abihu and their prefigurement of Messiah. Salvador also taught this at cell group whereas he has usually been continuing in his normal discourse concerning Elisha.

Animals at the Homestead

Animals at the Homestead

The kids club also continues. One Saturday we had it at our home and when the local children from our neighbours heard the singing they also came. Salvador did a teaching on the ten commandments and what they meant. These children are from different backgrounds. Some are Zionists who follow ancestral traditions and others follow a man called Shembe, whom they regard as the black messiah. So speaking against these things at such a young age is not the easiest thing, as they may well become confused by the contradiction but we trust the Lord will use it and we explain these things slowly, asking questions of the children.

Kids Club before class

Kids Club before class

Sabelo reads the bible

Sabelo reads the bible

Celani teaches kid's club

Celani teaches kid’s club

We came up to Gauteng a week early as there were several things needed to be accomplished. We are with our friends, Allen and Sue Wells and enjoying the time with them which does not come often. Salvador made use of the Wifi to upload all the remainder of the tutorial audios for the Zulu discipleship booklet. While here also we went to Pretoria, picked up our Portuguese marriage certificate and got it translated. It is so wonderful that our marriage is registered on some system on the earth, thus we have proof of marriage for the future. We went to a printing company in Pretoria also which New Tribes Mission are using to print their material. Salvador went through the entire book’s correction with Leizl. The poor girl was worked hard and therefore the company have printed out another copy for us to check again in order to make sure we have not missed anything. But we will be printing the Zulu discipleship books through this company. Though the initial cost is higher to get it set up it is half the price of printing each book through an online publishers. We thank the Lord for the recent support that is enabling us to get these books printed. On the same day we then visited John and Julie Leo in Kempton park before spending the evening with Tony and Maria Verlaan from New Tribes Mission and Sean and Catherine De Klerk. Sean is going through training to use NTM material and he and Catherine are great friends of ours.

Visiting Tony and Maria Verlaan with Sean and Catherine De Klerk

Visiting Tony and Maria Verlaan with Sean and Catherine De Klerk

Salvador met up with another brother called Tony and then we had a lovely visit from our friends Riaan and Debbie Roux. During the other days Salvador and Allen Wells have been working to assembly a pump shower that he will assemble on Friday morning when we get back home. On Saturday Salvador visited Mujuru and interviewed him concerning his salvation out of ancestral traditions and also the word of faith/prosperity teaching. If any of our South African readers know of anybody who have been saved out of these things, please write to us as we would like to interview them for a project to reach out to people involved in these things. Di has been cutting hair, helping out in the house here and has visited different craft and material stores and ministered to the children. On Sunday we visited “Bread of Life” assembly pastored by David Nathan and saw some older faces we knew from a few years ago. Wonderful to see the Lord working in their lives. A real encouragement. Today we visited the special needs home called Vita Nova that we used to minister in on a weekly basis when we lived in Gauteng. It was lovely to see many old friends and lead them in singing and bible teaching. Their website is www.vitanovacentre.co.za and we are thankful for the home that they give to people who have severe learning and physical difficulties. Sometimes these people are among the most neglected and unwanted in society but in this centre they have a sense of community and belonging and the Lord has a special love for one of them. One older guy who is wheel chair bound, TJ, shared today that it was because of his accident over 30 years ago and because of being placed in this home that he found the Lord.

Guys at Vita Nova

Guys at Vita Nova

Some of Allen and Sue's kids at craft market

Some of Allen and Sue’s kids at craft market

Salvador and TJ

Salvador and TJ

This month we will take our parents to experience the different meetings, John will share his testimony in Vryheid and share in a few meetings. We will take them witnessing, to the east coast where Salvador will be ministering and lastly to Pretoria. Thank you for your faithful support and constant communication. We serve a Mighty God, may we continue to sit at His feet, sharing our heart, praying and listening as we read His word so He can reveal more and more of Himself to us showing His great love and wisdom in a world that is blind, lost and striving after the wind.

Shalom

Sal and Di

Prayer Requests:

  • Allen, Sue and the family
  • Tony and Maria from NTM
  • Evangelism of area
  • Phumulani and the fellowship
  • Publishing and other projects
  • Salvador’s parents visit

SEVEN

 

NOT UNDER LAW YET NOT LAWLESS: Part 2

 

MADE FREE YET MADE SLAVES

 

ROMANS 6: 15 – 7: 6

 

The Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes because as we believe it God’s righteousness is made manifest from faith to faith, i.e. we become righteous. We need to be made righteous because God’s anger has been revealed against all ungodliness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. The book of Romans contains Gospel truth that will transform us if we will only grasp and accept what God is saying through it. The Gospel is part of the new covenant we read about in Jeremiah 31. The new covenant does not forbid Jews the practice of the Mosaic covenant if one does not based their justification, sanctification and glorification on it. We are truly free in Messiah. However one cannot be both under the authority and covering of the Mosaic covenant and under Christ at the same time. The Mosaic covenant has been totally disregarded in terms of meriting salvation because it was never intended to save anyway. We are not under Law but under grace. But how can Paul dismiss such heritage as unnecessary for salvation or as part of Salvation. The commandments contained within the Law were God given commandments. How can he say that we are saved without works of the Mosaic Law? Up till now Paul has shown us how Gentile and Jew alike are all in sin. He has proved that the Law does not save, that salvation comes by grace and through faith. He has shown us how biblical faith is a justifying faith as we saw through the example of Abraham. In the last chapter we saw that the Law gives no power over sin but Grace does. Faith must be placed in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross, the blood He shed and the satisfaction He rendered to His Father. That satisfaction rendered through the punishment He suffered on the cross.

ROMANS 6: 15 – 7: 6

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SERVANT MINDSET

Dave Royle once preached a sermon called, ‘Made free to serve’, but this is probably one of the most important truths that needed by our western 21st century churches. We are so full of the notion that somehow we have rights and we are ‘King’s kids’, that the whole notion being servants is an alien concept. We look at our national servants and we call them ministers. When we look at the minister of transport, the minister of finance, the ministers of government what do we find? Often we see people on a comparatively high wage bracket, wining and dining and enjoying huge perks and privileges. In South Africa, these ministers, do so while many other people live in informal settlements and mud huts. Ministers of churches drive fancy cars and tell people they must give more in the offering bag so they can fuel their own empires. I am not intending to get political here and my point is not to start pointing fingers. We probably would not turn down our perks if we were government ministers. My point is simply, we have forgotten what it means to be a servant. In the first chapter we looked at the mystery of godliness, that He who was manifested in the flesh (who suffered as a servant in the flesh; who was wronged and endured it without taking his own retribution), the same was vindicated in the spirit. He entrusted His soul to His Father who was able to save His soul from death. Jesus did this even though He had the power to raise Himself from the dead. (Jn 10: 18) We too must learn to let God vindicate ourselves and set right our wrongs.

FREE FROM THE LAW BUT NOT FREE FROM LAW

Paul is adamant that we are set free from the Law; a law that we, as Gentiles, were never a part of and yet we can still apply this principle to ourselves in some way. All nations have some kind of notion of God’s law. In verse 14 Paul has already said that we are not under Law but under grace. The Law stands for everything righteous. Psalm 1 says of the godly that his delight is in the Law of the Lord and on His Law he meditates day and night. Psalm 119: 1 says ‘Blessed are they whose ways are blameless who walk according to the Law of the Lord.’ Verse 9 says ‘How can a young man keep his way pure, by keeping it according to Your word.’ Verse 113 ‘I hate double minded men but I love Your Law.’ It is biblical to love God’s law. The Law is righteous. The opposite of righteousness is unrighteousness. So when we throw righteousness (i.e. the Law) out of the window, we permit unrighteousness.

V15 – ‘Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under grace?’ Here we see the return of that voice of doubt, the diatribe, that was there in Romans 3, and returned at the beginning of Romans 6. He wants to find a way to excuse our sin. But as we said in the last chapter Grace does not mean lawlessness. Rather Grace reigns in righteousness. This relationship between sin, Law and Grace is sometimes confusing because there are two perspectives. Imagine you have two diagrams and in each there is a horizontal line. In the first diagram you have righteousness above the line and unrighteousness below. In the second, above the line, you have ‘Kept in the power of the Spirit’ and below the line you have ‘Kept in the power of the Flesh’. In the first diagram both Law and Grace are positioned above the line and sin is positioned below the line because both are spiritual and both are righteous. Sin is unrighteous and therefore cannot be compared with Law in this context. But in the second diagram Grace is above the line but the Law and sin are below the line.

Diagram # 1                            Diagram # 2

Righteousness:                                    Power of Spirit:

Law of Moses &                                 Law of Christ

Law of Christ

__________________                        _________________

Unrighteousness:                                Power of Flesh:                      

            Law of Sin                                          Law of Moses

& Law of Sin

This is because the Law offers no power to conquer sin and so it is only kept in the flesh, just like sin is done in the flesh. That is why Paul not only died to sin, but he also died to the Law. What do we mean when someone dies to the Law? Does this mean the person is without law? Certainly not! We are not under the Law of Moses but we are under the law of Christ.

  • The Law of Moses is contained in outward ordinances but the law of Christ gives a newness of life.
  • The Law of Moses is written on tablets of stone, the Law of Christ is written on the heart by the Spirit.
  • The Law of Moses is a picture of Christ and the law of Christ has the same essence of the Law of Moses because both are given by the same God and therefore both are one in essence.

Therefore we will never be free from the reality of law.

THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH

In fact there is another law beside the Law of Moses and the law of Christ and that is the law of sin and death. We can never be free from law. We will always be under a law.

Look at verse 16. 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

We see two elements of servitude in this verse.

Firstly there is the activity of servitude, in that you present yourself to someone as slaves for obedience. This necessitates an act of the will. Now you might say that you could not help yourself but become a slave of sin. But Paul shows us how we became slaves to sin. We willingly presented ourselves as slaves for obedience. There are many sins in our lives that we have committed wholeheartedly. Even though we did not purpose to become slaves to sin, that is what we were doing whether we realized it or not. When we follow the lusts of our temptation we are offering ourselves to its service, to its pleasure, and this leads onto the second element of servitude, which is the identity of servitude.

If we have willingly given ourselves to sin’s service, we have become its slave. Quite often in temptation, whether in terms of moral or doctrinal areas, we have the tendency to separate the one act of disobedience from the ongoing condition of our souls. ‘One bad apple will not affect the barrel. It is only one time, it will not really affect my walk with the Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 5: 6 says, ‘Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?’

Proverbs 7: 6 – 13.

6 For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice; 7 And I saw among the naïve, And discerned among the youths, A young man lacking sense, 8 Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, 9 In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. 10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. 11 She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; 12 She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. 13 So she seizes him and kisses him And with a brazen face she says to him:”

Picture what is being described. Solomon is peeping intently through the slats in his window and is studying some young people in the street. It is a bit like it is today in places like Manchester, UK. You will see young people hanging out in the streets not doing anything, simply passing time. But among one of them Solomon sees a certain silly, seducible young man. And he is heading to the house of the adulteress. We do not know how he knows about the adulteress. Maybe he has been told by his friends what she is like. Maybe he has over heard strangers speaking about her but look at what verse 8 says. He is passing through the street near her corner. He is only passing through. He is not even at her house. He is near his corner and you can well imagine the thoughts in his head. ‘I am not going all the way, I have not done anything yet. I am just passing by.’ ‘I just want to see what happens if I pass by.’ But the word for ‘passing by’ is the Hebrew word ‘Avar’ which means to cross over in terms of a transition. It could mean ‘to go beyond’ depending on the context of the word. In other words the young man might have thought he had not gone too far but in fact he had gone far enough. Because when we give way to temptation it becomes increasingly harder to fight against it.

He is only going through the street, then he is near ‘her’ corner and lastly (inevitably) he takes the way (the course or direction of life) that leads to her house. But look in verse 10, he does not even get to her house and she comes out to meet him. In verse 13 she seizes him; actually she fastens herself upon him brazenly. He never even got to her house initially. Yet he had already gotten enslaved by her. It started when he passed through the street. He presented himself all the way back there to her as her slave and that lead to him actually becoming her slave. Like an ox to the slaughter. It is like when God warned Cain saying, ‘Sin is at the door and its desire is for you but you must master it.’ And just like there are two women in Proverbs, so also, in verse 16, Paul presents us with two masters. There is a virtuous master and a wicked master. We are either slaves of sin or we are slaves of obedience. And just like the wicked woman took the young man to the slaughter, so the mastery of sin also results in death but the mastery of obedience brings righteousness.

THE TRANSITION FROM SLAVES OF SIN TO SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

However, there is a major problem. We are all naturally children of wrath and thus slaves of sin. What hope is there for you and me? Yet Paul does not say that his readers are slaves of sin but that they WERE, past tense, slaves of sin. So how did they make the transition from being slaves of sin into being slaves of righteousness?

Verse 17. 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

In other words these people, primarily, became committed to the pattern of teaching to which they became obedient from the heart. Thus they had become free from sin.

First there comes a commitment to the ‘form’ of teaching. The word ‘form’ here, is in Greek ‘Tupos’, and relates to a mold or cast into which molten material is poured to take shape. In other words the teaching of Christ and His Gospel are powerful enough to shape us if only we would be committed to them. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes for in it the righteousness of God is manifested from faith to faith. Can you see the link here? Can you see why Paul is going to such lengths to prove biblically and experientially that the Law was never intended to justify? Only the Gospel of grace can do so as it is received in faith? This is real power if only we would believe it. As we walk in the teaching of Christ, as we remain in Him, then we start to take His shape of Christ likeness. As Christ Himself said, ‘he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.’ And what is the fruit?

Galatians 5: 22 – 23. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

The fruit is the fruit of the Spirit. In other words the fruit is a Christ like character. When we are truly committed to this mold of teaching then we will start to become obedient from the heart. And committing ourselves to the teaching, the Truth of Christ, sets us free from sin and transfers us into being slaves of righteousness.

WHERE IS THE REAL FREEDOM?

Now what Paul is doing is using the question posed by the voice of doubt to reaffirm the truth that we need to pursue holiness. He wants to encourage his readers to fight sin.

Verse 19. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness resulting in sanctification.

Paul is urging his readers on, in order to pursue righteousness. As Martin Lloyd Jones says, ‘Paul’s method is to lay down a doctrine and then make an appeal based on that doctrine.’ Right living follows right doctrine. Rom 8: 15. ‘We have not received a spirit of slavery but a spirit of adoption’. So how can Paul speak of us being slaves of righteousness when God wants to bring us into liberty? Galatians 5: 1. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject to a yoke of slavery.” The question that stands before us is, ‘are we really free or is our emancipation like the liberty that the Communists brought the Russians’? Paul tells us why he uses the analogy of slavery.

  • Firstly, slavery was something they understood too well. The Romans knew only too well the scenario of the slave market. Thus Paul is speaking in human terms of something that is actually spiritual. In the slave market, once a slave has been sold, any prior owner of the slave does not have any hold on the slave. So sin may not be master over us because Jesus entered the slave market and purchased us with the payment of his blood. He presented His blood to the Father. Jesus is now our master. But why use the analogy of the slave market at all if we are not meant to be slaves? Paul says he does it because of the weakness of his readers’ flesh. The flesh nature that we have in our body, in our members, is antichrist. Naturally, the flesh is inclined to rise itself above the knowledge of God and immerse itself in a pool full of sensuality and sinful pleasures. What other way would we be able to fight this sinful nature if we did not count ourselves as slaves to Christ? Slavery brings with it restraint, boundaries and a desire to please our master.
  • But secondly, as Martin Lloyd Jones points out, the nature of the new slavery is not the same as the nature of the old. The old servitude is tyrannical – as Gal 5 shows. It leads to fear because fear speaks of punishment. 2 Cor. 5: 14. What is it that restrains us? It is the love of Christ. He gave all for us and therefore we are compelled to give all for Him. When someone does something extraordinary for us, then we somehow feel compelled to do something in return, to even the score. It is a bit like the film ‘Robin Hood prince of thieves’. Robin Hood saved the Saracen Warrior’s life and therefore the Saracen has a life debt to Robin.

We are free and yet we are not free. There are limits and boundaries. Why can we not do whatever we want? Because the whole point of being set free is to be free from sin. If we ask Christ to set us free from sin what is the point of getting entangled in it again? It is like a situation I stepped into in the UK. I used to attend a church called Hazel Grove Full Gospel Church in the first few months of 2005 before moving to Llandudno in North Wales. I would cycle through Manchester and past Stockport and back again. On my way back through Manchester one Sunday evening I saw a gang of youths beating up on a smaller kid and I went over to intervene. I stood between them and wanted to know what the issue was when the little kid, who had been beaten up, went to attack one of the other kids. What is the point of crying out for help if you plan on getting back into the same mess again? What is the point of begging someone to get you out of the line of fire, if you are adamant to get back into the line of fire again? And this is what Paul is dealing with in verses 21 – 23.

 

Paul is basically saying ‘Look, when you were outside of Christ, you did not have to live righteously. You could sin as much as you wanted but what was the point of all that? What was the benefit from your life of sin? What you got was death!’ It is just like what Keith Green pointed out in his message on Dying to self. We all feel proud when we give up sin. But that does not impress God. God is not impressed when we give up our wrongs. Those things were killing us anyway. It is when we give up our rights that He is pleased. Slavery to God is beneficial. It is beneficial for you and me to live holy lives. And what is the benefit? The Greek word for benefit here is ‘Karton’ and it is the same word in Jn 15: 5 for fruit. The benefit that we get from slavery to Christ is Christ likeness being manifest in our lives which results in sanctification. Sanctification is that process by which we are shaped into a person different then we were before we became Christians, a person that is holy. The outcome of sanctification is eternal life. We have eternal life now and yet this verse says that we are yet to receive eternal life. We will look at this paradox when we deal with Romans 8, but to put it in plain terms, the process of receiving the outcome of sanctification (eternal life) does not mean we are earning eternal life or working in order to get it.

Look at verse 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Death is the wage of our sinful works but eternal life is a gift from God. But what Paul teaches us is that salvation is not a laser gun by which we can get zapped but it is a journey upon which we embark. We receive eternal life when we believe but this salvation must be completed. It is a journey whose entrance fee is paid for by the blood of Jesus. And He is the one that sustains us on this journey. He is the author and perfecter of faith. That is why the bible says ‘Abide in Him’. We abide in Him because He is the One who will get us through. The amazing thing about all this is that this is a reversal of the fall. Adam and Eve died in the Garden of Eden. They ceased to be in relationship with the Lord. But grace brings a restoration to that broken relationship, i.e. eternal life (Jn 17: 3). The way to God is not through ritual or theatrics or methodology but by grace through faith.

ROMANS 7: 1 – 6:

FREE FROM THE MOSAIC LAW

I want to go through these verses quickly because the same concepts are dealt with in these verses as they were in Romans 6. But there are significant differences. We are still dealing with an exchange of masters, not in terms of slavery this time, but in terms of marriage. Yet Paul is not talking about being married to sin. Verse 4 shows that he is talking about being married to the Law. The comparison is logical as both the law of marriage and the Law of Moses are given as part of or as the heart of a covenant; the marriage covenant and the Mosaic covenant. Why bring in the Law if Paul is dealing with sin? Because just as there is a link between the Law of Moses and the law of Christ in terms of righteousness and being given by God, so also there is a link between the Law of Moses and the law of sin and that is the flesh. Both the Law of Moses and the law of sin and death result in death. The reason why both result in death is because death is the product of sin and the Law of Moses must always condemn the guilty. Another reason why they both result in death is that the Law of Moses has an effect to arouse sinful passions. Paul is using this opportunity to get back to his original argument that grace supersedes the Law in regards to righteousness. Just as we must all die to sin, so also the Jew must die to being under the authority of the Mosaic Law (just as Paul had to) if he gets saved. Why? Because it is like a marriage. You can either be married to Moses or to Christ but not to both. This is what Paul alludes to in verse 6: the two covenants.

There are numerous covenants in scripture. The Abrahamic covenant still stands with the Jewish people, but Paul is not dealing with that one. That covenant stands with Israel by the fact they are descended from Abraham through the chosen line. It was made with Abraham and it had no law with it because only God was obligated to keep it. But all Jews believed in the existence of the Mosaic Law and in the promise of the new covenant of Jeremiah 31. Both of these covenants promise life. Moses promises it on the basis of perfect obedience and Jesus promises it on the Basis of faith. Moses was given the Mosaic Law on Mount Sinai, but Jesus gave His law on the Mount of the beatitudes. (Matt 5 – 7). Paul says you cannot be married to two husbands. So if you really hold to the view that God has promised this new covenant, you will have to die to the old one before you can be married in the new one. The old covenant is a covenant in the flesh, (literally with circumcision). The new covenant is one in the Spirit where the laws are written on the heart. (Jer. 31: 31 ff). Both are made with Israel and Paul is saying you cannot be under both. We must remember this point over the next lot of chapters, especially Romans 9 – 11. We who are gentiles however, are from nations who had God’s law written on our consciences. We can either hold to a law that tries to earn good standing with God through works done in fleshy ability and fleshy understanding. Or we can hold to the law of Christ where God says, “believe and I will make you righteous on the basis of that faith”. It is on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice where he took the punishment for our sin. And it is on the basis of an empowerment given in the message through the agency of God’s spirit.

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