by Rob Parlante
2 Corinthians 3:6
Today with the advances in medical screening, drugs and medical research, the average man and woman in the United States is living longer. I remember as a child in the late 1960’s, a man living into his early 70’s was considered very old. Now that same man is considered very old living into his late 80’s. This can only be attributed to advances in medical research and the implementation of new medical treatments, drugs and nutrition. With so many new drugs available to cure diseases, one has to be careful on what is being taken and to be aware of drug interactions. Some drug interactions can lead to your death. The interactions can be with other drugs or with the foods you eat. For example, if you have a respiratory tract infection, and you might be prescribed the common antibiotic Tetracycline to cure the infection. If you took this antibiotic with milk, the milk would prevent the antibiotic from being absorbed into your body. This is because calcium in the milk blocks the absorption. To make matters worse, the same would happen if you ate yogurt or cheese. The solution is to take the antibiotic one hour before or two hours after eating. But if you didn’t know this, and took this medication with milk, yogurt or cheese, your symptoms would worsen. The respiratory tract infection could develop into pneumonia, and this could lead to your death. The funny thing about this is that milk, yogurt or cheese is supposed to be good for you. It’s a healthily source of calcium in your diet. But mixing milk, yogurt or cheese with this antibiotic cancels out the benefit of the antibiotic. This is a deadly mixture.
I see a similar deadly mixture on a spiritual level. This has to do with new covenant believers mixing Law (Old Covenant) and Grace (New Covenant) in living the Christian life. If mixing is pursued, a believer cancels out the benefits of Grace Living in one’s life. The result is spiritual stagnation, fruitlessness and performance based living. Pursuing the Law kills dead the work of the Holy Spirit in ones Sanctification. This is due to the believer relying on self effort and rule living, instead of on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is the exact place the evil one wants believers to be living because it renders them ineffective and powerless. It’s also a deception by the evil one for self reliance and fleshly living. Look at the church today; it’s filled with deadly mixture, and thus powerless. Paul addresses the dangers of mixing Law (Old Covenant)/Grace (New Covenant) living in 2 Corinthian’s 3:6. Let’s read it in the amplified version.
2 Corinthians 3:6 (AMP) [It is He] Who has qualified us [making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient] as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not [ministers] of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code [of the Law] kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive.
Paul tells the Corinthian believers in this verse, that they are ministers of the New Covenant of Grace, and not ministers of Old Covenant of the Law. Under the New Covenant of Grace, the Holy Spirit makes one spiritually alive, indwells them and guides them for Grace Living. Under the Old Covenant of Law, the written code of the Law kills. It has no ability to make one spiritually alive, or empower them to live the Christian life. The Law kills, the Spirit gives life. Trying to keep rules and regulations to live the Christian life is like drinking milk with antibiotic. It cancels out Spirit led living. For those who argue New Covenant believers need to keep the law, they need to examine Romans 8:4.
Romans 8:4 (AMP) So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].
When one understands a believer is by default under the New Covenant of Grace, they will realize that the righteous requirements of the Law have already been met in the believer (Internally) by faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. The outward expression (Godly Living) of keeping the Law is visible seen by a life guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. Believers need to learn on how to be led by Holy Spirit, which indwells them and speaks directly into their hearts.
In summary, as believers in Christ, we need to stop mixing Law with Grace, with Old Covenant Living with New Covenant Living. As believers, we are under the New Covenant of Grace. There is no argument here, stop mixing and playing into the evil ones hands. This is a deadly mixture.
If you would like to learn more about the truths described here, come join us at Grace Christian Church, currently meeting at the Freehold VFW, every Sunday at 9:30 am.
Rob Parlante – Elder / Grace Christian Church