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How Christ's Word Abides in Us

How Christ's Word Abides in Us

Word of Righteousness

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

"If my words abide in you."

What does it mean to have Christ's words abiding in us or remaining in us?

The answer to this question gets at the heart of what the new covenant is.

The new covenant is one of transformation, of change of personality. Divine grace contains the virtue and power that produce the desired change.

The old covenant, the Law of Moses, included righteous, holy statutes and ordinances that bring life and prosperity when they are observed. Numerous Jews, such as the mother and father of John the Baptist, were blameless in terms of the observance of Moses.

However, the rank and file of the Jews did not attain God's goals for them. God's goals for them were that they would behave righteously, be a separate holy people unto Himself, and obey His commandments stated in the Law and the written Prophets and brought up to date by the contemporary prophets speaking in the name of the Lord.

God summarized the intent of the law as doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

By the way, these goal are eternal. They never change from eon to eon. They always have been, are now, and forever shall be the requirements for fellowship with God.

We are under a new covenant but the goals remain the same. The difference is that a higher level of attainment of the goals is required under the new covenant and infinitely superior grace (enablement) has been provided that we may attain the goals at a superior level than was possible under the Law of Moses.

God was not pleased with most of the Jews under the old covenant. They behaved unrighteously, keeping fellow Hebrews as slaves long past the seven years, for example. They violated the rules of holiness by marrying Gentiles.

They refused to obey Gods's laws concerning the Sabbath and concerning the making of images. Also they sought help from Gentile kings rather than trusting the Lord.

When they offered sacrifices they presented blemished animals instead of the perfect specimens demanded by the Lord. They held back their tithes. Sometimes they offered the required sacrifices when their heart was far from God, like people sitting in church on Sunday morning and thinking about the Super Bowl.

God was not pleased with them and so He authorized a new covenant. The new covenant is described in the Book of Hebrews.

Let us think about the new covenant because it has to do with Christ's words abiding in us.

First of all, the new covenant is not primarily one of forgiveness, as was true of the animal sacrifices under the Law of Moses. The new covenant is one of transformation.

Under the new covenant God Himself is to write His righteous laws in our heart and in our mind. This is what it means to have the Word of Christ abiding in us.

To be continued. How Christ's Word Abides in Us 2