By Fred Pruitt
Old Testament/New Testament
The Old Covenant was a covenant of separation between two completely unequal partners: God, who could fulfill His part of the bargain, and the people of Israel, who could not fulfill their part of the bargain. Now that’s pretty much where everybody lives. We try to do our part, but keep messing up, and there is continual bemoaning by preachers and church folks everywhere over how God is continually thwarted from doing His mighty acts in the world because most of us are such lousy Christians. (And poor God, since He’s so ineffective!)
Certainly the vast majority of the believers unknowingly live in that old contract, “I do my part, God, and you’ll do yours.” But that deal was replaced in the Son. Though taught almost universally, such an arrangement has nothing to do whatever with the New Testament.
The new contract, the new will from God, the new testament ratified through the death of the Son, is a party of One. He is the fulfiller. It is the word that came to Jeremiah the prophet: “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31:33)
This is the rest we enter into in the New Covenant, which is Christ in us, not as two dwelling side by side, but as two dwelling in each other as one. We live, will, desire, and love as one person doing the living, desiring, willing, and loving. Not as two cooperating. I will what He wills because He and I are one person willing. The only time when “two” comes into the picture is when I am pulled by temptation, when I would know myself “after the flesh.” But to know myself after the Spirit can only be by seeing out of the vision of God, from the inside out, in which He is in me and I am in Him and there is no dividing point of separation. And there we abide, or remain. And from there, out of that “heart,” come all the issues (activities, realities) of life. (Prov 4:23) And that life is Christ.
Let’s look at this from Hebrews 3:
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
“Whose house are we …,” the writer says. What does he mean by that?
First of all He is comparing Jesus to Moses. Moses is a servant, who gives and administers the law. The law speaks to the separated consciousness, requiring of it something which it cannot fulfill. You ought to be this, you ought to do that, you should not do this, you should not think that. But the law has a fatal flaw, not in its value and truth as the law, but in its implementation. It is “weak through the flesh.” (Rom 8:3).
But it is precisely this flesh to which the law addresses itself, making impossible demands on it, and the flesh – separated consciousness, self-responsibility – deludedly thinks it can meet those demands, and confesses that it will do so (Ex 19:8), thereby assuring its failure. It is an impossibility for it to succeed, because the self that tries to will and do what God wills and does, cannot in itself do either.
And that is exactly what the law is for, to expose this deluded flesh consciousness of separation and wrong self-focus which comes from sin. And it can only be exposed by letting it run in its delusion, the delusion that it can “perform,” until the delusion is worn out and ready to be cast aside as “filthy rags.”
Now a great distinction is given here between Moses as a servant, and Jesus as the son over His own house. A servant is not lord and master; only the Son and heir is. Moses did his job in the house, which was to train the kids by giving the law and to demand obedience to it, but it is Christ as the Son over His own house who fulfills the law Himself, and, says the scripture, “whose house are we.” That is, we are the place of his dwelling and the seat of his activity.
When the law has done its job, i.e., having killed us (the fleshly self-consciousness which we received from our former master and slave-boss, the devil), then the servant (the law) hands us over to the Son (grace and truth), and we begin to take our share in the inheritance, as sons in the Son by means of a free gift from God (and not by our having earned it).
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