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   Tools of the Covenant

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The Armor of God for Spiritual Warfare

Why Grace is Called a Virtue

Lesson 10 of 12

Covenant theology is about understanding how the covenant of grace works. If you thought that the covenant of grace just meant that your are absolved of your sins and that you can now go your way, you are mistaken. The covenant of grace encompasses remission of sins as well as forgiveness of sins.

Let’s define remission (From Second 8th Week Glossary):

Just as the body recovers from a deadly disease, and we say that the disease is in “remission,” God sent the Holy Ghost to cause sin to go into remission. Once the ransom had been paid for our release from sin, the transaction had to become a living and working reality. Because Christ rose from the dead, He sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who believe to bring healing to the soul. This is why we pray in tongues.

It is for this healing that the Spirit is making intercession. Satan is no longer gaining ground in our soul, no longer taking us captive, no longer holding us in bondage because we are no longer in his kingdom, no longer using his tools, and no longer in his system.

Remission of sins is not only the release from the penalty of sin, but the release from the bondage of sin and death. Freedom, deliverance, and liberty. This is why we pray in tongues. It is for this healing that the Spirit is making intercession.

Remission is an action taken by God to cause or allow the soul to go beyond the normal limits set by iniquity, to go beyond the point of familiarity that iniquity has built in the soul to keep it captive. "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." (Romans.3:25).

For remission (freedom from sins) to take place we need to engage with God on His terms, hence the word “covenant”. You need a power for this transition (healing) to take place, hence the word “virtue”.

God is redeeming us to Himself by Himself, hence the “token” or “tool”. Because Christ is our Redeemer, He would be the token. He is the one establishing a testimony for us in Himself.

The virtue of God is that which He shares with those of faith. Christ is the virtue (power) of our redemption. God shares Christ with us. He is the token. The power of the token is to represent us before God, hence Jesus is called our mediator: “There is only one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus,”

Man does not possess the virtue of God. Man is not born with this virtue. It is not in him. This was God’s purpose for the Law, to show man that there is no virtue in him. The Ten Commandments shows man that he was not born with God’s virtue.

We learned this while under the Law, and this is why the Mosaic Law is called a school master, or teacher. God used the Ten Commandments to teach man that only God can issue the power to take on His likeness.

What was your experience while under the Law? You saw an opportunity to be good, to do good. But then, when you could not complete it, you saw that the Law was only a burden to your conscience, showing you your sin. So, what virtue was born in you by this labor with the Ten Commandments? None.

God was teaching us that we can only possess His goodness when we embrace Jesus, who is the only one that is spotless and without sin. When we are in covenant with God, identifying with Jesus by using His tools, God accepts the condition of the soul (in need of healing, in a state of transition from darkness to light) because He sees Jesus, as the judge, standing at the door of the conscience.

Jesus is presenting you to God as a chaste virgin, untouched by sin, ready to build His kingdom in His name. We see God preaching this to us from the First Covenant, where the tokens of a woman’s virginity are accepted because they testify of her condition (Deuteronomy 22:15-20).

The woman that is charged with impurity is defended by her father. Upon hearing the charges of impurity, he says only, “Yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity.” And that is what our Father in heaven does for us when the accuser of the brethren accuses us by the Law for any impurity. Our Father in heaven responds by pointing to the tokens of our virginity (purity), which are Christ. These are the tokens that prove that she is pure. 

All of us come to Him defiled, but He claims us to Himself. Once we come to Christ, we cannot continue to build upon the past that Satan gave us. Our true past is from the bosom of the Father. We have to accept our true origin which is Jesus Christ. We cannot accept our false origin, which is the fall of man.

Our present weakness, which we see each day is the presence of death. The Ten Commandments were not designed to overcome the presence of death. Christ was designed to overcome death, and this is why faith is the voice of Christ to us, speaking to us of His work.

God Sees in the Token the Likeness of Christ

God sees in the token the likeness of Christ. When you use the tokens of Christ, God does not see in you any impurity. He sees Christ. He already swore to Himself and made this agreement to Himself to follow through with this plan. All we have to do is stand in agreement with God and use the tools He sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. The tokens of Christ qualify one’s virginity (purity) before the face of the judge.

Do you see how the tokens represent you before God? The tokens, or tools of the Second Covenant cannot be ignored. A person cannot claim the covenant of grace and be ignorant of Christ’s tools.

The stewardship is called of God to educate believers about Jesus’ tools and how to use them. Setting before them this knowledge for the activity of their faith. Believers can then function in their priesthood, understanding that where the blood of Jesus is present, God’s wrath is absent. The stewardship is charged of God to do this to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Consider what Paul writes: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:2).

So again, man does not possess the virtue of God. Man is not born with this virtue. It is not in him. It is granted to him by faith. This helps define faith as our ability to observe Christ in the tools of His covenant and to use the tools to stand in the testimony of Christ’s virtue.

Virtue is Born of the Spirit

Virtue is born of the Spirit. Now we can understand why God says that His tether is in the Spirit and the witness is necessary to confirm Christ as the record of our faith. Can you now understand why you cannot live by the Ten Commandments? The Spirit of God will not bear witness to Christ there and so no virtue of Christ will be born in your heart. Virtue is born of the Spirit by the Law of Grace and Truth, not by Mosaic Law.  

Grace is called a virtue because it is the power of the Spirit to transform the soul into His image, heal your soul from the scars Satan inflicted upon it, and form Christ in the inner man. God assigned our faith to labor with Jesus’ covenant tools for our experience of Him, that He might now govern us by grace rather than the Law of Moses.

Death Hides in the Ten Commandments

The purpose of the Ten Commandments was to dispel any hope man had that there was goodness in him such as can please God. There is none good, only God (Mark 10:18). God did not give the Ten Commandments to give us a chance to prove that we can be good. He gave the law to prove to us that we were absent of His virtue. And where virtue is absent, His wrath is present. Only Jesus could bring us back to God.

When one understands how God came in the flesh to redeem us back to Himself by Himself, and establish in Himself a new Law of Grace and Truth, the Ten Commandments no longer hold any hope of righteousness.

The Ten Commandments or the New Covenant in Christ?Death hid in the Ten Commandments because the Law does not address faith, it addresses the condition of man as being separate from God and fallen from the glory of God.  When we say that death “hid” in the Law it is because man thought the law promised life. He used the law to present himself as innocent before God and all the while the law was his prosecutor, showing God his guilt.

The Lie of the Law

This is the lie of the Law. You saw in yourself no good thing, and you were looking to the Law to bridge that and give you virtue. The Law promised virtue, but the Law does not give virtue. The Law condemns. The lie of the Law brands faith with works of death (trying to be a better person) because it cannot work the life of Christ in the soul. The true virtue and power is God. God assigned Jesus as the power of our redemption, not Moses.

The Law promised virtue by giving you earthly tokens that symbolized man’s honor: you are a good person if you do not steal, do not kill, and do good to your neighbor. This is why man honors the selfless, man honors the hero, man honors the virtue of character such as is in man to display, hence the “moral code” of man.

God was thus showing man the difference between earthly virtues and heavenly virtues. The Ten Commandments are a token that symbolized man’s earthly virtues, which then becomes a barrier to grace because we place value in these virtues to shield our nakedness before God. Man uses the virtues of the Law to clothe himself in righteousness.

The Ten Commandments Addresses Sin

The Ten Commandments addressed sin and the Bible says that whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). When man thought he was doing right, he was doing wrong because he was using the law for justification. Jesus only is our faith. Whatsoever is not of His covenant, knowledge, tools, and priesthood is sin.

The Mosaic Law and Ten Commandments bore witness that the people were sinful. To this Apostle Paul agrees, “By the Law is the knowledge of sin,” (Romans 3:20). The Ten Commandments were not given to prove our righteousness, but to prove that a conflict exists between God and man.

With every conviction of sin, God was telling man that he can never please God until Christ would come as our New Covenant and Law. Faith in the First Covenant was accepted of God because the people saw the face of Jesus Christ in the tools and articles of Moses. 

The Ten Commandments showed man that he was servant to sin. You could never reach perfection through the law. It only showed you that sin reigned, but did not allow grace to reign.

  • The Ten Commandments identified the problem in man, but it was not the remedy.
  • The Ten Commandments cannot establish the testimony of Christ in the heart, but the Law of Grace and Truth can.

The Ten Commandments and Mosaic Law are not part of the process of Christ being formed in you, but the Law of Grace and Truth is part of that process (Ephesians 4:24).

God promised to redeem those who were under the law and this gave hope to the people, that when Christ comes, He would establish a new law in Himself—the Law of Grace and Truth. Christ came to establish Himself in the heart to bring faith into a new and living way (Hebrews 10:20).

Having made those distinctions between the Ten Commandments and the Law of Grace and Truth, things begin to change. Believers begin to take new interest in grace and take interest in learning all they can about how grace works. The Law told us how sin works, now we are learning how grace and righteousness work (Romans 6:19). That is the true dispensation of grace.

You should see a Transitional Point for your faith: From the Ten Commandments to the Law of Grace and Truth.

Let’s look further at the virtue of grace and why God calls it a power: You are learning in these lessons that the tools of Jesus’ covenant are your tether to God. That means that they are the link whereby the virtue of Christ is transferred to you. The grace of God is of power to daily communicate and reveal Christ, illuminate, enlighten, and awaken the soul that you may have His life. Grace is God’s technique for developing Christ in you. As a result:

1.      Grace births faith in the heart: Without faith is it impossible to please God.

2.      Grace gives us a heart to perceive Christ: We see Him in our faith rather than ourselves.

3.      Grace gives strength to the will to choose righteousness.

4.      Grace is of power to grant equity in the inner man between the mind and emotions.

5.      Grace is of power to grant single mindedness: As the mind is brought under the power of God’s grace, it is no longer looking for the will of God in the flesh.

6.      Grace is of power to grant sober mindedness: The soul is no longer drunk on the promise of the world.

7.      Grace is of power to nourish the heart with the substance of God’s kingdom.

8.      Grace is of power to enlarge the heart with God’s fruit.

9.      Grace is of power to keep us rooted in Christ: The imagination is brought into subjection to Christ, and the soul no longer wanders after the world.

Now you can understand the operation of God in grace. Although these virtues can be described individually, God’s design for them is to impact your soul all at once. The virtue of grace in turn produces these powers upon the soul: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. You need the power of grace to produce these fruits of the Spirit.

Looking at the unique way in which grace impacts the soul, you can now understand that the virtue you are tethered to is what God is governing you by. God tethers you to His power through your tethering to Him by the tools of the covenant. Grace governs our behavior and results in the transformation we were looking for to please God.

In addition, we can now understand how God gives virtue to faith. God gives food for the beast of the field and for man’s table. God gives rain to the just and the unjust. And God gives virtue to faith. What you learn when you use Jesus’ tools is that God is the giver of life and that the virtue of grace is the greater witness.

Can you see that Jesus did not come to condemn you of sin, but to enrich you by His grace. God designed the covenant to bring you to the point of engagement with Him, and He designed the tools of the covenant for Divine Reciprocation to take place. The tokens/tools of God work Christ in the soul.

These virtues are the very power of Christ, which identify His craftsmanship. They are not attitudes that God wants you to develop. All of us are capable of changing our attitudes, but none of us are capable of producing the virtues of Christ upon the soul. No wonder the apostle Peter wrote,” But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  True prosperity is the increase of grace for the soul.

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