Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
What good does it do to promise that you will be good? Does it help for you to promise God that you will never sin again? Does He want you to make any such promise?
If you have ever tried to get an alcoholic to stop drinking, or a smoker to stop smoking, or gamblers to stop gambling, you probably have learned that our promises are like ropes of sand.
It may surprise you that God has never asked us to make promises to Him. He has asked us to choose, yes; to make a commitment, yes; but never has He asked us to promise to keep His Ten Commandments. Rather, He has asked us to believe His promises that are in those ten.
James calls the Ten Commandments "the law of liberty" (James 2:12). Correctly understood, the Ten Commandments are ten promises that if we will believe that the Lord has brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, He promises that we shall never tell a lie, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, etc. And if we believe the glorious Good News of His deliverance, we shall "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." And we shall honor our father and our mother; and we shall never take the Lord's name in vain.
Abraham got out from under the Old Covenant when "he believed in the Lord," and his faith "was counted unto him for righteousness" (Gen. 15:6). The Lord made seven wonderful promises to him in Genesis 12:1-3, but Abraham made no promises in return. He simply "believed in the Lord." That's all God wanted him to do; that was the New Covenant; and all the obedience and the works followed. But Abraham's descendants, coming out of Egypt 430 years later, made a promise to the Lord in Exodus 19:8, "all that the Lord hath spoken we will do." That was the Old Covenant. It's that simple!
Are you living under the New Covenant or the Old? If you're in "bondage," the reason has to be the Old Covenant. Come, get under the liberty, the freedom, the joy, of the New Covenant!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 23, 1998.
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