The focus of the Old Testament was always on behavior, but the focus of the New Testament is on your identity in Christ, not on your behavior at all. Here’s the thing: God didn’t want to change your old nature.
Even the priesthood was temporary. When they died out, you had to replace them. But here we have Jesus as our permanent High Priest because He is never going to die, so the new covenant now is so much more profound than the old one ever could have been. The New Testament is founded on who you are in Jesus because the old you is dead. It was too bad to be cleansed, it had to be crucified.
No one wanted the job of changing your old man so they came up with this brilliant idea, “When Jesus is dying on the Cross, we’re just going to take you and put you with Him because we don’t want to change you, so we’re going to kill you. We’re going to kill you, and then when He goes into the grave, you go into the grave. When He gets raised from the dead in newness of life, so do you. So we’ll keep your old nature and its behavior in the grave, and we’ll resurrect you as a new man in Christ, and we’ll just teach you how to be new. We’ll never have to deal with the old you ever again. We’re just going to deal with the new you, and it’s going to be amazing! We’re not going to teach you how to avoid sin, we’re going to teach you something better. We’re going to teach you how to be holy. We’re going to teach you righteousness. We’re going to give righteousness to you as a gift, and then we’re going to teach you how to stay righteous. So all of our focus is going to be on the new man because the old one is dead. Everything you were subject to in the old man, you are no longer subject to. You are now subject to who Jesus is in the new man because the new man in you is Christ. You are in Christ learning to be Christlike.”
God wants to look you in the eye and say, “I am ultimately in charge of your life, but I am not in control of it. You and I are going to walk this road together, and I’m going to teach you how to be lead by the Spirit. I’m going to teach you how I think, how I see things, how I like to talk about things. I’m going to teach you My ways, and we will walk this life together. I’ll be your safety net, but I’m not going to be in control of you because I want you to be free, and I want you to discover that that freedom is awesome and incredibly precious to every one of us in the Godhead.
–An excerpt from Radical Permission 2
For more resources on the grace of God, be sure to check out the Complete Radical Permission series available at a discounted price through the month of May at Brilliant Book House.