Do We Unintentionally Diminish the Role of Jesus?

Written by on August 1, 2019

Grace is intrinsically linked with the Lordship of Jesus.

Grace cannot be Grace without Jesus having exclusive position and authority.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. – Hebrews 1:1-4

It is from this position of authority that Jesus oversees the “administration of Grace.” (Eph 3:2-4) After all, Isaiah prophesied that the “government will be on His shoulders.” (Isa 9:6). Jesus currently rules as a King and Priest. A King because He is the Son of God. A Priest because of divine appointment after His death and resurrection. His authority will never end.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end. – Isa 9:6-7

but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ‘

Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

…because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.- Hebrews 7:21-22, 24

Grace is forever bound to Jesus’ role as both King and Priest.

Grace disappears whenever either of those roles are diminished. How on earth can that happen? Through unbelief. Unbelief neutralizes the work of Jesus. Unbelief neutralizes the power of Grace.

Let’s explore that for a moment.

The New Testament is abundantly clear that there are two major and distinct covenants. The Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was introduced at Mount Sinai after the exodus from Egypt. It was given in an age of faithlessness. Only when Jesus came did faith come. When faith came we are no longer under the rule of Old Covenant Law, but governed by Jesus under a New Covenant. When the New Covenant came the Old Covenant became obsolete.

The Law (Old Covenant) had a beginning and an end.

What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus) to whom the promise referred had come. – Gal 3:19

Before the coming of this faith (Jesus, see vvs 21-22), we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was put in charge of us until Christ came that we might be justified (“righteousized”, or made righteous) by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. – Gal 3:23-25

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said:
‘The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt…’

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’

The New Covenant Replaces the Old

By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. – Heb 8:6-9; 12-13

It is obvious and clear that when Jesus came He established a new Government, a new Kingdom, an Administration of Grace (Eph 3:2,9). He sent His empowered presence, the Holy Spirit to inhabit every believer. Jesus now rules completely in the hearts of men without the need for Law. Does that mean we can sin (as defined by the Law)? Of course not! However, the Law cannot help us overcome sin, it just points it out. The Law never helps us with righteousness. It is totally inadequate for that task. Only the Holy Spirit can help us in righteousness, and He does a wonderful job at that.

On another but related note, there is another critical issue we need to face if we bring back the Law. ie. try to “balance Grace with Law.

Bringing back Law compromises the ministry of Jesus.

The Law does not permit us to be selective as to which part or parts we need to keep. Once it is brought back in the Law demands that we obey all of it. If you choose to obey part of it you are obligated to obey all of it. Gal 5:3

The Law also states that only those from the tribe of Levi are permitted to be priests, especially high priests.

The book of Hebrews states that Jesus has become our High Priest, and, He comes from the tribe of Judah.

If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.

For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. – Heb. 7:11-19

This is an important point. If we try to re-introduce Law, we must submit to its demand that we must have a High Priest from the tribe of Levi. Jesus does not qualify. Think about it. Saying that we need to “balance” Grace with Law illegitimizes Jesus as our High Priest. To have Jesus as our eternal High Priest we have to “set aside” the Law in order to do so. Why bring Law back at all. It “made nothing perfect” and it robs us of hope.

We really do have a “better Hope” in Jesus. He is more than able to make all things perfect.

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