|Synopsis of the Apostle
Hebrews 10:16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I
John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this
mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.
Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his
Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified
with these (the blood of animal sacrifices); but the heavenly things themselves (should be
consecrated) with better sacrifices (the sacrifice of Christ) than these (animal sacrifices).
24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true;
but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
THE LAWS OF JUSTIFICATION
We now begin our study of the law. All of our focus verses are in the writings of the
Apostle Paul, assuming that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Therefore, it is important
that we understand Paul’s approach of teaching the law. Paul tells us, without
reservation, his stance concerning the law. He preached Christ crucified and determined
to know nothing else.
Christ crucified is the justification facet of the New Covenant!
Why did Paul concentrate on the justification feature of the New Covenant almost words,
almost the entire teaching of Paul was about the transition from the temple sacrificial
laws of justification to the sacrifice of Yahshua, which made possible justification by
means of faith in the blood/sacrifice of Christ.
It is important to observe here that sacrifices had nothing to do, directly, with the Ten
Commandments. Therefore, Christ’s sacrifice could not replace the Decalogue. What
Christ’s sacrifice could do was replace the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant: One
Sacrifice, in the New Covenant, as a replacement for the many sacrifices, in the Old
Paul’s teaching was unpopular during his time. The Jews in authority were against his
teaching. They did not want to see their system fade into extinction. In other words, they
did not want to lose their positions in society: They had made the <means> in itself the
1Corinthians 2:2 For I (Paul) determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him
1Corinthians 1:23 But we (Paul) preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto
the Greeks foolishness;
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I (Paul) should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Observe the contrast, expressed in Philippians 3:9, between the “faith of Christ” and “the
Philippians 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law (temple
laws of justification), but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of
God by faith;
Justification from sin or the resultant righteousness came through the sacrificial laws –
typically – in the Old Covenant; however, justification from sin or the resultant
righteousness came by faith in Christ in the New Covenant. Paul expressed “my own
righteousness” when referring to the added law, because one had to offer sacrifices to
obtain this “righteousness” – this righteousness came by doing works. However, in the
New Covenant, Christ procures righteousness for the Covenantee once he expresses faith
in Yahshua’s sacrifice. Observe that this is a contrast between the two methods of
To comprehend Paul’s writings, one must understand that there are two types of
righteousness: 1) Righteousness by keeping the Ten Commandments and 2)
Righteousness by justification. We develop righteous character by the first method. God
gives the second method of righteousness to us as a means to an end: So that we can
continue with the first method of righteousness. In other words, justification makes
righteous character building possible; however, we build righteous character only by
keeping the Ten Commandments. In Philippians 3:9, Paul is speaking of the second type
of righteousness – that by justification – and he is contrasting this type of righteousness in
the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant.
Anytime Paul teaches about the faith of Christ, we know that he references justification
by faith in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. Now the very fact that justification
continues as a necessity in the New Covenant provides us with the answer that a Law
exists and that the Covenantee breaks that Law.
Moreover, to prove that Paul is not speaking of Christ forgiving us only once so that we
do not need to avail ourselves of justification again all we need do is observe the daily
“Lord’s Prayer”. Furthermore, John indicates that the confession and forgiveness of sins
by Christians is an ongoing thing: If we – those accepted into the covenant – confess our
sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us (day by day) our sins for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead
us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
1John 1:9 If we (converts to Christianity) confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our]
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
With this background, let us proceed and observe the different perspectives of Paul’s
teaching about the crucifixion of Christ – the justification aspect of the New Covenant.
Moreover, by Paul’s own admission, this just about covers the entirety of his life’s work,
as a minister of the Gospel. Paul only mentions the Ten Commandments and other
aspects of the Gospel as required in his teaching concerning the transition from the
ritualistic laws of justification to justification by faith in Christ.
To better understand Romans, read our book: Romans! We wrote our commentary on
Romans several years ago; and although we understand the subject better now, that book
holds a lot of information in contextual form.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Under the Old Covenant laws of justification, sin had dominion over the people for two
reasons: 1) The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin – the conscience of the
people was still plagued by their sins, and 2) The laws of justification were so laborious
and the effort so great that the people neglected them except for special times of the
year – and this effect was greater the further one lived from the temple. In order for
God to bring the Gentiles – the world at large – into His Covenant, He needed a better
system of justification. It was bad enough to have to travel from Dan or Beersheba to get
to the temple; but imagine living in New York or Chicago and having to go to Jerusalem
to receive justification for your sins!
Anytime we see the word <grace> we know that Paul is speaking about justification – the
application of mercy and pardon for one’s sins. Under the New Covenant, one only has to
ask God for forgiveness and the effect is immediate. There is no reason for sin to
dominate over anyone in the New Covenant.
Moreover, the process is so easy that Paul had to caution his readers not to make an
occasion to sin – break the Ten Commandments – just because it was so easy to be
reconciled to God. Shall we sin because we do not have to go to the temple and offer an
animal sacrifice every day to cover our sins? Shall we sin because we are under grace
and can gain God’s mercy just by a prayer? Absolutely not! God never intended that His
easy system of justification become a reason for one to indulge in breaking His Ten
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin (break the Ten Commandments), because we are not under
the law (old ritualistic system of justification), but under grace (the new system of justification by
faith)? God forbid.
Paul explains further in verse 18: God has freed you from the slavery of sin so that you may
become a slave to righteousness. Paul does not explain here how one may become a slave
to righteousness; he only states a fact. Keep in mind that a slave to righteousness means
one who toils to keep the Ten Commandments.
Paul does reveal an important component to the subject of sin in verse 23. There, Paul
tells us that the wages of sin – breaking the Ten Commandments – is death; the means of
justification is through Christ; and one may obtain eternal life only through Christ.
However, we must keep in mind that Paul’s subject was from the perspective of the
transition from the Old Covenant justification system to the New Covenant justification
system, in a major way. Paul does not address – at this point – how one may sin less by
the indwelling of the holy spirit: Another change in the New Covenant. Here Paul focuses
on his lifetime chosen or commissioned topic of justification-system change.
Romans 6:18 informs us that the Old Covenant had focused on the negative while the
New Covenant focuses on the positive. In other words, the Old Covenant focused on sin;
whereas, the New Covenant focuses on righteousness.
Romans 6:18 And having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin (transgression of the Ten Commandments) [is] death; but the gift
of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In order to consider the immediate context of Romans 7:4-6, we need to begin with verse
1. Paul opens his subject by giving a statement of fact to the Jews about the Old
Covenant: Once one became a part of the Old Covenant – through birth or as a proselyte
– that covenant continued for the remainder of his life. There was just one exception.
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law <the Jews>,) how that
the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
In verse 2, Paul explains the exception. The Old Covenant was a marriage covenant. A
woman is bound to the law of her husband (by the contract or covenant of marriage) as
long as the husband lives; however, should the husband die, the law of her husband – their
marriage contract (covenant) ceases to bind her. Paul uses the example of the woman
remaining alive, for she is a type of the church and the husband is a type of Christ, who
died ending the Old Covenant.
Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to [her] husband as long as he
lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of [her] husband.
Paul illustrates in verse 3 that once her husband dies, the woman is free to marry another
Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called
an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress,
though she be married to another man.
Paul uses his example in the foregoing verses to make a point in verse 4. He told his
Jewish brethren that the Old Covenant no longer bound them because Christ (Yahweh) –
the husband of the old marriage – had died. They could forget the laws of that marriage.
This made way for their new marriage to another man – the risen Christ (The Word of
God). They should now bear fruit (of righteousness – keep the Ten Commandments) to
God. In other words, the laws of the new husband now bound them. As the betrothed
wife of Christ – preparing for the marriage to Him – we practice the law of our new
husband to be.
Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law (Old Covenant) by the body
(death) of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that
we should bring forth fruit (of righteousness – the keeping of the Ten Commandments) unto God.
Paul continues in verse 5: Under the Old Covenant – the old marriage – we lived by our
carnal mind (we did not have the holy spirit). The required Law of the Old Covenant –
the Ten Commandments – meant sure death: The wages of sin are death. We had no
means of true justification: The added law – the blood of bulls and goats could not take
away our sins. However, the Ten Commandments define sin and they were binding on the
Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law (the Ten
Commandments defines sin and its infraction means death), did work in our members to bring forth
fruit unto death.
Paul continues in verse 6: The former husband is dead: We are no longer under His laws.
However, now God has espoused us to a new husband through the New Covenant: We
must serve the laws of our soon to be new husband, in the newness of spirit and not just in
the oldness of the letter.
2Corinthians 11:2 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.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and
he is the saviour of the body.
In other words, those made a part of the New Covenant must serve the Law of Christ.
Paul makes clear that the Law of Christ includes the Ten Commandments, as the
explanation of sin, when he says that we should serve in the newness of spirit and not in the
oldness of the letter. The Old Covenant only required the Israelites to live according to the
letter of the Decalogue; however, the New Covenant requires that one live according to
the spirit of the Ten Commandments.
The laws of justification of the former husband do not now apply; rather, justification now
comes by faith in the power of the sacrifice of the new husband-to-be – the Head of the
Church (the Head of the wife). The old marriage covenant did not include any help to live
a righteous life. The new marriage covenant includes the holy spirit, as a gift indwelling
the mind to make possible the building of righteous character, which one may store up for
the day of resurrection. In other words, the holy spirit is a gift that makes possible
eternal life – if we use it.
Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law (of our former husband)[the Old Covenant], that
being dead wherein we were held (the Old Covenant that bound us has ceased because of the death
of our former husband – here Paul speaks to the Jewish converts); that we should serve (the Law of
our new husband) in newness of (the) spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Paul used the above explanation to illustrate to his Jewish brothers why it would be
proper for them to end their loyalty to the Old Covenant and its justification system that
did not work, with its lack of the holy spirit. Under the New Covenant, their new Husband
required them to keep the Ten Commandments – to a greater degree than that of their
former husband. Their new Husband expected them to keep the Law of God in the spirit
of them rather than in the letter of them.
(Note: One must keep a law in the letter if he keeps it in the spirit – the letter of the law
is at a lower level than the spirit of the law: In other words, when one keeps the Law of
God in the spirit he has surpassed the letter-of-the-law-level). We will give a detailed
explanation of this a little later.
However, the New Covenant included a greater support level: The holy spirit. The mind
of the holy spirit cannot sin. Just as the carnal mind cannot be subject to the Law of God
– the Ten Commandments – the spirit mind cannot sin. The two verses below give the
contrast between the carnal and spirit minds. Man has both of these minds, if he is a part
of the New Covenant. The spirit mind and justification by faith make the difference
between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Law of God is the same in both
covenants; however, the means of keeping them and getting past the failure to keep them
Unfortunately, the KJV has grossly mistranslated 1John 3:9 causing misconstrued ideas
about this verse. When one correctly translates the phrase, “cannot sin” it means that
one who has the holy spirit (a member of the New Covenant) “has the ability to refrain
from sinning” (the holy spirit gives him that ability).
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.
1John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God (has the holy spirit) doth not commit sin (as the new man); for
his (God’s) seed (holy spirit) remaineth in him (the man): and he (the man) cannot sin (has the
ability to refrain from sinning), because he (the man) is born of God (has the spirit of God).
In Romans 8:1-6, Paul expresses another perspective of the subject of his life –
justification by faith has replaced justification by the temple sacrifices. Those of the New
Covenant need never have a problem with their conscience – feel condemned – because
they do not live their lives by the carnal mind. Rather, they live their lives by the spirit.
The spirit mind cannot sin and when one resorts to the carnal mind and sins then he may
receive justification instantly by faith in the sacrifice of Christ – provided he asks for that
forgiveness. In other words, there is just no reason to go around in a condemned state of
mind in the New Covenant. In fact, if we use the means of the holy spirit and justification
at our disposal, there are no feelings of condemnation in our mind.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them, which are in Christ Jesus, who walk
not after the flesh, but (walk) after (live their lives according to) the Spirit.
Paul continues: The law of our new husband – the New Covenant – includes the ability to
refrain from sin by the mind of the spirit. We are free from the law of sin and its penalty
– death. Here Paul speaks from a perspective. The Ten Commandments is that set of
laws that explains sin. To break the Ten Commandments means death. The Old
Covenant did not provide the means to free one from sin and death. The Old Covenant
did require the Ten Commandments just as does the New Covenant – albeit in the letter
rather than in the spirit. However, what good is it to know what sin is when we do not
have the means to overcome its penalty? As Paul explains elsewhere, the good of the Old
Covenant was so that the Israelites could leave us – those under the New Covenant – an
example of what it would be like without the elements, as they exist in the New Covenant.
Under the New Covenant, as we have already discussed, these two changes give one the
ability to escape sin and death. The holy spirit gives one the ability to live by the law; and
justification by faith gives one the means to daily rid oneself from any incursions he has
made against the Law of God – the Decalogue. We are free from the law of the former
husband but bound to the law of the new husband.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit (the New Covenant: law of the new husband) of life in Christ
Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (the Old Covenant: law of the former
Paul addressed another aspect of the law in 1Timothy 1:9: One does not make a law for a
righteous man. One, who is righteous, would not need the Ten Commandments. The
Decalogue gives us the definition of sin and a righteous man does not sin! The Ten
Commandments are for those who have not trained their mind to know what sin is. Once
you know what sin is, then you could dispense with the Ten Commandments. However,
God has given us a lifetime to learn that lesson; and it seems that man needs a lifetime to
get those principles into his head. In other words, Paul speaks rhetorically in 1Timothy 1:
9, for none is righteous, no not one: Romans 3:10. As an example: Christ would not need
the Ten Commandments, for He has mastered them.
1Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and
disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and
murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things, which he suffered;
Paul continues with his theme: The Law of the former husband was weak. While it
specified the definition of sin, its justification system was horrible – from the perspective
of efficacy; and the carnal mind was a broken stick. Therefore, God sent Yahshua to
make a covenant that would set everything right – it would give man just what he needed
to overcome the drawbacks of the Old Covenant. God knew from the foundation of the
world that this would be necessary. However, He let Israel create examples of how sorry
man would do without the elements of the New Covenant. God gave ancient Israel a
magnificent system of justification laws, from the perspective of their meaning. These
sacrificial laws pointed to Christ. Yahshua – one sacrifice – covered all of the sacrificial
laws of ancient Israel. It took all of those sacrifices to set down the details of the One
Sacrifice to come. God did not just decide to burden Israel down with more than they
could possibly do to show up their bad side. Each sacrifice has meaning that culminates in