Of the ‘Other Gospels’ that vitiate the life of Christ in the church today, the two offenders are the living of the old covenant in the new covenant age and the accommodation to a form of godliness without power. The latter is sapped by cessationsm (1) and the other is without spirit and life. We don’t have to live from the law and we are not compelled to with out authority like mere practitioners of religion.
‘Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children’ Gal 4.25 NIV. [Old covenant mindset]
‘Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people’ 2 Tim 3.5 ESV. [Cessationist mindset]
In the hybrid, old covenant/new covenant gospel ‘grace’ is relied on to enable us to cope with the law. But it retains us in it. This is a half-gospel. Here it is assumed that the law remains in place to keep us alert and up to the mark. Jesus does his part in covering our inability to keep the law while providing some impetus for us to do better at keeping its precepts. If it looks like a mongrel gospel, it is.
This half-gospel is not the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is a gospel where the old covenant is grafted to the new to form a kind of hybrid that does not end the Adam in us or impart the Christ to us. In other words it is not what God accomplished for us in Christ. It is a serious demolition of both our fullness in Christ and a thwarting of the new creation.
The new creation grows out of the person of Jesus in us. Should we embrace grace but remain affixed to the law and the forms of religious effort designed to secure acceptance with God, we annul the new covenant suffocate our relationship with Jesus and impede the Kingdom of God’s Son. This should be enough to indicate the origins of this kind of bad doctrine.
GRACE IS A LIFE
Grace is far more than the acquittal of sins. Grace is Jesus. This is a life that is not yours living in you as your possession and inheritance. You are lived-in by the Spirit of Christ and actually become the habitation of the trinity. In Father, you are marinated in Sonship and nurtured as a unique daughter or son.
This new covenant life is both new in time and new as something entirely distinct - a radical departure from the old covenant knowledge of good and evil/law based regime called the law of sin and death. Christ in you as your life is the law of the spirit of life alive in your being and in the church.
There is no place for the law in the new covenant age - not even one jot or one tittle because all has been fulfilled in Christ. He is more than the fulfilment of the law in you. He is the complete undoing of all that is feeble, deficient and dead. He is life itself coursing through your being. It’s either all of Him or nothing. You cannot have two masters. To cling to one fragment of law is to embrace all of it - which quenches the Spirit and dulls you as a Believer. You have one Husband who is Christ and one identity as a son/daughter of God.
(1)The problem for cessationism is that the gifts and the signs have not ceased as can be attested by thousands of Believers. People are healed. Some are raised from the dead and demons are cast out. I’ve seen all of this myself and so have many of my friends. Yet the mystery of iniquity would have us believe in a gospel without power and authority - gospel of meetings, talk and Bible readings but not one where Jesus has come in the flesh – ours!