Moses' second speech, Part 18
Aug 09, 2012
Having seen the prophetic implications of the law of phylacteries (Deut. 6:8), and how this law commands us to have the law written in our hearts, we can now see a second side to this law in the following verse:
(9) And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This law broadens the application of the principle from the personal to the family and the community's government.
In other words, the law must be written on the hearts of individuals, but also of the family ("house" or "household") and of the government ("gates"). In those days the public court was held at the gates of the city, as we see, for example, in Ruth 4:11.
When we apply the law in an Old Covenant manner, this law commands us to hear the word and apply it personally, within the family, and in the community and courts.
The New Covenant makes the change from a command to a prophecy or promise. Hence, the Ten Commandments become the Ten Promises under the New Covenant. Whereas the Old Covenant commands us to do something that is contrary to human nature (i.e., the fleshly man of the first Adam), the New Covenant promises that we (the New Creation Man) will indeed do these things when the law is written on our hearts.
Hence, the command, "You shall not steal" is a command under the Old Covenant that is imposed upon the carnal mind in order to coerce it by threats of judgment to act in a righteous manner.
However, the same command under the New Covenant is a promise that when the Holy Spirit begets Christ in you (Col. 1:27), that New Creation Man within you will not and cannot sin, because it is begotten of God (1 John 3:9). Paul tells us that while the flesh man may certainly commit sin when it is not constrained by the law, his real self--his New Creation Man--does not sin (Rom. 7:15-18).
And so the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham and all who are (and will be) of the household of faith. The promise is that the Holy Spirit will beget Christ in us who is as perfect as Jesus Christ, because we all have the same perfect heavenly Father. It is only the man born of Adam or of his household who sins.
To the New Creation Man that is Christ in you, the law is a statement of his character. The New Creation Man cannot violate the law, because God is his Father. This New Creation Man will never have any gods before his Father. He will always honor his Father. He will never steal, murder, or commit adultery. He will never covet.
The New Creation Man will have the law written on his heart. The law will be bound on his forehead, taking "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). The righteousness of the law will be manifested in every work of his hands.
This is not only to be the condition of the individual, but also the condition of the family and government on the face of the earth. This is the promise of God and the goal of history. It is not dependent upon the carnal will of Adamic man, but upon the ability of God to fulfill His promise and the very purpose of creation.
Is God powerful enough to accomplish His goal? Or is the will of man able to subvert God's purposes and cause God to lose most of creation? Was God not wise enough to devise a plan that would give Him the overwhelming victory in the end?
Yes, he is all power, all wise, and all love. And when He spoke the Ten Commandments, along with the rest of the law, He turned them into His Promises through the New Covenant. This took the burden off man to accomplish His will and put it upon His own shoulders. That is, in fact, the only way that His will would ever be accomplished, for it is the only guarantee of success. The New Covenant promises, "I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts" (Heb. 8:10).
How different this is from the Old Covenant which said, "If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession" (Ex. 19:5). The Old Covenant put the responsibility upon the will of man to obey the law. The New Covenant put the responsibility upon God to work within our hearts by the Holy Spirit in order to make us His people.
The law in Deut. 6:9 applies the New Covenant to the family, community, government, and the entire judicial system. This shows the extent of the New Covenant promise, for the government of God extends to all that He created. Hence, in the end, when His work has been completed, all things will be under His feet (dominion), and God will be "all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28).
If anyone doubts that the Scriptures actually teach this, I suggest reading my book, The Restoration of All Things.
Another book that focuses upon the judgments of God and shows how the purpose of judgment is to correct and restore the sinners is The Judgments of Divine Law.
The holiness of God demands judgment for sin, but the love of God demands that all judgment eventually should correct and restore the sinner. The wisdom of God finds a way to do this. The power of God ensures the success of God's will and plan.
The law reveals God's will as well as His plan for creation. One must understand these things if a person really wants to have the law written on his heart.
This is the eighteenth part of a series titled "Moses' Second Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones