"You Must" vs. "I Will"

Throughout the book of Deuteronomy we find lists of things God requires of His people so that they stay in right standing before Him. You can look it up for yourself, but to show you what I mean here’s an excerpt:

Deuteronomy 6:13-18 (NLT)

YOU MUST fear the Lord your God and serve him. When you take an oath,

YOU MUST use only his name.

YOU MUST not worship any of the gods of neighboring nations, for the Lord your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God.

His anger will flare up against you, and he will wipe you from the face of the earth.

YOU MUST not test the Lord your God as you did when you complained at Massah.

YOU MUST diligently obey the commands of the Lord your God—all the laws and decrees he has given you.

Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with you.

The Law requires perfection. It exists to point out our flaws and where we fall short. If God’s people obeyed The Law they were blessed. When they disobeyed God’s wrath followed. The Law is good and right, but it lacks the power to save us.

Contrast this with the new covenant of Grace that God establishes with the sending of His Son Jesus. In Hebrews chapter eight God repeatedly uses the phrase, “I will” as opposed to, “You Must.”

Hebrews 8:7-13

If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. But when God found fault with the people, he said:

“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I WILL make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.

This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. They did not remain faithful to my covenant, so I turned my back on them, says the Lord.

But this is the new covenant I WILL make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:

I WILL put my laws in their minds,

and I WILL write them on their hearts.

I WILL be their God, and they will be my people.

And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord. For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already.

And I WILL forgive their wickedness,

and I WILL never again remember their sins.”

When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.

It seems to me that God has taken the pressure off of us a bit here. The old agreement was dependent on me doing and living up to my end of the deal. Under the terms of the new agreement I can depend on Jesus’ finished work at the cross for me.

God’s Grace is clearly seen when you begin to understand the difference between the “You Must” language of The Law and the “I Will” language of Grace!

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