There has been a change of Covenant between God and man which is not based upon our ability to obey His laws but upon His promise.

When we start being badgered into whether or not we are holy or whether or not we are being obedient to God we are about to be entangled with a heavy yoke of bondage. Beware when the message you are feeding upon is all about how unclean you are and how unholy you are. Beware when the preacher is seeking to make you feel like a guilty sinner. His intentions are good, but all he is doing is bringing you under the yoke of bondage which is part of the OLD Covenant system.

You are forgiven all your sins and trespasses. It is already the case for you. You have been reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Have been! Past tense.

The gospel of the New Covenant is about BELIEVING the truth —The Bad news of the Old Covenant is all about doing all the Law–which only leads to BONDAGE.

Hagar was the fleshly choice of an unbelieving heart. Unbelief said, ‘God cannot fulfill His promise to us(Abram and Sarai)for we are too old and barren.’ Unbelief thought that fulfilling the promise of God depended upon themselves and so in looking at their own abilities they failed to see the Grace and power of God. So the obvious choice for them was to use Hagar the Egyptian girl to bring forth a son for Abram.

Of course Hagar was most likely young and attractive, an obvious choice to arouse an old man. No doubt Sarai was full of self doubts about her own age and condition. She assumed that a younger woman would be better for the job.

The result of that union produced Ishmael who later on began to compete with Isaac for the inheritance given to sons. It was at that time when Sarah saw the way Ishmael mocked Isaac in an attempt to exalt himself to number one status as a son, that Sarah demanded Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away.

Paul makes the point of telling us by the Spirit of God that it cannot be that the OLD covenant followers shall inherit with those of the NEW covenant. It cannot be that anyone shall inherit God’s Promise based upon the works of the flesh. It cannot be that anyone can inherit the Kingdom EXCEPT by being counted as the SEED of Abraham.

Abraham pleased God because he believed….eventually. He believed and therefore received the promised SON –who was a type of Jesus. We too believe and receive God’s promise –a son given to us….so that in believing we receive RIGHTEOUSNESS by faith–a free gift from God.

There is always a choice presented before us. Choose this day life or death. When God holds out the offer of inheriting all things through faith in Jesus…..the other choice will show it’s proud face. That other choice will depend upon your obedience and ability. The other choice will always excite the carnal mind and give us a reason to boast.

Abraham was a liar and a coward. Revelation 21:8 tells us no cowards or liars can inherit. It is obvious that Abraham’s ability to be holy is not what qualifies him to inherit the Kingdom but his faith in God’s ability.

God has promised to be our God and to make us His children–he shall do it…He  has done it!

We are the children of Abraham if we have been given faith in Jesus the Son of the Living God. We are the children of Sarah who SENT AWAY HAGAR AND ISHMAEL so that she trusted only in God’s ability to perform His promise. She  cast out from her home the mother of bondage knowing that only those who believe and trust God to do it shall inherit.

There are many ways to apply this theme but in the context which Paul the Apostle wrote about it, the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant were the subject. The Old represented by Hagar brings forth bondage. The New represented by Sarah causes us to inherit.

Beware of those who put the onus upon you to make sure you qualify. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you and all your household shall be saved.” Nothing added.

Stand fast in the freedom which Christ has made us free! Do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Believe! Believe you are already holy, already righteous, already forgiven, already passed from death to life and will not come into judgment. Believe that His blood is enough. Believe that it is God who qualifies you, not you qualifying yourself. It is God’s salvation–not yours to do–but yours to receive.

The yoke of bondage in Galatians 5:1… is also the yoke of slavery to fear in Romans 8:15….it is also the same heavy yoke which Peter said neither we nor our fathers could bear.

Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

Our hearts HAVE BEEN purified(Acts 15:9) by faith in Jesus—that is the easy yoke of Jesus.

We have Sarah as our mother–who equates to the Jerusalem which is of the Spirit(above). Grace is of God and heavenly—trying to please God by the works of the Law is earthy and of the flesh. Best to separate from those preaching holiness, for they are preaching the old covenant. If they preach Jesus as your only holiness then that is another thing–that is what the Good news is all about!

May God be glorified and all flesh bow its knees.

2Co 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin  sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Father made Jesus sin for us. What an amazing thought!!
Not the verb sin, but the noun sin. Father made Jesus our sin that we might become the  righteousness of God in Him.
A lot of emphasis is placed on the last half of the verse by Grace preachers. We are the righteousness of God in Him(Christ Jesus)..wonderful! But equal in importance is the reality that Father made Jesus to be(come) our sin as well.
On the Cross Jesus was our sin so that we might become His righteousness when once we believe upon Him. But what does that mean that He became  sin?
Sin is what we were before we were drawn by God to Jesus. Sin was our nature by birth in Adam’s line. We were by nature children of wrath.
Jesus on the other hand was not born of Joseph and thus did not inherit from him but from His Father in heaven. Jesus knew no sin. He was not born in Adam’s line…yet He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without falling into sin once. He could have fallen but He lived by the life of the Father in him and not by thinking he himself had any goodness of his own.
He came to give His life for us, to redeem us and to save us. To do this He had to become us.

Isa 53:3  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isa 53:4  Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus became so fully you and me that He was Sin on the Cross.

Isa 53:10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
Isa 53:11  He shall see the labour of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Isa 53:12  Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

This happened in Jesus long ago–yes….and we believe it.
But this is still happening in Jesus now!!
For you and I to become the righteousness of God in Him Jesus is still being made a sin offering for us. Jesus has completely become you, still, today, now! Jesus has taken all of you into HImself, receiving all of you, your weaknesses, failings, sins, rebellion, confusion, everything!! Jesus bears it all in Himself inside of your spirit where He dwells.
In exchange for becoming you -you become Him!!  This is what Isaiah saw and also Paul.
Do we see it?
You can only be the Righteousness of God in Him if you allow Jesus to be all of you–now, and at your worst moments. He is still bearing our sin and carrying our iniquities, still making intercession for you and me- now and always.
This is not happening way up there in heaven far away as most imagine. This intercession of Jesus is happening inside of your heart where Jesus dwells in the Father. What!?
Yes. Jesus dwells in the Father and the Father dwells in Jesus…NOT up in a heaven somewhere beyond the stars…BUT IN YOUR HEART!!!

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
Joh 14:17  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Joh 14:18  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Joh 14:19  “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.
Joh 14:20  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Joh 14:10  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?
Joh 14:11  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,

Tradition NOT Scripture has taught us that Jesus is far away up in heaven. Jesus tells us clearly- SO CLEARLY- that he and the Father are in our heart and we are in Him.
This is the wonderful exchanged life that we are.
He became our sin-He is still made our sin – constantly bearing it, constantly carrying it away into the Grave- constantly taking away the sins of the world. On the other side, Jesus is constantly our Righteousness, constantly justifying all those who believe…so that we are constantly pleasing to the Father, constantly in His presence constantly sharing our heart with Him and His with us.
We are one heart with Him because Jesus IS made sin for us.

If we practice “law living” we point at ourselves with an accusing finger – “not good enough – try harder!” We cannot help but compare ourselves to others to see if we are keeping up appearances. The Devil laughs, for though we think we are getting “more holy” he knows we are  setting our mind on the flesh and are actually a stench in God’s nostrils.

So we have a choice. We keep trying to better ourselves and to be holy, which of course repels God away from us…or we capitulate and agree with Scripture that we are already as holy and blameless as we will ever be.

Can we become more holy than Jesus Christ? Obviously not. Then why are we even trying to be holy? Jesus is our holiness! Any other holiness is self attained and is dross and rubbish to God. It is like the man who looked over his flock to choose a suitable lamb to sacrifice for his many sins. Instead of choosing the perfect lamb, the One without blemish or spot, he chooses a weak, lame, blotched lamb and offers that to God.

When Israel were shown in the Law of Moses to offer a lamb without spot or blemish, it was to typify Jesus Christ the perfect Lamb of God. When a man brought his lamb to the priest an exchange occurred symbolically. The sins of the man were put upon the animal before it was killed through confession and laying on of hands. In exchange for his sins the perfection of the young, perfect(sinless)lamb was transferred to the man’s account.

The guilty one went away justified and made righteous through the perfection of the lamb he had offered.

This is what God did with our sin. All our failure to keep the Law, all our falling short of the perfection that God’s law demands was put upon Jesus Christ when He willingly became our sacrifice.

All the perfection, holiness and right standing with God that belonged to Jesus was transferred to our account the moment we believed in Him. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

He did not make us righteous so that we would turn around and say, ‘Thanks Lord, I am righteous so now I am going to try really hard to stay righteous’. No! We are made righteous and holy so we can REST from all our self effort.

Being holy is something we need to accept as a done deal, a finished work…it is not something we work at doing.

Give Jesus thanks today for His holiness and His righteousness because He is both of these God qualities in you.