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Friday: Further Thought ~ The New Covenant — 9 Comments

  1. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in the idea that we have got this covenant thing right. The Jews made a big mess of the old covenant and failed to see that it pointed to Jesus. But, we have got it right. We know it is through Jesus that we have salvation by his death and his ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Our knowledge will save us! Or does it?

    It is easy to fall into the smug complacency of thinking we are better than someone else. But, in the spiritual realm is our faith in our knowledge just another form of salvation by works. Part of the problem is that we think of salvation in terms of a reward. I know that there are passages in the Bible that give that impression.

    Listen to what Paul has to say:

    For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
    I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
    Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim 4:6-8 KJV

    The question that we need to ask is: When was Paul saved? Was it at the end of his life, or when he gave his heart to Jesus? The text in bold above was about living a saved life; not a description of how to be saved.

    We need to read what else Paul wrote:

    According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
    For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Phil 1:20,21 KJV

    To Paul, the concept of salvation was about living in the present, as well as the hope for the future. That is not just knowledge. A saved life is practical in the present time.

    I can think of many Christians who understand the notion of salvation in the present, not by their ability to explain it in erudite detail but though the way they live and relate to God and one another. Salvation is not a retirement plan for them.

  2. At the beginning of this week about the 2nd renewal Covenant with Israel I asked the question - why was it presented in that order. I believe the LORD was saying the goal of the Covenant was to restore the original relationship humans had with Him. He then goes back step by step of how this miracle happened (as it often happens in Semitic thinking see Daniel & Revelation).
    So the goal is human partnership in the Covenant which needs changed characters, but that needs us to accept Him as our Ruler, but before that we need to know the LORD and His character, but even before that Jesus had to provide forgiveness of our sins by His life, death & resurrection.
    The goal of the Everlasting Covenant is for us to live during this probationary time on earth with a character of loving kindness just like the LORD. Ex 34:5-7; Matt 5:3-12.

    Peace with God Through Faith
    Rom 4:23  Now it was not written for his (Abraham) sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 
    Rom 4:24  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 
    Rom 4:25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
    Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 
    Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
    Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 
    Rom 5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 
    Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 
    2Co 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 

  3. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Ezek 36:21

    'What is the advantage of having the law written in the heart as opposed to only on tablets of stone? Which is easier to forget, the law written on stones or the law written in the heart?'

    Is there a difference or advantage of any whether it was/is written on scrolls/stone/parchment/books etc. Hear what he said to Ezekiel the prophet in Ezek 36:25-28. A tablet of stone can be or is within humans heart/mind. The Lord had promised to remove the stony heart and give his people a heart of flesh. Then he will put his Holy Spirit within us. It is through the working of the Holy Spirit on humans heart that the change will be brought about. Ezek 37:1-28. The valley of dry bones. Can it be possible for a heart of flesh dwell in a stony heart or dry bones? No.

  4. "Which is easier to forget, the law written on stones or the law written in the heart?"

    The law is only effective if implanted in the “heart”(Ps 119:11), from whence our life “issues” forth(Pr 4:23). Unbelief will forget the law no matter where it has been written.

    "Who is the only One who has rendered “perfect obedience”? How does that obedience answer the demands of the law for us?"

    For justification, Christ's obedience is counted for us. In sanctification, His obedience counts for nothing if WE are not sanctified(John 17:17, 1 Thess 4:3). Holiness must become ours through faith in God's promises(2 Pe 1:4). WE must have the wedding garment on, we must be over-comers(Rev 2-3). If not, we have no faith in "the power of God unto salvation"(Rom 1:16, Phil 4:13). We cannot forget Jude 1:24!

    • I had the same thoughts with today’s final questions. Having the law written in my heart means I have chosen to have it written there. I have asked God to wrote His law on my heart. There are quite a few texts that tell us we must choose. Joshua 24:15 was the first one to pop into my mind.

    • I had a phone call I needed to answer so I didn’t have time to comment on the 2nd part of Robert Whiteman’s comment. Christ’s life was to “show us the Father” and it was to show us how to live. His death did not take away the need for us to be obedient. If we say things that indicate that now that Jesus lived and died we are not required to be obedient, are we not saying that Jesus does not have the power to transform our lives? He lived his life in constant communion with his Heavenly Father, and that is how he was able to live the life that he lived. We have everything available to us, that Jesus had. If we don’t have the same thing available to us, then won’t Satan be able to “cry foul”? The whole controversy stemmed from his jealousy, and his claims were that Gods law could not be kept. If we don’t render perfect obedience, are we not telling the universe that Satan is right? I don’t believe we will be sinless. We are sinful humans and that will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. But obedience indicates our characters, and that will not be changed, it is what we take with us to heaven. I am still studying this topic and learning everyday about this great battle we’re in, and what has helped me is to put every topic into the perspective of this great controversy. Ephesians 6:12 helps me keep it all in perspective.

  5. The lessons of the past week and the comments in response to it have given me an interesting insight into the Covenants and how Christians differ in focus and understanding of it.
    As I see it, the New Covenant and the Old Covenant are all about faith; faith in the Word of God – a practical faith, the faith that lives God's Word.
    To help with this, the New Covenant has added the physical presence of God’s Son Christ Jesus to teach us and show us the practical application of living the Word of God. The Word/Will of God is Christ Jesus’ Gospel, and when He left, God sent the Comforter - the Holy Spirit.

    As Maurice pointed out in his comments – “The text in bold above was about living a saved life; not a description of how to be saved.” I came to the same conclusion! We are not encouraged to be educated in how to reason about the Old or the New Covenant, we are encouraged to believe it and live it! The Gospel is not a theological exercise, it is a faith-based-life-application.

    And these are my questions in conclusion to this study of the Covenants:
    Are we ready to fully engage in the Life as Christ lived it?
    Does our faith have deep conviction to want to do the ‘right thing’?
    Do we really understand the Covenant's value – the forgiveness of our sins and iniquities by grace through faith?
    Does this not require that we acknowledge that the unredeemed life is a life of iniquity?
    Are we willing to have uprooted every vestage of iniquity, completely and forever?

    The aim of the Covenants – Salvation of man - is and always will be believing and living the Father’s Gospel of Truth and Light, demonstrated by His Son Christ Jesus. This is what the truth-seeking heart and mind thirsts for, even dies for.
    A contrite heart, a willing and humble spirit, yearning to live ones life with a disposition that engages with his fellow man in loving kindness, mercy and justice, so reflecting the Truth and Light, the Will of our heavenly Father and His Son Christ Jesus - living in His heavenly kingdom here on earth!
    I say: The Old as well as the New Covenant is God's offer to the believer to choose Life - the New Life lived according to the Will of God.

  6. Galatians 2:20 & Colossians 1:27.
    If I am unwilling to allow Jesus(through the Holy Spirit) to live out His life within me(Romans 8:9), if I insist on living as carnal(sinful), I thwart our loving God's eternal plans for me.
    God will honor my choice, be it rebellion or surrender. Romans 8:14, 2 Peter 3:9

  7. #3 of todays lesson:
    If I confess, repent, and then I am forgiven, now that I have done these I am in perfect obedience. 

    Wow, perfect obedience is so hard to do, I get discouraged and want to walk away from it all.  Then I remember reading that perfect obedience is not attained by any thing I do, rather from the merits of  Christ in me. the only one who had, and has perfect obedience. Isaiah 45:24.

    I am reminded also that this is not by faith alone, but by faith I put my hand on Christ, and obtain His righteousness. 

    I also remember when I put my hand on Christ and give my consent for Him to work in me, then my discouragement lifts,  realizing that I am not able of myself to bring my purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; with this realization I settle into the peace given me because I am willing to be made willing, knowing that God will accomplish the work for me, even casting down my imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. This is living faith, or if you prefer putting faith into practice. 

    My spirits are lifted because with earnest prayer and allowing Christ to humble me every step of the way, self melts away by being in the presence of God day by day, hour by hour, peace overcomes, and I can say with Isaiah, Thou hast, are, and will keep me in perfect peace, because my mind is on You, and my trust, faith, and knowledge, is in You Lord.  I am not worthy, but I do accept and thank-You for all you have done for me.  Isaiah 26:3-4.

    Wow again, what a breath of fresh air, with the knowledge of the Good News, the Gospel of Christ.  If we surrender, confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us, our sins, and a encouraging point is that, He  cleanses from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9. Christ said if I be lifted up I will draw all men to me.  John 12:32. Our work is to refrain from resisting Christ drawing. Remember we can't surrender, confess, repent or get pardon without the aid of the Holy Spirit.  With all the aid from the Holy Spirit it is hard for us to be lost.

    Let me end this discussion by Christ most wonderful promise, and encouragement.

    All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].
    John 6:37.


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