Tag: New Covenant

Our sufficiency is in Christ!

Scripture reading for July 31st: 2nd Corinthians 3, Psalm 2, Proverbs 28-29  (two chapters of Proverbs today to enable going to odd Psalms every other day)

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 3:3-6  “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Paul, writing again to the Church in Corinth, contrasted his own ministry with those who boasted of their own sufficiency.  His ministry had produced the fruit of changed lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit had written God’s law of love on human hearts to bring about the change.  Effort to keep the letter of the law produced only death but the Spirit gave life.  The only boast Paul had was in God’s faithfulness and work by the Holy Spirit.

Faith Confession:  I thank God that He has declared me sufficient as a minister of the new covenant of the Holy Spirit.  He works through me by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to bring about heart change in those who believe.

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”  

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Thankful for God’s Dwelling with Us!

Scripture reading for September 14th:  Ezekiel 34-38

Key Scriptures:  Ezekiel 37:26-28 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put My sanctuary among them forever.  My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people.  Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when My sanctuary is among them forever.'”

God spoke to His people concerning a new covenant of peace that would last forever.  God promised to make the covenant and dwell with His people in His sanctuary that would be in their midst, never to be taken away again!  All nations would know that it is the Lord that makes His people, Israel, holy!  Under this new covenant, Gentiles would also experience God dwelling with them as their God and they would be His people!

God’s dwelling with us:  “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?  For we are the temple of the Living God.  As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”  2nd Corinthians 6:16

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Thankful for God’s New Covenant Love!

Scripture reading for August 25th:  Jeremiah 27-31

Key Scriptures:  Jeremiah 31:3-4  “The Lord appeared to us in the past saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.  I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.  Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”

Jeremiah 31:33-34  “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.  “I will put My law in their minds and write it on the tablets of their hears.  I will be their God, and they will be My people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, for the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  

Thankful for forgiveness of sins:  “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.  First He says:  “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time,” says the Lord.  “I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will writ them on their minds.”  Then He adds:  “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”  (Hebrews 10:15-17)

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‘The old is better’–NOT!

 

Scripture reading for March 10th:  Luke 5

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 5:37-39  “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins.  If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.  And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.'”

The ‘old wine’ of the Law and Mosaic Covenant was all the Israelites knew up to the time of Jesus Christ.  They had this ‘wine’ in their old ‘wineskins’.  But Jesus Christ came as mediator of a “New Covenant” of grace through faith.  This new covenant was not something that could just be added casually to the old teaching and temple rituals without causing trouble and great loss!  Jesus used a parable telling about the ‘old’ wineskins and ‘old’ wine and the need for ‘new’ wineskins for ‘new’ wine!

The Israelites would react to the ‘new’ with “The old is better!”   Jesus simply stated this to actually teach the opposite!  If we have ears to hear what Jesus is saying we learn that the new is better when we need to allow God to give us “new wineskins” to go along with it!  When we cling to the ‘old’ religious ways of legalism, we will fail!

Observations for over-comers:  Holding on to the ‘old wine’ and ‘old wineskins’ of our past and even our religious past will hinder us from allowing the ‘new wine’ of the Holy Spirit to give us a completely new life and power to over-come!  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heat of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

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Jesus: Priest of the New Covenant

Scripture reading for October 23rd:  Hebrews 8

“The point of what we are saying is this:  We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle, set up by the Lord, not by man.”  (Hebrews 8:1-2)

Jesus was a High Priest of the Order of Melchizedek.  He is alive and seated at the throne of heaven at God’s right hand, a place of eternal honor.  He now serves, not in a humanly constructed sanctuary or temple, but in the actual Tabernacle in Heaven.  He offered one sacrifice–His own blood and body–for the sins of all men and women and sat down, his work of sacrifice now finished!

In contrast, the High Priests of the Order of Aaron were men who offered gifts and sacrifices prescribed by the law of God.  The did this in a copy of the heavenly temple given to Moses on the Mount Sinai when he received the Ten Commandments, part of the Old Covenant.  Under this Old Covenant, the people were obligated to keep or obey God’s law and offer sacrifices of blood when they failed unintentionally.  The problem with this covenant was that the people disobeyed and broke the covenant.  The Law could only reveal sin, it could not deliver men from sin!  The blood sacrifices could only cover sin, not cleanse the inner man from sin and guilt.

But now, Jesus Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant.  By faith in Him and His Blood, all who believe will be saved from sin’s penalty: death! We can know God personally and have His law written inside.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:12)

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Ever-increasing glory!

Scripture reading for July 31st:  2nd Corinthians 3

Paul was a Pharisee and student of the Jewish Scriptures–our Old Testament.  He understood the law and the glory that Moses experienced as he received the Law in the holy Presence of God on the mountain.  “Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?  If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness?  For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.  And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts.”  (2nd Corinthians 3:7-11)

Jesus brought a ‘New Covenant’ that was of greater glory than the Old Covenant!  The Law could only show men their sin and provide temporary relief through animal sacrifice. The New Covenant brought forgiveness through Christ’s perfect sacrifice!  The Law brought condemnation and death, the Spirit brings justification and life eternal!  The Old Covenant was temporary, the New Covenant in Christ is eternal.  The Old Covenant required Moses wear a veil to cover the fading glory, the New Covenant removes the veil from all believers in Christ!

“Now where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  (2nd Corinthians 3:17-18) The glory of Christ in each believer transforms them into His likeness!  The glory that they reflect is “ever-increasing!”  Believers are growing in glory!

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Jesus’ appointed time!

Scripture reading for February 5th:  Matthew 26

“He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: My appointed time is near.  I am going to celebrate the Passover with My disciples at your house.””  (Matthew 26:18)  Jesus did nothing by accident or chance.  Every day of His life was as He saw the Father directing Him.  He was aware of the mission that He must accomplish and the time that was rapidly approaching for His final act of sacrifice.  He instructed His disciples to prepare for the Passover, His final one with them.

“And while they were eating, He said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me.””  (Matthew 26:21)  Jesus knew His disciples and the one that would soon betray Him.   All the disciples were sad and examined their hearts.  Jesus warned them that it would be better to never have been born than to betray Him!  As Judas asked if it was him, Jesus plainly told him “Yes, it is you.”

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.”  Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”   (Matthew 26:26-28)  As a visual lesson has greater impact, Jesus used the bread and the cup of grape juice to imprint on His followers the appointment He was soon to keep for their forgiveness!  This visual meal has reminded all of His followers throughout time of what Jesus did for them.  It also points us to His second coming at God’s appointed time for the greatest meal we will ever experience!

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Sunday Rest and Reflection!

Scripture reading for December 14th: Hebrews 8-10

I love new things!  Sometimes old things are nice to collect, but new things are better because they have all the latest technology.   But sometimes this shift to new is difficult for us because we are set in our ways.  This is what happened to many Jewish believers in the time of the letter to the Hebrews.

The old covenant had laws and regulations for those who broke those laws.  The old covenant had promises for those who obeyed and warning for those who didn’t.  Moses was the mediator of the old covenant and Aaron and the Levites were the high priest and priesthood.  These were men who had failings themselves and eventually died.  The old covenant had a mobile tabernacle carried by the Levites, and God could only be visited at prescribed times by certain people.  Only Aaron the high priest could go into where God’s dwelling was in the Holy of Holies.

Jesus Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant.  He revealed it to us by His life, teaching, and sacrificial death on a cross.  He was God’s Son, not just a servant.  He was perfectly obedient to the old covenant while here on earth and then became the sacrifice for laws broken under the old covenant.

His sacrifice was better because His body and blood were without sin.  He offered Himself once for all to put away sin.  (Hebrews 9:14)   He lives forever and is able to be a perfect high priest of a different order, that of Melchizedek.  (Hebrews 6:20)  He can identify with us because He was a man and  experienced our temptations. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

When we trust in Christ, God gives us a new heart and sends His Spirit to live in us.  (Hebrews 8:10-12)  We become priests of the new covenant here on earth!  Our sins are forgiven and erased from God’s memory.  We become the new dwelling place of God.  As children of God, we can come to Him any time with our needs and find help and comfort.

New Covenant people love to gather together and encourage each other.  We know Jesus Christ is coming soon!  We want to reach as many as possible with the Good News of the New Covenant before Christ appears!  (Hebrews 10:19-25)  Don’t hold onto the old, embrace the New Covenant!

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God’s unsearchable mysteries!

Scripture reading for August 12th: Jeremiah 30-33

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:  “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”  Jeremiah 31:3

“While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the Word of the Lord came to him a second time:  “This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it–The Lord is His name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  Jeremiah 33:2-3

God loves His people!  He draws His people to enter into a love relationship with Him by cords of loving-kindness.  He knows that love must be freely given by His people and that they must be drawn back to Him from the world and it’s enticements.  God’s love will ransom them from the hand of the enemy. (Jeremiah 31:11)  He will cause them to take up the tambourine and dance with the joyful!  (Jeremiah 31:4, 13)

At a time when the nation was surrounded by the  Babylonians and Jeremiah was confined to the courtyard of the guard under house arrest, God revealed to Jeremiah of a time when He would make a new covenant with Israel and Judah.  This covenant will be different than the old one made with those who came out of Egypt.  This covenant would include God writing His law on the human heart and mind.  God would personally be their God and each person would personally know God.  Forgiveness of sin would be experienced by all and God Himself would remember it no more.  (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

The condition for great revelation was calling on God in the midst of trial and trouble!  The amazing promises of great things given to Jeremiah included the promise of the righteous “Branch” that would sprout from David’s line.  (Jeremiah 33:14-16)   His name would be “The Lord our Righteousness”.  This “Branch” is none other than Jesus Christ!   He was the embodiment of the everlasting love of God in human flesh and draws us with His new covenant loving-kindness!  These unsearchable things are revealed to those who call on Him!

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Blessings of the New Covenant!

Scripture reading for November 7th: Hebrews 8:1-13

The old covenant was the law of Moses.  The old covenant was mediated by the Levitical priesthood and required sacrifices of the blood of animals for breaking the law of God.  The Old Testament Scriptures told of the temporary nature of the old covenant and spoke of a new covenant that God was going to make in the last days.

“The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a High Priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.” (Hebrews 8:1-2)  But when Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, He went to serve in the true tabernacle.  The earthly temple was only copy and shadow of what was real in heaven.  (Hebrews 8:5-6)  Moses was instructed to make everything according to the pattern give him by God on Mt. Sinai.

The old covenant was obsolete and passing away and the new covenant that God had spoken about through the prophets was now established for the new High Priest!  “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.  I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34), (Hebrews 8:10-12)

This covenant brought a personal relationship with God to each person.  Instead of tablets of stone, God would write His law on their hearts and minds.  Sins would be totally forgiven and the record wiped clean.  This new covenant is far superior to the old covenant and the High Priest is out of this world!

The real value of the new covenant is in enjoying it now.  Have you gone to Jesus Christ and humbly asked Him to forgive you of your sins?  Will you let Him wipe your record clean and then give you power to live with His law on your heart and in your mind?  Today is the right day!

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