Tag: New Covenant

Obsolete and passing away

Scripture reading for February 25th: Leviticus 21-23, Hebrews 8

Hebrews 8:6-7 “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.”

The old covenant of Law mediated by the Aaronic priesthood was made obsolete when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to mediate a new covenant. The old covenant was written on tablets of stone and every violation required a blood sacrifice. The priests had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as the sins of the people. These sacrifices could not remove sin, but only cover it temporarily. The new covenant through Jesus Christ was enacted on better promises. The appointed Priest would live forever and be seated at God’s right hand. He would forgive their sins and remember them no more through the sacrifice of His own blood. The law would be written on tablets of human hearts and each person would personally know God and have access through Jesus Christ, their High Priest. Lay hold of the new today, and let the obsolete pass away!

Hebrews 8:10-13 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the new covenant through the sacrifice, once for all, of Jesus’ body and blood. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit Who writes Your laws and Word on my heart and causes me to want to obey and love You and others. Empower me to proclaim the powerful message of freedom through the new covenant to those still living in the obsolete and vanishing dead religion.

Leviticus 22:1-2 “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so that they do not profane My Holy Name; I am the Lord.”

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Who wants something obsolete?

Scripture reading for August 17th: Hebrews 8

Key Scriptures: Hebrews 8:10-13 “”For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,” for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.””

No one wants something for daily use that is obsolete. I purchased an Apple ll c computer as my first personal computer. It was quite the in thing in the late 70’s! In fact, today’s technology systems would not support it and it would be unusable. God was telling the Hebrew Christians that the old covenant of the Law and its sacrifices for sin was obsolete. Something new and better had come in Jesus Christ. Now the Law of God would be written on the tablets of human hearts and not on tablets of stone. God would not be distant and fearful to know, but all will be able to freely come before Him and know Him no matter who they are. God would not just cover their sins with the blood of an animal sacrifice, but would cleanse believers of all sins and remember them no more! It’s a better covenant with better promises, the old is obsolete!

Hebrews 8:6 “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, Thank You for Your great mercy to me and all who believe. Your mercy and forgiveness has enabled us to know You and receive this new covenant and by faith claim the better promises of cleansing and new creation and eternal life in Christ Jesus. Today, let me proclaim the excellencies of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes! Amen!

2nd Corinthians 1:18-20 “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and no. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in Him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. . .”

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The New Covenant of Grace!

Scripture reading for October 23rd:  Hebrews 8, Psalm 62, Proverbs 27

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 8:6-7, 13 “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.  . . . In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete.  And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” 

Christ’s ministry was far superior to that of Moses.  Moses was the mediator of the old covenant of law.  Those who obeyed would live, an impossibility because of our sin nature.  Christ’s covenant was one of grace through faith.  If we repent of trusting in our own good works and believe on Jesus, we will be saved.  The old covenant is obsolete–out of date!  It has been replaced by something new and better–forever!

Faith Confession:  I thank God for the new covenant based on grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I live by faith in the gift of eternal life and receive grace to stand forgiven before God in Christ Jesus my Lord.  Keep me from the danger of self-righteousness.

Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”    

 

 

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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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