Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Better Covenant (part 2)

The New Covenant is built on better promises.
Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world...” 2 Peter 1:4 God’s Word Translation
The New Covenant is not based on the same conditions of the Old Covenant.
First John 3:23 says, "This is his commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us."  The commandment you must obey in the New Covenant is to believe in Jesus, and love one another.
Our faith in Him, and in what Jesus did – brings righteousness, justification, and peace with God. He no longer sees us as enemies, or as sinners. He sees us as holy sons and daughters.
The gospel is based upon God's love for His creation, and His willingness to redeem Man. His love is the foundation of His Grace and the basis for our very existence.
When Jesus shed His Blood on the cross, a New and Better Covenant was implemented that negated the effect of the Old Covenant.
“None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:11-12
When the bible says that “… all shall know Me,” this speaks of a personal relationship with God.  One of the blessings of the New Covenant is that all can come into a personal relationship with Jesus.
Hebrew 8:12 says, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." This speaks of the mercy and grace that are available under the New Covenant.
Mercy is not getting what we deserve. We deserve punishment, we get blessing.  Mercy under the New Covenant also includes those things that are necessary to live in this life. For example, a "mercy ministry" is one that feeds the hungry and clothes the poor, and ministers to the outcast, orphans and widows, etc.
Mercy is also that part of the New Covenant that pertains to healing and provision. God has abundantly provided through the cross those things that pertain to life and godliness.
Grace is getting what we do not deserve: Our sins and iniquities are not remembered before God.
"David says the same thing about those who are blessed: God approves of people without their earning it. David said, “Blessed are those whose disobedience is forgiven and whose sins are pardoned. Blessed is the person whom the Lord no longer considers sinful.” Romans 4:6-8
Because of grace, God chooses to not hold sin and disobedience against us, and instead places His favor, righteousness, approval, and abundance on our lives.
Mercy is not getting what we deserve, and grace is getting good that we don’t deserve.
The good news of the New Covenant is that, as believers, everything that Jesus is to the Father, He imparts to us as His sons and daughters. He chooses not to treat us like sinners, but as royal children of the King.
The goodness of God leads us to repentance, and the blessings of the Lord come upon us based on the righteousness of Jesus, and not because of our performance.