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Archive for March 17th, 2014

The New Covenant

March 17th, 2014

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

In Christ we have fellowship with all people of all nations and cultures who believe in Him.This is the nature of the New Covenant or of the Christian Covenant that God has established with humanity. All people can now come to God through faith in Christ and by so doing also come into relationship with one another. It is founded upon grace and mediated through our faith. Faith – repentance from sin and belief in the biblical message about Christ – is all that is required.

A little Bible study today:

A covenant is an agreement between two parties, and it is used in the Bible to describe a means by which God relates to people. The words are Berith in Hebrew and Diatheke in Greek, commonly translated either covenant or testament. There are other covenants God established in history that we read of in the Bible.

The Covenant with Adam: Genesis 2:16-17, and although the word “Berith” was not used it was clearly an agreement between God and humanity. God required perfect obedience and man could live in the paradise of God. Man broke the covenant and lived from that point on under the curse of God. Some call this stage the Age of Conscience, where general knowledge of God is passed on and people responded to God based on their personal awareness of Him and His nature.

The Covenant with Noah: Genesis 9:9-7, God specifically said, “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you – the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature on earth.  I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

The Covenant with Abraham: Genesis 15:18, God said, “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.'” The Abrahamic Covenant was related to the land of Palestine and was several hundred years before the Mosaic Covenant.

The Covenant with Moses: Exodus 24:8, we read that Moses declared, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” The Mosaic Covenant, or the Old Testament or sometimes call The Law was a very strict and clearly spelled out list of detailed commands that the people were to obey, and if they obeyed them God promised to prosper them and to establish them in the land of Palestine, and they would bless other nations through their obedience.

The Covenant with David: Psalm 89:3-4, God said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.” The Messiah must be of the house of David and through the lineage of David Christ was born into the world.

The Christian Covenant: It is clear from Scripture that Christ made the Mosaic Covenant null and obsolete with His death and resurrection. In Hebrews 8:13 we read, “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.” Jeremiah 31:31-33 in the Old Testament declares the need for a new covenant. The nature of the installation or initiation of the New Covenant or New Testament would depend the message getting out to people – just as when a nation passed a new law it would announce to the people the change of legal standards before they enforced the new law. But whenever Christ is preached, now both Jew and Gentile (Acts 17:30) are commanded to repent and to believe in Christ.

The results of the new covenant is that we all now gather under the Lordship of Christ – all people of all ethnic groups who believe – and we proclaim life to all the nations in His name. We also have the privilege, an unprecedented one, of receiving the Spirit of God, so all believers have God indwelling them through His Spirit to guide them and to teach them inwardly about His blood. (Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:8-12; Eph 1:13-14; and Acts 2:38-39 and Acts 10:44-45)

It seems to be that the right response to this is simple gratitude. God saves us, sustains us, calls us, blesses us, enables us, redeems us, unites us. We are privileged as believers to sit at His table of grace and love and we should also in the spirit of grace joyfully share this with all people. As Paul wrote.

And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:17-22

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