2ND COVENANT

LAW VS. GOSPEL

“What is the difference between the moral law and the Gospel?  The law requires that we worship God as our Creator; the Gospel, that we worship Him in and through Christ.  God in Christ is propitious; out of Him we may see God’s power, justice, and holiness: in Him we see His mercy displayed.  The moral law requires obedience, but gives no strength…but the Gospel gives strength; it bestows faith on the elect; it sweetens the law; it makes us serve God with delight” Thomas Watson (ref#225, p319).

“The great and most distinguishing difference between the covenant of grace and that of works is that by the covenant of grace we are not thus justified by our own works, but only by faith in Jesus Christ” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p9).

“…the law…Its purpose was to make obvious to everyone that we are, in ourselves, out of right relationship with God…” (Gal 3:21-22 MSG).

“…we need God’s help not just in the doing part but also in willing to walk in his ways” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p157).

FATHER, the law holds me captive until I embrace the Gospel.  The law announces I will die because I’m not, in every point, keeping it.  The law holds me in sin.

“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6 ESV).

I have not just shunned or rejected the old law.  If that were the case I could come back to it. No, I am dead to it—transformed into a new person altogether.  I now have a spiritual nature that has the ability in joy to subject my members to righteousness.  FATHER, Your works move me to an impossible-to-express thanks.

2ND COVENANT

JESUS, SURETY FOR BOTH GOD AND MAN

“…a New Covenant…would need to secure God’s faithfulness to His people, and His people’s faithfulness to God…A pardoning God and an obedience people: these are the two parties who are to meet and to be eternally united in the New Covenant” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p193).

“Jesus was made the surety of the better covenant.  To man He became surety that God would faithfully fulfil His part, so that man could confidently depend upon God to pardon, and accept, and never more forsake….Jesus…As one with God, and having the fullness of God dwelling in His human nature, He is personally security to men that God will do what He has engaged….as one with us, and having taken us up as members into His own body, He is security to God that His interests shall be cared for” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p194).

“I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.  And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jer 32:40 ESV).

“He not only undertakes in the covenant that He will never turn from His people, but also to put His fear in their heart, that they do not depart from Him.  In addition to His own obligations as one of the covenanting parties, He undertakes for the other party too…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p195).

FATHER, this covenant is one You enable me to keep.  For me the condition to participate in this covenant is faith!  This I can do because You supply! This is why You say my work is to believe in JESUS CHRIST (John 6:29).  It is also why it can be said, abiding is even more important than obeying (John 15:4).

2ND COVENANT

THE SECOND COVENANT

“Fallen man was to be raised, lost man was to be recovered, sin was to be pardoned, the sinner was to be saved, and God was to be eternally glorified.  Now the treasures of wisdom, hid in Christ for ages, were brought out…It brings to Him the richest glory and secures for its subjects the rich bequest of grace and eternal happiness, inconceivably great” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 2nd).

“The law in its morality was blameless…but in saving us is was defective…” Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, David Brown (ref#284).  “If the first covenant had made a provision for and actually conferred pardon and purity, and given a title to eternal life, then there could have been no need for a second; but the first covenant did not give these things, therefore a second was necessary…” Adam Clarke (ref#285).

“God…foretold the abrogation of the old covenant and had from the first intended to abolish it….true and total forgiveness was likewise a foreordained purpose of the new institution….consequences of sin are threefold: debt which required forgiveness, bondage which requires redemption, and alienation which requires reconciliation.” All of these, forgiveness, redemption, and reconciliation are found in Jesus Christ” James Coffman (ref#286).

“The greatest change will be in regard to the administrator of the covenant.  No longer will this one be a Moses, a David, a high priest, or a great prophet like Isaiah.  Jesus Christ who had been typified by these Old Testament mediators, will be the Mediator of the covenant.  He will inaugurate, fulfill, and permanently establish the renewed covenant” Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (ref#287). “…the obedience rendered will not be external.  The law of the new system will have living power, and bind the faculties of the soul to obedience” Albert Barnes (ref#288).

“…We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ….Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah…” (Gal 2:15-16 MSG).

“We can’t get too much of God…But religion—the well-intended efforts…can very well get in the way of what God is doing for us.  The main and central action is everywhere and always what God has done, is doing, and will do for us.  Jesus is the revelation of that action.  Our main and central task is to live in responsive obedience to God’s action revealed in Jesus.  Our part in the action is the act of faith” MSG Bible (ref#262, p538, “Introduction to Hebrews”).

2ND COVENANT

2ND COVENANT VOWS BY THE TRIUNE GOD

The FATHER’s covenant vows:

“’I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto My only begotten and well-beloved Son, a people…who by Him shall be washed from sin; by Him preserved, kept, and led; and by Him, at last, presented before My throne, without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph 5:27)….these whom I now give to Christ shall be forever the objects of My eternal love.  Them I will forgive through the merit of the blood.  To these will I give a perfect righteousness; these will I adopt and make My sons and daughters, and, through Christ, these shall reign with Me eternally’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#239, p6).

CHRIST’s covenant vows:

“’My Father, on My part, I covenant that in the fullness of time I will become man.  I will take upon Myself the form and nature of the fallen race.  I will live in their wretched world; and, for My people, I will keep the Law perfectly.  I will work out a spotless righteousness, which shall be acceptable to the demands of Thy just and holy Law….I will endure, and, by My stripes, they shall be healed….I will intercede for them at Thy right hand…I will make Myself responsible for every one of them…I will bring every one safe to Thee at last’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#239, p7).

The HOLY SPIRIT’s covenant vows:

“’I hereby covenant…that all whom the Father giveth to the Son, I will in due time quicken.  I will show them their need of redemption…I will bring them to the blood…I will give them faith whereby this blood shall be applied to them.  I will work in them every grace.  I will keep their faith alive.  I will cleanse them and drive out all depravity from them, and they shall be presented at last spotless and faultless’” Charles Spurgeon (ref#239, p7).

Realizing I live by GOD’s choosing alone, I cannot release myself from Him.  The worst I can do is make myself miserable by refusing to abide by His commands.

However, commands in Scripture conveying my responsibility are not there for my choosing.  Instead, they reflect obvious activities I gladly perform because of the love GOD has given me for Himself.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 ESV).

2ND COVENANT

GOD’S SECOND COVENANT PROMISES

“Theology that isn’t zealous to promote forgiving and transforming grace, the kind of grace that changes your life, is simply bad theology” Paul David Tripp (ref#190 Oct 20th).

“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”  (Heb 8:10-12 ESV).

“All their affections, passions, and appetites, shall be purified and filled with holiness and love to God and man; so that they shall willingly obey and feel that love is the fulfilling of the law: instead of being written on tables of stone, they shall be written on the fleshly tables of their hearts” Adam Clarke (ref#289).

“God promiseth his true Israel his entering with them into a new testamental covenant; after the days that the covenant administration at Sinai was expired, then the Lord saith, Jeremiah 31:33, that he will renew minds and hearts by his Spirit, and conform them to his will, that they shall be living, walking examplars of his law…This work of sanctification of souls is properly inferred here, to prove that such as enjoy it are perfected by Christ, because the promise of holiness is joined with that of perfect righteousness” Matthew Poole (ref#290).

“And added to this will be the complete removal of their sinfulness. All their sins and iniquities, their outward failures (‘sins’) and their inward sinfulness (‘iniquities’), will be remembered no more. They will be deliberately obliterated from God’s memory. ‘Remembered no more’ is, of course, hyperbole to express the completeness of God’s forgiveness. Nothing that they have done or failed to do will be counted against them any longer” Peter Pett (ref#291).

“So His covenant offers a new freedom to obey God, and a dealing with the spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5), bondage (Mark 10:45; 1 Corinthians 6:20; John 8:34-36; Romans 6:6; Romans 6:14; Romans 6:17-18), indebtedness (Colossians 2:14) and alienation (Colossians 1:21; Ephesians 4:18) caused by sin” Peter Pett (ref#291).

2ND COVENANT

OLD PLAN – NEW PLAN

“Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked” (Ecc 7:13 ESV)?

“Yahweh’s purpose in the world cannot and will not be thwarted by natural means nor by human limitation and frailty….restoration will be accomplished by Yahweh despite all opposition” D. David Garland (ref#261, p83).

“…old plan…when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn’t keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go….new plan…carving it on the lining of their hearts….They’ll all get to know me firsthand,…They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean” (Heb 8:6-13 MSG).

FATHER, I meditate on the sovereign infallibility of Your covenant plan.

REDEMPTION

REGENERATION—THE SOLE WORK OF THE SPIRIT

“In regeneration one of God’s elect is the subject, and the Spirit of God is the sole agent.  The subject of the new birth is wholly passive; he does not act, but is acted upon” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“’No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him’ (John 6:44).  No sinner ever knocks (Matt 7:7) at His door for mercy, by earnest and importunate prayer, until Christ has first knocked (Rev 3:20) at his door by the operations of the Holy Spirit” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p88)!

“…back of our turning, and believing, and accepting of Christ, there was God’s almighty power doing its work—inspiring our will, taking possession of us, and carrying out its own purpose of love in planting us into Christ Jesus” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p44).

“The Spirit of God undertakes the achievement of an amazing work.  He enters the soul, and proposes to restore the empire of grace, the reign of holiness, and the throne of God.  He works to form all things anew, to create a revolution in favor of Christ and heaven.  He undertakes to change the heart, turning its enmity into love; to collect all the elements of darkness and confusion, changing them into perfect light and perfect order; to subdue the will, bringing it into harmony with God’s will; to explore all the recesses of sin, turning its very impurity into holiness; in a word, to regenerate the soul, restoring the divine image and fitting it for the full and eternal enjoyment of God in glory” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 4th).

FATHER, the SPIRIT regenerates; that is His first assignment in converting the soul.  This act is not gradual.  “It is a secret, inscrutable operation that cannot be directly perceived…” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).  After that initial operation He begins restoring me back to Your divine image.  FATHER, I give You praise for I am Your child slowly gaining a holiness like Your holiness.

REDEMPTION

NOW UNDER GRACE

“…a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6 ESV).

“…the covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator and surety; called “new”, not because newly made, for it was made with Christ from everlasting; nor newly revealed, for it was made known to Adam after his fall, and to all the Old Testament patriarchs, and was exhibited under the legal dispensation, though but darkly, in types, shadows, sacrifices, &c. which therefore waxing old is vanished away; and the covenant of grace is now more clearly revealed under the Gospel dispensation, free from all the obscurity it before laboured under; and therefore is called “new”, as well as because it will always continue so, and never give way to another covenant: now the Gospel, and the ministry of it, is nothing else but an exhibition of the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises…” John Gill (ref#283).

“You are ‘not under the law,’ Paul says, ‘but under grace’ (Rom 6:14)….you are in an entirely new position.  You are under grace, and grace is unmerited favor.  It is kindness shown to people who deserve nothing but punishment. Grace means that God, because He is God, looks upon us with favor when we do not deserve anything at all.  That is what ‘under grace’ means” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 25th).

“God is no longer just a lawgiver to you—He is your Father….It is the difference between being in a relationship of law and a relationship of love.  You are in an entirely new position….You know that He is determined to bring you back to the perfection in which He originally made you, and that all the forces of His love and grace and compassion are working in your favor” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 25th).

FATHER, through Your grace of unmerited favor I have become new.  You have removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh—“…the recovery of a fully sensitive, fully functioning moral conscience…” Doug Newton (ref#166, p108).  Hallelujah!

REDEMPTION

SABBATH RENEWAL

“…we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16 ESV).

“…the Spirit’s quickening is only the beginning of God’s work of grace in the soul.  This does not wholly renew the heart at once: no indeed, the inner man needs to be ‘renewed day by day’…” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p65).

“…the Sabbath…God is not satisfied by the people’s merely resting from their weekly labors; rather, inward sanctification is the primary purpose of the Sabbath…Sabbath is a sacrament of regeneration…” John Calvin (ref#164, May 10th).

“…though spiritual things always remain the same, yet we do not experience their effect or perceive their value unless we are careful that our lack of faith does not profane what God has consecrated to our salvation….Merely taking time off from work and going to church perfunctorily may be missing the most crucial benefit of all: the blessing of the Spirit in our inward sanctification.  By faith we must observe the wondrous grace of the sacraments, including this sacrament of regeneration” John Calvin (ref#164, May 10th).

FATHER, I learn keeping the Sabbath is just as important as following Your commands for You always link Sabbath-keeping with a call for obedience. One example:  “…they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths…” (Ezek 20:16 ESV).

I ask that You fulfill my need for day to day regeneration by forever reminding me to keep the Sabbath so that I might not “lose the blessing of the Spirit” John Calvin (ref#164, May 10th).

REDEMPTION

RENEWED AND RECTIFIED

“…a new man…is but the original man ‘renewed’” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p55).

“he saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5 ESV).

“In regeneration nature is not ruined, but rectified.  The convert is the same man, but new made….God in conversion does not bestow a new understanding, but a new light to the old; not a new soul, but a new life to the old one…We put off the rags of the old man, and put on the robes of the new man, and continue in regard of substance the same man” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“…when this new building of regeneration is erected, the Spirit of God makes use of the old substantial materials—the soul and its faculties, the body and its members which were in man before, only he now polishes and purifies them, and squares them according to the rule of God’s Word” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“Regeneration consists…of grace infused into the soul…the powers of the soul are spiritualized and made alive unto God, fitted to enjoy God and hold communion with Him.  Regeneration consists in a radical change of heart, for there is implanted a new disposition as the foundation of all holy exercises; the mind being renovated, the affections elevated, and the will emancipated from the bondage of sin” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“The change in my disposition does not mean that I have a greater intellect now than I had before….But because the disposition governing it is changed, my mind is operating in a different realm and in a different way…it is exactly the same with the feelings…The will…was obstinate and rebellious, but now it desires, it is anxious, it is concerned about the Gospel” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).

“Salvation is all of the grace of God; damnation is all of the will of man.” Charles Spurgeon