2ND COVENANT

LIVING IN AN OLD COVENANT WAY

“How many Christians today are striving to show their gratitude to Jesus, the one who brought the New Covenant to earth, by living in an Old Covenant way” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p159).

“…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 Jews rested in the letter…They did not look at the spirit…The new covenant set all these spiritual things at once before their eyes, and showed them the end, object, and design of the law…” Adam Clarke (ref#294).

“Every institution has its letter as well as its spirit, as every word must refer to something of which it is the sign or significator. The Gospel has both its letter and its spirit; and multitudes of professing Christians, by resting in the Letter, receive not the life which it is calculated to impart. Water, in baptism, is the letter that points out the purification of the soul; they who rest in this letter are without this purification; and dying in that state they die eternally. Bread and wine in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, are the letter; the atoning efficacy of the death of Jesus, and the grace communicated by this to the soul of a believer, are the spirit. Multitudes rest in this letter, simply receiving these symbols, without reference to the atonement, or to their guilt; and thus lose the benefit of the atonement and the salvation of their souls” Adam Clarke (ref#294).

“I was ‘trying to be good’…I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work.  So I quit being a ‘law man’ so that I could be God’s man.  Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.  I identified myself completely with him.  Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.  My ego is no longer central.  It is no longer important that I appear righteous…I am no longer driven to impress God.  Christ lives in me.  The life you see me living is not ‘mine,’ but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me….” (Gal 2:17-21 MSG).

“And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it.  How could they miss it?  Because instead of trusting God, they took over.  They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing.  They were so absorbed in their ‘God projects’ that they didn’t notice God right in front of them” (Rom 9:20-33 MSG).

FATHER, I must continually ask myself if I’m obeying commands or obeying JESUS.  By simply obeying commands I choose what command and when and where to obey it.  When I obey JESUS He chooses the ‘what, when, where, and how.’  FATHER, supply enough faith that I let JESUS make all my decisions.

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.