THE NEW COVENANT
BY DON BANTUM
2 Corinthians 5: 18. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 3:6. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Most people don't have a clue about the New Covenant in Christ’s blood, or whether there even is such a thing. They talk about living by principles, laws, and commands. They seldom, if ever, speak of living by FAITH. But the Christian life, is a life of faith, and through that faith we enter the New Covenant, in Christ’s blood, faith in what Jesus HAS DONE FOR US, not what we are doing for Jesus. As if God, who created the universe, needs something from us! How self-deceived can man get? Let's check this out, for this is where we learn of the New Covenant:
Hebrews 9: 15. For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
16. In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17. because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20. He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." 21. In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
But because of their unbelief, people think they have to keep being forgiven, nearly every time they sin, over and over again; making a mockery of the cross of Christ. They don't seem to be able to get it through their heads that it is finished.
Without the shedding of Blood there is NO FORGIVENESS OF SINS. End of story. So we have to conclude that the ONE time He did offer Himself for our sins, we were cleansed once and for all. So if you don't get anything else out of this chapter, at least come away KNOWING, your sins have all been taken away, and there is no longer any sacrifice for sins to be executed on your behalf. It's finished, you have been forgiven, you don't “get” forgiven. We were born forgiven. So PLEASE DO NOT insult Jesus by asking Him to forgive you ever again. He is not going to shed His blood again. If we don't believe He took our sins away at the cross thousand years ago, we are unbelievers and are dead in our sins. We have never changed our minds in regard to sins. We have never repented of our unbelief in Jesus. We are not believers, but we are just as lost as the rest of the world who have yet to come to the knowledge of truth.
What is that truth? We are forgiven, and the only thing that pleases God is faith in His Son, Jesus Christ the righteous ONE. So if you are still asking God to forgive you, day after day, repent, and turn to faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Start thanking Jesus for having dealt with your sins, once and for ALL. Become a believer. I hope you see that. It's time people started thanking Jesus for what He accomplished, rather then insulting Him, trying to get Him to forgive you all over again. And no I don't care how good it makes you feel to keep asking for what you already have received. That's an insult to the ONE who paid the price for those sins, with his very life, and shed His BLOOD. If you don't know what it is He did for you, may I suggest you go watch the “Passion of The Christ" by Mel Gibson once again, because that's what it cost to remove your sins, and NO, Jesus is never going to do that again. SO I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I SAY, "THANK YOU JESUS, PRAISE YOUR HOLY NAME. I will never insult you again by asking you to do for ME, what you have already done, ever again.”
John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Believes in me, Jesus say's. You see, we must believe in HIM. What does that mean? It means our belief has to be somewhat greater than that of Satan’s and his demons. Satan believes in Jesus, but he doesn't believe Jesus died for his sins at the cross. And if YOU are still asking JESUS to forgive your sins, you have never come to saving faith in Jesus either. That would make you no better off than the Devil or his angels, or any other unbeliever. So it's time YOU repented of your sin of unbelief. Jesus say's in;
John 16: 9. in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;
Jesus is saying the world’s sin is unbelief in Him.
Do you want to be in that camp? REPENT. Repent means to turn 180 degrees in the other direction, and start believing truth. We were at one time all unbelievers, but we come to repent of our unbelief, and place faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross. Believe that your sins have been taken away at the cross, never to be seen again by God, who became a man in the person of Jesus Christ.
Now, I don't care if anybody else on the planet sees your sins, God has taken them out of HIS sight, and they will never be counted against you again - period!!! Those sins were taken away from the eyes of God, not from the eyes of man. But as far as you and God are concerned, you’re as innocent as a newborn baby. You are guiltless and holy. Holy just means you have been set apart by God from the whole rest of the world by your FAITH in Jesus Christ. If you can’t take that leap of faith, and actually come believing Jesus did what He said he did, would you be considering Jesus to be a liar? Or have you come to real saving faith in the fact that it is finished? Only you can answer that question? Now let's continue:
Hebrews 10:1. The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4. because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
6. with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
7. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.' " 8. First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). 9. Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14. because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16. "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 write them on their minds."
17. Then he adds:
"Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
18. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin..
19. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20. by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21. and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27. but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30. For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
When He says, "I will put my laws in their hearts, and write them on their minds," He IS NOT talking about the old law written on stone, which has been taken away in Christ, but rather the new laws Jesus gave us, which are;
Mark 12: 29."The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Jesus only left us with these two commands and it's impossible for us to even carry them out in the energy of our flesh. We can do nothing without His Spirit living in us. So it's all Jesus and none of us. We can't even love our own wives, husbands, children, brothers or sisters, let alone God or our neighbors. But God's Spirit that lives in us can do it through us, then we can say with the apostle Paul in:
Philippians 4:13. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Then He say's in;
2 Corinthians 12: 9. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
When we realize we can't do any of this on our own, we have to rest completely in the sufficiency of the life of Christ in us. So we praise God in our weakness, and thank Him always for living His perfect life in us. We have to take self out of the equation. He is our Sabbath Day's rest. We are to rest in Him and Him alone. All this is to the praise and glory of the ONE who did it all.
Matthew 11: 28. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
We feel very inadequate when we fail again and again to be the person we really want to be. So as the writer of Hebrews say's:
Hebrew 12: 2. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart
Do you see any part of this resting on you and what you’re doing? NO, it isn't about US. And NO, we don't want to make it about US. The devil wants to make this about US, so we will fall from grace, back under the LAW of the Old Covenant. So like the writer of Hebrews says above. KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS. Under no circumstances allow yourself to be deceived into thinking Salvation is about YOU and what you are doing or not doing. If you could do something on your own, in what way would that bring glory to the Son? It would not, He brings glory to His Father, by what He has accomplished for US, not by what we are accomplishing on our own. Get it? Glory to the Father and the Son, NOT YOU AND ME. Can you see any of this? I sincerely hope you can friends, and remember:
James 1: 6. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8. he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
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