I am grateful to have had the opportunity to watch some kids grow up, and even more grateful that Facebook has allowed me to continue to follow some of them.
I thought her statement was rather profound, then realized that in many ways it also applied to me.A I have lived most of my life in an a€?outside doga€? type of existence.
My family and I have known more good people than the locals will ever have the opportunity to meet. Suddenly my path was blocked by three young men, one of whom addressed me in quite a loud voice. There are many types and forms, but basically a covenant is an agreement between two parties based upon mutual promises.
Although many other covenants have been established through the years, the simple provision of salvation through faith has remained in effect through all ages, for all mankind. He also describes the institution of a new covenant which has some very important advantages over the old. It is just as important to understand what the Old Covenant was not, as to know what it was. But before it could go into formal operation there had to be a sealing or ratifying of the pact. In spite of their repeated assurances, they miserably broke their word before Moses could even get off the mountain with the tables of stone. Because God made them, and they guaranteed successful obedience through His strength alone. In other words, because of Jesus' sinless life in the flesh, the requirement of the law can be fulfilled in us. Those great spiritual principles reflect the very character of God, and form the basis for His government.
I had just finished preaching on the subject of the Sabbath in one of my evangelistic crusades. It was obvious that I would have to take the time to answer this trio's challenging question.
Anyway, they had my path completely blocked, and the circle of listeners looked at me expectantly for some explanation.
They responded eagerly to the invitation, and read the verses, commenting on each one after reading. It is certainly true that Christ arose on the first day of the week, but nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to keep that day holy.
If Christ had desired His resurrection to be memori- alized by Sundaykeeping, He could have introduced it on that same Thursday night of the Last Supper.
Many have been confused over the allegory Paul used to illustrate the Old and New Covenants. He plainly shows that Hagar's son, Ishmael, symbolizes the Old Covenant, and Sarah's son, Isaac, is a type of the New Covenant.
The old arrangement failed just as surely as the Old Covenant promises failed, because there was no dependence on divine power. Those who are under the Old Covenant are the commandment breakers, and those under the New Covenant are the commandment keepers.
Just as the saints of old could have received true circumcision by accepting spiritual regeneration, we may fall back under the Old Covenant by trusting the flesh to save us. He said, "Brother Joe, we were disappointed with the way you put us back under the Old Covenant tonight by preaching the seventh-day Sabbath.
If so, we certainly need to be clearly apprised of the doctrine in order to avoid the pitfall of deadly legalism. It was a covenant between the Father and the Son and had to do with the eventuality of sin. Naturally, we are interested to know all about that new covenant which will place God's law in the heart and mind.
Right now, let us look at three absolute proofs that the covenant which disappeared was not the Ten Commandments. Let me ask you a question: Has any man ever been able to find a fault or a flaw in the handwriting of God?
It becomes more and more apparent that the Old Covenant could not have been the Ten Commandments.
Very clearly, then, we can see that the covenant which came to an end could not have been the Ten Commandments.
He overcame sin in the same kind of body we have, so that He could impart that victory to us.
Eternal promises rooted in the changeless nature of God would provide power to overcome every inherited and cultivated weakness.
On the Thursday night before His agonizing death on Friday, Jesus met with His disciples in that upper room. As I stepped off the platform to greet the people as they left, three young men blocked my way in the aisle.
As I suspected they turned out to be young seminarians in training at a local Bible college.
It was added much, much later as a result of the gradual apostasy which developed in the early centuries of the church and which culminated in the pagan accommodation of Constantine in 330 A.D. Events such as the crucifixion and resurrection should mean much to every Christian, but not one intimation is given in the Bible for observing either Friday or Sunday. Then it would have become a part of the New Covenant, along with the Communion service and foot-washing. It was only when Abraham disobeyed God by taking Hagar that he fulfilled the principle of the Old Covenant. It is not cutting off the physical flesh, but cutting off the fleshly nature of sin through the indwelling of Christ. The doctrine of the covenants establishes beyond any doubt that the law is just as important under the New as under the Old. Obedience in its proper position is important and necessary, but it must always be in that position - following grace and accompanied by love.
On the other hand, if the Ten Commandments are still binding, it would be the most tragic mistake to discount even one of those great moral precepts. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. Then we will determine by comparing scripture with scripture just what the Old Covenant was. Christ actually enters into the life of the believer and imparts His own strength for obedience. He will actually live out His own holy life of separation from sin in our earthly bodies if we will permit Him to do so. Paul wrote, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
No wonder the Bible emphasizes the "better promises" of this glorious new agreement! One of them addressed me in quite a loud voice - loud enough to cause about fifty people near the front of the auditorium to stop and listen. I gently prodded them for the answer, "Surely you can tell me the answer to this question. The only day ever commanded for weekly worship is the seventh day of the week - the same Sabbath Jesus kept during creation week and the one He will keep with His people throughout all eternity. Jesus did not hesitate to command the observance of His death, even though it had not taken place yet.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. God had promised Abraham a son by his wife Sarah, but because she was almost 90 years old, neither of them believed such a thing could happen.
Isaac perfectly represents the principle of the New Covenant relationship based upon regeneration, a new-birth experience, which begets the life of the Son of God in all who believe.
Every attempt to obey on the Old-Covenant basis of human effort will produce only children of bondage. When he trusted God to give him a son through Sarah, he was being obedient to God's will, and properly represents the New-Covenant Christians. God gave Abraham the sign of circumcision to remind him of how he failed by trusting the flesh. He agreed to become the atoning sacrifice to redeem man, should Adam and Eve choose to sin. By partaking of the divine nature, the weakest human being begins to live the very life of Jesus Christ, manifesting His victory, and crucifying the flesh. After the death of Christ, no change whatsoever could be made in His provisions to save mankind. Just as easily He could have commanded the observance of His resurrection, which was still future, in order that it might become a New Covenant requirement. They boast of being delivered from the law and claim to walk in a glorious freedom from the Old Testament covenant of works. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Received into the heart which has been spiritualized by the converting grace of Christ, the same law becomes a delight.
In the same way, the natural, carnal body and mind of a sinner cannot bring forth the fruit of obedience.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.
It did gender to bondage, it proved faulty, had poor promises, and vanished away - all because the people failed to obey their part of the agreement. In the same way, Christ's covenant or testament would begin to operate just as soon as He had confirmed the covenant by His death at Calvary. Every requirement had been laid down clearly by the perfect pattern of His sinless life and provision had been made for the writing of His magnified law, by the Holy Spirit, upon the mind of each believer.
And no one else ever did either, until Paul's prophecy began to be fulfilled about an apostasy following his departure.
When God used His power to create a new life within Sarah, the impossible happened, and she bore a son.
The same works of obedience are there, but they are there for a different reason and from a different motive.
Putting all these things together we can see why a new covenant was desperately needed, which would have better promises.
Not only is the law not grievous for the Spirit-filled child of God, but obedience becomes a joyful possibility. When God uses His power to create new life in the soul, the impossible happens again - a human being becomes spiritual and obedient. Then it becomes the mark of identification - the love symbol - for those who are born of the Spirit. The unchangeable moral law was preserved in both Old and New Covenants as the perfect revelation of God's will.
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