Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Devotional Thoughts on the New Covenant


Hebrews 8:8-13


Introduction:

         Last week, we mainly considered the theological side of what Paul explains in Hebrews 8

o   There is a new covenant which replaces the old

o   It is a better covenant because it is based on better promises

o   It has a better mediator, and a more excellent ministry

o   It is a new covenant made with Israel, ratified at the death of Christ, participated by the church today, and ultimately fulfilled when Christ returns

o   The old covenant is based on ďThou shaltĒ, in the new covenant God says, ďI will!Ē

         Tonight, Iíd like to briefly expound upon the devotional side of what the New Covenant means. In other words, there is a worshipful side to the truth in this chapter that is glorious and should make us praise the Lord!

 

I.                    God keeps His promises

a.      I have been emphasizing that the New Covenant is NOT made with the church- that didnít exist in Jeremiah/Ezekielís day! There are not 2 new covenants. The church has not replaced Israel in the new covenant

b.      The New Covenant was made with Israel, and that is still good news for the Church. This means that God has not forgotten His chosen people. And He will never forget any who believe on Him!

c.       He will keep His covenant with Abraham, with David, with Israel, and He will keep every promise He has made to you!

d.      Referring to Christ- II Corinthians 1:20- 20 ďFor all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.Ē

e.      One of the dearest attributes of God is also one of the most overlooked- He is immutable. He doesnít change! He is faithful!

f.        As dispensationalists we make a distinction between Israel and the church, and we also believe that God did not mislead the prophets, and literally keeps His promises!

II.                  The Inward Law- v. 10, Ezekiel 36:23-27

a.      God gives a new heart- we often call this regeneration

b.      Because of Christís death and resurrection, we too can pass from spiritual death to spiritual life!

c.       Eph. 2 says we were dead in sins, and are quickened- made alive!

d.      That is our salvation. But this also deals with our sanctification

e.      God is the author of sanctification. ďI will put Ö I will write. God Himself is the agent in the establishment of His law in the hearts and minds of His people. He uses a variety of outward means- but ultimately it is done by Him!

f.        When it was written on tablets of stone it was not sufficient- now it is in our hearts!

g.      This is not just fake it till you make it! It is a God-caused obedience and righteousness!

h.      Illustr- DNA. The set of rules by which information is encoded in genetic material. Our spiritual DNA has been written by God!

III.                Intimate relationship- v. 10

a.      Godís promises in Jer. 31- are impressive- the ordincances of the sun and moon dividing day and night are proof

b.      Jer. 31:36- If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

c.       Hosea 1:9-2:1- God pronounces judgment, but it will not last forever

d.      Notice the distinction God desires in His followers- I Peter 2:9-10, II Cor. 6:14-18

e.      We are separated unto God!

f.        We can enjoy this beautiful relationship with our Creator and Savior!

IV.                Knowledge of God and His will- v. 11

a.      There will be an increased knowledge of God during the millennium

b.      But even know, true believers enjoy a deep knowledge of God

c.       Knowledge can be used in the sense of acquaintance, and familiarity

d.      Many claim to know God- but only the same way the devils do (and they even tremble)

e.      We do need preachers and Bible teachers, but the truth is the best teacher a Christian has is the Holy Spirit- I John 20, 27

f.        Guess what: I canít go into your dresser and tell you what to wear, I canít go through your cdís and tell you what to listen to, I canít go through your tv and tell you what to watch- you have to obey the Holy Spirit!

g.      By the way this is the goal for parents as well!

h.      We can have the mind of Christ, find Godís will

V.                  Merciful forgiveness- v. 12

a.      God forgives, and forgets!

b.      God pardons our sin on the basis of Christí death- without the shedding of blood there is no remission!

c.       God of course has perfect knowledge- but He chooses to set aside our sin and deal with us on the basis of our righteousness in Christ!

d.      Romans 8:1- There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ!

e.      No need for guilt, and despair!

                                                              i.      There can be clogged channel of fellowship, strained relationship

                                                            ii.      But there is never a removal of our standing

f.        Many Christians never go forward in Christ, because they are still looking backward at their sinful past!

g.      To enjoy the future, accept Godís forgiveness of the past.

h.      The Jews have a saying that Michael, the angel of Godís justice, has but one wing and he comes slowly; but Gabriel, the angel of Divine mercy, has two wings, and is made to fly swiftly. (H. R. Burton.)

i.        Many sins carry consequences, this is true. But they should no longer be a cloud over us, with an cold icy grip around our souls strangling our joy and peace of mind.

Conclusion:

         Henderson, ďAnd so we distinguish between the primary interpretation to Israel, and the secondary spiritual application to the Church today. We now enjoy in the power of the Holy Spirit the blessings of the new covenant, and yet there will be still further and future manifestations for Israel according to Godís promise.Ē

         What was deficient about the first covenant? As we have already seen, the problem was not the commands of God but the people's inability to keep them. This time God ensures this covenant will be kept!

         Let us worship and praise God who keeps his promises with His covenant people. He has not forgotten Israel, and He has not forgotten you or me!