MPGC5 - THE NEW COVENANT - Our Secret to Freedom
We would all be rejoicing in Jesus' upcoming death if we fully realized what it was going to mean for all of us. At this last supper with his disciples Jesus talked about his blood in a strange way. He said, "this is my blood of the covenant." By this he meant the New Covenant. Jesus was soon to be the fulfillment of the old covenant and the mediator of a new one.
It is likely that none of his disciples caught the significance of this and even today we don't realize just what this means in the way of good news for us. The old covenant, as we discovered in the last study was a device of God's grace. The one object that God has in entering a covenant with man is to draw men to him, where he can fill us with his love and blessedness. For man, a covenant allows him to take hold of God in expectation and hope that He will fulfill His promises.
What is referred to as the Old Covenant was the one God entered into with His chosen people the Israelites. It was based on their obedience to the law of Moses. From this covenant came one great discovery. Man with all his good intentions and efforts could not keep the law of God and do right continually. He failed miserably.
The great discovery of the Old Covenant is that man is hopelessly captive in sin and therefore CANNOT obey God all the time. All men and women are born with a sin nature (inherited from our first parents) and therefore have a natural inclination to stray from God and live independent of Him.
God wants to reveal to us that our true liberty from sin and self is to be found in absolute dependence upon God being and doing all FOR US from His home within our own heart. This would require two things. First, sin's power over our lives would have to be broken and second, the Holy Spirit of God would need to be given to men so that God would have His home within our hearts.
If you are tired of trying and failing then be glad. You are ready for the revelation of ......
THE NEW COVENANT- Our Secret to Freedom
Day 1- The promise of a better covenant was prophesied to us by Jeremiah.
Day 2- This new agreement of God with man was based on the death and resurrection of His own Son Jesus Christ. He is called the Mediator of the new covenant.
Day 3- This new covenant was to have a four-fold blessing on man.
1- The new covenant blessing centers in the heart that is put right with God and fitted to know Him.
Jeremiah 31:33a / Jeremiah 24:7
2-We become a people saved and blessed, ruled, guided and provided for by God Himself. That's because He is our God and we are His people.
3- New covenant people will all have personal fellowship with God. God will speak personally to each of us through the Holy Spirit and His Word.
4- The reason that the first three blessings are possible is because by Christ's blood there is a divine blotting out of sin so that God does not remember it. The blood of Jesus cleanses us and sets us free from sin's power.
This cleansing makes a way for God to write his law on our heart and reveal to us the deep things of God. This new cleansed heart given to us by God is what the new covenant life hinges upon.
Day 4- When Jesus at the Last Supper took the cup of wine and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you," He was announcing a tremendous event about to occur that would fulfill and close the old covenant (based on the law) forever. What was this event? Reread:
Day 5- the event of Christ's death stopped an endless cycle of sinning and sacrifice -- more sin -- more sacrifice. The willing sacrifice of His life was done only ONCE and it was done for ALL.
Hebrews 7:27 / Hebrews 9:25-28 / Hebrews 10:10-14, 18
Day 6- If the death of Christ ended the old covenant, His resurrection opened up the new covenant. Notice in this verse that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and entered Heaven so that He could do what?
This is glorious news! Everyone of us who believe in the Lord Jesus has Jesus Himself appearing as our advocate in God's presence! He is going before His Father on our behalf.
Day 7- Jesus is the transition for all of us. In Adam we died to God and his kingdom and then inherited a nature dead in sin. These verses contrast Adam and Christ. Make a chart for yourself as to how they differ.
But in Christ we died to sin and inherit a nature that is dead to sin and alive to God.
Day 8- How does this wonderful transformation from death to life, old covenant to new covenant become real for us? Christ's death ended the old covenant, Christ's resurrection was the start of the new covenant but there is one more piece to the puzzle.
John 16:7, 13-15 / 1 Corinthians 2:10-12
WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
Day 9- If Christ's death delivered us from the power of sin, then it is the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts every minute of every day that enables God to take full possession of us and have his way in our lives. According to this verse who are we to live for?
2 Corinthians 5:15
Every believer is a child of the new covenant and heir of all its promises. But lack of knowledge as to what the new covenant is, followed by unbelief that it could be true, keep us from having all that the new covenant promises. What are we to do? Andrew Murray in his fine book called "The Two Covenants" leaves us with detailed advice.
Day 10- Each of us need to accept our death to sin in Christ,
Romans 6: 5-7,11 / Colossians 3:3
and then act it out.
Romans 6:15 / Colossians 3:5
Day 11- We are to acknowledge the sentence of death on everything that is of our old nature and accept that we have been given a new nature.
2 Corinthians 5:17 / Colossians 3:9-10
Day 12- We are to fix our heart upon God who will work in us beyond what we could ever think or imagine.
Ephesians 3:16-20 / Hebrews 12:2a
Day 13- We are to believe that every blessing of the covenant is ours .....
1- We have a new heart cleansed from sin
2- Our heart has God's law written upon it
3- Our heart has the Holy Spirit living within it to teach us the things of God
.......and act in faith knowing that all is YOURS.
Even if your life at first doesn't match up with your expectation of what a new creation in Christ looks like, believe and act upon the fact that Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit are changing you from the inside out. As you do so you will be changed!
Here is an example:
Let's say you currently live in an apartment with a roommate. You drive to work on your bicycle. With your salary you pay the rent, buy groceries and try to save for a vacation. Suddenly you are informed that you have inherited a large fortune. Does everything change overnight? No. Time is needed as you take steps to claim what is yours. You might test your new bank account and buy a car. When the check goes through and you actually own the car you begin to get some confidence that you really do have an inheritance. There really is money in your bank account.
Gradually as you live and act like the heir to a large fortune you actually become that heir -- because it is what you are! So it is in our spiritual walk. Always separate your "WHO" from your "DO". "Who" you are in Christ is settled. You are a new creation in Christ, loved by your Father in Heaven and led daily by the Holy Spirit. You may not always "do" everything right but as you learn to walk by the Spirit you will become more and more like Christ - because that is who you really are.
Remember Colossians 3:10 that you read earlier? It says in the amplified Bible:
"And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image [the likeness] of Him who created it."
Colossians 3:10 AMP
The Last Supper was at the same time the First Holy Communion. Communion with other believers was to be a regular occurance so that we could partake and remember.
Day 14- How are we to prepare for communion?
1 Corinthians 11:28
1 Corinthians 11: 27, 29-31
Day 15- What do we partake of together and therefore remember?
1 Corinthians 11: 23-25
Day 16- What are we proclaiming when we take communion?
1 Corinthians 11:26
The Last Supper marked:
A. The end of the Old Covenant based on the law and man's obedience.
B. The fulfillment of the Old Covenant in Christ
C. The proclamation that the New Covenant would soon begin based on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
D. The power of Satan to hold men in bondage to sin would be ended
E. That the blood of Jesus would cleanse our evil hearts so that we could be in fellowship with God once again.
F. That we would become a people saved and blessed by God because we are his people and He is our God.
G. That soon the Holy Spirit would be given to each of us so that God would teach each of us personally through His word and the Holy Spirit.
Next Study: MPGC#6