Derek, August 29 2018

The Gospel Message of the New Covenant

The new covenant is God’s name and His words written on the tablet of our heart (Heb. 8:10, 10:16), making us one with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), with no separation (Col. 1:21). What God has joined together, let no man separate (Gen. 2:24, Mark 10:9, Matt. 19:6, Rom. 8:38–39).

Rather than condemn us by showing a deficiency, these words sanctify us (Eph. 5:26, Ex. 19:4–6, 14), as we allow them to wash over us (put to death the old self once and for all) and as we remember them in faith (Is. 26:3). As we trust in the words more than our own sight (Heb. 11:27), giving preference to the eternal more than the temporary (2 Cor. 4:18). Valuing the Creator, more than the created things (Rom. 1:25).

For innocent blood always cries out from the ground, demanding attention. One blood, Abel’s, cries out for guilty retribution. But another’s blood cries out a better word, a superior word — freedom (Heb. 12:24). Free from the covenant of keeping an external law which condemns us (finds us guilty). This new law, the better law, is one of faith and freedom. For by the old law we were bound (Gal. 5:1), but by this new, better law we are set free once and for all (Heb. 10:10). The same Word that was there in the beginning (John 1:1), now gives permanent life as the indwelling light of men (John 1:5). Darkness cannot comprehend or overtake this light.

Because of this better blood, the one which cries out freedom instead of accusation, we are presented before God as holy and blameless (Col. 1:22). Not only as blameless, but also presented as one:

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Chris Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ [washed by the water of the Word] have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:26–28

This is why we can say with such reverent confidence:

In this one thing alone am I saved.

In this one thing alone can I boast.

The blood of Jesus. The new covenant.

False doctrine, or old covenant teaching, then, is anything which adds or subtracts to either of these truths. This is what Paul warns against when he compares the righteousness of the law to the righteousness of faith (Rom. 10:5,8):

False doctrines and deceptive teachings will wrongly claim that through my actions I can ascend into heaven or brings dead things to life (Rom. 10:6), or through my actions I can add to my holiness (1 Tim. 4:1–5). These false teachers will add or subtract to this gloriously complete Gospel and call it new revelation, providing sound reasoning as they present their case (1 Tim. 6:20–21).

Even Paul had to wrestle with these so called, “Super-Apostles,” as he recounts in 2 Cor. 11:

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ…For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.”

Their real intent, however, will not be in the building up and edification of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12), in order to present her as a pure and spotless bride (2 Cor. 11:2), rather their motivation will be the drawing of all men unto themselves. A perversion of the role Jesus is to play as a result of His death, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32

For they have lost the reverent awe of God (Heb. 12:28), the fear of the Lord which keep us from sinning (Job 28:28, Prov. 16:6), and the godliness which leads to contentment. This is the same absence of reverence which would dare to use human tools to shape the altar of sacrifice (Ex. 20:25), or believe we could build for ourselves a tower to reach to heaven (Gen. 11:4), or that would reject the wisdom of the ages as faithfully demonstrated by Abraham, “for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:10, Ps. 127:1)

True followers (bond servants, Gal. 2:20) of Christ will not add or subtract anything for themselves, instead they will continue in perfect peace and unity (Eph. 4:3), considering not their own gain, nor equality with God as a boasting ground (Phil. 2:6), rather they will stay steadfast in the contentment found in the wisdom of the fear of the Lord (1 Tim. 6:6, 1 Cor. 15:58).

Knowing that it is not for gain that we preach this Gospel, but it is for loss. We are at a loss for any other way (John 14:6), any other source of life (John 6:68), anyone else who is more worthy (Rev. 4:11). And so we willingly count it all as lost for the sake of knowing God more fully (Phil. 3:8–10). We consider everything else as garbage, that we may gain Christ.

Which comes back to the new covenant. For Jesus came not simply to save us from our sins, but that we might be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18, Col. 1:19–21). And the purpose of the reconciling is that we might know Him more fully (John 17:3).

This almost sounds too good to be true, which is why Paul calls it, “the glorious Gospel” — God sent His only Son (John 3:16), so that we might be reconciled back to the full knowledge of Him (Is. 11:2–9). Seeing Him for who He really is, without the veil of the law in between us (2 Cor. 3:16).

That we could establish a more complete covenant with Him. A covenant with His words hidden in our hearts and written on our minds, in order to remove any barrier between us, so that we might know Him in our innermost parts as He knows us(Ps. 139:13, Jer. 31:31–34).

Freeing us from the need to participate in the rituals of sacrifice (the never ending cycle of made dirty — separated from God, made clean — reconciled to God, made dirty, etc.), the same rituals which God never took pleasure in (Ps. 51:16, Hos. 6:6). But instead He offers us something greater — the perfection of our faith.

This perfection of the faith is the fulfillment (Heb. 11:40) of the generation (Gen. 2:4) He established, set into motion, when He created the heavens and the earth.

So let us press on to the perfection of this faith (Phil. 3:12,14, James 1:2–4). Don’t get distracted by false, self-serving doctrines, but keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, the only author and perfecter of your faith (Heb. 12:2). Keep hold of wisdom and sound instruction, never let her depart from you (Prov. 3:13-18, 4:13).

And draw strength as you declare Him faithful (Heb. 11:11) to complete the work He started in you (Phil 1:6), to be the Giver of good gifts (James 1:17, Matt. 7:11), to be the One who does not withhold from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11, 34:9,10) and to be the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

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