Sunday, February 26, 2012
I don’t want to
The Word for today:
mark this: Hebrews 8:10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Jesus, Hebrews tells us, is the mediator of a better covenant (8:6).
This better covenant is the new covenant that was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and is quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12:
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." (Hebrews 8:8-12)
A covenant is like a contract. It states the terms and conditions of the relationship between God and man.
If you trust in Jesus for salvation, he takes your place. Where we failed to meet the terms of the covenant with God, Jesus succeeded. At the cross, our failures (sins) became his, while his “success” (righteousness) becomes ours. Jesus paid it all, and we receive the benefits.
Because he fulfilled the conditions of the covenant to the last letter, we are completely forgiven: I will remember their sins no more (8:12).
But that’s not all. There’s far, far more than just subtraction. In addition, we are baptized (saturated through and through) with Jesus’ very own Spirit.
Which means we have a new nature—his nature. Which means this:
But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Hebrews 8:10/NLT)
The new covenant means that you are new. It means that you don’t want to sin like you used to. It means that because Jesus fulfilled the covenant by paying the price, you’ve got a new Spirit and a new nature that delights to please God.
You are no longer who you were. You are different, new, and transformed. At the very core of who you are--even though your flesh wages war against you and you will from time to time sin--you’ve got a brand new heart that wants to trust and obey God.
You should re-introduce yourself to yourself, because by the terms of the new covenant there’s a new person where you once stood.
You don’t want to sin and you’ve got the power (of the Holy Spirit) not to.
Go, then, and find out who you are. But remember, the only way to accomplish that is to find out who He is.