Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Two Covenants

“’This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’

“By calling this covenant ‘new,’ He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”
Hebrews 8:10-13 (NIV)

wo covenants given; each as distinctly apart from the other, yet each are binding the one to the other to create a divine plan of salvation for mankind. Because God is Truth and cannot lie, and because He is faithful to His Word, His Word is eternally binding and cannot be breached.

The first covenant was the covenant of the law and was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai (Ex 19 - 23). Its purpose was designed to make us aware of God’s sovereignty and perfection, and to instill in our hearts His morality and ethics. But from the first man Adam who fell from grace and placed all men in the precarious position of being unable to keep it, men who walk today’s earth have also been in constant violation of the laws God established. No amount of works or deeds can erase the sins we bear. Like a cancer, they have permeated our souls and corrupted us. Where does that leave us in the great scheme of eternity, knowing that we continue to sin against a just God who demands that eternal penalties be paid for our disobedience?

Enter the second covenant, Jesus Christ; wholly perfect, wholly divine, wholly God, Who replaced the first covenant. Man was lost. Heaven’s gates had been closed to him. God had turned His face from that which He had created. But, through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary, the only One able to perform a work of salvation, came forgiveness and salvation. To those who would believe on Him and the punishment He bore for their sins, acceptance by God and life eternal would be restored.

Jesus did the will of His Father. In Him was all perfection and holiness. God’s grace was poured out upon the world and made available to all who would accept His Son. Forgiveness is just a breath away from those who have tired of their own feeble attempts to secure salvation, who have come to know they are sinners in need of a Savior. Sweet, divine, and unconditional forgiveness is available through the Second Covenant, Jesus Christ.

All it takes is one breath and it’s yours for eternity.

  1. God is faithful to His promise. Read Exodus 20.
  2. In verse 20, what is the purpose of the law that was given?
  3. Read chapter 32. Man quickly forgets what God expects from him. Are we able to keep the entire law and not break one of its articles?
  4. Because God is just and requires that penalties be paid for our disobedience, where does that leave us?

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