Forward in Faith #12
The New Covenant
God Never Forgets Promises
An elderly Christian was in much distress as he lay dying. “Oh, Pastor,” he said, “for years I have relied upon the promises of God, but now in the hour of death I can’t remember a single one to comfort me.” Knowing that Satan was disturbing him, the preacher said, “My brother, do you think that GOD will forget any of His promises?” A smile came over the face of the dying believer as he exclaimed joyfully. “No, no! He won’t! Praise the Lord, now I can fall asleep in Jesus and trust Him to remember them all and bring me safely to Heaven.” Peace flooded his soul, and a short time later he was ushered by the angels into the light of God’s eternal day.
—Our Daily Bread
In Jeremiah 31:31-34 Jeremiah recorded a promise from God when he wrote “a time is coming …”
Folks, when God makes a promise he keeps it!
Jesus has promises us that the time is coming when he will split the eastern skies and take his children back home. How do I know that it is true? Because he kept every promise up until now!
So, let’s look at that promise.
He promises a New Covenant was coming.
What exactly is a covenant?
The Word is Diatheke dee-ath-ay-kay a disposition, an arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his possessions after his death, a testament or will
A Will needs a few things.
There is the GIVER of the inheritance; the original owner who is passing it on to the heir.
There is the heir, the receiver of the Promised disposition
There is the Place where the Will is disposed of, where the transaction is carried out
And there is a mediator that administers the transfer of the Promised disposition
We see all of those things here. And every aspect is Glorious, Amazing, Wonderful
Look first at the Mediator
1. What a High Priest … to Administer It
Oh when we realize what God is giving us it starts with our mediator.
Job said it this way “if only we had one who could lay hold of me and God … then I could speak with God yet now I cannot”
The problem with every other High Priest was they could relate to us and under the Old Promises they could speak to God FOR us, but they couldn’t lay hold of GOD … But in Christ we have
A. Such a High Priest
1. such – toioutos - toy-oo-tos of a certain kind, a definite individual with special qualities … a PERSON LIKE THAT …
In 7:22-28 it tells us what this “SUCH” means. What kind is He? He is a guarantee, eternal, permanent, interceding, never dying, meeting our needs.
And so we sing a song
“There is none like you …”
He is the one and only one of a kind, head of the class, SUCH a High Priest
And Jesus our Priest is
V1 – “who sat down” “who is seated” Now I don’t usually talk about the TENSE of these words in Greek but Get THIS … I find that this word
Kathizo - kath-id-zo is in the AORIST which is a tense used to give a snapshot of an event in a simple way we can see … and then also it is AORIST INDICATIVE … meaning it has already taken place. But finally it is AORIST ACTIVE INDICATIVE … meaning we see a snapshot of our Savior, who in the past, when he finished the work of salvation, ascended to Heaven, presented himself as our sacrifice and was seated, sat down, and remains so today!
But this word doesn’t just mean he took a rest. It means “to make to sit, to set, appoint, to confer a Kingdom; to settle”
Jesus Christ our mediator, left heaven, came to earth, lived a perfect life, laid down his life, paid for our sin in full, rose from the grave in victory, ascended 40 days later, and God seated him, giving him the Kingdom, a name above all names, Jesus is Lord – Phil. 2:9-11
Such a High Priest
High Priests were never seated because their work was never done. There weren’t even chairs in the Tabernacle
But Jesus finished his word, paid for every sin, satisfied God’s Justice and he was seated
C. At the Right Hand
Of the Throne of the Majesty in Heaven
Jesus Christ is the “radiance of God’s glory” that means he shows us God who lives in unapproachable light. Jesus gives us an outline, definition, understanding to the Godhead.
Being seated is what had been promised to him by the Father in Ps 110:1
We know hie is King and Priest
The Right Hand was the place of honor and usefulness, the place of Supreme Importance
Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
Right … of the throne – thronos – throne, dominion, rule, power, authority – He is at the right hand place of God’s dominion
“of Majesty” – megalosyne - meg-al-o-soo-nay the majesty of God
Our mediator, such a mediator that eternally meets our needs, satisfied God, seated at the right hand of the throne of God in
D. The Real Sanctuary
Don’t confuse Jesus with any other. He is the only one that serves in the
TRUE – alethinos – real, true, genuine
Sanctuary – literally – High Places
The high priest was the only one who could enter the Temple’s most exclusive place, The Most Holy Place. It contained the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat or Throne of Mercy. The High Priest entered once a year this place what was made according to the Pattern of what was in Heaven.
What a High Priest, he didn’t just enter once a year, he entered, he entered once to STAY, once for ALL
He didn’t just come before the throne but he was and is seated at the right hand ON the throne, to be our eternal mediator and administer the Promise of God
What a Priest
2. What a Place
A. The Original
The original place –
There is a temple in Heaven? Yes and it was there FIRST
V5 says that the Temple on earth was built according to God’s instructions, as a copy, a shadow of what’s in Heaven
That makes me ask the question, Why is there a temple in Heaven?
If the purpose of the Temple was to be a place for sacrifice and providing holiness, they why a temple in Heaven?
Well it is …
B. Naturally Necessary
If Jesus has gifts to offer and we learned last week that he offers himself as our sacrifice; then he needs a PLACE to offer it.
But why did their need to be one there FIRST.
Why wasn’t it created later after we sinned; after the 1st Covenant proved to not be enough?
Well stay with me.
God is NOT working on a trial and error plan. He is NOT reacting.
Jesus Christ on the cross was not Plan C. i.e. plan A perfection in the garden – oops man sinned – Plan B sacrificial system, that will do it … oops I Guess Jesus will have to go and do this right.
The scripture says he was “slain from the foundation of the earth” Rev 13:8
Before we were created with a capacity to love God or reject God …
God knew that we would sin, so God made the decision, before he ever made us, to provide for our redemption, forgiveness, restoration, and holiness through Jesus Christ being slain on a cross for our sin.
So the Temple would have been in Heaven 1st as the Place where Jesus WOULD one day offer himself as the sacrifice for our sins
V3 says it was necessary. But since Jesus is seated he is perpetually there for us because he himself is our once and for all offering
Notice v 3 says that THIS ONE had to have something to offer, singular, ONE TIME
C. The Pattern
The priests offered day after day sacrifices, each one was a promise of the singular, final one that would come.
In Heaven there is an altar of sacrifice that from the foundation of the earth unused waiting. There was a mercy seat there waiting too.
In the Temple on earth, every sacrifice was a promise, a picture, after the Pattern, until that day when Jesus, slain from eternity, yet slain In Time on Golgotha’s Tree by Pilate’s decree, buried, Risen, Ascended 40 days later
He laid himself on the altar, the Mercy Seat
Once and For all
The pattern fulfilled our lives Redeemed
What a priest, what a place …
3. What A Promise
The old covenant came by the Mediation of Moses
He went on Sinai and received the covenant and stood before God for the people … but in Heaven we have a better one …
A. A Superior Mediator
V6 says the ministry Jesus has received is superior that of the High Priests who came before him
Diaphoros – different, excellent, surpassing
Mediates – mesites - mes-ee-tace -one who intervenes between two in order to make peace and friendship or form a compact or covenant, reconciler.
Moses was the mediator between the people and the first covenant. But there was always a separation
The people didn’t come to God, Moses went to God and then told the people
But Moses and the Law are not our mediator
Aaron and the Levite High Priests are not our Mediator
1 Timothy 2:5 – for there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
And Jesus ushered in the fulfillment of the promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34
Let’s read it again
B. Superior Promises
God has given us a covenant “founded on better promises”
Better= kreitton - krite-tohn- more useful, more serviceable, more advantageous; more excellent
Oh people aren’t you glad that God was holding something better for us even when he gave Moses the first Covenant?
What we have in Christ is more useful, more serviceable, more advantageous, more excellent in every way.
It is more useful not just than the mosaic covenant but more useful than anything you will attempt to do to make your life better, or good, or honorable.
Oh listen the promise that went with the old covenant was do this and I won’t destroy you
This covenant carries the promise, come to me all who we weary and heavy laden and I will give you REST
I will give you eternal life
I will give you hope
I will give you the Holy Spirit
I will bring you into the family of God
Those are pretty strong promises
The original promise, never promised completeness or righteousness, or life
If you remember the night before he was crucified, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples and when he instituted the Lord’s Supper with his disciples, he said “this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you” Luke 22:20
There IS a question that comes up in discussion
The promise from Jeremiah is obviously being made specifically to Israel so how then now can it be applied to Gentiles?
I don’t think we have to make that complicated
What did Romans 1:16 says?
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: FIRST for the Jew, THEN for the Gentile
The things of God were brought to Israel and THEN FOR all
Jesus came to Israel Mt 15:24
Jesus sent his disciples to Israel first
Jesus said the gospel would be preached to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem – Luke 24:47
When the Holy Spirit came … he came to Jewish Believers first then to the rest of the world as they received the gospel.
And so this new covenant is available to all today, Jew, Greek, Slave Free, Man, Woman, Boy, Girl, Educated, and Simple, from every age, from every language, from every nation, from every ethnicity
I offer you JESUS
What is it that sets this apart from the OLD … just the Pronoun difference
Pronouns aren’t a big deal are they?
Guess it depends on who the pronouns represent
The Old Covenant can be summed up in Exodus 24:3 when Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “everything the Lord has said we will do”
Did you see the pronoun? WE … The Old Covenant was based on what WE did to keep what God commanded
But notice the prophesied promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ
V10 ¬this is the promise I will make … 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
I like that pronoun, God talking says I WILL
Praise the Lord!
The problem wasn’t with God’s law it was with our inability to keep it
Romans 7:12 says the Law was holy
Now it is about what Jesus Can do for us … not based on what we do for him
THIS promise from God promises to change us from the INSIDE OUT
This covenant is carved out on stone but written on our hearts
John 6 Jesus says “no one comes to me unless the Father draws him”
But this New Covenant finally has the promise of FORGIVENESS once and for all
Wiersbe says “the Old Testament sacrifices brought a remembrance of sins, not a remission of sins"
We have a gospel to share but the promise from this passage is that one day we won’t have to share it any more a Kingdom is coming. But for now we call out to you with a Gospel that is Great News that is better than any Good News you have ever seen, read, or heard.
Don’t you hate remembering the bad you have done?
Don’t you hate when people put it back up in your face?
Jesus remembers our sin no more
Does he have a memory problem? No
When you look at the cross you see HOW God can remember our sin no more. Because on that cross every one of our sins was laid on Jesus and God treated him as if he had done everything you will ever do and he died for our sin and so God cannot burn in anger on us because he already has on Jesus Christ.
C. Makes the Old Obsolete
Please don’t miss something, the Old Covenant was not BAD … or an attempt that didn’t work … It had a purpose and that was to point us to Jesus
Now Jesus is here and it is not needed any longer
But it is Obsolete. Why because God said I WILL DO IT
Ezekiel 36:26-27 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
And by saying it is obsolete that doesn’t mean we have license to do as we please but we now rely on the good of a greater covenant.
He isn’t just the Husband of Israel now but GOD … to her and to us
The Old Covenant gave us peace with God until the next time
The New Covenant with Christ gives us peace with God for ALL TIME
One more time, can I offer you Jesus
I tell you again, unashamedly,
There is None Like Him
There is no other King
There is no other Forgiveness
There is no other Hope
Than Jesus Christ
He can change you from the inside out
Would you come to him today?
"Pastor What do I do with these promises?"
Joshua 21:45 Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
1 Peter 1: 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever
2 Cor. 1: 20-21 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ
What do you do with these promises
Oh folks if you don’t stand on the promises you will FALL for ANYTHING
We used to sing an Old Hymn
1. Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Thro' eternal ages let His praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
2. Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
3. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword,
Standing on the promises of God.
4. Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List'ning ev'ry moment to the Spirit's call,
Resting in my Savior, as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
I'm standing on the promises of God.
Or unjoined -
Even if it’s Unlawful
If they call you
Unzip your MOUTH
on the Word and
Tell the World
Standing on the Promises of God