Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Covenant Drama

As a young boy, I was always fascinated with the painting of the Last Supper that was hung on a wall at the First Baptist Church of Royal Oak. I remember that I used to sometimes stand and stare at it for quite a while. There were so many expressions, so many gestures, and then there was that terrible Judas selfishly clutching his money bag. I was very concerned about that. The whole scene seemed so dramatic. And so it was.

But later in life, as I read the story in the Gospels, it seemed dramatic for a different reason. Amidst all those expressions and gestures, Jesus said something earth-shattering as he served the Passover meal: "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood" (Luke 22:20). A new covenant? What did that mean to his Jewish disciples 1,300 long years after the old Mosaic covenant had been established by God at Mount Sinai? A "new covenant" with God meant that something dramatic was happening before their very eyes!

Jeremiah had spoken of this day over 600 years earlier when he wrote, "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31). What does this "new covenant" with God mean? I invite you to quickly read through this list of some of the many treasures God intends for us to enjoy in this "new covenant" each and every day! It will encourage your spirit.
  1. God makes us His people and puts His words in our hearts (Jer. 31:33; 1 Pet. 2:9).
  2. We are born again, as new creations (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17).
  3. God reveals His mysteries to us, hidden from ages past (Col.1:26).
  4. God is for us (Romans 8:31)!
  5. God forgives all our sins, and declares us to be holy, blameless and beyond reproach (Eph. 1:7-8; Heb. 9:14-15; Col. 1:22).
  6. We can enjoy God's abundant grace (Rom. 5:15, 17, 20-21; Eph. 2:7)
  7. God fills us with His love so that we can love others with His love (1 John 4:7-12).
  8. God fills us with His joy (John 15:11).
  9. God fills us with His peace (John 14:27; Phil. 4:7).
  10. God gives us heavenly wisdom (James 1:5; 3:17).
  11. We have direct access to God rather than through a mediator (Heb. 4:14-16).
  12. God invites us to ask of Him in Jesus' name like never before (John 16:23-24).
  13. Nothing can separate us from God (Romans 8:35).
  14. Jesus becomes our friend as He becomes our Lord (John 15:15).
  15. God's Holy Spirit lives in us to comfort, guide and strengthen us (John 14:26; Acts 1:8; Gal. 5:16, 22-23).
  16. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
  17. We are children of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:15-17).
  18. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
  19. We're given everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
  20. God sanctifies us by helping us to grow mature (2 Thess. 2:13).
  21. God gives each of us spiritual gifts for works of service (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:7).
  22. God prepares good works for us to do for Him (Eph. 2:10).
  23. We are included on a mission of eternal significance (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8).
  24. We become God's partners in His work (1 Cor. 3:9).
  25. We will live with Jesus for eternity (John 14:1-4)!
We're meant to enjoy every promise on that list every day. And that is just the beginning of all that we can enjoy in God's new covenant with us!

© 2015 by Ken Peters

No comments: