We have seen that GOD has made two Covenants with man. The first was not designed to save, but to lead man to salvation.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 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. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:23-29 (NKJV)
The second was the fulfillment of GOD’s ultimate purpose.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 (NKJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV)
The Old Covenant is now cancelled.
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19 (NKJV)
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. 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. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:7-13 (NKJV)
But its value to the Christian is not to be ignored. We learn much about a Mighty Creator. In it we see the prophecies concerning the Messiah (Deut.18:18/19, et.al.) and principles that govern our relationship with GOD.
18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:18-19 (NKJV)
Obedience, Faith, and Respect for HIS Word. ” DON’T ADD – DON’T SUBTRACT ” (Ex.25:9; 40; Deut. 4:2, 5:32-33, Prov.30:5-6. et.al.) is a principle that runs through both Covenants (John 8:31-32, 1Cor.4:6, Gal.1:6-9, 2 John 9, Rev.22:18-19.).
HE says what HE means and means what HE says!
And so, we come to HIS Plan of Salvation. The one Plan for everyone (Titus 2:11f).
Jesus puts this Plan to us all (John 8:31-32, Mark 16:16, Matt.28:18-20.) Peter preached the Gospel (the Good News). In Acts 2 he states the problem (v.22-23) and the remedy (v.37-38) (Acts 3:14-15; 17-19). Paul in Acts (16:14-15, 31-34.) and Philip in Acts (8:26-40).
All preached Repentance and Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins.
In all this, man is left with a CHOICE!! (Joshua 24:14-15; Heb 11:24-26; John 3:16).
Do we accept GOD’s gift of redemption exactly as it is proclaimed by CHRIST and HIS Apostles or does; we see fit to “improve” it with our own ideas? (Gal 1:6-9; 1Tim 1:3; 2 Tim1:13; 4:3-4)
We make many choices, daily and throughout our lives. This is the most important Choice we will ever make.
It will determine our Eternal Destiny!
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
(written December 2009)