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Devotional - week of February 22, 2009


NEW COVENANT--CHURCH ORDINANCES

… Jesus took bread… gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup… and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:26-28

The cup represents Jesus’ blood, which is the blood of the new covenant. The book of Hebrews (9:18) implies that the blood of Jesus dedicated (inaugurated) the new covenant.

The bread represents Jesus’ body but He mentions no particular purpose of His body at the Lord’s Supper with His disciples. However, Hebrews 10:1-8 says the death of the body of Jesus, rather than animal sacrifices, is sufficient for the forgiveness of sins. Then verse 9, in an obvious reference to the old and new covenants, reads:

He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

Both the cup and the bread indicate the coming of a new covenant. Hebrews 8:10 gives this description of the new covenant.

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

This is a way of saying, “walking in the Spirit.” The new covenant is not keeping rules. It is walking in the Spirit.

Baptism, a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the one being baptized, teaches how one can walk in the Spirit—who lives in the heart of every believer—and experience freedom from the power of the flesh, another feature of the new covenant (Galatians 4:21-5:1).

We experience both walking in the Spirit and freedom from the power of the flesh by experiencing our crucifixion, burial and resurrection as taught in Romans 6:3-13 and as pictured in our baptism.