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Devotional - week of March 17, 2002


LIVING 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.  Hebrews 8:10

This verse explaining the new covenant is a quotation from the Book of Jeremiah. At the conclusion of the quotation the author of Hebrews writes:

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.

The first covenant—which was one of laws written on stone to be obeyed by the nation of Israel—is now obsolete. Using other words, Paul agreed. He wrote:

… having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  Colossians 2:14

The covenant of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” written on stone died with Jesus. It is obsolete. In the new covenant God writes His laws in our minds and hearts. The Spirit of God within is continually saying, “Yes, do that” or “No, do not do that.”

The new covenant, unlike the obsolete covenant, gives believers the power to obey the “Do’s” and “Don’ts.”

… God … sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, …  condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Romans 8:3-4

When we live out the new creation life of crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, we walk in the Spirit and the Spirit lives in and through us the righteous requirement of the law.

As the Holy Spirit lives out the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” He writes on our minds and hearts, He also lives out the righteous requirements of the first covenant—without our even trying to do so.