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Devotional - week of May 11, 2008


FAILURE OF LIFE UNDER TWO COVENANTS

 

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, 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 26:27-28

  

Hebrews 9:18 says, “… not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.” The word “dedicated” has the idea of “inaugurated.” The verse implies that there are two covenants inaugurated by blood. The first one was the covenant God made with the Israelites at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:1-9).

 

Moses sprinkled blood on the altar, then read to the Israelites the commands they were to keep. The people said, “What God has said, we will do.” After that commitment by the people, Moses sprinkled blood on them. This inaugurated the first covenant—which Hebrews 8:13 says no longer exists.

 

With the shedding of His blood, Jesus inaugurated a new covenant—for those who receive Him as Lord and Savior. Quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:10-12 describes 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. 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. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

 

There is nothing in the passage about man’s responsibility. Believers live under the new covenant through living by faith.

 

We lead a person to salvation under the new covenant then often immediately put him under the old covenant, that no longer exists, by telling him what he is to do for God rather than what God will do for him. Paul testified that lapsing back into living out the old covenant left him in a spiritual and emotional state he called death (Romans 7).

 

We place new converts under the new covenant by teaching them how to live by faith—just as they were saved by faith—by teaching them their union with Christ and how to experience it.