Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2014 Jeremiah 31:31

Jeremiah 31:31. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. 
 
Oh Friends, it’s a new week! Yeh! And today, Sunday, is the first day in it. So let’s give our wonderful Creator and God big thanks of praise and glory for bringing us safely through the dark, demon-filled night into the bright, brilliant, bountiful and ever so beautiful Son-light of Jesus Christ, our most LOVING Lord and Saviour!
 
And on this auspicious day of the Lord, the Sabbath, let’s joyfully remember the reason for the seasons we’re celebrating; Advent, the eagerly awaited expectation of the Christ child; Christmas, the actual birth of the Christ child.
 
And all God’s people gave out with a heartwarming shout of grateful praise. ‘Thank You heavenly Father, for sending Jesus to sacrifice and atone for our sins. We’re not worthy of Your LOVE, but You still bless us with it because You are a merciful and ever-LOVING God.
 
We praise Your Holy Name, and will endeavour to live lives that are pleasing to You, and glorify You. This we pray in the name of Jesus, whose birth at Christmas gave us hope for a new future, heralded a new era in our lives, and whose death on the cross at Calvary, along with His resurrection and ascension brought Your promise of a new covenant to pass.
 
And we can’t end without saying a big, big thank You to Jesus for selflessly sacrificing His holy and sinless life for us. He didn’t have to do it. But He was obedient to Your will. Help us to be likewise obedient to Your dictates. Thank You Jesus! We bow to Your eternal majesty, and confess that You are indeed Lord of All! Amen.’
 
Ah mih people, that prayer might seem long and disjointed, but the important thing is that it came from the heart, as all prayers ought to, regardless of their length or correctness of language. (smile) And please don’t forget that today is the day for worship, praise and fellowship with both man and God.
 
Please let’s fill God’s sanctuaries with our bodies as well as with joy, thanks and gladness of heart, because our Bit is now in a sure mode of fulfillment. ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.’
 
Yes Friends, that wonderful promise was set in motion through Christ’s birth and His selfless actions as a young man. We’re now awaiting its culmination through His Second Coming in blazing glory!
 
And today I want to share some important explanations of the scholars, re that covenant, because they are invaluable in helping us to understand it. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to get in, because it takes up almost an entire page of the Good Book.
 
But here goes: ’31:31-34. The new covenant is the culmination of God’s covenant-making with Israel. It may be viewed as a document of God’s prophetic programme and of His policies of administration.
 
As an administrative document, it renders obsolete and succeeds the old Sinaitic covenant that served as the manual of procedure for carrying out the moral, civil, and ceremonial regulations relative to national Israel in the pre-Christian era (cf. Deut.7:6-11; Heb.8:7-13).
 
Some features of the old covenant are carried over into the new covenant: (1) There is in the new covenant a stress on the importance of the unchangeable principles of God’s law.
 
However, these will now be written not on stone but in the hearts of God’s people – they will become part of their inward code for living, and will conform in all respects to the moral law of the Scriptures.
 
Accordingly, the ideal that the old covenant called for (cf. Deut. 6:6-7; 10:16; 30:6) in external commandments will be internalized under the terms of the new covenant.
 
(2) With the establishment of the covenant at Sinai, Israel had become nationally God’s people (Ex. 6:6-7; 19:5-6). As such, they were to be a faithful and obedient people, reflecting His standards in their lives (Deut. 14:1-2; 26:16-19).
 
In a far greater way, the intimacy of the believer with God makes the realization of God’s relation to His people under the terms of the new covenant to be a full and living experience. Moreover, not just the Israelites but all believers (those who know God, v.34) are now called under the new covenant my people. (See 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.3:6-9, 15-18, 26-29; Titus 2:14)
 
These features of vital inwardness and a universality of the knowledge of God stand out as the two great distinctive elements in the new covenant.
 
(3) A third feature that represents continuity with the old covenant, yet superiority under the new covenant is the matter of forgiveness. Although God is said to forgive their iniquity under the administration of the Sinaitic covenant (Ex.34:6-7; Num.14:18; Deut.5:9-10; cf. Ps.86:15; Joel 2:13), in the stipulations of the new covenant, God will remember their sin no more.
 
This feature is a reminder that men in Old Testament times were saved in anticipation of the finished work of Calvary. Under the old economy, believers approached God in their worship experience through human mediators (Ex.20:19); but with the completed redemption by Christ, the members of the family of God now have direct access to God (cf. 1 Tim.2:5-6; Titus 2:11-14, 3:5-7; Heb. 9:1-10:22).
 
Where full forgiveness has been granted, there is no more remembrance of sin. Positionally and experientially, with the living reality of both God’s law in the heart and the indwelling Christ (Col.1:20-27) in the believer, there is not only full and continuous forgiveness of sin (1 John 1:8-9), but full provision for faithful and victorious living.’
 
And we’ll stop there for today. I do hope that some of that explanation does improve our understanding of some of the differences between the old and new covenants. I apologize for some of the big words and terms the scholars use that might have you running to your dictionary. But that’s just the nature of the beast – scholars just use big words because they feel that shows their scholarship. (smile)
 
So basically Friends, the new covenant writes God’s law in our hearts, rather than on outward things like tablets of stone; allows us to go directly to God not through some other human mediator, and in addition to forgiving our sins, now throws them far behind God’s back, never to be remembered again.
 
As I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! And whoever rejects Him is a total idiot. Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

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