Many Christians are not aware which covenant they are in; some do not even know that a Covenant existed. Covenant is like an Agreement or Will of God set on you. There are two major covenants that God made: the Old Covenant of Law which is a conditional agreement whereby if man obeyed ALL God’s law then man will be blessed, but if man disobeyed, even just failed one Commandment then man will have to be cursed. And, the New Covenant of Grace which is based entirely on Jesus’ obedience to fulfill all God’s Law on the cross and man has no part to fulfill anything but to receive all the good inheritances through Christ Jesus. Sounds too good to be true, right? Yet, it is the truth that Jesus said, will set you free if you know it.
It is important to know the terms of a Covenant, as it certainly affects the quality of life we live in as a Christian. When we rented a house at the Hill Residences Balikpapan, I did not read the terms of the contract, I assumed it would be the same like any other rental agreements I had known in my experiences, whereby the water bill is separately paid monthly. Little that I knew, the Hill Residences has its own water recycling plant, and the rental price has included the free-flow supply of water. The master bedroom attached with a large bath-room included a nice bath-tub too, but I had never used it for many months, because I did not want to pay excessive water bill. So, I showered a quick shower like normally. I avoided using the bath-tub. When I knew the terms of the contract, I was surprised over my foolishness. Because, that all these times, I have been putting unnecessary worry to pay the water bills, and it was affecting the way I bathed. Now, I could have a relax-bathing and was able to enjoy my bathing experience with a nice, warm & relaxing soaking bath daily. The relaxation experience in the bath-tub, in return, increases my quality of life and gives me the quality time to rest and think of many new ideas and initiatives for my work while relaxing, soaking in the lukewarm bath-tub water.
What is the terms of the New Covenant? or How are you being made saved? Simply by Receiving Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved: Rom 10:10 (NLT) For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God (Righteousness by Faith), and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
So, being saved is merely by believing and confessing, and congratulation! Heaven will be your destination home, and Heaven can wait, but life on earth must go on. Many Christians who have been saved by the blood of Jesus which is once and for all eternity, yet still living by trying to earn their eternal salvation daily, and thus living a life in uncertainty of not knowing whether they could go Heaven at the end of their life. They still live battling everyday with guilt and condemnation over their sins, and being made daily busy with repentance and forgiveness of sins. They are still trying to finish the work (salvation) that has been completed, and defeat the enemy (sins) that has been defeated. This causes unnecessary tensions, and fears in the life of many Christians. They are unable to reign in life or have abundant life.
Let me illustrate this truth with an enactment of what might happen on the night before the Israelites were delivered out of Egypt (Exo 12:7-10). On the night of the Passover, God said “When I see the blood, I will pass over you”. This is the last plagues after the first 9 plagues did not make the Pharaoh give up and release them. The terms was merely “the blood of the lamb on the doorpost”, and also “eat the roasted meat of lamb inside the house”. This is actually the shadow of what would be the coming of the new Covenant of Grace 1500 years later. It is the picture of the blood & body of Jesus, the Lamb of God, sacrificed on the Cross, who takes away the sins of the world. The people were protected from the death of the first born, not because they were Jews, nor because they were having good family standing, nor their good deeds, nor anything else; but the blood of the lamb only.
Let’s look at two Jews families that might have spent the Passover night. Let’s assume they live in today’s situation of Christianity (i.e. confusion over mixed Covenant of Law and Grace) and the blood refers to the blood of Jesus and the death of firstborns refers to the eternal death. The roasted meat refers to the body of Jesus broken for us on the cross, so that we can receive His healthy and blessed body on earth.
In the first house, where both father and son are firstborns, the son asks his father “Daddy, will we die?” His daddy says, “son, I have done the blood as instructed, but I really hope that I have enough faith in the blood, because I have committed sins recently that I have not asked for forgiveness, did you also?”. The son said “yes I did kick a cat last night”. And the daddy says “oh no, we may die, we need to repent and confess our sins now”. As they hear the screams and cries coming from the Egyptian houses, they hold each other tightly, trembling in fear throughout the night, and both trying to remember every sin in their past, as far off as possible to be saved throughout the night, and focus on confessing sins instead of enjoying the Passover meals of roasted lamb signifying the blessed prosperity Christian life. While, the truth is they are already saved by the blood, and when the angel of death came in the night, he will pass over the house as he sees the blood. The rest of worries and fears, were unnecessarily added by man due to man’s own presumption of mixing Old & New Covenants.
The second house, another firstborn father and son are waiting to pass the same night. But in this household, both father and son are singing praises and worshiping God. The father smiles at his son and says: “son, we have the blood, and the blood is enough. Now, we can rest in Him. He will protect us. We don’t have to fear”. They both certainly also have sins in their life, but their focus is on the blood, as the blood is enough! They too hear the distressing screams and cries coming from the Egyptian houses, but they continue singing praises and worshiping God. Both families were saved and delivered by the blood of the lamb. The angel of death saw the blood on their doorposts and passed over both households. But, the two families have different quality of life. One focused on the blood, is enough, while the other believes that the blood must add + own righteousness. Where these additional terms came from? It was added by man’s own misinterpretation, it is not inside the terms of the Contract.
The Bible is a covenant document, divided into 2 parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old revealed the Old Covenant of LAW started during the era of Moses bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt, marked by God’s giving of the 10th Commandments, written and engraved on two stone-tables at the foot of Mount Sinai. While the New revealed the New Covenant of GRACE, started precisely on / after Jesus went to the Cross, marked by the sacrifice of the Son of God, Christ Jesus by means of His body and His blood on the cross. Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The covenant of Law given to Moses was between God and man, whereby if man performs all the written commandments, then man will earn God’s blessings. On the same token, if man disobeys any commandments then they will have to receive the curse. So, the Old covenant is conditional in nature, man has to do it right, before God can bless them; likewise man will have to be fried if they do it wrong. The problem is Man always presumes on own righteousness, boasting on their own ability, not realizing they could not. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the 10th Commandments, the corrupted people had made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and made sacrifice to it, which had broken the very 1st commandments of “You shall have no other gods before Me” Exo 20:3. These same people were the ones boasting to God: “we will do, All that the LORD has commanded” in Exo 19:8 while the 10th Commandments were given only in Exo 20:1. They were boasting they could perform all God’s commandments even before they heard what would be the terms.
The same people had forgotten that it was the Grace of God that had brought them out of Egypt, none of their good deeds nor any of their goodness contributed to God’s Grace. God gave them Grace up on Grace, unmerited favors protecting and providing for them, even while corruptions and sins were already amongst them, such as murmuring and complaining against God and Moses. It was God’s Grace of parting the red sea when they were pursued by Egyptian army, it was God’s Grace to rain them with manna bread from heaven when they were hungry, it was God’s Grace to give them sweet water out of the rock when they complained thirst, God’s goodness upon goodness were given freely for them even when they were not right in their conduct and behavior. That showed they should not have changed Covenant from a covenant which was purely depending on God’s Grace (before Mt. Sinai) to a Self-Righteousness Covenant (Covenant of Law) which was assessing based on self performance. From then onward, whenever they sinned, the same sins of murmuring and complaining against God, they died. We see death upon death whenever man sinned during the Old Covenant of Law (post Mt. Sinai)
What the people did not understand was that they had to obey all of the 10th Commandments perfectly, and if they failed in one, they would be guilty of all. Jas 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
I believed God let them have the 10th Commandments with a heavy heart, knowing that they would fail. Thus, in His mercy, God also gave them an extra provision to build an altar for burnt offerings, lest they fail any commandments, by the provision of animal sacrifices and sprinkling of animal blood, which could cover their sins for a while (a year), but could never have removed the sins (Heb 10:3-4). And, Moses were to put the two stone-tables of Law inside the ark of covenant, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark (Exod 40:20), where the sprinkles of animal blood were to be placed; thus showing God’s true heart and delight in Mercy over Judgment (Mic 7:18).
Heb 8:7-8 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 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— For 1500 years, they could not fulfill the covenant of Law, finally God cut a new covenant, where Jesus was the mediator to fulfill all the terms of the covenant, and man has no part in that New Covenant, but to receive it by Faith. So, the solution is the cross, where God’s holiness & justice was fully satisfied, and His Love can now flow freely to all mankind. God’s holiness & justice met perfectly with His Love for mankind on the cross.
Beloved of God, Jesus Christ took our place, and for every sin that you and I have committed or will ever commit, He bore it at the tree. He was punished so that we will not be punished, He was condemned, so that we will never be condemned. He took our place so that we can take his place. He became sin so that we can become the righteousness of God.
He was cut off from all the blessings of God. The bible says: He became our curse that we might be blessed. Lovers and acquaintances were kept far from Him so that we will always be surrounded by them. And He cried “My God, My God why have you forsaken me”, this was the first time ever, Jesus addressed His Father as God, so that you and I will cry “My Father, My Father why have You so blessed me“. He was in 3 hours of darkness , so that we’ll always walk in eternal light. He receive on our behalf, every stroke – upon Stroke – stripe upon stripe – of divine judgments, every Retribution against all Sins & Lawlessness, He absorbed it all upon Himself. Every bad thing that was to fall on your head & your family’s heads, He absorbed it all in His very person, until He cried: “It is Finished”. And, He remained, the Judgment disappeared, but the sacrifice remained, because, the sacrifice is greater than the judgment.
And now He could address God as Father again, and He said: “”Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT”. He breathed His last. He found His Rest in loving you, in saving you… And, He unleashed upon all who believe, the flood-tide of Grace, Favors, and Blessings.
This is the New covenant, all based upon His goodness, and our part is nothing but to receive all the good that Jesus deserved, because Jesus had already received all the bad that we deserved. Simply by believing, by faith. This covenant is the Gospel / the good news, in fact, it really sounds too good to be true to the Self-Righteous mind, because man has no part to play, nothing to boast, everything hinges on Christ Jesus. If Jesus is perfect then we are perfect too. Too good to be true but it is the truth, as Jesus said in Joh 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” You’re made freed in Christ, freedom from any divine judgments. Joh 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment , but has passed from death into life.
You just need to believe like a little child, and say this prayer with me, and believe in your heart:
Heavenly Father, I believe, Jesus Christ is the son of God,
whom you sent to die on the cross for all my sins.
It was my sins that He bore, and
I thank you Father, You are the savior of sinners.
And I believe when Jesus died, I died with Him.
He was buried, I was buried with Him.
When He was raised, I was raised in Him.
When you made Him sit down on your throne, I sat down with Him.
Thank you Father, that my life from now on is a Royal life of the Kingdom of God.
And, Jesus Christ is my Lord & Savior,
I am a son of God, and Father God, you’re my Abba / Daddy…