Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:31 ESV
A covenant made between two people is a strong vow or promise that is never to be broken. Often the vows in a marriage of a man and woman are referred to as a covenant. A covenant is normally initiated by one and presented to another and upon agreement is consummated. Isn’t it interesting that in the New Testament the church is referred to as the bride of Christ? God has initiated every relationship between His creation and Himself. God so loved all the life that He had created that when His human creation sinned, causing separation from Him, He initiated a plan… covenant … to restore them back to Himself. In the Old Testament (Covenant) God wrote on stone the law of covenant required to restore a right relationship with Him. But as the covenant that was written upon stone could be cold and hard, so was the heart of man. So much so that God made a new covenant to be written where it could make a difference in the mind and heart at the same time. To have the law in your mind is eternal knowledge. To have the law in the heart is life. To have the Law in your mind and heart is eternal life. Jesus, the person by whom the new covenant would be established, was given by God and was God in the flesh to make eternal life possible.
God’s laws have requirements; and if those requirements are not followed or accomplished, there is a consequence….a sentence of death. The truth is, with our sinful natures, we will never be able to accomplish nor keep all the requirements. So why would God make for us that which is impossible to accomplish? It makes clear our need for Him to intervene on our behalf. God has never asked of us what He is not willing to do. This is why Jesus, God in the flesh, came and did for us what we could not do – accomplish the requirements of the law. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplish.” Matthew 5:17-18 ESV In fact, when Jesus spoke of the law, He made us understand that the law is a heart issue. The Law… Do not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14 ESV The Heart…. Jesus said, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his HEART” Matthew 5:28 ESV
The Law in our minds and hearts:
It was asked of Jesus by a Pharisee, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36 ESV Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your HEART and with all your SOUL and with all your MIND. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 ESV All this makes the point of the new covenant that was foretold in the book of Jeremiah… the law is a heart issue of loving God.
How to go from stone to flesh:
As in Ezekiel, this is accomplished by God. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV In short, it is a work of God, not your works. For by Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
God does not want a person to just know about Him; He wants a person to know Him from the inside out. He desires for us to have life abundantly as a result of his work accomplished on the cross. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV Let me close with a passage from Romans that pretty much sums this up. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:1-8 ESV
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David.