• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

The New Covenant

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

“After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25

Blood covenants were well understood in the time of Jesus' earthly ministry. From Adam and Eve in the garden for whom two animals were sacrificed to provide a covering for their nakedness and shame, to Abraham in the desert when God promises him that He would make him a father of many nations and through his seed shall all families of the world be blessed, blood covenants have sealed the gravity and irrevocable contracts with the penalty of death for the covenant makers if it should ever be broken. The shedding of blood was the sure and certain reality that the covenant would remain in force for the life of the covenant makers and their generations after them.

Blood covenants were not entered into lightly. They were the result of long, sometimes arduous scrutiny and deliberations before final agreements were ratified.

Under the Old Covenant the Law was the final authority in all matters of life. There were strict benefits if you kept the Law and swift and certain judgment if you did not. But the Law was not adequate to rid man of his sin and guilt even though year after year from Moses to the coming of Jesus, blood sacrifices were made for the sins of the people.

Beside this, no one could keep all the Law. And if any one could that would still not be enough to rid them of the nature of sin that was stamped on their DNA. They would still be sinners destined for death, hell and the grave.

To the disciples who sat at table with Jesus that Passover night the words that He spoke concerning the cup must have been astonishing indeed. "This cup is the New Covenant in My blood. This, do in remembrance of Me."

Jesus was the only one who could keep the Law without sin and He did, He even said I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. All the Law could do was shine a light on man's sins. It could only reveal to him what was wrong with him but it could offer no change, no transformation, no power to be made new creations.

Only Jesus could do that and He did. By establishing a New Covenant He abolished the Old and made a new and living way for man to be made a new creation with a new sinless nature. This New Covenant came with the fundamental understanding that man is powerless against his old sin nature that the Law only magnified. But through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood sacrifice for sins every believer can be born again not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible seed by the will of God. All seed of man in his human nature is the seed of fallen sinful Adam. But the seed of God is incorruptible through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The New Covenant that Jesus made is a covenant of Life and that more abundantly. Sin cannot reign in the heart of the reborn spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of every child of God is working in us constantly to both want to and to do what pleases God. Under the New Covenant we have grace and mercy from God to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Whatever our sins, shortcomings, failures, offenses or transgression of the Law might be, Jesus has already paid the penalty for them in full. God has cast them as far as the east is from the west and will not remember them against us anymore.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the Law of sin and death.

Here it is. If you sin under the Old Covenant you die. Under the New Covenant if we sin we have an advocate with the Father, Who is Jesus Christ the Righteous, Who ever lives to make intercession for us. When we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In other words, you cannot out-sin God's grace.

Only in blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the ultimate rejection of God's love and grace is there no forgiveness. But don't worry, as long as you can still call on the Lord and believe that He is you're still qualified for His grace. But, fair warning – don't tempt God. Believe Him, love Him, even get angry with Him if you must but don't tempt Him to see if He will reject You. His love never will. But you can open up yourself to all kinds of trouble by foolishly posturing yourself against the Lord.

God knows that we are all frail human vessels but He is still pleased to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit has come to us because of the New Covenant of Love and Grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. God is our Father and He loves us. He will never condemn us or fail to forgive our human weaknesses; and in the midst of them lift us up out of them time and again as long as we continue to call on Him.

God loves us. God loves you. And He is for you. He wants you to be blessed, to live in joy and peace and to live free from sin, sickness and disease of any kind. He wants you well and whole.

This is the blessing of the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus. Thanks, be to God for His amazing love.

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