Covenant

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Security in Christ

Posted by on 19 Oct 2010 | Tagged as: Covenant, God's Love, Perseverance, Sam Storms

God’s Covenant Promise

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

Jude 24

When I first became a Christian, I was asked if I believed that a truly converted soul could lose their salvation. The question perplexed me, “Is my salvation dependent on my behavior or God’s faithfulness?” I determined that God’s covenant faithfulness was greater than my weaknesses, failings, and inadequacies.

Covenant is an eternal binding promise made by God to believers that he will love us unconditionally. This eternal covenant is not a contract. In a contract, the relationship is based on performance, if the terms of the contract are broken, the relationship is terminated under penalty. In a covenant relationship, love is the basis of the relationship. If the covenant is broken, the offended party pursues the offender winning back their heart through discipline, grace, and love (Jer. 31:31-34). Under the new covenant, God makes this very promise, “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jer. 32:40). Notice the key phrase, “That they will never turn away from me.” God promises that even when we stray, he will pursue us, conquer our hearts, and win us back again to a life of obedience.

The basis for our security in salvation is not ultimately our righteousness or obedience but God’s promise, God’s power, God’s purpose, and most of all God’s passionate love for us in Christ. God is committed to preserving us in faith, for if we were to stumble so as to fully and finally fall away, God stands more to lose than we do.

Sam Storms, “A Defense of the Perseverance of the Saints – Part II,” November 6, 2006, www.enjoyinggodministries.com.

Security Like No Other

Posted by on 13 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Covenant, Holy Eucharist, John Piper

The Covenant of Joy

This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

Hebrews 7:22

Next week will be my fifteenth anniversary as an ordained presbyter in the Charismatic Episcopal Church (C.E.C.). I have been blessed by God to preach most Sundays during those same years. I love preaching and one of my favorite topics is the blessings of the new covenant (Heb. 7:22). The New Covenant gives me a unsurpassed security in my relationship with the Lord: I do not have to fear being rejected, discarded, or ignored by God. The new covenant gives me and you a security that no other person, document, or event can provide.

What makes the New Covenant better than the Old? The New Covenant secures the promise of an indwelling Holy Spirit who by his mighty power will produce an obedient and holy people of God. In the New Covenant, God promises that he will keep us by his divine power, therefore we need never to fear losing our salvation (Eph. 1:13-14).

The new covenant is an eternal binding promise that God in Christ will love each believer and never let them go (John 10:25-30, Isa. 49:15-16). The new covenant is God’s promise that he will pursue us and woo us and guide us and change us so that we as believers will follow him all the days of our lives (Jer. 32:38-41). Not only does God commit himself to keep us, but he places his Holy Spirit in us as a seal to the deal. The Holy Spirit becomes a deposit guaranteeing our final salvation upon the Second Coming of Jesus (2 Cor. 1: 18-22). Therefore, we need no longer to be sin-conscious, self-conscious, or performance-conscious, we are now free to be fully conscious of Christ and all the benefits he has provided for us in the Cross (Eph. 1:3).

Here we have arrived at the central mystery of living the Christian life. Christ has died for our sins and risen from the dead. Because of his blood and righteousness we are forgiven and counted righteous by God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Rom. 5:19). Therefore, Christ has become the Yes to all God’s promises (2 Cor. 1:20). Everything promised by the prophets for the new covenant has been purchased for us infallibly by Christ. These new-covenant promises include, “The LORD your God will circumcise your heart . . . so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart” (Deut. 30:6); and, “I will put my law within them . . . on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33); and, “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezek.11:19); and, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes” (Ezek. 36:27).

All of these new-covenant promises have been secured for us by Christ who said at the Last Supper, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20). The blood of Christ obtained for us all the promises of the new covenant. But look again at these promises. What distinguishes them from the old covenant is that they are promises for enablement. They are promises that God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We need a new heart to delight in God. We need the Spirit of God whose fruit is joy in God. We need to have the law written on our heart, not just written on stone, so that when it says, “Love the Lord with all your heart,” the Word itself produces the reality within us. In other words, we need the gift of joy in God. Left to ourselves, we will not produce it. That’s what Christ bought for us when he died and shed the blood of the new covenant. He bought for us the gift of joy in God.

John Piper, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 52.

All That Is Christ’s Is Ours

Posted by on 17 May 2010 | Tagged as: Andrew Murray, Covenant

The New Covenant

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

Luke 22:20 NLT

Covenant is an eternal binding promise that two parties will love one another unconditionally. This eternal covenant is not a contract. In a contract, the relationship is based on performance, if the terms of the contract are broken, the relationship is terminated under penalty. In a covenant relationship, love is the basis of the relationship. If the covenant is broken, the offended party pursues the offender winning back their heart through discipline, grace, and love (Jer. 32:40-41). Obedience and mutual affection is all that is required for enjoyment of the full blessing of the covenant.

Under the New Covenant, God promises to pursue us in order to create a people all his own. God desires that we would be a people who would obey him from our hearts by a faith that works through love (Gal. 5:6). God promises four things in the New Covenant that the Old Covenant could never deliver: heart-felt obedience, personal experiential knowledge of God, Holy Spirit-empowered living, and life-transforming forgiveness (Ezekiel 36:25-26).The New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant for the New Covenant empowers us, the covenant partner, to keep God’s most precious commandments (Ezekiel 36:27).

In the New Covenant, we are placed “in Christ” (Heb. 9:15). Like Jonathan and David (1 Sam. 20:16-17), who shared all their possessions: all that is Christ’s is ours and all that is ours now belongs to Christ. All that Christ purchased for us on the Cross is ours. All that the Holy Spirit bestows is ours. Our all that Father grants is ours in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

Fix your heart upon the great and mighty God, who in His grace will work in you above what you can ask or think, and will make you a monument of His mercy. Believe that every blessing of the Covenant of grace is yours; by the death of the Testator you are entitled to it all—and on that faith act, knowing that all is yours. The new heart is yours, the law written in the heart is yours, the Holy Spirit, the seal of the Covenant, is yours. Act on this faith, and count upon God as Faithful and Able, and oh! so Loving, to reveal in you, to make true in you, all the power and glory of His everlasting Covenant.

Andrew Murray, The Two Covenants and the Second Blessing (Fort Washington, PA: CLC, 2005).