Hebrews 8, 9, 10 offers some great discourse on the first and second covenants that God made with Israel and thereby to all men and women, of course. I gathered some individual scriptures that describe the covenants and their ramifications to Israel and today I want to talk about two of them. Next week we can talk about a few more and again the next week. My purpose in showing this to you is that GOD said the second is a better covenant. Knowing what it has for someone strongly influences the course of events, don’t you want to know why it’s better and what it contains?
Heb 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
So Jesus has a more excellent ministry, He is the mediator of a better covenant, and this covenant was founded on better promises. This answers many of our questions already. But it needs some explanation. Jesus did all the work of this new covenant. He came, brought wisdom, proved He was God bringing it, died and rose again. The agreement says that ‘GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life’. John 3:16.
I am reminded of someone having an excellent ministry. But Jesus had the ministry of love who died to give us heaven. No other man could do this. It is by far the best anyone could do, the best gift is imparted- eternal life. As an example of a man’s ministry on earth my friend Leo who died this year had a good ministry. He was a strong man, energetic and full of life. He cooked here in the afternoon and he was the principal of our little school when we had it. He loved people and kids and wanted to help. He knew that helping people was the highest activity a man could do. He was retired and like many of us he did what he could to further people’s lives. He fed them, he was an administrator and worked for free. He got more done in a day than two men. To me that was excellent. It can be done, we can help, we can please God but, nothing pleases Him like faith in His Son – enough to move mountains in our lives.
Some of the promises The Holy One made are in the Bible. He promises heaven to those who love Him; forgiveness for our sins is a sure one to those who ask sincerely; and that our sins will be put away forever. He promised the law would be fulfilled by loving God and loving our neighbor and Jesus did that. The ‘poor’ Pharisees were corrected with ever increasing vehemence because they would not listen and they were the leaders in control of the society. Whole books have been written about the promises of God and one contains over 800 promises from the Bible- The Pocket Promise Book. In fact there is more than that. Promises for the betterment of our lives, for what God promises he enables us to do. If we have fear Isaiah 41:10, if we want to see God working Isaiah 26:3-5. And on and on, a promise for every need a man or woman could have and much, much more.
Heb 8:9 NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
This is about the New Covenant. What happened in the New Testament, all the works in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles of the greatest work of salvation was not because of the old covenant which was broken but did lead the Israelites out of Egypt in a time of need. But it is precisely because they didn’t heed it that HE let them die in the wilderness, that whole generation. They had tempted Him 10 times there and He had to teach them who He was- the Sovereign God. He wanted to be treated as such. They had to learn who He was and that He could do what He said, He wanted a people of faith, but they refused to go into the Promised Land, so how could He take them there. They refused to go. They did not, would not have faith in Him. ‘Nothing is impossible to he who has faith’, within reason.
So don’t be disregarded by God. God loves you but Rom 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God loves us He has promised us great things in the New Covenant. It is not about obeying hundreds of laws to a tee ‘or else!’ Some of the promises were for the Jews, but ours are now better, based on Jesus life and death. It is about what Jesus has already done on the cross. We become free from sin and guilt. God is open for communication and relationship. We can improve and grow and mature by living the healthy way, a holy life. Cry out from your soul for God to come into you and dwell and give peace; all things that God does if you do what is helpful. But you can be resistant or carnal and resist God’s work to sanctify us so that the promises will be nullified in your life. Take it all just as it is and let it work, let it fill you so that you can have joy to be alive. And so when you repent and get the sin out of the way it will happen for you. SAY: Father in Jesus name I ask you to forgive me for all the things I’ve done wrong in my life. I want you to fill me with the Holy Spirit of wisdom, joy, peace and discernment. I am committed to follow you. In Jesus Name, Amen.