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August 15, 2022 2:00 am
I find it surprising if not shocking that Jesus deemed it necessary to tell his church to remember him.
Don't forget me, but isn't that what the Lord's table is it's an ordinance given by Christ whereby we would not forget him. We would remember him tonight. We want to consider the new covenant by pick that up as I read from Hebrews chapter 8 covenant for if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second so the writer of Hebrews is going to expound the new covenant. In contrast it with the old covenant we don't sing just to give you an opportunity to stand in exercise your vocal cords.
We do that very intentionally very deliberately and I am continually amazed. It the hymns that are chosen and how fitting they are for the text of Scripture that is being preached from we saying not all the blood of these. Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain could give the guilty conscience peace or wash away the sting.
That's the old covenant.
We think of your Bible may say testament covenant depending on the translation that your considering but a testament or covenant is from the Greek word which has at as its basic meaning. The idea of our present day will and will does not take effect until the one who made it dies.
Until that time.
It's benefits and promises are only promises and they are necessarily future and again the new covenant, like a will requires the death of the one who made for its provisions to be enacted and in Hebrews chapter 9 in verse 16 we read this for where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator for testament is in force after men are dead since it has no power at all. While the testator lives to let me give that to you in the English standard version for a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore, not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. So you understand for considering and when you think about the mention of the new covenant to the Old Testament prophets, Jeremiah and chapter 31 verses 31 through 34 speaks of the promise of a new covenant. Ezekiel chapter 36 does the same.
In similar language, and then we come to the root book of Hebrews were considering tonight and we see the benefit in the blessings that have come through the new covenant, but as I've already said it required the death of Jesus Christ to make that covenant effective. No doubt that's what Jesus meant when he said this at the Passover with his disciples. It says in Mark chapter 14 just listen to these words and as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them and said taking this is my body. Then he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them and they all drank from it and he said to them, this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Assuredly, I say to you I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
So on that fateful night Jesus knew that the cross was before him. He was voluntarily going to give his life on the cross and in so doing enact the benefits of the new covenant. So tonight we want to consider for aspects of the new covenant number one. This is taken from Hebrews chapter 8 the necessity of the new covenant, the mediator of the new covenant. The recipients of the new covenant and the better promises of the new covenant, the necessity of the new covenant notice with me. The language there in verse seven for if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second what is said there in verse seven implies that there was something wrong with the covenant itself. For if that first covenant had been faultless. The writer seems to be suggesting that there was some fault with the first covenant with any clarifies himself in the next verse, verse eight because finding fault with them. There was no fault with the covenant default lies with the recipients of the covenant and we need to just be reminded of what Paul had to say about the law.
He said in Romans chapter 7 verse 12 where wherefore the law. It is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
He says in first Timothy chapter 1 verse eight for we know that the law is good. If a man use it lawfully in other places we could turn but for sake of time will do that. But what's important at this point is were considering the necessity of the new covenant is to recognize that the old covenant was not bad. God did not make the new because the old was bad but because the old was imperfect and temporary. The Mosaic covenant or the old covenant was a God-given God ordained covenant that served its purpose for the time that it was meant to be in effect. It was never meant to be permanent. Hebrews chapter 10 verse one tells us for the law having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. So the old covenant was a shadow of good things to come. It was pointing forward to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ in the new covenant that he would usher in with his death. So again, the new covenant is better. It's better simply because the old was incomplete. The old was good. The new is better. And if you're familiar with the book of Hebrews, you know that that's a good way to make your way through the book keying on that work better 13 times, the writer uses that word.
Jesus is better. He's better than the Mosaic covenant. He's better than the Angels. He's better than Melchizedek. He's better.
He's better is better, and that's a good way to make your way through the book of Hebrews.
So again is were looking at verse seven and eight and were considering the necessity of the new covenant. The old covenant was conditioned it was conditional and it was dependent upon the people's faithfulness to meet the conditions of the covenant. Let me share a couple of verses that draw that out. Jeremiah chapter 7 verse 23 Jeremiah writes but this thing Yahweh commanded, saying obey my voice and I will be your God and you shall be my people and walk. He in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.
So the old covenant was conditioned on the people's faithfulness, but again, Hebrews chapter 8 and verse eight finding fault with them.
Their intentions were good but they failed to live up to the conditions of the covenant. Listen to Exodus chapter 24 in verse seven and he took the book of the covenant and read in the audience of the people and they said all that the Lord had said we will do and be obedient. Verse eight and Moses took the blood sprinkled on the people and said this is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you, according to all these words. That's Exodus chapter 24 you have to turn too many pages in your Bible until you read of that sad account of the golden calf. So their intentions were good but they failed to obey the conditions of the covenant. So is worth thinking through the contrast here between the new covenant and the old. I think it's important to see that six times in verses eight through 12 we see the statement of intent on the part of God, the new covenant is different than the old, in that God says I will six times. He mentions his intent.
One thing we can be absolutely certain about is when we encounter the divine. I wills in the Scriptures, they communicate perfection.
No hint of failure. God is committing himself to the conditions of the covenant. So this new covenant as opposed to the old covenant is were thinking about the necessity of the new covenant, the new covenant does not depend on man's faithfulness to God, but on God's faithfulness to men, that's absolutely critical that we understand that that is the most significant difference.
John Bunyan had a way of capturing this.
The weakness in the. The deficiency of the old covenant and shining light on the gospel of grace and the blessings of the new covenant. He said quote to run and work. The law commands but gives me neither feet or hands, but better news the gospel brings it bids me fly and gives me wings wonderful truth.
Thus, the necessity of the new covenant. Think with me about the mediator of the new covenant notice. Let's go back one verse in chapter 8 verse six but now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as he that is Jesus Christ is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises another three times in just a few chapters here, where Christ is designated the mediator of the new covenant. I showed it to their end.
Chapter 8 verse six we see it in chapter 9 and verse 15 it says, and for this reason he is the mediator of the new covenant by means of death for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the intra-eternal inheritance and then chapter 12 in verse 24 says something similar to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant and the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. So Christ is the mediator of the new covenant in mediator means the go-between the the arbitrator who stands between two people to affect our reconciliation in this writer of Hebrews will say in another place in this letter that there is one mediator between God and man.
The man Christ Jesus. Jesus stands in an exclusive position to serve and function as the mediator of this new covenant. He's the he is the mediator of a better covenant. According to chapter 7 verse 22 is become the guarantee of a better covenant.
The new American Standard states now as we think about this emphasis on meteor mediator.
I think it's helpful that we understand that he does more than mediate the covenant. He also guarantees the covenant. All of God's promises in the new covenant are guaranteed to us by Jesus himself. He guarantees to pay all the debt that our sins have incurred or ever will incur thank the Lord for that FF Bruce says as the son of God. He confirms God's eternal covenant with his people as his people's representative.
He satisfies its terms with perfect acceptance in God's sight we sing songs that speak of this before the throne. My surety stands before the throne. My surety stands. My name is written on his hands. What's that mean surety. He's the guarantee he's the guarantee that secures our right relationship with God.
He satisfies the demands of the covenant your member Paul was writing there in Philemon and the rights of an SMS.
Paul was willing to be the surety for the runaway slave owner SMS by addressing his owner Philemon pulses I buy will be the guarantee I will if he's wronged you in any way or owes you anything charge that to my account I call in writing this with my own hand. I will repay it Philemon chapter 5 Philemon verse 18 and 19. So we've seen the necessity of the new covenant, the mediator of the new covenant. Let's think for a moment about the recipients. The recipients of the new covenant that's look there in verse eight, 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, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them says the Lord, for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they shall be my people. Verse 11 is absolutely critical that you understand what's being communicated here. None of them shall teach his neighbor and none his brother, saying know the Lord for all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them. There is no such person who is not come under the blessings of the new covenant is considered a new covenant citizen. Unlike the old covenant was a mixed multitude.
Not everybody who came under the old covenant was genuine was a believer, but the new covenant is completely entirely different.
Everybody in the new covenant knows the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God and they shall be my people, none of them shall teach his neighbor and none his brother, saying know the Lord for all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them is an amazing, if God in his grace has saved you and made you a recipient of the new covenant blessings regardless of how long you walk with the Lord.
Your position is no greater than the person who is been saved the least amount of time.
Now we grow in our understanding of the blessings and our position and our relationship with the Lord.
But in terms of what God has done for us. That's why it says from the least of them to the greatest of them.
The recipients of the new covenant and is a direct quote.
The writer of Hebrews is quoting Jeremiah 31 verse 31 through 34. When I say a direct quote. There is there is a few variations but for the most part it's almost verbatim the house of Israel and the house of Judah. When you think are we compelled to restrict our interpretation and understanding to national ethnic Israel and Judah. While we are less Scripture gives us warrant to do otherwise and Scripture does give us warrant to do otherwise listen to. So how does that new covenant affect us if it if it's like the old and was for Israel and Judah. Listen to what Paul says in Galatians chapter 3 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and errors. According to the promise. We can say in truth father Abraham right father Abraham amazing back to Hebrews chapter 8 with considered the necessity of the new covenant, the mediator of the new covenant considered the recipients of the new covenant. Let's think for a few moments about the better promises of the new covenant the better promises of the new covenant better and new are two words that invite comparison and the contrast is between the Mosaic covenant, or here called that first covenant.
And again, 13 times, the writer of Hebrews we use that word better. New as opposed and in contrast to old and under discussion here is the new covenant, which according to the writer of Hebrews is a better covenant established on better promises to what is said about that first covenant. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second because finding fault with them. There was fault that first covenant was not without fault is important to see so what are the promises, the pretty easy to pick out the first is a new heart, a new heart, for this is the new covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts. I think you can see immediately that there's something drastically different between this new covenant and the old.
It's something that God does internally. It's an internal transformation. It's not external conformity to laws and rituals, but it's something that God does he give us a man, a new heart, I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh stony heart heart. It's resistant to God, a heart that is dead gotchas. I will take that away and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, I will cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them internal hard transformation as the first promise a new heart number two what's implied here is a new power a new power with the gift of regeneration calms the enabling presence and power of the Holy Spirit to do what to to overcome man's natural inability and his impotency to obey God by supplying grace and power.
We sang this evening that wonderful him rock of ages and there's a stance of their it says this rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in the let the water and the blood from thy riven side which flowed, be of sin the double cure, be of sin the double cure what is being referred to their will listen to the remainder of the stanza, be of sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power. The double cure is before the law of God. We stand no longer guilty. Christ has satisfied the demands of the law and our place. God no longer holds us guilty so we been cleansed from guilt but he goes on to say, cleanse me from its guilt and power.
The double cure is the blessing of the spirit of God that enables us to resist temptation to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might not fulfill the lust of the flesh, to fight the good fight of faith, it's the blessing of the new covenant is not only a new heart, but it is a new power a new power.
The third promise were thinking of the better promises of the new covenant and the third is a new relationship a new relation ship verse 10 for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts. And I will be there God and they shall be my people, relationship a relationship of communion and a fellowship and of intimacy.
That's the promise gotchas. I will be there God they will be my people, open and free access into God's presence and personal intimacy with God. 1/4 promise a new provision, a new provision.
What is that verse 12 for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds.
I will remember no more. What is this promise. It is a new provision. It is complete and final forgiveness of our sins. And that's why we can come to the table of the Lord and participate without bringing damnation on ourselves because we have come under the provisions of the new covenant we have been forgiven of all of our sins past, present and future. Some people get confused when they hear that and they say well then what's the big what's this business of confessing my sins if my sins of all been forgiven, my past sins. My present sins and even my future sent why should I ask for forgiveness where there's a difference between relationship and communion. The fact that our sins have been removed from us as far as East is from the west has enabled us to have a relationship with God.
You can have a relationship with somebody and be estranged from them and not have intimacy with them because of a rupture in that relationship. So the forgiveness part daily forgiveness when we the Scripture so rich it is a pastor.
The more I read and the more I study the more depth I see you know for sure 19 is a simple verse suite we get our minds around that to some degree, but there such depth. If I confess my sins he is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness, which is business of being just if God did not forgive you when you came to him and ask forgiveness he would be unjust.
But why would he be unjust because Jesus paid your Cendant and follow you see is God your sins against you, the sins that you've committed that Jesus paid for. He would be unjust. So if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You see, under the old covenant, the sacrifices on the day of atonement brought not final forgiveness, but an annual reminder of sins but through once for all, never to be repeated voluntary blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself. He has secured a full, complete and final forgiveness so that it can be said that God will not remember our sins anymore how that strikes you, but that strikes me is over the top that God will not remember my sins anymore. It is the capstone of the new covenant. You see, under the old sins could never really be forgotten because they were never really forgive and they were only covered foreshadowing anticipating the true forgiveness that is found in Jesus Christ. There so much to this new covenant were just scratching the surface. I could've brought forth five books that deal solely with the new covenant so there's there's so much here, but as were preparing our hearts and considering our time around, the Lord's table could ask you, in all sincerity tonight has God given you a new heart. Has he given you a new heart. Has God made you a recipient of the new covenant.
Do you have the confidence do you have the assurance that your sin debt has been canceled or are you living your life like an old covenant believer or are you living your life as a new covenant same as all the difference in the world.
The old covenant was due in order to be blessed. You failed to do the cursing scum upon you the new covenant. God assumes all the responsibility he writes his law upon our hearts and on our minds. He makes us his children and there's a huge difference between living like an old covenant believer or a new covenant, St. again that old covenant system. The emphasis was on external conformity to rituals to rules to regulations but oh how the new covenant ushers us into a dynamic living relationship with the God of heaven and how we have access into his presence continually. But this is a special access Lord's table, and again I'm struck with what I began with the Jesus deemed it necessary to tell his church.
Remember me, don't forget me. You say that because that even possible.
Look around us, look around us, look at what goes on in a lot of churches. He said why don't know this only church I attend, that's a blessing. I promise you that if you're on vacation you're looking for place to worship. If you can find a place that is satisfactory. That's true to the word of God. That's that's not a given you my have to drive auto ways in order to find that so we want to remember the Lord want to remember him the way he told us to remember him remember his shed blood and what his shedding his blood in giving his life is secured for remember his body. He it's were told there in Hebrews, God prepared a body for Jesus, in order that he would come to this earth live out a life of perfect obedience to earn righteousness.
You say no, wait a minute, he didn't need to earn righteousness.
He was righteous exactly PR earn righteousness, so that it could be imputed to us and I love the. The examples in the Scriptures where the sinlessness of Christ is affirmed over and over again by his enemies.
Pilot looked to find fault with Jesus when he comes out and says I find no fault with him. Why, because there was no phone with him. What a blessed Savior. We have and to think that he desires our fellowship our communion. This is a communion table, a time to commune with the Lord in a special way is special in that were doing it corporately.
It special in that it is one of the two ordinances are or gay for his church and I don't want to get into the mystical aspect, but there's been an awful lot of controversy in terms of is there a special presence of Christ at the table. Lot of ink been spilled over that question. This isn't just some ritual that were doing. There's a special presence of Christ at the table, you say well what's gimme a chapter and verse and again I need is a stack of books like that speak to that issue and men from the Reformation have differed widely on that issue. How do we see it we see this table as symbolic and these are the symbols that remind us of Christ in his atoning death in his sacrificial giving of himself for his people. So as we gather around the table tonight. Let's rejoice in our privileges is new covenant believe I can't, it's good to think what would have been like to be under the old covenant.
Each could not. He did not have access to God.
You're dependent on a priest to go before you and go in for you, but that was available. The separated you from God will the veils been removed.
It's been torn from from the top to the bottom and we have access in the very throne room of God secured by Jesus for us. So let's rejoice in that privilege. Let's revel in our privilege. Let's draw near to him. Let's overvalue our communion and our fellowship with him that it will be the greatest deterrent for sinning. You understand what I'm saying when we sin when we willfully sin we we grieve the Spirit of God. It brings a hindrance. It brings distance and our communion with the Lord in his new covenant believers, we should so value our communion and our fellowship that it is the greatest deterrent. Oh Lord, I would.
I would not sin.
I would not yield. I so value my communion and fellowship with you. That's a healthy that's a healthy posture to assume so let's foster that. Let's rejoice in that. Let's let's let's if God bring something to our minds this evening.
Let's be quick to repent of it. Let go of it while you hold onto it.
That's a good question, why would you do some CN keeps you from communion and fellowship with the Lord. We should save Lord take it from me and the new covenant promise is power.
Not only a new position, but new power. Power to to say no to sin and to say yes to Christ. Let's pray father, thank you for the blessings of the new covenant. Thank you for Jesus Christ and his giving of his life to secure these blessings for us as we gather around the table tonight deepen our appreciation for what we have in our blessed Lord spirit of God deal with us where we are deal with us in the relationship of indwelling sin. Help us to be aided by the spirit of God to see ourselves as we are truly saying forgiven and cleansed, accepted among the beloved helpless father to commune in a worthy manner. This evening we pray in Jesus name, amen