Entering Into the New Covenant
"But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6)
Praise the Lord that Christ has overcome all things for us! The Old Covenant has truly come to an end and the New Covenant has been made available to us all.
But do we really understand this New Covenant? Do we see that when Christ died, we also died with Him? We died to what we were once held by, namely the desires of our flesh, the power of Satan, and the righteous requirements of the Law that were against us? It is truly glorious news when we understand that Jesus faithfully and completely solved our sin problem and reconciled us with God by accomplishing salvation for us through His finished work on the cross. As Paul would later write, "we are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).
This is not only a glorious exchange but a great transition in life. We all have had to deal with various transitions in our lives but there is no greater transition than when we choose to relinquish the control of our lives to the Lord and His indwelling Spirit. The greatest transition took place between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
When does the New Covenant begin? ANSWER: At the death of Christ, when He finished the work that needed to be done. This resulted in:
The Creator of the heavens and the earth shed His blood for a fallen creation.
The veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom giving us access to God.
The curse of humanity was reversed, and death had been defeated.
The Tomb was empty and now Jesus was appearing
Entering into the New Covenant means living a life of walking and yielding to the Holy Spirit and living in light of the risen Christ.
Our New Covenant in Christ Jesus comes with Triple A insurance (Hebrews 8:10-13).
The ABIDING life of Christ (v.10)
The inner ANOINTING of the Spirit (v.11)
The ATONING work of the cross (v.12)
The disciples of Jesus were used to seeing Jesus do amazing things in front of them and to hear His audible voice teaching them daily. But now they were learning to trust the Lord without seeing Him on a continual basis. This was difficult for them. For forty days, Jesus kept appearing and disappearing to show them how He truly rose from the dead and to strengthen their faith but He knew it would be to their advantage if they were to follow Him and continue His ministry with Him no longer being visible but for them to live by His invisible, indwelling Spirit.
Jesus did not leave them orphans, as He said, but He came to them in both His appearances and in His continual abiding Spirit. Jesus said, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)
When Peter decided to go back to fishing, we realize that this revealed more than just a natural need or desire for food. Peter was beginning to go back to a "business-as-usual" mindset and he needed to be reminded that Jesus called him to so much more...to be a fisher of men.
As Peter would later write, "as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
- Do you understand the difference between your human nature and your sinful nature?
- In what ways, are you giving in to the selfish desires of your flesh and not just meeting your basic human needs?
- How does being a partaker of the divine nature change your daily attitude and mindset in living for Christ's mission? Do you desire to serve God more than you are?
Start reading the opening chapter of Acts and see what will be needed.