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Glory of the New Covenant
by David Thompson
I don't know how many times I have gotten into some sort of mess in my life. Many times I tried to solve it by myself. I would promise myself and God that if I ever got out of the mess, I would do better and would follow Christ better. The key in the above is that "If I ever got out of the mess..., I would do better..., I would follow Christ better." As you might have already sensed, I was always counting on my strength and mental fortitude to work my way out of the mess. That just doesn't work. Let's see from both the Old and New Testaments how I should have solved my issues.
In today's passage, we see the use of the words Old Covenant (living by the flesh) and the New Covenant (living by the Spirit). So where in history did this Old Covenant begin? If my Life Application Bible is correct, it started with Moses in Ex. 34:29-35. Here we read how Moses came down Mt. Sinai with a radiant face due to being in God's presence. In his hands were two stone tablets with ten "Thou shall... and remember..." rules on them.
The book after Exodus is Leviticus. In Leviticus the rules were expanded on and fleshed out. For instance, Ex. 20:8, "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." This simple phrase, coming from the Creation when God created for six days and on the seventh day rested, will cause all kinds of problems. During the time of Leviticus and throughout the time "before Christ - BC," this phrase was interpreted and added to by a number of sects.
One expanded Sabbath rule was that a person could pick up their child on the Sabbath, but not if the child had a rock in his/her pocket. Then it would be work and the parent would have broken the Sabbath. Another was that on the Sabbath a person could take a "one meal journey." If it took more than one meal to make the trip they would have broken the Sabbath. So, what did the Jews do? On Friday they would take the same trip and hide a meal behind a rock or tree. Then as they traveled, they would have one meal segments of their trip and not break the Sabbath.
Looking at just that one commandment and the two examples, you can see how hard it would be to perfectly keep the Old Covenant law. Jesus nearly came to blows with the sect called the Pharisees many times over breaking the Sabbath by healing people on Saturday and even letting His disciples glean wheat (rubbing it in their hands to separate the chaff). It was and is impossible to be made right with God under the Old Covenant (flesh). The new covenant on the other hand said that you were made right by believing in Jesus Christ who died on the cross.
You see in the first paragraph, it is not from my efforts or "works," but through counting on Christ and the Holy Spirit to be constantly made right with God. That is why the title of this devotion is "The Glory of the New Covenant."
Thank you so much for creating the New Covenant and making us positionally perfect by your sacrifice on the cross. We praise you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us and to you for being the intermediary between mortal man and God. We couldn't live our lives without you. Help us to understand this and to share this glorious truth with others. Amen