THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 10-18-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE NEW COVENANT… THAT SPEAKS BETTER THINGS: A BETTER COVENANT”
In Psalm 118, David proclaimed, “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it!” Oh, how true these words should be to every follower of God! This is a great day! We should be rejoicing! We must be glad! WHY - We are blessed servants of God able to assemble before His throne on this, the Lord’s Day!
I am glad you are with us this morning and thank God you have made the right decision to give this time to your Creator. I look forward to our time spent together today as we sing praises to the Almighty and as we study from His matchless Word! This Morning, I know we will all be edified through our time spent together. So let’s all do our part to make this time profitable before God, and furthermore may we use it as a great encouragement one to another!
At this time, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to worship God this morning with a faithful body of Christ. With that in mind I would like to make you aware of an opportunity to attend a Lectureship today at the Exeter Church of Christ, in Exeter Missouri. I will be among many brethren who will present a Gospel sermon today on the Theme of “God’s Love.” So if you have the opportunity we hope you join us for this time of service to God this Lord’s Day.
Well, it is time to join in our first song of the morning. So, won’t you participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Fairest Lord Jesus?”
(SONG # 1)
Consider if you will just how blessed the name of our God is! All the writers of the Bible certainly understood this. For example, in Nehemiah, 9:5, the Levites proclaimed, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God Forever and ever! Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!” Yes our God has a truly wondrous and glorious name, but why? Well, look at the next verse, there we read, “You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.” Brethren and friends I encourage us all to remember just how precious the name of our Creator is! Thus we must laud, worship and magnify His holy name!
Let me end these thoughts by reminding us why we need to understand the importance of the name of God. Well, in Acts 4:12, the Bible says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” It is only by and through the precious name of God that we can be saved and have eternal life. So let me ask you, “Just how important would you say the name of God is?”
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. This morning we will begin a new topic of study entitled, “The New Covenant…That Speaks Better Things.” Our specific lesson today will deal with, “A Better Covenant.” So please stay with for this study from God’s Word, and brother Jerry Sullins will be leading us in our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of the hymn, “Face To Face.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
We again welcome you to “The Living Word” broadcast. We’re glad that you have tuned in this morning as many of you do every week. I want to give special greetings to a church of Christ at Lead Hill in the state of Arkansas. I was there just a few weeks ago and enjoyed so much being with the brothers and sisters in Christ in that area and we’re glad to have you, many of you in that area tuning in to “The Living Word” broadcast every Sunday.
This week starts a new series on a covenant relationship with God, at least a new covenant relationship with God and so it will be my task this morning to sort of set the ground work for several weeks of study in the book of Hebrews.
As many of us know, and of course those of us who read the Bible as we have read from the Old Testament through the New Testament, we realize without anyone telling us and without any special education that God has always experienced or had a covenant relationship with man.
If you go back to the very first dealings that God had with man when he created Adam and Eve in the garden, there was a covenant that He made with them. He provided them a wonderful place in which to live. He created first Adam and then He created woman from the rib of Adam and said, “These two shall become one flesh,” and He placed them in a beautiful place that we know is named The Garden of Eden. He told them that, “You can eat of every tree of the garden and all the fruit of the garden except from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That was a covenant or a law which also a covenant means that God placed upon man at that time, and we all know as we have read that text in Genesis chapter 2 and especially Genesis chapter 3 that they transgressed the law of God and because of breaking that covenant with God then they suffered the consequences.
Well we need only go to just a shorter place or a very near place in the book of Genesis in Genesis chapter 6, from chapter 3 to chapter 6, and we see where God made a covenant with Noah. God had gotten so discouraged with mankind. In fact He even went to the point of saying that it repented Him that He had made man because only every thought and intentions of their hearts were only evil continually. So God actually desired to destroy man from the face of the earth. But there was a righteous man still living on the face of the earth and his family and his name was Noah. He made a covenant with Noah that if Noah would build an ark out of gopher wood and He told him how long to build the ark, how tall to build the ark, and He gave him all the specifications that it would be made out of that special wood that is called gopher wood, that if he would follow His directions then He would save him from the flood that was to come on the face of the earth. Noah did what was right in the sight of God and he built that ark and when the floods came, Noah and his family entered into that ark and they were saved because they kept the covenant relationship that God had made with them.
Also we see a little further in the book of Genesis in Genesis chapter 12 a covenant relationship that He made with Abraham who is known as “the father of faith.” In that covenant He said to Abraham that if he would get up out of Ur of Chaldea where he lived and go to a place that He would show him, that is have full faith to do what God asked him to do, then all nations of the earth would be blessed. As we continue to read the story in the book of Genesis, we know that is exactly what took place as Abraham proved over and over again that he was going to be faithful to God and he kept his covetous relationship with God.
Now as we look at Moses, Moses as we see revealed to us the descendents of Abraham turned into, that is in later generations, the children of Israel. The children of Israel ended up in captivity in Egypt for a long, long period of time. They were delivered by Moses. Remember that story in the book of Exodus? They were led out into the wilderness as they escaped the tyranny of the Pharaoh in that day and time. At Mt. Sinai they received a covenant. It is called “The Law of Moses.” Now the book of Hebrews deals a lot with The Law of Moses showing how much better the law of Christ is better than The Law of Moses that Christ is a greater law giver than Moses. He was a greater priest than Aaron and on and on many things are told in the book of Hebrews. We are going to deal with Christ’s mediatorship in this better covenant, our new covenant.
I call your attention to Hebrews chapter 12 and we’re going to read verses 18-24. So if you have your Bibles, please turn in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 12 verses 18-24. Beginning in verse 18, the writer of Hebrews said, “For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and burned with fire into the blackness and darkness and tempest.” Then it goes on to talk about the sound of the trumpet and many other things as you see in verse 21 that Moses even said that because of all those things that were going on, he said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.” No we do not any longer come to that mountain which is called Sinai to receive that law. That was done one time. It was a special law given to a special people for a special purpose at a special place. We are not that special people. We are not at that special place. We do not have that special purpose. It is not our law. It is a covenant that God made with Moses and the children of Israel. But we see that that covenant has changed. He said that, “We have not come to that mountain,” but he said in verse 22, “But you have come to Mt. Zion and to the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem to innumerable company of angels and to the general assembly and to the church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven to God the judge of all to the spirits of just men made perfect to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
So we see here that the writer of the book of Hebrews is showing us how that covenant that we have today which is under the mediatorship of Jesus Christ and is of Christ Himself is so much greater than the covenant that was given by Moses to the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai. Now let’s look at a few things of how it was greater and how it is different.
We have come to Mt. Zion. Now what the Hebrew writer here is talking about is in figurative language the heavenly Jerusalem. We can see that revealed as the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah chapter 2. We turn over to that passage of scripture, Isaiah chapter 2 verses 2 and 3. The prophet Isaiah said, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house should be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways and we shall walk in His path for our of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’” Now when did that take place? It certainly wasn’t with Moses because he never made it to Jerusalem. Well who is this Lord that He is speaking of who will be in Jerusalem? It has to be the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that that took place. In fact, as we go to the scripture itself and look at Matthew 16b where Jesus was speaking to His disciples and especially to Peter, He said here, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build MY church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” and He said, “I will give unto you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bound on earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”
It was that kingdom that was spoken of in Colossians 2:13 where the writer Paul said, “He has translated us out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son.”
So we see very clearly here, especially in the rest of that chapter, that that kingdom is His church. So we no longer go to Mt. Zion. We have a better place to go to, to the church and we are that church. It says, “To the general assembly.” Did you notice those words? That means the gathering of the people for a special festival to honor our Lord and our God. These are the people who formed that body of Christ, that general assembly, those who have been baptized into Christ for the remission of their sins. Those are the people who are God’s children, who are now seeking Him in the proper place and in the proper way.
It goes on in verse 23 there in Hebrews chapter 12 and it says, “To the church of the firstborn who are registered in Heaven.” To the church of the firstborn who are registered in Heaven! These are the faithful members of the church. Remember when Paul said in Romans chapter 8 verse 17 that we will be heirs and joint heirs with Christ? Heirs to what? To that eternal heavenly place. That’s what is being spoken of here in the text. Also it says, “To those whose names are recorded in Heaven.”
In the book of Philippians chapter 4 verse 3 it talks about how Christians names are written in the book of life. It goes on to say, “To God the judge…” We come to a mountain, a place where God is the judge. Ecclesiastes 12 verse 13 says that, “God in the final days will bring us all into judgement and we will be judged for everything that was done in our bodies whether it was good or whether it is evil.” As Paul expanded on that in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 10, he said, “To the spirits of just men who are made perfect from the beginning and to Jesus (finally) the mediator of the new covenant.
Now the apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 5 for there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man, Christ Jesus.” So Jesus is that one who mediates for us before the Father.
And not only in 1 Timothy chapter 2 verse 5 but in Hebrews 8 verse 6 if you turn your Bibles there back to Hebrews chapter 8 verse 6 the scripture says, “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry in as much as He is also mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises.”
So we need not go back to the old law. Why should we even seek to do so, because Jesus is mediator of a new covenant, a new testament, a new law? And yes, the Ten Commandments are a good, moral code, but Jesus improved upon every one of them in the New Testament and through His holy apostles. So therefore we see very clearly that the text is showing us especially throughout the book of Hebrews that there is no longer a covenant relationship that we have with God through the Law of Moses. But our covenant relationship is with the Father above through the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Hebrews 9 verse 15, it says, or in Hebrews chapter 8, it says this, basically what it says is that Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant and that He died for it and He is the testator. So that covenant is still in existence and we plead with you to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father above for the sacrifice that was made on the cross at Calvary so that we might have access to that new covenant.
Now as we close these thoughts this morning, the very thing that we need to understand is that God loved us and gave us an opportunity for a real salvation through that new covenant in Jesus Christ.
(SONG # 3 - “Walking Alone At Eve!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How thankful we should be that God has made a covenant for us and with us, which was sealed with the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Have you submitted to this covenant of the Almighty God?