Turn to Hebrews, chapter eight as we continue our journey through the Bible.
Now it is interesting that in the Book of Hebrews, in the chapter divisions, they seem to make interesting divisions in that they didn’t, as so often, make a division with sort of a paragraph or a complete kind of thought. But in the Book of Hebrews, we find the chapter divisions are interesting in that each chapter is tied inextricably with the previous chapter. It’s as though the chapter divisions didn’t come with subjects but there was a carry over from the subject that they had been discussing in the previous chapter.
And of course in chapter seven, the discussion is on Jesus, our Great High Priest, a Priest after the order of Melchisedec and the contrast of the priesthood of Jesus with the Levitical priesthood, showing the superiority of the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
And so chapter eight begins with the same thought of Jesus, our great High Priest. But we need to go back a few verses in chapter seven to sort of get up to speed in chapter eight.
So verse twenty-four of chapter seven, “But this man, (Jesus) because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, (That is, God swore, Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec. He took the oath.) which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.”
Which is, since the law, he is referring to Psalm 110. After the law, God was promising, concerning the Messiah, that He would be a Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.
So now that brings us up to speed in chapter eight, Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: This is the summation. I’m going to sum it up now, as he is talking about Jesus, our great High Priest. Now he is going to bring us a summation of that.
We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; Now on earth, the high priest would go into the holy of holies, first in the tabernacle, later, when the temple was built, into the temple. Once a year or twice actually, on one day of the year, the Yom Kippur, he would enter in twice. First of all, with a sacrifice for his own sins, and then with a sacrifice for the sins of the nation.
But our Great High Priest has not entered into the holy of holies here on earth, but He has entered into heaven itself! He is at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in the heavens!
When the High Priest asked Jesus, are You the Messiah, the Son of the Highest? Jesus said, I am! And you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the throne of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
The High Priest was so upset with this, he tore his clothes and he said, we don’t have need of any further witnesses. This man has condemned himself by claiming to be the Son of God. What do you say? And they all said, He is worthy of death.
In the sixteenth chapter of Mark, at the end of his gospel, the nineteenth verse, (There are twenty verses in that chapter.) So then after the Lord has spoken unto them, that is, commissioned them to go into all the world, He was received up into heaven. And He sat on the right hand of God.
In Luke 22:69, Jesus said, hereafter shall the Son of Man sit on the right hand of power of God.
In Acts 7:55, it speaks of Stephen, when he had given his defense before the council. And it said, he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven. He saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
Romans 8:34, Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who has died, yea, rather is risen again and is even at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us.
Colossians 3:1, if ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
Then in Hebrews 1:3, at the beginning of this Book, he says, who, referring to Jesus, being the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He by Himself had purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Hebrews 1:13, but to which of the angels, said He at anytime, sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool, of course a reference to Psalm two.
Hebrews 10:13, but this Man after He had offered one sacrifice for sin forever, sat down on the right hand of God.
And finally in Hebrew 12:2, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Tonight, Jesus is at the right hand of the throne of God! It’s just as He said and just as has been affirmed by so many passages of Scripture. And He is there representing you! He is there as the Mediator between you and God. He is there as our Great High Priest! He has offered the sacrifice for our sins, that is Himself. And now He makes intercession for us! So how wonderful it is that we have such a Representative there before the throne of God, representing us.
Now the Bible says that Satan is the accuser of the brethren, who accuses them day and night before God continually. We see Satan in that role back in the Book of Job, when the sons of God were presenting themselves to God. Satan also came with them, and God questioned Satan. He said, where have you been? And he said, oh, going to and fro throughout the earth, up and down it. God said, have you considered my servant Job? He is a good man, upright, loves good, hates evil. And Satan offered his philosophy concerning Job that he was a mercenary. God had blessed Job, one of the most wealthy and blessed men on the earth at that time. And Satan suggested to God that Job was only serving God because of the blessings. Take away all of the wonderful things that you have given to him and he will curse You to Your face.
So God gave to Satan the permission to strip Job of his possessions. And when Job was stripped down to just the bare essence of existence, he said, naked I came into the world. Naked, I’m going out. The Lord has given! The Lord has taken away! Blessed be the name of the Lord! In all these things, Job did not curse God nor charge God foolishly.
So Satan again appeared before God and God, again, said, where have you been? Oh, I have been going up and down through the earth. And He said have you considered my servant Job? He is a good man, upright. He loves good. He hates evil. And in spite of all that you have done in stripping him, he remained true.
But Satan said, yeah, but You wouldn’t let me touch his life. Let me take away his health. But here is he again, accusing Job before God.
He is accusing you before God. He is no friend of yours! He is accusing us! But, oh, thank God, Jesus is there, interceding on our behalf!
So Peter said, He has gone into heaven. He is at the right hand of God. Angels and authorities and powers are subject unto Him.
And in Revelation 3:21, to him that overcomes, Jesus said, I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I overcame and am sat down with My Father in His throne.
So now, of the things, which we have spoken, that is of the High Priesthood of Jesus, seeing that He everlives to make intercession for us, this is the summary we have such a High Priest, who has sat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.
He is 2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man, (That is, Jesus.) have somewhat also to offer. 4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. There was to be a very precise making of the things within the tabernacle. Because the tabernacle was a holy of holies, was a model of heaven.
There in the holy of holies, was the mercy seat. There was, of course, the Ark of the Covenant, wood covered with gold. Within the Ark of the Covenant, there were the two tables of stone, upon which, God had etched the Ten Commandments. And there was the jar full of manna to remind them of God’s preservation of their fathers through the forty years of wilderness. And then there was Aaron’s rod, that was set out with the rods of the other priests before the Lord, in order that it might be determinied by the Lord, as to whom would have the office of the high priest.
When contention came up and there was questioning whether or not Moses was guilty of nepotism in putting his brother as high priest, they said, well let’s lay your walking stick before the Lord. And in the morning when they came in, Aaron’s stick had budded and had almonds on it. And thus God confirmed that Aaron was the high priest.
So they put that stick also in the Ark of the Covenant. They covered it over with a lid, that was again was covered with gold. And that was called the mercy seat. And when the high priest would go in on that, once a year, one day a year venture, he would take the blood of the sacrifice and put it on the mercy seat.
Now, above the mercy seat there were the two gold cherubim. They are described how their wings touched each other at the top and so forth, but these cherubim and the mercy seat, the Ark of the Covenant, were all models of the heavenly scene.
Now when you come into Revelation, chapter four, and John is taken into the heavenly scene, John sees the throne of God. And he sees the cherubim about the throne of God. They are saying holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which is, which was, and which is to come.
So the earthly tabernacle was just the model of the heavenly scene. And that is why there was to be exactness in the construction of the tabernacle and the holy of holies, because this is a model of heaven. So the earthly priest would go into the model, the holy of holies, which was the model of the heavenly scene. But our High Priest did not go into the model, He went into the actual presence of God, there at the throne of God. Not into the earthly model, but into heaven itself!
And so every high priest, he said, is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices, wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. Of course, He offered His own blood.
J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary on this particular passage, declares that it is his belief that Jesus immediately upon His ascension, went into heaven and offered His blood there as the propitiation for man’s sin. And when He said to Mary, touch Me not, I’ve not yet ascended to My Father. He believes that Jesus ascended up, offered up His sacrifice, His own blood, and then of course returned and was here for forty days, with His disciples before His ascension to be there by the right hand of the throne of glory on high.
I don’t know that I agree with that, but it is of course surely possible. And I certainly do admire Dr. J. Vernon McGee as a tremendous Bible teacher and how I thank God for the ministry that he continues to have, though dead, yet speaketh on the radio and his good teaching goes on. And for that we are very grateful.
So, but Jesus, and now he is talking about the high priest. There is indication here that the Book of Hebrews was written before the destruction of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple, because he speaks of the priest continuing at the time that the Book was written, their ministry. For if He were on earth He would not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law. There are still those that are offering according to the law, the old covenant.
But you see this is leading us now to the old covenant, which is passing away, and to the New Covenant that God is now established with us through Jesus Christ. The old covenant was the earthly priest, going into the holy of holies within the tabernacle and later the temple, with the sacrifices for the people. But God is going to establish a New Covenant through Jesus Christ, a better Covenant based on better promises. So Hebrews is thought to have been written about 64 A.D. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. So this would be some six years before the destruction of the temple.
6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, That is, more excellent than the earthly high priest.
by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, So, the old covenant, under the law, the priests were still operating under that. But Jesus is a Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. So this the transitional verse that takes us from the ministry of Jesus as the Great High Priest and now begins to deal with the covenant, the New Covenant, that God has established with man, whereby sinful man can be accepted by a Holy God. So that’s your transitional verse
Verse seven now, we begin to look at the New Covenant. 7For if that first covenant (That is, unto the law.) had been faultless, (Had it been sufficient.)
then should no place have been sought for the second. Had the old covenant been sufficient, then there would be no place for a second covenant. You wouldn’t be looking for a new covenant, a second covenant, had the first one worked!
8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not 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 continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. Lets’ turn back to Leviticus in order that we might look at this covenant that God established with the nation of Israel, to see the conditions of the covenant, the promises of the covenant and the warnings concerning the breaking of the covenant.
The Lord said, “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD (Jehovah) your God.
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; (so this is the condition) Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. (What beautiful living conditions! In a society where there is peace, where there is no fear, where there is plenty, what glorious things God is promising that He will do for them in this covenant. The covenant are the conditions by which a relationship is to be established and maintained)
And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. (Rather than stooped over with the slave labor in Egypt, you can now stand upright! What glorious things that God has promised to these people, conditioned upon just their obedience to Him, following Him!)
(But then God warned them.) But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies, which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, And God goes on and tells of the desolation that will come of them, if they break the covenant.
We know that they did break the covenant. Over and over they turned and they began to worship the gods of the land—Molech, Mammon, Baal, Ashtoreth, and the gods of the Syrians and the gods of the Sidonians and the gods of the Ammonites. They turned away from God and ultimately they became captives of Babylon, who destroyed the temple and the cities, just as was prophesied.
And the interesting thing, the land of the Sabbath, is an interesting prophecy here. When they came into the land, God had in the law, commanded them that every seventh year they were not to plant. They were to give the land a sabbath. Six years you shall plant and harvest your crops, the seventh year, you don’t plant. God said, I’ll give you enough to carry you over to the eighth. So the seventh year you are to let the land go fallow. Let it go, whatever grows up wild, fine, but you are not to plow it. You are not to plant. It’s a great crop rotation. It’s giving the ground a chance to sort of rejuvenate itself. Just the weeds and so forth, which would later be sown under and sort of revitalizing the land.
And so God commanded that they do that, every seventh year, just don’t plow, don’t plant, just give the land rest. They did not do that! They planted year after year after year. They were in the land four hundred ninety years, never giving it a year off.
So when they went into captivity, God said, all right, because you did not give the land its sabbath, I’ll give the land its sabbath. And you owe the land seventy years. Four hundred and ninety, divided by seven. There are seventy years, that the land has coming of rest. And so they were then in captivity for seventy years.
So if you don’t pay God His due, He will exact it! I’m serious on that. God says, alright you owe Me so much. If you don’t, God will exact it from you, some way or another, God exacted the sabbaths for the land, which was a very interesting thing. And God, here declares, I’ll scatter you among the heathen and then the land will enjoy your sabbaths as long as it lies desolate. Now this is before they ever came into the land, but it is foreseeing that they are not going to obey the command. And it is foreseeing that latter on, after four hundred ninety years, God would then give the land its sabbath. And God said that He would exact it Himself.
So the old covenant, great! You look at the things that God said He would do! You look at the blessing that God said He would bestow upon them. All you have to do is love Me! All you have to do is serve Me! All you have to do is keep My commandments and all of these things I’ll do for you. I’ll be your God! I’ll bless you and I’ll prosper you. And all of these things, God has promised to them, if you will just keep My judgments, My commandments. A great covenant, rich, filled with blessings!
But, they didn’t keep it. They broke the covenant with God! They worshipped and served other gods. And thus because they broke the covenant, the judgments of God came upon them. And even as He said, the beginning judgments were to turn them back to God. That was the purpose, to wake them up. And we see in their history, very cyclical, sickly. Actually it was cyclical in that they would serve God and God would bless them. They would prosper. And then in their prosperity they would forsake God. They would begin to worship the other gods. Then they would go into captivity or they would have problems, pestilence, droughts or things of that nature. Then they would call upon God. They would repent and serve God. Then God would bless them. Then after the blessing, then they would again turn from God. And it was just a cycle over and over.
You read the Book of Judges and it just gets sickening. The fact that you think, can’t you see what’s going on? And then it follows through the kings. When they would have a good king who would lead the people in righteousness, they would prosper and God really said to the kings that if you seek the Lord, He’ll be found of you. But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. And those kings which sought the Lord, God blessed their reign. Those kings that led the people in idolatry and all, the land was cursed under their reign.
So the problem wasn’t with the covenant. The covenant, itself, was good.
Paul said, concerning the law, it is holy. It is righteous. It is good. The problem wasn’t with the law.
The problem wasn’t with the law. The problem wasn’t with the covenant. The problem was with the people and their unwillingness to keep the covenant. Their constant turning to idolatry. Their constant turning away from God.
Now, the very last verse of the first epistle of John, says, little children, keep yourself from idols.
And we often, when we read that think, oh, who in the world today would make an idol? Who would bow down to an idol today? I’m sure that none of you in your home, have any little idol with candles around it where you go when you enter in, you put flowers on it or kiss the thing. Or you know, you go and kneel before and pray to it. No, no, no, that’s superstitious and that a thing of the past. I wouldn’t worship an idol. It’s true that we don’t make representations today of the false gods.
However, people still worship the false gods. Though you may not have a little idol of Ashtoreth, the little multi-breasted pornographic statue, yet some have “x” rated videos. Some visit the internet. Some have the fallacious type of magazines. That is an idol. That is the worship of Ashtoreth! And you are as guilty as were the children of Israel, who had the little idol of Ashtoreth in their home, who prayed to it. You are just as guilty as they are. It’s just that you don’t have a visible representation of the goddess of fertility. But sex is your thing. Pornography is your thing. And thus, that is the god of your life. And it is more important to you than the worship of the true and the living God, who said you are not to have any other gods before Him.
And so with Mammon, the worship of power or money. And though you may not have a little idol, that represents Mammon, still money is your god.
The worship of Molech, you may not have any little idol of Molech in your home. And yet you worship pleasure. And your pursuit of pleasure exceeds your pursuit of God. And so you are just as guilty of breaking the covenant as were they, even though you may not have representations of these gods in your home, as worship centers, still in your heart. The idol is in your heart. And these are the things that master your lives and thus you are guilty of breaking the covenant that God has established.
Surely as we look at our nation today, we see our nation. As a nation, we are following the very same pattern as the children of Israel. You go back to our forefathers and in the establishing of the nation and their desire to have a nation where people could worship God freely, without intervention from the government and all. And we have moved so far from that! We are a nation, whose god is pleasure, whose god is sex, whose god is power. And these are the things that people admire! These are the things that people look up to. Those who have power, those who have sexual appeal.
It’s tragic that our nation, as a whole, has turned so far from God. And we can’t expect any better treatment than God’s nation of Israel, when we turn our backs on Him. It is still true that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34) And the history of mankind is a verification of that truth.
Look at the nations who have established a righteous order and you will see a nation that is blessed of God. Look at a nation that is given over to sin. You will see a nation that is ultimately destroyed by their enemies and they go into captivity.
So the old covenant, the covenant itself wasn’t bad, but the people failed to keep the covenant. So God, finding fault with them, the fault wasn’t with the covenant. The fault was with the people, He said, behold, the day is come, when I’ll make a New Covenant. Now if the old covenant would work, there would be no necessity for a New Covenant. Men could just live under the laws of God and prosper and be blessed. We would live in a utopia! The world would be a glorious place to live, if men followed and lived by the laws of God. How glorious it would be!
You know, I, in my fanaticizing. I fanaticize of having a fully Christian community. You know, where we just all live by the Christian principles. Where everybody just, you know, we all love the Lord! We all put the Lord first! You’d need no police departments. You’d need no judicial systems. I mean, we would all just love the Lord and serve the Lord. You know, we would just live together and such. You would need no locks on your door. We could live in harmony and peace. I’ve often thought how great it would be if we just could buy, you know, a thousand acres someplace and just set up a Christian community and just all live together in just a time of peace.
But then, you see, there is a world that has to be reached for Christ. So that has to wait. That’s coming. That’s future. So I always have to postpone it. Well yeah, that’s going to come. You know, one of these days, Jesus shall reign. And He’ll set up the Kingdom of God. And it’s going to be glorious!
But the old covenant was good but it was faulty because of man. You see the Old Covenant was predicated upon man’s faithfulness to God! But man did not remain faithful to God.
And so God promised that He would establish then a New Covenant. The days will come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers when He took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt, because they continued not in the covenant. God was faithful, but they weren’t. And I regarded them not saith the Lord.
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: He’s quoting now from Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, where God declared that He was going to make a New Covenant. In that day I will make a New Covenant and not like the covenant that I have made, but this New Covenant I will establish where I will put My laws in their mind and I will write them in their hearts. And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
This New Covenant, through Jesus Christ, because it was established by Him. When Jesus had the last supper with His disciples, when He took the cup, after supper, He said this cup is a New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for the remission of sin. So through Jesus Christ, God established a New Covenant.
Now in this New Covenant, God opened the doors to us Gentiles, so that we can partake of this New Covenant by receiving Jesus Christ, I enter into a covenant relationship with God. And entering into the covenant relationship with God, I then have the promises of God’s protection, God’s blessings, all of these things that God promised He would do in the covenant, they continue. But now, it’s no longer predicated upon my faithfulness. But it is now predicated upon God’s faithfulness. His keeping His promise to do what He said He would do. The old covenant failed because it was predicated upon man’s faithfulness. The New Covenant shall stand because it’s predicated upon God’s faithfulness.
And here’s the wonderful thing about this New Covenant. There are no tables of stone out here that say, Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make any graven image. Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember the sabbath day. There are no tables of stone that says, here it is. But the New Covenant is established in my heart! God comes in and He transforms my life. God promised, and a new heart will I give unto them.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature and the old things are passed away and everything becomes new. So God, now writing in my heart, His law. That is He is working from within! He’s changing me within! He’s changing my desires! He’s changing the things that I long for! And rather than longing for the things of the world, I now long for the things of the Spirit! And rather than longing for fellowship with the world, I’m longing for fellowship with God!
And as David said, (Psalm 37:4), when God writes His law on our hearts, I delight to do Thy will, O Lord. It does become the delight of our life to please God, to serve God! There is nothing I would rather do!
My son and others now are beginning to say, when are you going to retire? And my response is, if I retired, (They say, you know, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can retire and move to Hawaii and travel the world or whatever.) What would I do for fun? The joy of my life is serving the Lord. I can’t think of doing anything else. I have no desire just to spend the rest of my life on a tennis court or something. That would become boring very quickly.
The joy of serving the Lord! He has written His law on my heart. It isn’t a big sacrifice. It isn’t a big deal, you know, that I give so much time in serving the Lord. It’s a joy! It’s a delight! It’s a blessing! He writes His law on our hearts. Oh, what a great idea! How wonderful it is, the transformation that takes place within, as God places on our hearts. Delight thyself also in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. That means He will put His desires in your heart.
As Paul said to the Philippians, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is working in you both to will and to do. You see, He puts the will there! And to do—the ability then to fulfill. It is God who works in you both to will and to do, of His good pleasure. It’s written in my heart, the law of the Lord.
So in that day he said, 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Of course, we are talking about the Kingdom Age now, when Jesus does come and establish the Kingdom. And we won’t have to go around and say, oh, you need to know the Lord, brother. We’ll all, you know, just love and serve the Lord in that day!
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, God accepts me on the basis of my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, as my Lord. It doesn’t mean that I’m perfect.
Paul, writing some thirty years after his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, said, I have not yet apprehended that for which I was apprehended by Jesus Christ. Neither do I count myself perfect.
We still have problems. We are still living in this body of flesh. We still fall once in a while in the mud. But thank God, we don’t lie there! And when we fall, He is there to pick us up. He is there to wash us off. He is there to get us on the path again. And He’s there to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So God said, I will be merciful to their unrighteousness.
and their sins John said, my little children, I write these things to you that you sin not, but if a man sins we have the Advocate with Father. He’s there, Jesus, at the right hand making intercession.
We have the Advocate with the Father, who is the propitiation for our sins, Jesus Christ. And so God is merciful to our unrighteousness. He is merciful to our sin because my life is devoted to Jesus, to serve Him! I love Him! And I want to follow Him all the days of my life!
And as David said, when the prophet had faced him with his guilt, David said, I have sinned! And the prophet said, and the Lord has forgiven your sin! So David sat down and wrote, Oh, how happy is the man whose transgressions have been forgiven. Oh, how happy is the man, whose sins are covered. And then he went one, important, step further. He said, Oh, how happy is the man to whom God does not impute sin!
God doesn’t even account their sin. Who is that happy man, that God does not impute sin to? That’s the man who has put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ and seeks to live for Jesus Christ. I may sin but God doesn’t even put it down on the account because I am in Christ, accepted in Him. Oh, how happy is the man! That’s me! The happy man that God does not impute sin because I am relating to God through this New Covenant that is in Jesus Christ.
God said, I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Isn’t that glorious? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God, Who has justified you. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Who had died for you, yea, rather He has risen again. He is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you.
The author goes on to say, 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. And in six years, it was gone! No more priesthood. No more sacrifices of the priesthood. No more temple. No more holy of holies. No more taking the blood of the sacrifice and it’s passed away. No more is there a necessity for it, because God has established the better covenant with us.
Now even as each chapter has its crossover, as we enter into the next chapter, as you read ahead. And you are allowed to do that! You are encouraged to do that. But as you read ahead, you’ll find out that he begins the next chapter, still giving sort of the finishing of the covenant concepts and ideas. That carries us on into the ninth chapter, which we will be covering next Sunday.
Father, what can we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? How grateful and thankful we are, Lord, for the New Covenant that You’ve established with us. A Covenant that stands forever because it’s predicated on better promises. It’s premised upon Your faithfulness, and we know, Lord, that You will not fail. And so, Lord, help us to begin to grasp some of the richness of what we have in Christ Jesus. And may we lay hold onto the promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8213, (KJ Version)