The New Covenant Christian
Are you a new covenant Christian? Are you born again? Are we under grace? Are we in the faith? Scripture asks us to take the Word of God, read it and assess our position individually. These are the questions we want to think about today. There is a principle that we need to understand in the Bible. Jesus gave us a parable to dwell upon.
Matthew 21:28 But what think ye? A [certain] man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I [go], sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
What is the verbal compared to the practical? What is the sentiment compared to reality? Which of the two sons did the will of the father; the one that verbalized the will? No, it was the one that did it (the action). Nothing can take the place of doing things. We can’t just talk about doing things, we must do them. This is what Jesus wants us to think about. He gives another parable in the same degree.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
There is a text that says call upon the name of the Lord and you shall be saved. Some people think that all they have to do then is verbalise His name and they will be saved. But what did we just read? He that doeth the will of my Father shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Aren’t these people doing the will of God? So why did they receive the answer in the next verse?
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity
What is the problem? It isn’t in the preaching or casting out of devils, the problem is in their iniquity. Can we do good works and still have iniquity in our life? Yes. So what is the condition for doing the will of the Father? Getting rid of iniquity. If sin is still in the life, there is still a problem. There is never an excuse for sin thinking that God will sweep our sins under the carpet and let us into heaven anyway.
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Christ had just preached a sermon on the mount. It started in Matthew 5. He finished His sermon and said, anyone that hears these words and doesn’t do them is foolish. How important that we should study the Sermon on the Mount. He says in the sermon, he that looks after a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart. If you hear these words and yet keep looking and lusting, you are foolish. While ever we continue in sin, the words to us are, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
That is only just one part of the sermon. The sermon also goes into worrying about what you put on your body and worrying about the food you eat. If someone takes your cloak and you don’t give him your coat, are you doing what the sermon says? If someone divorces and remarries, are they doing what Christ said? If you judge someone else, are you doing what Christ said? It boils down to doing it, getting it done. A lawyer came to Jesus to tempt him and Jesus responded, how readest thou?
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
How do you read the Ten Commandments? Do you read them as if they are abolished?
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Jesus was asked how do you read the law and Jesus said, that is exactly how to read it, to love the Lord with all thy might and thy neighbour as thyself. This do and you will live. Don’t think about it or just profess it. Just do it and you will live. It is not very complicated. The doing of the law, loving God and man supremely, is right doing; righteousness. There is a profound statement in the Bible, than even little children can understand.
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
This isn’t complicated. If you’re doing the right thing, then you’re doing the right thing. Until you do the right thing, you’re not doing the right thing. Don’t be tricked. Today people believe that you do not have to do the right thing but can still be part of the righteous in heaven. Don’t be deceived. What is the standard of this right doing? To do right is to do what God would have us do.
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Don’t just verbalise it the right doing. Don’t make your profession and then not do the action.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
If you read the law as love and God is love, then to read the law right is to read it as a transcript of God’s character.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.
Love is the fulfilling of the law and God is love, therefore God is the fulfilling of the law. Therefore, transgression is out of harmony with the character of our Lord; it is sin. If you want to keep the law, can you keep it any other way than through the character of God? Did the Jews ever keep the law? When Jesus came were the Jews like him? Did Christ keep the law? Christ had the character of the Law. The whole expression of our being and our countenance is to do with God’s law. Many people verbalise 1 Corinthians in their wedding ceremony, but if it doesn’t get done, anything else is iniquity.
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Lord, Lord, I have been speaking with eloquence. But if love is not in the truth, it’s just noise to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor],…
Isn’t this love? If we are in every human rights movement on the planet, is this love? Not necessarily.
1 Corinthians … and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Can you suffer long and be kind at the same time? I know a lot of people that suffer for a long time but kindness is not often in their equation.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Is it easy to be selfish? Are we more concerned about ourselves than other people? Do we ever think evil and hang onto an evil thought? That is evil. God doesn’t think evil; there is no unrighteousness in him. This is the character of God. What do we have to do to be saved? We have to do the character of God. To understand this is pretty simple, isn’t it? But we have a problem. The law is telling us to hear the words and do them. To think right and act right, and then righteous characters will be formed. But we have a problem.
Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah [is] written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;
Graven upon the hearts of God’s professed people are sins etched into the very nature of our being. From the sinful nature we have, we follow the dictates of our heart. The world says, follow your heart. What is written in our hearts? Sin, written there with the sharpest material than man knows.
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
What do you have to do to get eternal life? You have to do the right thing according to the character of God. The leopard can’t change his spots because they’re planted into its DNA. Neither can we do well that are accustomed to do evil. But God says, we must do His character to be saved. Doesn’t God love us the way we are? Absolutely. He loves us so much that He would have us change. There are wonderful promises that we can be righteous if we become new covenant Christians. The old covenant was what God said man said – “we will do it”. But man didn’t realise his nature. In our nature there is an inability to do it. We can like the idea of doing something but we can’t do it just like the leopard cannot change his spots. Because of this problem, we have learnt a skill of just talking about things and pretending we can do things.
Ezekiel 33:30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee [as] my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, [but] their heart goeth after their covetousness.
33:32 And, lo, thou [art] unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
33:33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
The idea is come to church; observe what the prophets are saying. Let’s engage in spiritual activity. But we can sit in church and be entertained by what we hear just like a song. The problem is their words they show much love but they do not do it because they’re not born again.
If we just come to church to be entertained, if after reading the Bible we are no different in our actions to another worldly person, that tells us something. Are we a new covenant Christian? The idea, thoughts and sentiments of God and heaven are wonderful and they attract people.
Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
They’re saying, we don’t want to be different to the world but we want the name of Christ so our reproach can be taken away. We want a profession, but we don’t want to do anything. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees about their traditions. It was the duty of the children to help the parents in their old age but if they only professed to put aside all the money for the Lord’s business, they were excused from their duty to their parents. What does Jesus say about this?
Matthew 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
They’ve made the commandments of God of none effect.
Matthew 15:7 [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.
The verbalisation and profession is there yet the heart is as far from the character of God as the east is from the west. If the Pharisees had been born again they would not have undermined the word of God. If we profess that we are born again, we will not undermine the commandments of God by saying that they are gone. We cannot keep the commandments of the old covenant because our nature is contrary to this covenant. So what is the promise of the new covenant?
Hebrews 8:7 For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
This first covenant which was made on Mt Sinai, the Bible says had a fault.
Hebrews 8:8 For 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:
Where did the fault lie? The agreement is between two people. The Ten Commandments was what had to be done and the people had to do it. Where did the fault lie? The fault was with them, not with the Ten Commandments. The problem is our nature, the fault is with us.
Humanity always likes to blame other people for their mistakes. Christianity has a terrible habit of blaming the Ten Commandments for the failure of the first covenant. I can’t keep the commandments so let us lower the standard. Lord, I can’t be like you so why don’t you be a sinner? God can’t do it. He is love and love cannot do the wrong thing, because then it would be love. God cannot sin because then He wouldn’t be God. The Ten Commandments testify to the fact that righteousness and godliness are not in our nature. So we need to confess, to say the same thing, that we can’t do it.
Hebrews 8:8 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:
8:9 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 continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
8:10 For 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:
Thank you Lord for this promise. He understands that we cannot achieve what He has asked us to do, to love with every thought, word and action. So He made a new agreement. I’ll take the law, write it out and put it into your nature into human genetics. The divine nature will be planted into humanity.
2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3:3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.
3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
(Testament and covenant are the same word). If the Ten Commandments were left on stone, God would have sealed our doom because the written version kills us. Without the knowledge of the law there is not sin. But the Spirit takes that law and writes it into our nature. He can do that because He is the Creator. Redemption is only the exercising of creative power. It is creative power coming to redeem man. This is the agreement that God made, the new covenant to write these laws the transcript of God’s character in our hearts and the agreement on Mount Sinai will no longer be of effect. The old covenant will be done away with. Does that mean the Ten Commandments are done away with? No, it means the law would be transcribed into our hearts. We won’t need the stone because it is in the heart. They are commandments of love are written in the heart. The Psalmist came to the point of realising that he had miserably failed and was a wreck. He broke his heart before the Lord in repentance. We can read the prayer of his repentance.
Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; [that] the bones [which] thou hast broken may rejoice.
51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
What spirit do we have? We have a wrong spirit. What sort of heart do we have? We have a dirty heart. Create in me a clean heart and put a new spirit within me.
Psalms 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
I want to be born again.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
To be born again means to have the nature of God implanted into our human nature. That is the only way we can change.
Ezekiel 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
God is going to bring his people out.
Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
It is God who is promising to cleanse.
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].
I like the word cause, it is not magic. We will do His commandments because He will change our nature. The law could not do it because it was weak through the flesh. It was unable to accomplish what was required because of our nature.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Why did He do that? He did it so the righteousness of the law might be manifest in you. This is why Jesus came. He that does righteousness is righteous and what is the standard; even as He is righteous.
Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The righteousness of the law is the righteousness of God.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
How do we get the New Covenant?
Let me reiterate the point. If we do not do God’s character we cannot be saved. It is as simple as that. But the gospel is this; that He has given us Jesus Christ in order for us to keep the law. What does that mean? We just established that sin is in our nature and the law requires not just external obedience but the nature of the love of God. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Love was not in our nature but God’s nature is love and man is not love so what can God do? He decided to make himself into human format. He took God and put Him in a dot human file to be installed into our being. That is what he did. In other words God became a seed and He was placed in the womb of a woman. Inside the womb of the woman was God and God is love and love was growing inside the woman. God developed in the normal amount of time it took for you and I to be developed and God came into the world in the same way you and I come into the world.
God is now compatible with humanity. We can receive Him without being killed. This was done through the Holy Spirit. To be born again is to have the seed of God in you. Who put the seed into Mary? Did she do it? The Bible says in Matthew that the Holy Ghost over shadowed Mary and implanted God into her and then Jesus was born. Jesus was born of the Spirit. Jesus was born again. That is how we are to be born again. Jesus is the new covenant. Will you agree with the new covenant agreement and let Him put Himself in you? How does it happen? It happens by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will take of Jesus and He will show it to us. As the divine nature grows within us, we will be born again by the incorruptible seed, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. That which is of the flesh is flesh. We cannot expect anything else from the flesh, in fact God didn’t either. He made another agreement. He knew full well that man couldn’t do it. He knows we are dust so He said do you want to make another agreement; one a bit better? He said if you ask me you will receive. If we ask for the Holy Spirit to implant the Ten Commandments in character, the character of God into our being we will live out the life of God.
When it comes to all the commandments including the Sabbath which so many people forget although it says remember, He will be part of us. How can you ever have love without time? We can be married and say we love each other but if we never spend time together is that really love? We might say we spend time together in the morning and evening and before and after work, isn’t that enough? Is it enough for a marriage? Then do you think it is enough for the spiritual walk not to have a day with God? The Sabbath is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. If we really love man we will keep the Sabbath.
The fourth commandment says six days shall thou labour. How much does society suffer from people sitting on the dole and government benefits with no work when they can work? Does society suffer from that? The commandments say love thy neighbour as thy self which means we are to labour six days because when we work it is not just for ourselves. It is for those around us too. It is for the benefit of humanity that we work and so ingrained in the fourth commandment. It is the requirement not to be lazy and indolent which our world suffers from as well as not to over work. Don’t over work, have a break and rest. The Bible says God rested from His work. On what day did He rest? He rested on the seventh day and He blessed the seventh day. If we have the nature of God, do you think we will rest from our work as well? If it is implanted in our hearts, we can’t ignore it and not do it and say I’m a born-again Christian. I’m under the new covenant so I don’t have to keep the law. That is a deception my friends to even think that because he that does the right thing is doing the right thing and the right thing is none other than God and His Character of love.
Jesus commanded the New Testament Christians to pray so that when they left Jerusalem their flight would not be on the Sabbath day, which was 70 years after Christ’s crucifixion and He still said pray that you will not make your flight on the Sabbath day. Have you noticed no one travels on Christmas day? Have you ever been on the road on Christmas day? It is dead quiet because the world does not want to drive and travel on their pagan day. They will make sure they get to their destination on time in order to have a nice rest and socialize with their loved ones. God is simply saying pray that you don’t do all your activities on the Sabbath when it is my time with you. Leave in time so the stress of the besieging of Jerusalem (prophesied in Matthew 24), is not in winter because you will be cold nor on the Sabbath day because we want to spend time together. That is what He said to the New Covenant Christians, the born again Christians. Not one Christian died in the besiegement of Jerusalem. My friends if we want to be Christians we need to be on our knees asking the Lord to give us His Spirit to make the agreement with Him by saying, Lord give me the gift and I will yield my life to you. This is the requirement. I pray we can do this and be saved.