Monday

Scripture Reading:
Jer. 31:33-34

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Jehovah: I will put My law within them and write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”(Jeremiah 31:33-34)
the new covenant

Up until now we have seen that, in order to be useful vessels in the hands of the Lord, in order to be vessels of honor, we firstly need to deal with sins and the world. We need to be purified of sins and the world in order for us to become these vessels. However, the final goal of God's work does not consist only of dealing with the negative things. God's goal in purifying us is absolutely positive: that we might be filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are filled with sins and the world, how can we be filled with God? How could God fill us with Himself if we are filled with so many other things?

Hallelujah! We have discovered that all the barriers can be removed. We saw that in our Christian life, the most important and essential practice in order to be fully purified is to have fellowship with God. On one hand, when we have fellowship with God we receive His light and see our true condition, either in relation to sin or with respect to the world. On the other hand, we receive God's dispensing. In reality we have fellowship with God because we love Him and always want to be in His presence. Hence, every sin, matter, person or activity that interrupts the enjoyment we have in His presence will be exposed as we are in fellowship with Him.

God's desire is that man would have fellowship with Him. Hence, Jeremiah 31:33-34 reveals that we, who in the past were strangers to God and to His promises, are allowed to become His people and also to enjoy having fellowship with Him. This is the new covenant. This passage in the Scriptures says, "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Jehovah: I will put My law within them and write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And they will no longer teach, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for all of them will know Me, from the little one among them even to the great one among them, declares Jehovah, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

We are no longer under the old covenant, but under the new covenant. In the old covenant only a few had the privilege of having fellowship with God. Today, in the new covenant, we can all know the Lord, from the youngest to the oldest. We can all have fellowship with God. In the old covenant our sins were only covered, but in the new covenant our sins are forgiven. Now, when we have fellowship with God our sins are exposed and we are able to confess them. In the new covenant we are not purified by the blood of goats and calves but by the blood of Jesus. In the old covenant, although the children of Israel thought they could keep the commandments by their own effort outwardly, their inability to keep them was fully exposed. In the new covenant we can please God inwardly by the law of life that is written in our mind and on our heart. The old covenant was something of the letter, whose glory was fading away, but the new covenant is incomparably superior. It will never fade away because it is of the Spirit and its glory is permanent.

As we consider this reality, we must ask one question: "Since we are living in the time of the new covenant, what is our problem?" Our problem is that, although we are saved and living in the age of the new covenant, we have the mind-set of someone living in the old covenant. Even though the Spirit of God lives in our spirit, we still live by our own outward efforts, trying to improve our behavior. When we hear the word of God, we only hear it with our understanding. It is difficult for us to pray over what we have heard and rare for us to take that word in our spirit. This is why it is common to hear very enthusiastic testimonies such as: "I was touched by this word!...These words were exactly what I needed!" However, after a few days, everything is the same as before. Why? It is because those who testified only touched the letter of the word and not the Spirit. If the word we hear is not accompanied by prayer, it is not absorbed by our spirit. As long as the word is in our "memory", we try to fulfill what we have heard. But once we forget what we have heard, everything is the same as before.

Key Point:
New covenant
Question:
What is the difference between a living in the old covenant and a living in the new covenant?