God’s Covenant – Christ In Us

(Hebrews 8 & 9)

There is a young man that I’ve had the privilege to disciple over the last 6 months or so ask the following question about God’s Covenant with Abraham and what He told him in Genesis 17:1-2…”to live in God’s presence (or walk before Me) and be blameless.” What did God mean when He told Abraham to “live in God’s presence and be blameless?” Isn’t that a great question?

My response from God’s Word is the core of this newsletter…

It means exactly what it says…no hidden meanings! This is why the Old Testament (OT), rooted in the Creation (Adamic); Noahic; Abrahamic, Mosaic (Moses) and Davidic Covenants are written in the Law…the greatest “self” help book ever written. God gave us the opportunity to live perfectly by the perfect Law.

However because sin entered in from the beginning it was impossible. So the Law simply pointed to God’s perfection and holiness and our absolute lack of both…and to the great need for a Perfect Savior (and Lord) to live this out (Hebrews 9:11-14).

Under the OT Covenant(s) (summed up ultimately in the Law) multiple sacrifices were made over and over again to roll back the sins of the people…man’s inability to stay in God’s Presence and be blameless – command to Abraham. Again every sacrifice pointed to the Perfect and Spotless Lamb and sacrifice…Jesus! The sacrifices covered everyone’s sins who would be obedient in making the sacrifices to God until the Perfect Sacrifice came, died and rose again!  PTL!

What an incredible story! Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of every one of these covenants and their sacrifices in The New Covenant in His shed blood and finished work on the Cross and the Tomb!  This allows all who believe in Him and His finished work to walk blameless before God!

Check out Galatians and Hebrews to get a more complete picture of The Law and Old Covenant(s) and how they point to Christ and the New Covenant that we now live under. This will help as Grace is what makes all of this now possible.

Not just grace to save us (thank you, Jesus, for that) but ongoing grace to live it out every moment of every day (thank You, Jesus, for this as well)!  This is what it means to be a disciple of Christ and to walk blameless before God…

So under the New Testament (Covenant) sealed and finished in Christ, here’s what we must know and how we can and are to live blameless…

Do you know Jesus as Savior and Lord…the only Way to The Father (John 14:6)?

Will you receive His free gift of salvation by His grace through faith, not by any of your works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 11:1, 6)?

Will you believe?  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Three simple but profound concepts deal with knowing Christ as Savior by receiving God’s free gift of grace in salvation. His work on our behalf is finished and perfect!  Have you received the free gift?  He makes us blameless before God!

Now we look at living out that salvation (evidence that you have received His free gift) as a fully devoted disciple of Christ…

Do you know who you are recreated to be in Christ, doing what God has prepared long ago for you to do (Ephesians 2:10)?

Are you living out His salvation, i.e., sanctification (setting you apart for His specific holy purposes in your life for His Glory) with fear and trembling so He can have His way in and through you (Philippians 2:12-13)?

Oswald Chambers, in Still Higher for His Highest, asks it this way, building on the faith that we just pointed to…

Faith Claims the Whole Man

“Without faith it is impossible God to please, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

“Faith is not a faculty; faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus. We are apt to apply faith to certain domains of our lives only; e.g., we have faith in God when we ask Him to save us, or ask Him for The Holy Spirit, but we trust something other than God in the actual details of our lives. ‘Faith claims the whole man and all that God’s grace can make him,’ just as it claimed the whole of our Lord’s life. Our Lord represents the normal man, not the average man, but the man according to God’s norm; His life was not cut up into compartments, one part sacred and another secular; it was not in any way a mutilated life. Jesus Christ was concentrated on one line, viz., the will of His Father, in every detail of His life.”

This is the Shalom (whole) blameless life of His Lordship and our discipleship with every part of our life lived as His, according to His Truth.

Having received this free gift and understanding what it means to be in a relationship with God means salvation and this new life can’t just be a mental assent and spoken word…it must come from a surrendered heart and sacrificed self resulting in a life transformed (James 2:26; Romans 12:1-2)!

Our works could never save us but they are evidence of a life submitted, surrendered and day-by-day transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:9-10)!

Is your faith bringing about a changed life?

Once again, Oswald Chambers, in “My Utmost for His Highest” states it like this, “After surrender — what? The whole of the life after surrender is an aspiration for unbroken communion with God.”

So what did Christ Himself say about what it means to be His disciple?

Jesus Himself said the following is what it looks like to be His disciple, i.e., to be in the relationship with Him that He died to freely give us. Luke 14:25-35 clearly outlines what it means to be in relationship with Christ with Him as Lord and us as His disciples:

1) He must take priority over every other relationship and issue in our lives (v. 26);

2) It must be a wholehearted devotion to Christ as halfhearted “commitment” only brings ridicule and makes our faith a mockery (vv. 28-32);

3) We must deny ourselves (selfish desires and lusts), take up our cross (His purpose for our life) and follow Him (vv. 27, 33).

This is a far cry from the meager expectations of today’s churches that often consider “discipleship” as 1) attending regularly; 2) giving a tithe or offering faithfully, and; 3) signing up to serve others from time to time as made available by the church. These are all good things but they can be totally done in the flesh. We have lost our saltiness (witness and influence) as evidenced by our education, media and government systems all rejecting His Truth at almost every turn and laughing at the churches and their meager calls, if any, to repentance (vv. 34-35).

Only when we follow through on Christ’s call to discipleship will these truly be done as His disciples rather than to satisfy our flesh and others and will our saltiness be restored…walking blameless before God!

You tell me…where are we when it comes to being sold-out, fully devoted, dying-to-self disciples of Christ? If we will choose this relationship with Him He will restore the saltiness of our witness and more will know Him (vv. 34-35)!

Again, Oswald Chambers states this unwaveringly in “My Utmost for His Highest”…

We’ve shared this before but this is how Christ described the fulfillment of all The Law and the Prophets in the two greatest commands and how we can live the wholehearted devotion required to be His disciple…

1) Mark 12:29-30 – We must learn to worship God alone and mature in loving Him with all our being. Find someone more mature than you to help you spend time in His Word, prayer, quiet time and listening so you are fulfilling the first and greatest command – He didn’t mince words as “first” and “greatest” mean just that and we should seek and disciple others to grow in this first.

2) Mark 12:31 – As we begin to grow in our wholly devoted love for God, He begins to teach, reveal and mature us in who we are recreated to be in Christ (Ephesians 2:10) and how to love our self so that we can then love others as we love ourselves and as He has loved us (John 13:34).

Don’t miss this as far too often in our modern day churches we are trying to fulfill the second command without having been obedient to the FIRST! God has a reason for every word and first means first so let’s be disciples and disciple others in His order and design! Our giving and serving must be an overflow of His Love in and through us, and our love for Him and others, in which we are daily growing!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Are you walking in the spiritual disciplines that help mature you in your love for God, self and others according to His Covenant Order and Word? How many of us as church members are trying to attend, give and serve but are not taking the time to fulfill the First & Greatest Command…so we’re serving and giving out of self or emptiness?  Because of Christ we can walk blameless before God!

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)

  1. Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  2. How does your life reflect the gratitude for Christ having fulfilled in the New Covenant what you could never fulfill in the Old Covenant?
  3. How does your life reflect a faith that claims your whole being?
  4. Begin with the First/Greatest Command by spending time every day in God’s Word, in prayer and listening to Him, and walk blameless before God…in Christ!