Last week we learned that Jesus Christ, through his life, death and resurrection has ushered in a New Covenant. This covenant has freed us from the legal demands of the Old Covenant which were contrary to us (Col 2:14), and has opened the way of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. In our previous study we learned mainly about the theological aspects of the covenants, this week we will examine the practical aspects of the New Covenant, that is – through the new covenant we have a New Relationship.
Remember the main aspects of this new covenant as given in Jeremiah 31 and quoted twice in the book of Hebrews. Heb 10:16-17 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
First, we will consider the last phrase in the above passage, it indicates that this new relationship is a Fully Secure relationship.
• Heb 10:11-14. In these verses we see a contrast between the continual offering of sacrifices in the Old Testament with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Q. v12. How many sacrifices did Jesus offer for sins?_________.
Q. v12. For how long will this sacrifice be sufficient?___________.
Q. v14. Who has been perfected by his sacrifice?
The word sanctified means “to make holy or to set apart for a holy purpose”. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour we become sanctified in Him. We are cleansed and set apart for his purpose (1 Cor 6:11). The word perfected in these verses means “consecrated or complete”.
Q. v14. For how long will these people be perfected?_______________.
• Heb 10:10. Q. For how long are we sanctified by the offering of Christ?
Under this new covenant we are given eternal life which is eternally secure. When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, believing that he is the Son of God and that he has given himself for us on the cross (1 Pet 2:24), we are perfected and sanctified forever. Our salvation now rests in the unchanging person of Jesus Christ. If we believe that salvation can be lost, then we must also believe that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was insufficient or dependent upon our own works (Heb 6:6, Gal 2:21).
Every Christian struggles with an inward conflict between the flesh and the spirit (Gal 5:17). This inward struggle should never be confused with a lack of salvation or losing our salvation. The fact that the struggle exists in us is actually evidence that we are saved. (Rom 7:22-25, 1 John 1:8,9)
No Christian could serve God boldly and faithfully if He did not know with assurance that He were saved. The writer of Hebrews was making this very point in Hebrews 10. In verses 10,14,17 we read about Christ’s sufficient sacrifce and the fact that we are sanctified forever. Now look at the beneficial consequence of this fact in verse 19.
• Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, _________________ to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
It is because of the blood of Jesus that we can be assured of our salvation, and it is because we can be assured of our salvation that we can approach God with boldness. Look at verse 22 to see this message reemphasized.
• Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in _______ _____________ ______ ____________…
Now look at verse 23, Q. What reason is given for holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering?
The fact that we can be assured of our salvation is a key benefit of the New Covenant and was mentioned all the way back in Jeremiah 31 where God said And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. God desires that his children have full assurance of their faith. Without this assurance his people would lose their boldness, their desire to draw near to Him, and the perserverance to maintain unwavering faith. It is the suffiency of Christ’s sacrifice and the faithfulness of his promises that keeps us saved. This is all made possible by the new covenant.
The Indwelling Holy Spirit
Although the assurance of our salvation is made possible by the new covenant, in a real and practical sense it is accomplished by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Every Christian, upon salvation, is given the Holy Spirit to dwell within him.
• John 15:26, 16:7. Who did Jesus say he would send to earth?
After Jesus ascended into Heaven he sent the Holy Spirit to earth to dwell within all those who had accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour.
• 2 Tim 1:14. Q. According to Paul, where does the Holy Spirit dwell?
• Eph 1:12,13. Q. What happens after one believes in Jesus?
• Eph 4:30. Q. What has the Spirit done for us? For how long?
Unlike the Old Testament saints, the Holy Spirit dwells in us continually and until the day of redemption. This is also a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the New Testament. It is through the indwelling Holy Spirit that God has fulfilled the words I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. We now have an intimacy with God that could never be accomplished before. Consider a few of the benefits of the indwelling Spirit.
The Spirit Convicts us of Sin
• John 16:8 And when he is come, he will ____________________________, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
The Spirit Teaches and Helps us Remember God’s Truth
• John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall __________________all things, and bring all things to your _________________, whatsoever I have said unto you.
It is through the Holy Spirit that we can understand the Scripture. Although it is possible for the Bible to be read like any other book, the Christian, indwelt by the Holy Spirit will learn spiritual truths and be changed by it’s transforming power. (1 Cor 2:13,14, Heb 4:12)
The Spirit Gives us Boldness to Witness
• Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive _______________, after that the __________ ____________ is come upon you: and ye shall be _______________ unto me…
The Spirit ___________________________________________________
• Romans 8:26. Q. Write above what you believe this verse teaches us about the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit Assures us of Our Salvation
• Romans 8:16. Q. What does the spirit bear witness of?
•1 John 3:24. Q. How can we know that God abides in us?
Q. Considering the last series of Bible studies we did based on Gal 5:22,23. What else does the Holy Spirit do in us?
You may have filled in some of the above answers and found that you do not recognize these things in your life. The Bible teaches that it is possible to quench and grieve the Holy Spirit (1 Th 5:19, Eph 4:30). When we live a life of unrepented sin, or where we do not avail ourselves to God’s tools for spiritual victory (the word of God, prayer, preaching, fellowship with Christians) then we grieve and quench the spirit. His presence can be ignored and his influence diminished as we live a life unyielded to Him.
• Galatians 5:16 This I say then, _________________________, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
To experience the benefits of the indwelling Holy Spirit one must obey the word of God and seek to live for Christ. This of course applies to those who know for sure that they have accepted Jesus Christ as the son of God, and are trusting his sacrifice on the cross for their salvation.
Lastly, let’s consider that the new relationship given us through the new covenant is a Father-Child Relationship.
• 2 Cor 6:17,18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a ________________ unto you, and ye shall be my ______ and ________________, saith the Lord Almighty.
• Gal 4:5-6. Q. What might we receive now that God has sent his Son?
• Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of _______________, whereby we cry, Abba, _______________.
• John 1:12. Q. What has God given to them that receive Christ?
Jesus taught us when we pray to address God as our Father (Mat 6:9). Nowhere in the Old Testament except in Isaiah 9:6 where it is referring to the coming Christ, is God referred to as a Father in this sense. This is a special, intimate relationship for all believers which has come as a result of the New Covenant.
As our Father we can approach him at any time and ask him anything (John 14:13,14). We can trust him to provide for us (Mat 7:8-11, Matt 6:31-33) and we can be sure that he will never leave us (Heb 13:5, Matt 28:20).
Because God is our Father and we are his children we now have claim to an eternal inheritance.
• Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an _______________________________________________.
As a child and an heir, we will one day inherit eternal life in heaven (Mat 19:29) and an eternal right to the new earth (Rev 21:21,24). All of this is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s first covenant with Abraham (Gal 3:29). These are but a few of the benefits of God’s New Covenant. Let us learn to thank God for it!