The New Covenant/Testament
Nowadays, in many evangelical congregations, it is stated that this faith in the sacrifice on the cross is our part in the covenant we make with the Lord. There is a general lack of interest in knowing the commandments of the New Covenant.
And as for the fulfilment of these commandments, they are not considered mandatory in order to be saved.
A long time ago, God took the Jews out of the harsh enslavement of Egypt and then entered into a covenant with them, by which He committed Himself to take the Jewish nation to the land of Canaan.
The Scripture tells us that through Moses, God gave the people a book of the covenant (containing His conditions), which the people were to accept and commit themselves to. (He took the book and read it as the people listened: they said, “We will obey and do everything the Lord has said”. Exodus 24:7)
Today, God is concluding a new covenant with us, and for this He gave us the book of the New Covenant, which is the Gospel/Word of Christ. (I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak all that I command him; it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:18-19)
In the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13), we have God’s commitment that He will lead us into His Kingdom and give us eternal life, but not unconditionally. Our commitment to this covenant/contract must likewise consist of full obedience and fulfilment. In order to enter into this covenant with the Lord, I too will have to say: “I will do and listen to all that the Lord has said”.
God promises to begin this work of salvation with us and to complete it. (I am confident that He who has begun this good work in you will finish it. Philippians 1:6)
He will do this only if man accepts his obligations; that is, to enter into obedience and keep the commandments that were given to him. (Any man that keeps My Word shall never see death. John 8:51; He that hears my word, and believes in Him that sent me, has everlasting life. John 5:24)
Thus, God’s part in this covenant consists of:
- the work of Christ on the cross (in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14),
- the work of His Word „for you have been born again not of a seed which is perishable, but imperishable; through the living and everlasting Word of God. And this is the Word which was preached to you through the Gospel”. (1 Peter 1:23-25); (The Word of God, which also performs its work… 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
- the work of the Holy Spirit (…by the washing of regeneration and renewing
by the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5; by the sanctifying work of the Spirit. 1 Peter 1:2)
Our part in the covenant concluded with God consists of:
- believing in Him, which means to put my faith in Him, in His work, and in His Word. (…he that believes in Him shall not be ashamed. 1 Peter 2:6; I have given them the words which You have given me. They have received them. John 17:8; Jesus spoke so, and many believed in Him, and said unto the Jews which believed in Him: “If you continue in My Word, then you indeed are My disciples”. John 8:30)
- our repentance, which means, awareness of our sinful state, followed by regret and giving up the old things. (…you have stripped the old man of his deeds. Colossians 3:9)
- self-denial, which means to recognize Him as Master with full authority. I will have to renounce my own will to the will of Christ, to give up control over my life. (…I do not My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38; If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23) I must accept that the teachings of Christ will guide me step by step, every single day. (…I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20)