Part of His people
We’ve established in our previous blogs that both salvation covenants (the Abrahamic agreement and its extension the Book of the Covenant) is what saves us. If we have faith like Abraham and live in covenant with God, we are part of His people.
The old covenants were not replaced in the Brit Hadashah (New Testament). It still stands.
The covenant of the Brit Hadashah
In this blog, we will look for confirmation in the Brit Hadashah that Jesus came to fulfill the requirements of the Book of the Covenant. Also, there must be confirmation that only those in the covenant with God are His people. The covenant cannot be fulfilled if we are not in covenant with God, as there would be nothing to fulfill!
We needed Jesus to fulfill the covenant for us because our flesh is weak. Fulfilling the requirements of the agreement is what we call salvation.
We cannot keep the requirements of God’s everlasting Book of the Covenant perfectly, as we are required to. Our flesh is weak, and we are consumed with its satisfaction.
Jesus sacrificed His perfectly lived life to cover our debts, or our covenant violations, and to cover our inadequate obedience, or our shortcomings, so they appear as covenant fulfillment.
God did not replace the blood ratified Book of the Covenant with a ‘new’ covenant.
As we discussed above, Jesus came to fulfill the blood ratified salvation covenants not to replace them.
Last week we looked at Jeremiah 31:32 that states that we ‘broke’ the covenant. We could not keep it.
This mysterious ‘new’ covenant (which we will discover shortly) was to help us keep the eternal (blood ratified) Book of the Covenant agreement. God wants to be our God, and He wants us in relationship with Him.
Remember, it is this blood ratified covenant that Jesus came to sacrifice Himself for so that our inadequate obedience would become perfect obedience as required by the covenant.
This mysterious ‘new’ covenant was to help us not ‘break’ the blood ratified covenant. As a result, our obedience can increase.
Does the Brit Hadashah confirm this?
A prophecy and its fulfillment
Psalm 89:28-29 is a prophecy about the coming Messiah:
“My loving kindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him. So, I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.”
Jesus Himself says in John 12:49-50:
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore, the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
Jesus could only tell us what the Father told Him. The Father confirmed to Jesus the centrality of the salvation covenant, and in turn, Jesus proved it to us that eternal life is tied to that salvation covenant.
Where does Jesus confirm that our eternal life is connected to us, keeping the salvation covenant?
We see Jesus’ confirmation of the salvation covenant with us in His very first preaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
Just like God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave the covenant to His people, He did it again here in a dramatic fashion: Jesus confirms the same agreement to us on Mount Eremos. In Matthew 5, Jesus goes up onto the mountain and finally comes down at the beginning of Matthew 8. During His time on Mount Eremos, Jesus mentions eternal life or eternal damnation approximately fifteen times.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus explains to us how to have a relationship with God, that it is through a faith that leads us into covenant obedience.
In this relationship, He loves us explicitly, but it is only by faith unto obedience that we can love Him back and are, therefore, His people. A covenant relationship with God requires that we keep His covenant.
Keep in mind Jesus only came to fulfill the requirements of the covenant entirely for those who with their whole heart keep His covenant, although perhaps imperfectly.
God, in His love, wants to lift us higher.
He wants us to reach within ourselves and give our all to Him – to the One who gave us everything we have in the first place.
Our covenant obligation is to live with honesty and love to serve and obey God and to serve those around us.
Verses from the Sermon on the Mount
What Jesus said
Let’s look at a few pertinent verses from Jesus’s covenant message.
We’ll look first at Matthew 5:17-18:
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets [because it is everlasting]. No, I came to accomplish their purpose [to walk them out perfectly as an example to us]. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved [our salvation covenant is eternal]” (NLT).
In another version, the New American Standard Bible, verse 17 is even more explicit:
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”
The purpose of God’s covenants was not just so that we’ll be saved, but so that we would have a living loving relationship with God. This has never changed.
The blood ratified covenants can, therefore, never change. Jesus came to fulfill the promise so we could be His people.
A living relationship
Not only salvation
The idea of only considering “believing in God” for salvation is a shallow place to exist. God wants so much more for us. He wants us to be His people, of which salvation is only a part.
He wants to bestow love and to receive that love in return. He wants the equivalent of long walks on the beach!
He wants us to see Him, to really see Him and to recognize His marvelous creation. He wants us to do things with Him, not only because we must, but because we want to. He wants us to care for each other.
One day, when we meet Him in person, our relationship will continue (albeit on a whole different level.) And this is a fact: all of us are going to meet Him.
Jesus died for us
Now back to Jesus fulfilling the salvation covenant on our behalf.
We see this beautifully displayed in Romans 8:3-4:
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
What Jesus came to do was to fulfill the requirement of the law on our behalf.
Is this law different than the covenant?
Some might say so. I think not. The ten commandments Exodus 20:1-17 are the “written in stone” law of the Book of the Covenant. They are the requirements of the salvation covenant.
We must accept His offer.
Set our mind on the things of the Spirit
Jesus only fulfills the covenant for those who are living in covenant agreement.
Romans 8:5-8 gives confirmation:
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Only those who desire to enter a relationship with God is covered by the new covenant that Jesus came to fulfill.
God’s Word is the truth. Our salvation is bound up in our relationship with God and genuine, absolute faith. Each person has his own walk with God.
However, in today’s day and age, we tend to believe in God to a degree but still live only for ourselves. God wants us to be able to see how a real genuine relationship with Him allows Him to show us His love.
His Word is calling us.
He wants us to lay ourselves at His feet and enter a new relationship with Him. God wants us to trust Him, and to let Him take care of us. He wants us to be able to recognize His love for us, so we know that He loves us.
Ultimately, one day, when we stand before God, He wants us to able to say with our whole heart:
“I am so blessed because I trusted you. I am so glad I decided to lay myself aside and to serve You.”
Next week, we will continue to look for confirmation in the Brit Hadashah that Jesus came to fulfill the salvation covenant that God offered to us on Mount Sinai.