Who cares about covenants!
Now that we are coming to the final pages in our family study of the New Covenant through a review of the book Wineskins, we once again take a brief reflection on over a dozen biblical covenants.
God made unique agreements with individuals and groups throughout human history. Some which appear fantastic, other more mundane, but all with the intent of revelation. This unfolding of purpose is so significant that we are told it is impossible to understand the past without a right grasp of the incarnation—in fact, God won’t allow it.
And so it is that many would-be believers remain blinded, shrouded with a mysterious veil, unable to break through the barrier of light.
Perhaps covenants sound like lawyer stuff, frustrating restrictions that appear to prevent our pursuit of happiness. Some people appear so enamored with being set free from the Law that they jump upon the horse only to fall off the other side by rejecting adherence to New Covenant expectations.
The celebration of grace through faith in Christ has often glazed over the minds of claimants with aspirations of invincibility against their own persistence in sinful habits, what Paul denounces as “a license for immorality”. They not only refuse to consider the revelation of divine expectations through the succession of biblical covenants, they remain ignorant of what New Covenant grace is really all about—preferring to redefine grace for their own benefit.
In other words, without a clear understanding of how the bible distinguishes between the covenants, apparent believers remain handicapped in living according to the revelation of God in Scripture.
To those “who believed in him”, Jesus challenged their claims of faith by saying that only “if you hold to my teachings” will you be accepted as legitimate followers (Jn 8:31-32). To all others, he warns that they may well hear “I never knew you”, as he denies their claim of faith as a Christian. It is something to be humbly considered.
This is not about doubting our faith. It is about measuring ourselves to the word of God.
Unfortunately, many churches don’t want to alarm their flock and instead hum sounds of peace when there is no peace. They ignore instruction on how the New Covenant is separate from the Old Covenant, preferring to hang on to temporal promises that no longer apply to the people of God. They don’t understand the covenants and have no intention of letting others recognize what Jesus expects from his followers.
We are told by the Holy Spirit that many want to be teachers of God’s law, but in spite of all their sincerity, they simply don’t know what they are talking about. It can’t be understood outside of the New Covenant.
It is the reason Scripture declares that those who try to maintain their allegiance to the Mosaic Law will end up being alienated from Christ. Christianity is incompatible with Judaic practices. Only by accepting what Jesus, his apostles, and prophets referenced in the New Covenant are believers capable of honoring the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
Jesus has entered into an agreement with Christians. Some of it entails things entirely dependent upon him. Other aspects require submission and implementation by believers. Embracing part of the gospel, while ignoring other aspects, will result in denial of relationship.
The good news is that truth is real, living, and available for those willing to hunger for it. The revelation of God has disclosed the unknowable for those willing to submit to the word of God. By the grace of God, those who hang on to a teachable spirit will likely recognize what is of God as well as those voices that sound good but don’t harmonize with Scripture.
I have no interest in you believing what I share through Wineskins as if it holds secret knowledge. My writing is simply an attempt to point you toward the fullness of the gospel revealed through the incarnation of Jesus—a message made available through the blood of the New Covenant offered to those willing to take up his cross daily and follow.
If I may be a guidepost, an encourager along the way, one who rightly divides the word of truth for your sake, then what I share will have accomplished its purpose. That you will be willing to measure both yourself and your current understandings to what Scripture declares, to hold tighter to the word of God than to denominational tradition, to expect God to reveal himself which requires a humbling of ourselves and our ideas to make room for the magnitude of his truth.
I invite you and challenge you to consider the Scriptures presented in Wineskins, to consider what God says about his New Covenant of grace he has made with you, and rest in the purpose of God for your life. If your heart remains pliable to the word of God, I’d be willing to bet that you will learn a great deal about your covenant with God that you never considered before. The choice is yours. You can certainly dismiss it. It is only an invitation.
Is it worth it to you?