Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The New Covenant P23 (07-14-21)
It is so important to understand what God Himself says is the gospel that saves. In 1 Corinthians 15, we read that it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Nothing else. There is no baptism, church attendance, speaking in tongues, going to a confessional booth, seven sacraments, quoting 1 John 1:9 to keep yourself in fellowship, saved. Those latter things are things taught by the traditions of men. The word of God does not say such things. Your confidence in the gospel must be in what God Himself says it is, and that you have allowed the Holy spirit to reveal that truth to you. Your confidence must not be in the denominational persuasions of men, or what any pastor, priest or man says, for they could be teaching error.
So what did Jesus accomplish by his death on a cross? What did Jesus say after he gave up his spirit, after shedding his blood on a cross? It is finished. What is finished? Did not the author of Hebrews tell us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin? Yes, in Hebrews 9:22. So then what does that mean for you and me? Will Jesus ever shed his blood again? No. Hebrews tells us that it is a once and for all sacrifice. He says that God started a New Covenant with man, where He says, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” and “where these have been forgiven there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” So when Jesus died on a cross 2000 years ago, He took away the sins of the entire world, just as John the Baptist testified that Jesus came to do, and now all the sins of the entire world, back to Adam and forward to eternity have been taken away from they eyes of God, never to be seen again. There is the finality of the cross.
So will you hold onto that truth, or will you sin against the knowledge of that truth, and go back to your day of atonement to get your sins forgiven, or to a priest in a confessional booth to get your sins forgiven, or go direct to God asking God to forgive you when you sin? What are you doing? Sinning against the knowledge of truth, of which God says there is no sacrifice for sins that remains, and there is only a fearful expectation of raging fire for those who deliberately keep on sinning against the knowledge of truth, and that means going to hell. You have denied the finished work of the cross, treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctifies, and insulted the Spirit of grace. You denied what Jesus came to do.
So His burial proved his death, so a New Covenant can be ushered in for all men, a covenant of grace. Since the work has been finished to take away our sins by His shed blood on a cross, requiring no repeat sacrifice, the punishment by death for sin, the just reward for sin, God can now offer what He really came to give us. He who had no sin became sin for us so that in Him we can become the righteousness of God, that is, have His righteousness imputed to us, to be received as a gift the day you are born again. He came to give us Himself, His very life, so we can walk in a new way, with the Spirit of God internally leading us into all truth, so we can live as God intended man to live, with the Spirit of God living in us who believed. That is the gospel that saves, that we can put our confidence in, in Jesus who alone did all this for us, and so not shrink back, and can persevere because Jesus always lives to intercede for us before His Father in heaven.
I said before that outside of the bible, I would say right now that one of the most important books you can have in your hands is this bible study on A Closer Look at the New Covenant. The New Covenant is pivotal to understanding the New Covenant we live under today. The study of the New Covenant is in contrast with the old. A covenant is a will. You have an old will and you have a new will. You have an old covenant and a new covenant. Those terms are used interchangeably. You have an Old Testament and you have a New Testament. We do not live under the old will. We do not live under the Old Testament. We do not live under anything except the new, if indeed we have come to that point. There are those who never got out of the old. There are those who never want to get out of the old. They comingle old with the new, law with grace. Paul addressed the Galatians as foolish for mixing law and grace.
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
This is a very simple question with a simple answer, by believing.
3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4
This is comingling law and grace, the old with the new. We are not to comingle old with the new. We are supposed to be under a New Covenant. That is precisely why scripture instructs us to be competent as ministers of a new covenant, not the old but the new, of the new testament, of the new will.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
That is what we are made to be competent as ministers of, the New Covenant. Jesus is in the equation. There is no Jesus of the Old Testament. There is talk of him coming but he is not there. We live from here, being here forward. We are made competent as ministers of that New Covenant, not of the law that kills, but of the Spirit that gives life. We are supposed to be ministers of life. We are supposed to be ministers of the fact that Jesus took away the need for all this sacrificial system.
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.
Have you experienced so much in vain – if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[Genesis 15:6]
Turn to Hebrews 10:32-39.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
The possessions we have down here will be left behind. There is no such thing as a uhaul on the back of a hearse. Everything you have is going to be left. What we have are lasting possessions given to us by God. So do not throw away your confidence for it will be richly rewarded. We need to stand firm in what the truth of the bible is.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”[Isaiah 26:20; Habakkuk 2:3]
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”[Habakkuk 2:4]
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
When talking about this confidence, you are competent in what the bible teaches. You are not competent in what man teaches. If your confidence is in what man teaches, you can fall away from that. That means you have never been taught what the bible teaches. Which is precisely why it says they went out from among us. That means they were never a part of us. It means your belief system in Jesus was something you were taught by man. A man came along and said something different. There is nothing in the bible that will pull you away from Jesus once you come to Jesus. There are no instructions in the bible that will pull you away from Jesus. So it has to be from the instructions of man.
We are dealing with the difference between being taught by man, teaching his theories and philosophies, in comparison to recognizing what scripture told us. If you are truly born again, then truth lives in you, and the ability for you to understand truth lives in you, and, therefore, you have the ability and the privilege of participating in that divine nature who lives in you. Your natural eye is not going to see. Your natural ear is not going to hear. Your natural mind is not going to perceive what God has prepared for those who loved Him. It has to be revealed by the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] – the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
To have understanding of these things, to not shrink back from, you will not shrink back if you have been taught by God, but if you have been taught by man, why do you believe what you do? Someone says, “I just believe what the priests tell me.” Then you are deceived. That is not faith that saves. You have no faith in this bible. You have faith in your traditions, the traditions that Jesus said are the traditions of man. That is your problem. You believe in traditions of man but deny the word of God by your traditions.
7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’[Isaiah 29:13]
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
So when it is talking about people who shrink back and are destroyed, you are not talking about people who have come to Jesus through the word of God, who have allowed the word of God to reveal truth to. There is no shrinking back, because if you have, there is nothing in the bible to cause you to do that. Man has taught you to do that.
One of the biggest group of people that have turned to Mormonism are Baptists. Why so many Baptists? Someone says, “This is what we Baptists believe. God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” That does not settle anything. God said it and that settles it whether you believe it or not. If your belief system is is simply what you believe from the pulpit and have not allowed yourself to be taught by the word of God, to penetrate your heart to believe what you believe, because of what the bible says, then you have been taught by man. It is easy to fall away from that and go into a cult.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
Do not throw away your confidence. You need to persevere, in the truth that God has given you.
Let us turn back to the truth that God has given us in this passage and in this context as it relates to forgiveness. I know full well that I am talking to people who have been taught otherwise. What I am asking you to do is this. I am going to be teaching out of the word of God. I am not going to be teaching what Baptists believe. I am certainly not going to teach what Catholics teach. I am not going to teach what Methodists or Presbyterians teach or any other denomination. What I am going to teach you is what the bible says and what the bible means as it relates to the word of God.
We have just been told that this is the New Covenant.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”[Jeremiah 31:33]
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]
18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins.
God says, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” and “where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins.”. He did not say “will be” forgiven, but “have been” forgiven.
22 and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
He is saying there is no more shedding of blood. There is no more sacrifice. This is it. “My sacrifice at the cross, the shedding of the blood of God Himself is of such value and worth that it is able to take away from the eyes of God the sins of the entire world. It is over and finished. There is nothing else to do. If there is no more sacrifice, and without the sacrifice there is no forgiveness of sins, then you have to conclude that He means what He said when He said, “It is finished” or “Paid in full”.
This is not denominational, folks. This is not something you will necessarily learn in your denomination. We are not talking about that. I am talking out of what the bible says, and if you put your faith in what the bible says, then He wants you to be confident and persevere and not shrink back. If you have just been taught what you have been taught it will fail you one of these days. I know it will. I have been there. I know what I am talking about. It will fail you.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth
Again, what are we sinning against? What would somebody who does not understand context and does not understand what the New Covenant is dealing with, what is he going to interpret sinning meaning? The nasty nine and the dirty dozen. Someone incorrectly thinks, “If you keep on stealing, or you keep using the Lord’s name in vane, or keep committing adultery after receiving the knowledge of truth, and you are not supposed to do those things, you are going to hell.” That is not what this is talking about. Why? Those things have been put behind the back of God never to be seen again. For you to believe that, what are you doing? You are not believing the word of God. You are not standing firm in truth but in what some man has taught you. That does not make an ounce of sense if you believe your sins are put on the back of God never to be seen again, which is what scripture teaches. Or it means all your sins have been forgiven, not only my sins but the sins of the whole world.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left
If you keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of truth. Knowledge of truth is there is no more sacrifice for sins. He explains exactly what he means. What are you sinning against? The sacrifice. If you keep sinning against the truth that Jesus sacrifice was final. That is why it says in verses prior, that “your sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” and “where these sins have been forgiven there is no more sacrifice for sins”. And He repeats that here again, “no sacrifice for sins is left.”
If you keep on sinning by going back to your sacrificial system, speaking here to the Jews, with the sacrificing of bulls and goats, but today we are just as legalistic as any Jew would be, so it is written to all of us.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
We do not have a system today of killing bulls and goats, but we Jews think we just do good deeds, and are charitable, and our good deeds outweigh our bad then we will go to heaven. To a Catholic, you go to a priest to get forgiven, and then you do penance. You had people in earlier days who would crawl up on steps until their knees were bleeding, trying to get forgiveness. What were they doing? Sinning against the knowledge of truth. If they read the bible, they would not be doing those things. The bible says there is no more sacrifice, it is finished, and it is put on the back of God never to be seen again. Someone insists, “No. No you have to get more forgiveness.” A Catholic says, ”You have to go to a confession booth, talk to a priest to get forgiveness.”
Protestants, in their pride say, “We do to have to go to a priest to do that. That is ridiculous.” They are very critical of what Catholics are doing and Catholics are critical of what they are doing. And they are both wrong. The Protestants say, “We do not go to a priest but we have 1 John 1:9 there in the back of the bible.” That was nor written until 70 A.D. I do not know how those poor souls ever got forgiveness for 60 plus years but I guess they had a way of doing so. But Protestants are also going back to a sacrificial system, not sacrificing a bull and a goat, but asking for forgiveness from the one who died for me. You have all kinds of things going on in this world trying to keep yourself forgiven.
What he is saying is there is no more sacrifice for sins. If you do not accept this truth, not just accept in what Jesus did at the cross, but what did Jesus say in regard to the cross. He said out of his own mouth, “it is finished”, or “Paid in full”. The apostle Paul certainly understood this. He talked about how our sins have been taken away from the eyes of God never to be seen again. In all of Paul’s writings, the writer of the vast majority of the New Testament knew something that either we do not know or do not want to know. If you deliberately keep on sinning. That is a deliberate act, an act of providing my own way of getting my sins forgiven, and “I do not care about God’s way. I will do it my way”.
27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
That is another way of saying you are going to hell. It is not saying you are going to hell because you have been dead, because of your sins. Your sins have been taken away. There is a sin, Jesus said, that the world does not understand. The world’s sin is unbelief in me. The sin of the rejection of Jesus, that is rejecting what Jesus came to do. That is rejecting every aspect of Jesus. Jesus of the bible came to take away sins. It is not atonement.
So many people keep saying atonement and liking it and saying it is okay to use it and getting mad at me for not using it. The word is not there in the New Covenant. Atonement was covering. The issue is through theological usage and so it has become acceptable. So does it become acceptable because of theological usage. What about the usage of these other sacrificial systems. That is theological usage. The atonement is what the blood of bulls and goats did. It covers sins. You do not put Jesus blood on the same par as the blood of a bull a and a goat that only covered sin. He did something far greater than that.
He said, “It is finished”. So when we are saying it is not finished, then I am not believing in Jesus. Do not say you are a believer in Jesus but I do not believe in what He said. He said it is finished. What do you do when you sin with this truth? First of all, when you sin, and you will, what did God do with it? That is your first thought. What did God do with it? He took it away. He suffered, died and was punished for it. He took it away. So what do I do? I do not need to be told what to do now. I say, “Thank you Lord for that. Thank you for the fact you told me every sin I ever commit that the root of it is unbelief in you. I guarantee you that is true. So thank you for my forgiveness for my stupidity. So keep teaching me why I can be faithful to believe in you and trust you.” That is what you do.
The other is you have to beg for forgiveness. You are begging for what you already have. But you have to ask? But you are asking of what you already have. Is that faith? No at all. That is presumption. He says that if that is the case, then you have never come to saving faith. If you have never come to saving faith, folks, and if I heard what I just read, that all I look forward to is going to hell, I would think I would want to change that. The way you change that is when you finally come the same way I had to, because I was weaned on this 1 John 1:9 theology. I was taught spiritual breathing. I am not critical of him who taught me that but they should not be teaching that today. They ought to know better. The issue is that is what you are taught. I came to recognize that was not truth. “Lord Jesus, from this day forth I am never going to insult you again by asking you to do, by what you had to, to bleed and die to do, and that is to take away my sins from the eyes of God. I am not going to insult you anymore and not hang you back on the cross.”
What are you doing when you are not walking by faith in that?
28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
“Lord Jesus, I thank you for your forgiveness. I have been making an unholy thing out of your blood and your life that shared in this covenant of grace, that I am set apart with today. I have insulted your grace, the Spirit of grace. I insulted you by not claiming ‘it is finished’. I was still thinking it was my duty to make myself clean. That is not true. You are the one who made me clean.”
30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[Deuteronomy 32:35] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 135:14] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
God is not playing games, my friends, with this truth. If we cannot finalize the cross. Did not Paul say this is the gospel that saves? To you who have been taught that you are saved by being a Catholic, saved by being a Protestant, that you are saved by being baptized, that you are saved by speaking in tongues, then listen extremely carefully, for you are going to have to make a decision as to whether what you have been taught is true or not. Do not be surprised if you have been taught error and do not be so arrogant saying, “I do not care. I am going to hang onto it.” If you have been taught error, get rid of it and grab a hold of truth from the word of God.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
There is no Catholicism there. There is no Protestantism there. There is no tongues there. There is nothing except the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I know you have had the spinners out there, adding baptism and tongues, and church membership to that, but it is not there in the scripture. If you have a brain in your head, and if the bible says that you do not want to go to hell, you need to say “I have been taught wrong”. You are not listening to Bob George teaching. I am teaching you out of the word of God. This is not the Quran, folks. This is what it says and this is what it means. I know what it means and so do you.
31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me;
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
If you want to settle an issue, settle it now. If you want your foundation to be as strong as horseradish. If you want to have confidence that you are not going to throw away and shrink back, with the ability to persevere in the midst of trials and tribulations and suffering, then you will need to put your faith in what the word of God says, not in what some man says, including me.
What I want you to do is read the scripture. Get this book of scripture and read it and ask the Spirit of God, who lives in you, and if you are born again, and if you are not, you need to be. If you have been doubting God, making a mockery of the blood that sanctifies, of His shed blood on a cross and insulting the Spirit of grace. I do not expect you to say you are saved when you are treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctifies and insulting the Spirit of grace. It might be that you are not saved like you thought you were. If there is a doubt, clear up that doubt today.
“Lord Jesus, in event, if I am a Jew, I am not going back to the day of atonement. I am not going back to the confessional booth any more. I am not going to ask God for forgiveness every time I sin. I know something I did not know before. I am not going to insult you again by denying that truth.”
Be born again today. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I do not believe you are going to be born again by believing lies.