Living Under the Correct Covenant (Part 3)

Jun. 17, 2018 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

The world is filled with people who are struggling to get the things of God, and wondering where He is. For these people, breakthrough in their lives never shows up no matter what they do. If we are experiencing this type of frustration, we may be suffering from the mindset that tells us that we must perform better so that God can treat us better. If we think this way, we are not living under the correct covenant. A covenant is an irrevocable vow that can only be broken by death. In the Old Testament the people lived under the covenant of the Law of Moses, which called for strict obedience and constant self-effort before God could be good to them. Jesus Christ came to rescue us from this; His death on the cross broke the old covenant and established the new covenant of grace. To receive God’s blessings, all we need to do is believe in what He did for us; no self-effort is required.
  1. The old covenant was only for Jewish people. The new covenant is for all believers.
    1. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:11, 12).
      1. God deals with us through covenants. There is no hope for us if we have no covenant with Him.
      2. The old covenant is expired; therefore, if we are trying to live under it, we are without God.
      3. The old covenant was only between God and the Jews. Jesus came and replaced it with the new covenant, which is between God and Jesus. Everyone benefits under this covenant.
    2. And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field…But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee(Deuteronomy 28:1-3, 15).
      1. When we go through tough times and start to wonder if God will keep His promise, the knowledge of His current covenant agreement with us anchors our souls.
      2. Under the law, failure to keep even one of the six hundred-plus commandments resulted in curses that were designed to wipe the people off the earth. Fortunately for us, Jesus removed the curses.
    3. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
      1. No one could keep all the commandments under the old agreement. This is why Jesus established the new agreement, which is the covenant of grace .
  1. The old agreement depended on works. The new agreement depends on faith.
    1. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith(Galatians 3:12-14).
      1. Jesus paid the ransom required so that we could have freedom from the Law of Moses.
      2. The law carried with it multiple curses for those unable to keep it. Jesus removed sickness, poverty, and all other curses that can afflict mankind.
      3. We do not need faith to live by the old covenant of the law; we simply follow the rules in order to get blessed under that covenant. By comparison, under the new covenant of grace, we are blessed by believing what Jesus has already done.
      4. We block God’s blessings when we mix the old and new covenants; they cancel each other out.
      5. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (Matthew 9:17).
      6. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth (Revelation 3:16).
    2. The law was not God’s original plan, but Israel’s arrogance made it necessary. The people thought they could keep the law by themselves.
      1. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do… (Exodus 19:8).
      2. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound(Romans 5:20) .
    3. We make a mistake when we think that we do not need God. Everything good that ever happened in our lives came from Him.
      1. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).
  1. God wants us to be happy; our mindset either allows or blocks our happiness.
    1. We must be satisfied with where we are right now in our lives. When we look back at the way we used to be before we were saved, and compare that with the way we are now, we can give thanks and praise God for working in our lives. He delivered us and brought us to this point.
      1. A lack of contentment causes us to compare ourselves to others. We must focus on our vertical relationship with God, not on our horizontal relationships with others. When we see Him, we see the “enough” that He brings, not lack or insufficiency.
      2. Keeping our eyes on God empowers us.
      3. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).
    2. As we continue looking at Jesus, we find contentment. Eventually the “enough” in our lives becomes “more than enough.”
      1. But godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
    3. God wants us to enjoy life. Appreciating the things He has given to us for our enjoyment make life sweeter and gives us joy.
      1. …For the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
  1. The covenant of grace lets us relax, be happy, and enjoy life. This is God’s will.
    1. We will not have to worry about going to hell if we have accepted Jesus. He, and the Holy Spirit, will guide us through life.
      1. The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have  and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10, AMPC).
    2. We can let go of whatever stresses us, enjoy life, and accept God’s peace. We do not need to spend our peace on someone else’s drama.
      1. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
    3. We do not need to live under the law; it was only designed to last until Jesus came. We now have a better arrangement.
      1. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (Galatians 3:19).
      2. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6).

Scripture References

Ephesians 2:11, 12

James 1:17

Deuteronomy 28:1-3, 15

Philippians 4:13

James 2:10

1 Timothy 6:6

Galatians 3:12-14, 19

Matthew 9:17

Revelation 3:16

Exodus 19:8

Romans 5:20

Nehemiah 8:10

John 10:10, AMPC

John 14:27

Hebrews 8:6

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