Day 16 - The New Covenant Promise
Can you hear God’s resolve to bring His people back to Him through these verses? Look at all the times He says “I will” and lists out what He will do for the house of Israel and Judah. God is so faithful and determined to bring His unfaithful people back to Him. Praise God for His steadfast love and covenantal faithfulness to covenant-breakers.
(John Newton, 1779)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
When the first iPhone and iPad were released, the media was buzzing with reports about new gadgets. But over the years, each “new” release seems less and less revolutionary. Newness doesn’t always excite us as it should. But in these verses, God wasn’t just promising an improved version of Israel here. No, God was making a new covenant promise for a new Israel. He promised a complete overhaul of their dead, cold hearts of stone with living, beating hearts of flesh. God promised to give them new spiritual life through new birth. Their new hearts would have God’s law written on them and they would have a new Spirit which would cause them to obey Him.
Years later, Jesus told Nicodemus that one had to be born again to enter the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). This new birth and new Spirit-filled life was only possible through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:14) – when we trust Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. Today, if we find in ourselves even the faintest desire to long for and obey God, we can point to the new hearts and new desires we have through Christ. We’re being made new from the inside out!
- What does it mean that God has made a new covenant with us through Jesus Christ? What does this promise mean for us?
- How can we continue to live Spirit-filled obedient lives? Ask God for help in a specific area of life.
- Can you see areas of each other’s spiritual life where God is working to make you new? Take time to point out the obedience and faith shown by another person and encourage one another by giving thanks for that spiritual fruit.
O Lord, You are a God who makes promises and fulfils them. Like Israel, we are often faithless and turn away from You. We have hearts of stone, and You see us as we truly are. Thank You for not turning away but instead, forgiving our sins in through Christ and replacing our hearts with hearts of flesh! How we need new hearts! Guide us in Your truth through by Your Spirit, that we might obey You and live new lives of obedience. Amen.
- Friends that have yet to know the Lord, that they too, will one day receive the new birth and new life.
- Our missionaries who go out to bring the news of new birth to the nations, that they will also continue to live Spirit- guided lives.
- The missions ministry of GBC, that we would do the work of the Great Commission well.