The New Covenant of Grace (Part 3)

We have compared the covenants of law and of grace, and have discussed the first three aspects of the exchange that took place on the cross of Christ:
1. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.
2. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.
3. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness. (see parts 1&2)

We now continue with the fourth aspect:

4. Jesus died our death that we might share His life.

"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." [1] The wages, or payment, for our sin is death, therefore in all justice we should be put to death. But in God's mercy, an alternative was provided: Jesus accepted the penalty for our sin and tasted death for us, [2] so that now we may receive the undeserved gift of Jesus' own life, i.e. eternal life. Jesus has come that we  "may have life" and "have it more abundantly." [3] Eternal life certainly is more abundant life.

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Two rather confusing titles are given to Jesus in the New Testament: "last Adam" [4] and "second Man". [5] Jesus was the last Adam, because the legacy of the first Adam, i.e. the sin nature we all inherited, was put to death on the cross and buried. When Jesus arose from the dead, He arose as the second Man, the head of a new race of men.

Our "old self," our sin nature, was crucified with Christ when we accepted Him as Lord and Saviour. Through baptism, we were buried with Him and therefore, we will "also be united with Him in His resurrection," and "live a new life." [6] We are "born of the Spirit" [7] Who imparts God's uncreated life to us, which is eternal life. [8] We are therefore united with God through the Holy Spirit.

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THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR GIVING ME YOUR LIFE.

 

5. Jesus was made a curse that we may receive the blessing.

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." [9]

The "curse of the law" came on Jesus that the "blessing of Abraham" might come upon us: The curse of the law consists of humiliation, barrenness, sickness, failure, defeat, etc., in other words, covering every area of our lives, [10] but Abraham was "blessed ... in all things." [11] We receive the blessing of Abraham through faith in the exchange that took place when Jesus was made a curse for us on the cross.

"O foolish Galatians!" [12 Paul rebukes them very strongly  for having allowed themselves to be deceived by people  presenting a different gospel. [13] They were in danger of returning to the law, having lost sight of the cross of Christ. When we become legalistic, we try to justify ourselves in the sight of God by what we do and don't do. Thus we again come under the curse of the law.

Curses are very real Satanic influences over our lives. Derek Prince (see bibliography) gives directions for determining any curses over our lives and how to combat them. For example, if we have been involved in idolatry of any kind like astrology, we must repent and plead the blood of Jesus over us. (This book is currently available from all book stores. The author has also written "Blessing or Curse: you can choose," Grand Rapids, U.S.A.: Baker Book House Co., 1990.)

THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR REDEEMING ME BY YOUR BLOOD OUT OF THE HAND OF THE DEVIL.

 

6. Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." [14]

Absolute poverty consists of hunger, thirst, nakedness and to be "in need of all things." [15] While Jesus walked the earth He never lacked for anything, but on the cross He was hungry, thirsty, naked and in need of a borrowed robe for burial in a borrowed tomb. He endured the curse of absolute poverty on the cross that we might be blessed with the abundance of God.

"It is more blessed to give than to receive." [16] God loves to provide us with abundance so that we might not only receive, but give, and thus receive the greater blessing.
Giving is an important part of the Christian life. In the Old Testament God commanded His people not to appear before Him empty-handed. [17] As part of our service to God, we should gladly give to Him out of the abundance He provides, for He says He "loves a cheerful giver." [18]

However, nothing in this life endures and we can take nothing with us. Only with God do we find "enduring riches and righteousness." [19] If we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ with gold, silver and precious stones which can withstand the test of fire, our work will endure and we will receive a reward. [20] Jesus told us to lay up treasure in heaven. [21] How do we do this? By blessing others with the truth of God's Word as the Holy Spirit directs us, thus making disciples. [22]

THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR GIVING ME YOUR ABUNDANCE.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Nee, W. The Better Covenant, New York, U.S.A.: Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc., 1982.

2. Prince, D. Bought with Blood, New Zealand: Derek Prince Ministries - Asia, Pacific, 2000, 2007.

3. Prince, J. Destined to reign, Rep. of Singapore: Joseph Prince Teaching Resources, 2007

4. Richards, L.O. Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, Michigan, U.S.A.: Regency Reference Library, 1985.

References:

1.  Romans 6:23
2.  Hebrews 2:9
3.  John 10:10
4.  1 Corinthians 15:45
5.  1 Corinthians 15:47
6.  Romans 6:3-6
7.  John 3:5,6,8
8.  John 3:16; 17:2
9.  Galatians 3:13-14
10. Deuteronomy 28:15-68
11. Genesis 24:1
12. Galatians 3:1
13. Galatians 1:6
14. 2 Corinthians 8:9
15. Deuteronomy 28:48
16. Acts 20:35
17. Exodus 34:20
18. 2 Corinthians 9:7
19. Proverbs 8:18
20. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
21. Matthew 6:20
22. Matthew 28:19

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Posted in: Bible by on January 21, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

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