The New Covenant of Grace (Part 4)

 

We have compared the covenants of law and of grace, (part 1) and have discussed the first six 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. (part 2)
4. Jesus died our death that we might share His life.
5. Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.
6. Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance. (part 3)

As we have seen, salvation means much more than just the forgiveness of our sins. It includes physical healing as well as emotional healing. The next two aspects of the exchange are healing for shame and for rejection.

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7. Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." [1]

What is the opposite of shame? Glory. The Greek word for glory is doxa, which means a good opinion about someone which results in praise and honour.

"It was fitting for Him," God the Father, "in bringing many sons (you and me) to glory, to make the captain of their salvation (Jesus) perfect through suffering." [2]
The Spirit of Christ "testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow." [3]

Where did Jesus suffer the most? On the cross, which was the most shameful kind of death reserved for the most debased criminals. The Gospels report basically just the facts of the crucifixion, so we have to turn to the Old Testament to understand the extent of Jesus' suffering and shame:

"He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows ... and we did not esteem Him." [4]
"For your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face." [5]
"Save me, O God! For the waters have come to my neck. I sink in deep mire where there is no standing." [6] The deep mire is our sins and our shame.

Why do we suffer shame? One reason is the humiliating experiences of our past. These can be things done to us by parents, teachers, school ground bullies or other students and fellow workers. Another source of shame can be memories of shameful things done by us in the past. A particularly harmful source of shame can be sexual molestation as children.

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Jesus set us free from shame that we "may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." [7]

THANK YOU, JESUS, THAT YOU BORE MY SHAME SO THAT I MAY SHARE YOUR GLORY.

8. Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance.

"He is despised and rejected by men ..." [8]
"He came to His own (Israel) and His own did not receive Him." [9]
"I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother's children." [10]

First He was rejected by the world, then Israel and then His own family. But the worst happened on the cross when all our sins were heaped upon Him:

"From the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ... "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" [11] A little while later He "yielded up His spirit." [12]

The Old Testament explains: "Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none." [13]

Rejection is one of the most common wounds of our contemporary culture. The breakdown of family relationships and children growing up without a father figure; the prevalence of divorce; the strict social codes about figure, dress and behaviour. Most of us have suffered from rejection in some sense and we all crave to be loved.

After Jesus died, "the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." [14] The veil in the Temple separated a holy God from sinful man. God tore it from top to bottom, signifying the acceptance of every believer.

God the Father has "predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself." By His grace "He has made us accepted in the Beloved." [15] The Greek word translated as 'accepted' is charitoo, which means 'highly favoured', or 'loved'. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son ..." [16], but He also loved each of us individually. That is why it was His will for us to be adopted as His beloved sons and daughters. [17]

THANK YOU, JESUS, THAT YOU ENDURED MY REJECTION SO THAT I MAY HAVE YOUR ACCEPTANCE AND LOVE.

9. Our old man died in Jesus that the new man might live in us.

Our 'old man' is the sinful nature which we inherited from Adam. It is characterised by rebellion against God. God does not try to deal with it, as the only solution is death:

"Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin." [18]

This is stated as a fact of the Bible, not a promise. [19] Therefore we cannot ask God to crucify our sinful nature, we can only accept by faith the fact that it has been done.

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him ... the life that He lives, He lives to God ..." [20]
"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." [21]

There is the remedy for sin - we must reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. If we don't, our sin nature will still rule over us.

"Put off ... the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts ... (and) put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness." [22]

If our old man is allowed to rule in our lives, it continues to grow more corrupt and we find that we cannot do the good we want to do. [23] If our new man rules in every situation, then we can walk in true righteousness and holiness. We have these two opposing forces in our lives: our old man with its desire to sin and our new man created to live in righteousness.

Through the cross our old man was crucified and we must reckon it to be dead so that we can live in the newness of life created by the Spirit. God "predestined (us) to be conformed to the likeness of His Son." [24]

THANK YOU, JESUS, THAT MY OLD MAN WAS CRUCIFIED WITH YOU SO THAT I MAY NOW BE CONTROLLED BY THE NEW NATURE CREATED IN ME

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.  Hebrews 12:2
2.  Hebrews 2:10
3.  1 Peter 1:10-11
4.  Isaiah 53:3
5.  Psalm 69:7
6.  Psalm 69:1-2
7.  2 Timothy 2:10
8.  Isaiah 53:3
9.  John 1:11
10. Psalm 69:8
11. Matthew 27:45-46
12. Matthew 27:50
13. Psalm 69:20
14. Matthew 27:51
15. Ephesians 1:5-6
16. John 3:16
17. Ephesians 1:5
18. Romans 6:6-7
19. Nee, p.14-15
20. Romans 6:8-10
21. Romans 6:11
22. Ephesians 4:22-24
23. Romans 7:21
24. Romans 8:29

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Posted in: Bible by on January 23, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

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