READNG: JEREMIAH 31:31 -33

INTRO: This is the second lesson on things from the Bible that we MUST adhere to. God does not expect us to start our new lives with 100% Bible knowledge and perfect behavior; but there are some things we must get right. REVIEW HERE One of the areas I have witnessed that many are confused about is the TWO COVENANTS. God has made more than two covenants with His people, but these are considered, by Him, as the defining ones. In the Bible we read of the “first covenant” and the “second covenant” as well as the “old covenant” and the “new covenant.” #1 always refers to the agreement God made with Israel and #2 is the agreement God has made with Christians. John the Apostle declares points out one obvious difference in the two: “the law” (1st covenant) came by Moses, grace and truth (2nd covenant) were
realized through Jesus Christ”- John 1:17


IMPORTANT: GOD GAVE BOTH COVENANTS BUT ONE WOULD REPLACE THE OTHER!

  1. LET’S HEAR FROM GOD ON THIS SUBJECT
    1. Jeremiah 31:31 -34
      1. “The days are coming…” This happened in Jesus’ time.
      2. “I will make a new covenant…” This will be new and different.
      3. “With the people of Israel and Judah.”-
        1. “Salvation is from the Jews” (Jesus-John 4:22)
        2. Peter stood up with the apostles and said, “Men of Israel, hear these words…”- Act 2:22 4) “
      4. It will not be like the covenant…with ancestors…” No, it will be in contrast.
      5. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel…”
        1. “I will put my law in their minds
        2. I will write it on their hearts
        3. I will be their God
        4. They will be my people
        5. No longer… teach their neighbour,.. Know the Lord
        6. They will all know me from the least to the greatest
        7. For I will forgive their wickedness (h) And will remember their sins no more.”
    2. Hebrews 8:7-13. Since The Text Is Exactly Like Jeremiah 31 We Will Only Note:
      1. That the readers are Jewish Christians whose faith is faltering
      2. That the writer is trying to encourage them in their Christianity
      3. That he prefaces his O.T. quotation with: “For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said…”
      4. Then he ends it this way: “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one ‘obsolete;’ and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
    3. Hebrews 10 Has This Again, This Time The Writer Emphasized The Last Phase- complete forgiveness- and adds “And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”
  2. THE OLD COVENANT WAS DRENCHED IN RITUAL, CLOTHING, TIMES, SACRIFICES:
    1. High Priests Wore Special Clothing, Offered Special Sacrifices at Special Times
      1. There were three festivals all were expected to attend- Exodus 23:14
      2. But more feasts and special events kept the Priests busy.
      3. Even prayers and physical offerings were done facing east. 
      4. “God created the whole world in six days, but he used forty to instruct Moses about the tabernacle. Little over one chapter was needed to describe the structure of the world, but six were used for the tabernacle.”
    2. Almost All Of This Has Vanished Under The New Covenant!
      1. Now, there are no holy places, holy things or holy days. Only holy people
        1. The High Priest was the top person in the country spiritually speaking.
        2. Yet, today, if you are a faithful Christian, Christ is your H.P. and you have privileges
        3. Hear the Hebrews writer: 10:11 -14, 19-26
      2. Sacred Meeting places, Tabernacle and Temple, are now Christians! (even synagogue)
        1. I Cor. 3:16
        2. I Cor. 6:19,20
        3. N.T. Christians met wherever they could. No special structures were sought after
        4. ILLUST: Architect’s advice for this building.
        5. Today, there is no God authorized Clergy/Laity system. What we see God didn’t give!
        6. ILLUST: The Denominational System
        7. No special attire is demanded by God for Christians


CONCLUSION

Doing Everything By The Book

ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS LESSON

ARCHITECT’S ADVICE. Brother Bob Lyles, sought to make us more acceptable to the public by suggesting we have a small protrusion, even if no real steeple.

THE DENOMINATIONAL SYSTEM. You may have come from a church setting that is very unlike this one. There was stained glass, the reverend was dressed in very unique attire, candles burned, maybe incense could be detected, pictures of “Saint somebody” might be noticeable, organ played loud and you felt no need to sing.
Not a word of that came from God’s word!!!

DOING EVERYTHING BY THE BOOK

“WE DO EVERYTHING by the Word of God! The New Testament is our guide for faith and
practice! We live . . . and we die . . . by this Book!” These were the words that thundered forth from the mouth of Pastor Farley as he delivered his Sunday morning sermon. Winchester Spudchecker, a member of Pastor Farley’s church, had heard them dozens of times before. But this time it was different…. (Tell of disagreement the family had before going to worship)

Winchester’s mind continued to race in this direction as he watched Pastor Farley pound the pulpit for emphasis and raise his Bible with his right hand. “We at First Bible New Testament Community Church do everything by this Book! Everything! This is the Word of God, and we cannot stray
from it . . . not even one millimeter!” Suddenly Winchester had another new thought: I don’t remember reading anywhere in the Bible that Christians are supposed to dress up to go to  church. Is that by the Book? This single thought unleashed a torrent of other barbed questions. As scores of frozen pew sitters filled his horizon, Winchester continued to ponder similar new questions. Questions that no Christian is supposed to ask. Questions like: Is sitting in this uncushioned pew, staring at the back of twelve rows of heads for forty-five minutes, doing things by the Book?

Why do we spend so much money to maintain this building when we’re here only twice a week for a few hours? Why is half the congregation barely awake when Pastor Farley preaches?

Why do my kids hate Sunday school? Why do we go through this same predictable, yawninspiring ritual every Sunday morning? Why am I going to church when it bores me to tears and does nothing for me spiritually? Why do I wear this uncomfortable necktie every Sunday morning when all it seems to do is cut off blood circulation to my brain?

Winchester felt unclean and sacrilegious to ask such things. Yet something was happening inside of him that compelled him to doubt his entire church experience. HAVE REALLY BEEN DOING IT BY THE BOOK?

As startling as it may sound, almost everything that is done in our contemporary churches has no basis in the Bible. As pastors preach from their pulpits about being “biblical” and following the “pure Word of God,” their words betray them. The truth is that precious little that is observed today in contemporary Christianity maps to anything found in the first-century church.

GrimsbyNewLogo LT
Grimsby Ontario
63 Casablanca  Blvd.
P.O. Box 181
Grimsby, ON L3M 4G3
TEL: 905-945-3058
george4now@gmail.com

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