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 Then he ends it this way: “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one ‘obsolete;’ and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”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.

LESSON:  THE AMAZING BENEFITS OF BIBLE BAPTISM

THESIS: TO EXAMINE WHAT WE GET WHEN SCRIPTURALLY BAPTIZED

READING:  Romans 6:1-7

INTRO: Let’s use this time to find out about and rejoice in the many benefits of being baptized according to the New Testament pattern. First, let me say, this will NOT be dwelling on the negatives of counterfeit baptism. Let’s get out of the way what we are NOT speaking about today.

1)Not identifying infant baptism, not even when a second act, like first communion, takes place

2)Not speaking about immersion in water in order to become married to someone who so insists

3)Not talking about being baptized for those who have died.

 

  1. BAPTISM PLACES US IN CHRIST cf Eph. 1:
    1. Two Sets Of Verses Make It Clear That This Happens Through Baptism
      1. Rom. 6:1-7
      2. Gal. 3:26,27
      3. The preposition “into” points to movement while “in” identifies place of being.
      4. ILLUST:  Making Oatmeal Raisin Muffins(have to put them in the mix)
    2. This Is Where We Find “All Spiritual Blessings.”-Eph. 1:3
      1. Blessings are the things that benefit us or make us feel good
      2. In this case they are “spiritual" speaking of our soul not our body.
      3. ILLUST: Loaded Car= All Physical Blessings
      4. So, all who wish to be “in Christ” and have “all spiritual blessings” must be baptized.
    3. If You Are ‘In Christ’ You Have Been Made New- II Cor. 5:17
  2. AT BAPTISM WE RECEIVE A COMPLETELY CLEAN SLATE
    1. Sin Nailed Jesus To The Cross And Made Pardon Possible!
      1. The Bible word for sin means “to miss the mark.”
      2. All of us do that and the Bible says so- Romans 3:23
      3. Sin breaks both God’s Law and God’s heart! But- “John 3:16”
    2. Sin Condemns Us Totally- Romans 6:23a
      1. Before the cross Jesus forgave sins one way- cf. Mark 2:5
      2. On the cross Jesus begged His Father to forgive those who killed him- Lk. 23:34
      3. After the cross Jesus does it another way. See Acts 2:22-24; 36-38
      4. Hear Ananias speak to Paul- Acts 22:16
    3. Like Seeing “Paid In Full” Marked Across Our Life Sentence!
  3. EACH ONE OF US RECEIVES THE HOLY SPIRIT TO INDWELL US AT BAPTISM
    1. God’s Plan Included Constant And Continual Help
      1. To His followers, Jesus was a Shepherd, Mediator, Helper and more
      2. Making arrangements for life after His departure, He said,
        1. “John 14:15-18”
        2. He would be with them… in the Holy Spirit
    2. Here is His plan for us.
      1. II Tim. 1:14; I Cor. 6:19,20
      2. Acts 2:38; Acts 5:32
    3. If You Have Been Scripturally Baptized, You And God’s Holy Spirit Go Everywhere Together

 

CONCLUSION:  The “Plan of Salvation” is the “Man of Salvation” who left heavenly bliss to join the earthly mess. Then he taught things that were so radically different, many did not receive Him. But some did. To them he gave the blessing of being in His family. Today, you should think carefully about the place of baptism in God’s plan of salvation.

LESSON: GOD’S PLAN FOR THE AGES

INTRO: We wish to look at a chapter so special, that it goes to the very heart of our salvation. Although the chapter is Romans 4, we will begin with Romans 5. This is because the chapter begins on a “Therefore” which tells us to look backward.

“Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God….”-Rom. 5:1

  1. JUSTIFIED IS “JUST-AS-IF-I” HAD NEVER SINNED.
    1. We Know That every person has sinned and cannot possibly pay the price for his or her own sins and that no good work can erase the sin that caused God grief.
    2. We Find That God the judge looks at us as guilty and then casts His eye on Jesus His Son, and then says to the sinner, “I declare you justified because of His sacrifice.”
    3. We See That a nearly unbelievable thing then happens. We can read it in these words: “…Him who justifies the ungodly”-Rom. 4:5; “Christ died for the ungodly.”- Rom.5:6
    4. We Come Face To Face With the God who justifies the wicked! In Romans 4:5 we read a very remarkable, even startling statement, which is that God justifies the wicked. In 1 Kings eight when Solomon was dedicating the temple, Solomon asked God to justify the innocent and condemn the wicked (1 Kings 8:32), but instead God justifies the wicked because there are no innocents to justify. The innocent does not need justification. His innocence alone justifies him. That is why Jesus did not need justifying. He was innocent. For this reason, God put our sins on His account, so that He might put Christ’s righteousness on our account. Jesus is the only one that has ever been innocent!
    5. We Can State that you are either able to be justified or have already been justified. We will now explain how this takes place.
  2. AT THIS POINT IN TIME GOD HAS ADDED HIS SON’S CREDITS TO OUR LEDGER.
    1. Eleven Times we find a special word used in this chapter. It is a bookkeeping term and may be translated in your Bible as “reckon,” or “account,” or “count” or “impute,” and it may use several English words interchangeably in the chapter under consideration.
    2. Every English Word used carries with it the sense of “considering the thing, the act or even the person and then acting accordingly.” This is a very important particle of information.
    3. Each Time the word means “added to the ledger,” and may be used literally or of one considering the situation and “enters it into the ledger of his mind” and responds accordingly. The shocking news is this: God added the merits of Jesus’ sacrifice to the credit side of our ledger, making our spiritual bookkeeping look good. This is because the same word is used of Jesus when it says “…he was numbered with the transgressors”-Isa. 53:12, quoted by Jesus in Luke 22:37

  1. JESUS IS TO BE RECEIVED BY FAITH; [To those who believe His name]
    1.  Faith Involves believing In the unseen. John 20:29
      1. Faith can come by reading OF Jesus- John 20:30,31
      2. John promises wonderful things to believers-1:12,13
      3. Eternal life is in the picture- I John 5:13
    2. Believing in the “name of Jesus” places Him with God
      1. So the first thing our ureoared hearts must believe is that Jesus is
        God in the flesh.
      2. He does not simply represent God or teach about God. He is
        Immanuel.
  2. WE ALSO MUST ACCEPT THAT HE IS OUR ONLY SAVIOUR
    1. (This requires real faith in a day of many religions)
    2. He is simply our hero.
    3. So we must prepare ourselves to place Jesus in a category alone.
    4. ‘Jesus’ is the topic of EVERY message of salvation in the N.T
      1. Not only Paul- we preach Christ crucified”
      2. But all others. Esample Philip- Acts 8
  3. WE ARE DUTY BOUND TO BELIEVE HE IS OUR SIN OFFERING
    1. This is O.T. Language for an animal being considered as payment
    2. PPT
    3. This captures the essence of what Jesus really did and what we must believe
  4. WE MUST BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD
    1. To believe in rhe name of Jesus,” is to envision God
    2. To say “son or’ had deeper meaning that meets the eye
      1. Barnabus= son of encouragement
      2. Judas was “son of destruction”
      3. James and John were “sons of thunder’
    3. Saying this got Jesus in the most trouble:
      1. John 5:17,18-
      2. John 10:30,31
    4. So we must believe that Jesus is God with rights, privileges and powers


CONCLUSION:  We must open our hearts and minds to receive Jesus by faith, which is ‘trusting fo the point of commitment, “it we would expect Jesus to dwell with us. Cf. Rev. 2:10.

Now see Heb. 11:6- Since Jesus is God in the flesh, does this not apply?
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