In our penultimate study of the Biblical
Covenants, we come to the New Covenant of Grace (not to be misunderstood
as hyper grace, which some preach to their and their audience's
detriment – See
Jude 1:1-7 TLB). Remember, in God
scheme of things, the best is always reserved for the last (See
The subtleties of this New Covenant of Grace can better be understood when we focus upon it using the following sub-titles:
The moment we accept the redemption plan of God in Christ, we are pronounced "innocent", no matter what our background until then (Col 1:22/John 3:3), birthing within us a new life, then and there (John 1:12). Simply amazing, one needs to experience it to believe it better. Didn't somebody say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating?
When the Sinner walks away from God's Court, as it were, pronounced "Not guilty", the extent of gratitude in a sinner's heart to this forgiving God knows no bounds, so much so, out of love alone to begin with and reverential love (in latter stages), the forgiven sinner feels inclined to obey all of God's instructions given to him with all his heart, mind, soul and strength putting to death the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16).
Boy, this great Salvation operates on a one-to-one basis...Just like freedom from the effects of venom was to the Israelites when they individually had to look at the bronze serpent in the Wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9/John 3:14-15). A wife could not look at the serpent on her husband's behalf and vice-versa. Ditto with the Christian salvation. An individual cannot experience this Covenant love of God for his loved ones and vice-versa.
Though Salvation under the New Covenant is offered on an individual basis, those who are now "covenanted to Christ" as it were, are part of one spiritual "institution" called the Universal Church. Though born-again believers are all part of the Global Universal Church, they are all to meet locally in mutually convenient various places to worship the Lord, care for one another's needs (spiritual and physical--they are one body in Christ), and strengthen one another in faith under the supervision of God-ordained leaders (Pastors and Deacons – See Acts 14:23/ I Tim 3).
With the Pentecost, the Old Testament Temple gave way to the Church, and in the place of the complicated Priest-hood came a simple structure of Pastors and Deacons in Local Churches (Acts 14:23). Mind you, the Holy Spirit came upon ordinary praying men on an ordinary Upper room on the Day of Pentecost, not on those donning flashy Priestly attire in a nearby Gold furnished temple (Acts 2 -- I have been to Jerusalem and know how close the Temple and the Upper Room are). Multi-layered hierarchy sprouting anarchy (conspicuously seen in some "Churches") was never the Lord's "Blue-print" for His Church. Sad that even after the Reformation (thanks Martin Luther), many are yet to learn lessons from history...with the Lord's "Blue-print" in regards to Church leadership being still ignored.
If you are a part of lively, healthy local Church, where the Lord's Name is glorified, John 13:35 is in operation and there is a hunger for souls to be won to His Kingdom, then utter a loud Hallelujah!
Prayer: Father, we have been called to worship You as one body of believers. Enable us to faithfully worship and serve You , in the Churches You have placed us in Your Sovereign wisdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "Of Covenant and the Pentacost" mini-series, please click here.)