Archive for October, 2009

Don’t put me back under the old covenant

Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:6-13

A covenant is an agreement between two parties whereby the two parties agree to do or not do something. In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with the Israelites. He promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, and they promised to do all that He commanded. He promised to be their God, and they promised to have no other gods before Him.

In the New Testament, as mentioned in Hebrews 8:6, we see a new convenant. It is described as a better covenant established upon better promises. It also has a better mediator. In the old covenant, the mediator was the high priest. In the new covenant, it is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The new covenant’s promises are better than the old. Let us look at how these better promises are described.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:2-4

God has given us, the partakers of the new covenant, all things that pertain unto life and godliness. These promises are exceeding great and precious. These better promises allow us to be partakers of the divine nature and allow us to escape the lust that causes the corruption in the world. We inherit these promises through faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12).

If the new covenant promises are better than the old, and the way to enter into the new covenant is better than the old (faith in the new, works in the old), why would anyone want to go to the old covenant to claim its promises? The people of Israel demonstrated time and time again that they were unable to live up to their side of the covenant. They were never able to do all that God commanded them. They fell short. We are no better than the Israelites. We cannot do all that God commands us. We fall short. How can you tell me to claim an old covenant promise when I cannot fulfill the requirements to obtain that promise? Why would I even want to when the new covenant promises are better and available to me through faith?

The new covenant is better in every way than the old. Don’t point people to the old covenant promises. We cannot do what is required. Pointing people to the old is laying burdens on people that are too great to bear. Pointing people to the old only will produce Pharisees (who think they are fulfilling the requirements) or will cause people to give up because of the great weight.

Look unto Jesus, the mediator of a better covenant established upon better promises. In Christ we have all the promises of God. There is no mercy and forgiveness in the old, but we have mercy and forgiveness in the new (Hebrews 8:12).

Out with the old; in with the new.

Posted in Quick Thoughts
by Gordy

What is your ending?

Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

In Luke 15, we read three parables that the Lord Jesus Christ told: the parable of the hundred sheep, the parable of the ten pieces of silver, and the parable of the prodigal son. All three were told as part of a lesson he was teaching. There is a progression in the endings. Let us first look at how each parable ends.

The Parable of the Hundred Sheep

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7

The Parable of the Ten Pieces of Silver

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Luke 15:10

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:31-32

First, notice there is a progression from 100 to 10 to 2. Also, notice the following progression: in the first, the sinner who repents and the just which don’t need repentance; in the second, only the sinner who repents; in the third, there really isn’t an ending. Jesus did not give an ending to the parable of the prodigal son. He left it open.

The progression of the endings of these three parables draws the focus of the self-righteous Pharisees to their need of repentance. First, Jesus gives a larger group and mentions there are sinners and just people. Then, he narrows the focus to a smaller group, and in the ending, only mentions the sinner who repents. And in the third, Jesus doesn’t finish the story. The progression narrows the focus from 100 to 10 to 2, from sinners and just to only sinners to letting the Pharisees decide which they are. He is giving the Pharisees – those who think they are just and don’t need to repent – an opportunity to repent. He is giving them a call to repentance. Even though the older brother, who the Lord uses to represent the Pharisees, is always working for his father, his heart is far from the father. He demonstrates this by complaining how his father never gave him anything that he could take and celebrate with his friends. He doesn’t want to celebrate with his father. He wants to go off and do his own thing. Just like this older brother, the Pharisees’ hearts are far from God. They need to repent. Their story has not ended.

What is the ending of your story? God has called all men everywhere to repent and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God demands perfection and your heart. Have you been perfect? Compare your life to God’s standard in the Ten Commandments. Does God have your heart? Because you could not be perfect, Jesus lived a perfect life and suffered for your sins. He faced God’s wrath for your sins. He died, was buried, and rose again, triumphing over death. He is coming again to take those that are his to life everlasting. He will send those who are not his to eternal torments.

What is your ending? Repent, and believe the gospel.

Posted in Quick Thoughts
by Gordy

Ten and Win

Friday, October 16th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Check out TenAndWin.com. If you can name the Ten Commandments in order in under 20 seconds, you might win $20,000.

Posted in Quick Thoughts
by Gordy

The Craft of Dishonest Quotation

Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Years ago, Gail Riplinger wrote a book, New Age Bible Versions, to discredit modern translations as products of the New Age movement. I read the book, and now am ashamed to admit that I believed a lot of what she wrote. However, more discerning readers have documented how she misued quotations to prove her points. Below are links to a series of blog posts that demonstrate how Riplinger twisted and even manufactured quotes to prop up her points.

  1. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 1
  2. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 2
  3. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 3
  4. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 4
  5. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 5
  6. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 6
  7. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 7
  8. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 8
  9. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation 9
  10. The Craft of Dishonest Quotation – Conclusion

Riplinger also claimed that Westcott was an occultist. The blogger from the above links also answered the question Was Brooke Foss Westcott an Occultist?

Just because someone writes a book and sells lots of copies does not mean it is true. We (including me) need to be more discerning when we read a book – especially a book that is meant to prove something you already believe. The extent to which Riplinger went in misquoting cannot be dismissed as carelessness. It is dishonest.

by Gordy