5 ways that the New Covenant massively impacts your life

Pastor Jeff Struecker

What we have been talking about for quite some time now is a theological topic (don’t get scared by the word theology) about God working in human history. We specifically have been narrowing in on the word covenant.

Now, I realize that’s a word that most people don’t use in their normal language. In fact, you may never use this word and not even really understand what it means. I said a number of weeks ago that the best way to think about the word covenant is like a contract. -but not just any business contract. Maybe a better way of thinking about it is a marriage license or a marriage certificate where a husband and wife pledge their loyalty to one another for a lifetime, and then they sign a contract.

Well, God has entered into an agreement, a contract of sorts, with people. And of course, when God enters into an agreement, he always keeps his side of the bargain. He’s expecting us, his children, to keep our side of the bargain. That’s what the word covenant refers to in the Bible.

We’re going to take a turn today and talk about a different kind of covenant. We’ve been looking at the covenant that God made with Noah, and he made a covenant with Abraham, Moses, and David. All of those covenants still apply to us today. Well, now we’re going to take a look at God’s New Covenant.

If you’ve got a Bible, it’s broken into two different parts. If you have a modern version of the Bible, it probably says Old Testament and New Testament. But if you’ve got a really old Bible, I’m almost certain it says Old Covenant and New Covenant. While Jesus was on earth, while he was here, he took the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, fulfilled all of God’s promises to his people when he said he would send a deliverer, and Jesus ushered in a New Testament, a New Covenant.

In fact, Jesus even says those exact words. Those words are recorded for us in 1 Corinthian 11. Would you personally memorize this verse? Parents, would you help your children memorize it? Maybe say this verse before you sit down at the dinner table and have a meal together.

Memory Verse

Jesus says, “In order for this New Covenant to even be possible, it’s going to have to cost me my blood.” Now, in the Old Covenant in the Bible, God expected people to make an animal sacrifice, to say to God: “I’m sorry for my sins. God, would you forgive me for my sins? God, I’m going to sacrifice something that’s very costly to me because I only have a few animals out in the field, and I’m going to take the most precious and the most pure of all of the animals. I’m gonna sacrifice that animal to you, asking you to forgive me.”

In the New Covenant, God doesn’t ask for an animal sacrifice anymore. In fact, it would be entirely inappropriate for us to sacrifice an animal, because Jesus says, “I’ll become the sacrifice. It’s my blood that will ultimately pay for your sins.” Jesus says, “When you have this Communion meal [some churches called this the Lord’s supper, a remembrance of Jesus’s last supper], I want you to think about it like it’s my body when you drink from that juice or that wine. I want you to think about it like it’s my blood, because I had to give my body and shed my blood so that your sins could be forgiven.”

Now, I need to do some teaching on the new covenant, because to be honest with you, people get really confused. Maybe it’s because pastors and priests have really confused people about the New Covenant, and denominations are all over the map on what exactly this means and who it’s for.

When church leaders started to think about this New Covenant that Jesus is talking about, they struggled with, who exactly are you talking to, Jesus? Is it just the people that believe right now? Is it everybody, whoever will believe? Is it for the whole world, even those who don’t believe? These are the theological questions that church leaders wrestled with, and to be honest, denominations are very, very different from one another on their opinions of the New Covenant.

Well, there are five things about the New Covenant that I need you to understand, because it directly impacts your life today, and I’m going to talk about these individually. Here are the five ways that the New Covenant massively impacts your life.

Now, let me take a moment to explain all five of these with you. I’m not going to try to argue one denomination over another. I don’t think those arguments are even worth my time, and plus, those arguments are really not what the Bible is trying to do here. Let me just say that I am absolutely convinced, when Jesus is talking about this New Covenant, he is talking to people that have believed and all, whoever will believe this covenant is God’s promise to you.

1) You see, God is the originator of this covenant. Please don’t miss the importance of that statement. You cannot do anything to twist God’s arm. I can’t do anything to make God accomplish my will. God does whatever God wants to do, and no human being on the planet can force God to do something. So when God decides to enter into a covenant with people, it’s not because of people. It’s because he is a loving Father and just wants to have a relationship with people that he would even be willing to come up with the idea of a covenant in the first place, let alone this New Covenant. But to be honest, that New Covenant isn’t even possible unless Jesus says to his Father, “I’m willing to leave my throne in Heaven and come to earth and become a sacrifice in their place.”

2) This is what we discuss when we talk about Jesus’s death on the cross. I deserved to die. The wages of sin is death, the Bible tells us. And Jesus says, “Jeff, you don’t have to pay for your sins. I will pay for those sins for you. And if you believe, I will grant you forgiveness and eternal life.” And not just me; he will do the same for you and all who believe.

3) Third, I mentioned that that covenant is secured for us by the Holy Spirit. What I mean is Jesus says, “When I leave, I’m going to send another, and he will dwell inside of you. He will be the guarantee that you really belong to me. He will be the security, or the promise, that you’re going to be with me in Heaven. My Holy Spirit will fill you. He will change you. He will make a huge difference in your life. And every Christian has the full measure of the Holy Spirit when Jesus saved you. Now, not all of us listen to and yield to the whole Holy Spirit, but Jesus didn’t hold anything back when he gave his Holy Spirit to his people.

4) Fourth and really important is that I can’t make my heart change. In fact, the Bible really describes people before they come to know Jesus, people outside of the faith, as having a dead heart. And only God can take a dead heart and make something that was dead now alive. This is the Bible word regenerate. “Born again” is the literal translation here, that born again changing of your heart. It happens when you confess your sins, turn from your wicked ways, and believe in Jesus.

5) Fifth and finally, when you do that, God accomplishes fully his plan of redemption in your life. What I mean is, this is the moment that eternity begins for you. You see, Jesus says in John 3, anyone who has believed (past tense) already has eternal life, and anyone who has not believed (past tense) is already condemned. He even goes on to explain it. They’re already condemned because they haven’t believed, or they refused to believe.

All of this was made possible just because God is gracious. I didn’t deserve it. You couldn’t do anything to earn it. It’s just because God is gracious and showers his love on people that he is willing to enter into a New Covenant. He’s willing to go to the extent that he would give up his Son for this New Covenant.

A Prayer

Maybe you’re reading this and maybe realizing, “Oh, I’ve gone to church, I prayed, and I tried to be a good person. But I’m starting to realize I can’t be good enough to earn my way into Heaven. I always thought that if you did more good deeds than bad deeds, you’d end up in Heaven. And now I’m realizing that’s not possible, because if that were possible, there’s no reason for a blood covenant. There’s no reason for Jesus to die on the cross. Now, I realize now for the first time that Jesus was willing to give up his life to purchase me back for my sins, and I need to turn from my wicked ways and trust him totally and completely for the first time.

I’m going to end with the prayer, a prayer for you and a prayer for your soul. If that’s where you are right now, and you’re feeling this intense desire to have Jesus change your heart, then I’m going to pray for you.

Father, wherever people are reading this, anywhere on the planet, I know that if they are coming to you right now, they’re hurting, they’re broken, and they’re sorry for the mistakes that they’ve made I am 100% certain that if they will just simply cry out to you and ask you to forgive them, I’m sure, God, that you will hear their sincere prayer. I’m certain that you will forgive them. So, I’m praying that somebody is reading and for the first time in their life decides, “This is it. I can’t keep living like this anymore.” And they just simply say, “God forgive me. God, I’m sorry. God, I’m a mess, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I am coming to you and desperately in need you to change me from the inside out. I can’t fix my heart. As much as I try, I can’t make it better. So God, I need you to step in, and I need you to fix my heart. And God, if you will come in, if you will change my life, I will follow you totally and completely in every area of my life. I just need to know that I am your son/I am your daughter, that I belong to you and that you belong to me. And I believe that all of this is possible because Jesus was willing to enter into this New Covenant with me, a covenant that he made in his own blood. So God, here I am. Would you forgive me, and God, Would you change me? I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

If you’ve just made a sincere commitment, would you please reach out to me and let me know? Email info@2citieschurch.com