Friday, September 12, 2014

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 14, 2014

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A NEW COVENANT
(Trust in the LORD’s presence)
(Jeremiah 31:27-40)

In Jeremiah 31:31 the LORD promises a New Covenant with the nation of Israel and Judah. It would not be like the old covenant made with their ancestors when HE brought them out of the land of Egypt. Anyway, they had already broken that covenant, even though GOD continued to love them as a husband who dearly loves his wife.
GOD’s work in the New Covenant for HIS people would silence the proverb that was uttered so commonly around Israel in those days, which stated, “The parents eat sour grapes, but the children’s mouths pucker at the taste” (v.29). It was that generation’s way of not taking responsibility for its own sins. Apparently they found it easier to stomach the guilt of their iniquities by convincing themselves that they were suffering only because of the sins of their ancestors, and not through any fault of their own, which of course is ridiculous.  
In Exodus 24, verses 1-8, the Israelites accepted GOD’s Covenant, as it had been given to Moses on Mount Sinai. However, man would not then, nor, will not now, abide by such a covenant, because he has always been, in every generation, too determined to do things his own way. And when we choose to do things our way, we automatically move farther and farther away from GOD, and we continue to interrupt our relationship with GOD, by way of our perpetual sinful rebellion.
The New Covenant spoken of here in Jeremiah 31 is the covenant that was eventually ushered in by CHRIST JESUS in the first century A.D. Yes, it took the life of CHRIST to restore our lost relationship of friendship with GOD. JESUS’ whole purpose for coming was to usher in this New Covenant from GOD, which consists of many spiritual aspects, and is a covenant that is far superior to any before, or since that time.
But first, the final judgment upon Israel had to run its course. It would come in the way of “a physical deportation” from the “promised” land of Israel, to captivity in Babylon. With the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian forces in 586 B.C., the final curse was complete, and restoration could get under way in about 70 years.
With HIS “Mosaic Covenant”, GOD had set “a holy standard of conduct” by which HE intended HIS people to live. However, because of their rebellious hearts, they simply could not maintain those high standards. The Mosaic Law served as a mirror for which sinful man could look into and see for himself, just how far he was from GOD’s glorious and holy standards. GOD shares HIS nature with us and HE wants us to live holy lives because HE is holy. HE wants us to wholly desire to live holy under HIM.
The New Covenant ushered in by CHRIST, in essence, makes the Mosaic Covenant obsolete and irrelevant. The old covenant basically told Israelites how to behave and also specified blessings for those who obeyed, and punishment for those who disobeyed. And although GOD still desires for us to obey HIM under the New Covenant by desiring to live holy like CHRIST, we are no longer prisoners or slaves to the sin and death of this world. GOD has given us an obvious out, through the sacrificial blood of JESUS.
Under the New Covenant, GOD writes HIS laws on our hearts and in our minds (v.33), and HE also promises believers an inner transformation. Believers can now have a direct, experiential relationship and friendship with GOD, through JESUS CHRIST, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT living in us. Through earnest repent, GOD is faithful to forgive whatever sins we commit, because HE has accepted the blood of CHRIST as payment for all the sins of the world, past, present, and future.
It is the duty of the Christian to build his or her foundation on the “Most High Faith”, which is “Christianity”, and not all the various denominations man has dreamed up over time. We must learn to pray in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, and we must always remember the conditions of the New Covenant that has been ushered in by CHRIST, and then signed in HIS OWN blood.
When we repent and trust in GOD’s presence, and believe on CHRIST JESUS, GOD forgives us, and HIS transforming works begin in our heart. And through our new found faith, we can begin walking in the newness of the life that can only be found in CHRIST JESUS our LORD and SAVIOR, and we can also forever enjoy a New Covenant relationship with GOD the FATHER, here on earth, and, in Heaven.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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