On The Inside
Father, I bless You that, in Christ, You accept me as I am but do not leave me that way.
Read Hebrews 8:7-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). Thank God for that!
Jesus brings a covenant that is better than, and superior to, the one given through Moses (7:22, 8:6) The scriptural foundation for that claim is now given from Jeremiah 31:31-34, quoted almost without comment. God had promised a new covenant, and had now acted in Jesus to keep his promise. The problem was not the old covenant itself–as though better diplomacy and drafting would have sufficed. The problem lay with the people. “God found fault with the people” (8): “They did not remain faithful” (9).
The new covenant has something in common with the old one and something distinct. The common feature is God’s action to redeem. The God who led them out of Egypt (9) has now sent his Son. The initiative of divine grace is the only possible foundation of a covenant with a holy God. We can no more free ourselves from sin than the Israelites could free themselves from slavery, but the forgiven life would be qualitatively different. Knowledge of God would be personal and direct, though always in community. “They will all know me” (11), irrespective of status. Accompanying this personal knowledge of God would be an inner transformation. The law would be internal now, in the minds and hearts of God’s people (10), transforming and shaping our desires and motives. Hebrews will later apply this to the power of the Gospel to cleanse consciences (10:22). In Christ, forgiven people will be able to live morally responsible lives before God.
Some Christians try to live in the new covenant as though it were little different from the old. Forgiveness is assured, but we need the strength to obey God’s law. God has put this law inside us so that it becomes our deepest desire. To long for God’s ways is to be true to your deepest self in Christ.
If, through Christ, you are being changed on and from the inside, how can you best cooperate with God’s work?
Heavenly Father, thank You for the new nature I have in Christ. Show me ways that I can feed my new nature so that I become strong in You.
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