Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: New Covenant, Old Covenant--Can We Tell the Difference?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Christians of all faiths, around the world, study about the New Covenant versus the Old Covenant. But can we tell the difference between the two? If we confuse the Old with the New, or vice versa, we'll be worse off than when we started. There are only two covenants and every individual in the world is "under" one or the other. They are as different as night and day, yet are often confused.

Those under the Old Covenant, no matter what their profession of religion might be, are in "bondage," says the Book of Galatians. Spiritually speaking, they are slaves (4:21-25). Their spiritual condition is identical to that of ancient Israel after Mount Sinai. They profess to be God's people, they try to keep His commandments, they think they worship Him, but their "Christian experience" is up and down, often down.

Ancient Israel was constantly backsliding, repenting, asking for forgiveness, trying again, enjoying only brief interludes of revival. Jesus describes the Old Covenant experience of His last days' church as being "lukewarm." He says the situation is so acute that it makes Him feel like throwing up (Rev. 3:14-16).

The only possible way that we in these last days can become fully reconciled and "hot" in our devotion to Him, is to trade in our Old Covenant way of thinking for New Covenant truth. It is embarrassing to Jesus to have to confess before the vast unfallen universe that He seems unable to bring His church out of its lukewarm condition. Surely the great sacrifice He made on His cross should elicit from His people on earth a greater devotion! The problem that Jesus has is like that of a bridegroom who loves a bride-to-be but can't motivate her to go to the altar with him and say, "I do."

In fact, the Book of Revelation specifies that to be precisely what is holding up the finishing of God's great plan of salvation (19:1-8). Only a clear understanding of the glorious New Covenant can set us free from our lukewarm, half-hearted devotion. May the Holy Spirit make the truth clear!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 1b, 2003.
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