"The Foundation of Kingdom Vigilance - The New Covenant" - Monday, June 13th
The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:2-6
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The 2 Corinthians passage above refers to the old and new covenants and it is important to understand that they are not two different means of salvation. Salvation has always been a provision of the grace of God that is bestowed on the basis of personal faith in God. In the Old Testament, people were forgiven on the basis of faith in God for his promised provision of Grace through the cross of Christ. In the New Testament people are forgiven on the basis of faith in God for his accomplished provision of grace through the cross of Christ. By the time Christ arrived on the scene God's simple plan of salvation by grace had been twisted into a complicated system of religious works." Rather than the old and the new covenants being two means of salvation they are two different ways (economies) that God's people (the redeemed) fulfill the intentions God has for them.
The focus of the old covenant is the "law" which included ceremonial laws (sacrificial worship), civil laws, and moral laws. While some of the "law" is for all time (you shall not commit adultery), many parts of it were temporary (the cross made them obsolete). The complicated system of religious works that was in place when Jesus was on earth was rooted in the law and had become the accepted (although erroneous) means for achieving salvation. Over and over again Jesus came up against this system and those who were its most avid proponents. The New Testament accounts of these encounters show us the difference between legalism and grace. At the same time Jesus models for us a “kingdom vigilance” that shows us how to handle the mistreatment that can come to us from those who come up against us.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord Jesus, thank you for becoming the means of saving grace and for allowing me to be a recipient. You are truly amazing. You endured ill treatment from others at every turn. Help me comprehend and embrace fully the new covenant of Grace that gives life through the Spirit. Build ‘kingdom vigilance” into my life through the power of your indwelling presence. Help me to handle the mistreatment that comes to me from those who come up against me in the same way you did. Amen!
Posted on Mon, June 13, 2016
by Alan Porter