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Posts Tagged ‘Covenant’

Gosh, it has been a while since I’ve blogged! I’m concentrating more on the Bible studies lately, and I must say it’s taking a lot more time to do each Bible study than I thought, but it has blessed me incredibly! Who would have thought that just refreshing your mind with truths you already know will bless one so much! It’s good to spend time in God’s Word and it is really good for one’s soul!

Studying God’s word has also helped me to see a couple of things differently. While I’ve been studying the Covenants, how graceful the Lord is and that our sins are not imputed on to us anymore, it’s helped me to realize that none of God’s blessings is dependent on me or my performance. All the blessings are pure grace (undeserved, unearned, unmerited favour) and it all depends only on Jesus’ performance at Calvary, and since His performance was perfect and it is finished, whatever I do or don’t do will not affect God’s grace towards me.

How freeing is that! All the pressure I had put on myself is suddenly all gone! I am free now to worship God and thank Jesus for His wonderful sacrifice and relax about all the things that bother or worry me. It feels like I am walking on clouds, I feel like singing and dancing and rejoicing all day, because God is sooooooo good! For some reason I keep thinking, “Our future is so bright, we’ve got to wear shades!” 😉

Then 2 days ago I got this daily devotional from Jo.seph Prin.ce in my inbox and it just confirmed all that the Holy Spirit has been showing me lately:

Song of Solomon 4:7:  You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.

“Sometimes, when we don’t receive our healing, breakthrough, restoration or miracle child, we can’t help but think that something is wrong with us. We tell ourselves, “Nothing’s wrong with God, nothing’s wrong with the Word, so something must be wrong with me!” My friend, if you think that your miracle depends on you, then you are on shaky ground.

In the old covenant, we see this “it’s all up to me” demand put on man. God’s part was to bless His people, but only if they played their part by obeying all of His laws. If they didn’t do their part, not only would they not be blessed, but the curse would also come on them.

Most of the time, they ended up under the curse because they just could not keep all of God’s laws. So God found fault with that covenant because though He wanted to bless man, man’s sins made it difficult for Him to do so. Man himself was the weak link.

In the new covenant, man has no part to play except to believe and receive. The new covenant of grace was cut between God the Father and God the Son—both infallible and more than able to keep the covenant.

God the Son is man’s representative. Jesus represents you and me. So in this covenant, how much we can receive from God depends on how good our representative is, how perfect His obedience is. Of course, Jesus is the perfect Man with perfect obedience. So in Him, we are qualified to receive all the blessings of God! We only need to believe and receive.

Jesus’ blood has been shed for the remission of all your sins. You are now the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) By His one perfect sacrifice, He has perfected you forever. (Hebrews 10:14, KJV) There is no spot in you!

Today, the devil has no right to tell you that you cannot be blessed because there is something wrong with you. So as you are waiting for your miracle, say, “Nothing’s wrong with God, nothing’s wrong with the Word and nothing’s wrong with me! I am going to receive my miracle!”

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I want to share this message of Cref.lo Dol.lar today, because it is so important that we all understand that we are completely forgiven of our past, present and future sins.  Jesus’ sacrifice was more than enough – He paid the penalty once for everybody.  The message is called The Overflow of Forgiveness and if you want to order it the order number is #1796C.

“Acts 16:30-31:  “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

What must I do to be saved?  He said believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  How do you do that?  What must I do to be saved?  Well, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…  Romans chapter 10 says that if you will confess with your mouth that the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart…  There it is again.  Believe what?

Well let’s look at 3 things that I know you have to believe in order for you to be saved.  What do I believe? Specifically what do I believe?

  1. I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Personal saviour who died for all of my sins on the cross.
  2. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and that once I receive Jesus I receive eternal life.
  3. I believe that my sins have been forgiven, past, present and future.  That  on the cross at Calvary and as a result of it, today, God is merciful unto all of my unrighteousness and as far as my sins and unlawful deeds – He remembers them no more.

In fact that part is the last line of the new covenant in Hebrews Chapter 8 that says the only way you will benefit from the new covenant of grace is that you have to believe that He has been merciful to all of your unrighteousness and that your sins and unlawful deeds He remembers no more.  In fact if you don’t believe that God has been merciful to all of your unrighteousness and if you don’t believe that your sins and inequities and unlawful deeds He remembers no more the new covenant won’t benefit you.  You won’t benefit from the good and the blessings and the unmerited favour that the new covenant offers to you.  It won’t work.  At all…

So a whole lot of things working in our lives that as far as the new covenant is concerned and we will go over there in a moment but a whole lot of things working in our lives are going to be based on whether or not we believe it.  So when somebody says they believe in Jesus they ought to know what they believe…

He is my Lord and personal Saviour.  He died on the cross for my sins.  He is the one that allowed me to be saved and salvation can only be through Jesus.  We are not mixing all the religions together to please everybody – Jesus is the only way!  We can only be saved through Jesus, I have eternal life through Him, but now this third area is so important, and I am finding the more I preach this the more people are trying to come up with ways to say; “We really don’t believe that God has forgiven us of all our sins.”  I can’t tell you how dangerous that is to not believe that.

Now this is where the last clause of the new covenant applies, the part about believing that He has been merciful to all of your unrighteousness and your sins and inequities He remembers no more.   So what I would like to do is, let’s go to Hebrews Chapter 8 and kind of pull everybody up on this new covenant.  Let’s start at verse 6…  Man, I believe in Jesus, oh I believe in Jesus, Hallelujah!  Thank God for all of these wonderful principles we have learned of all of these years, but you know what, it’s going to come down to one person:  I believe in Jesus!  Turn to your neighbour and say; “Jesus did it all!”

Hebrews 8:6-7:  6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.  7 For if that first covenant…”  Now the first covenant he is referring to here is the covenant of law that came by Moses, “now if that first covenant had been faultless then should no place have been sought for the second.”

Well that makes sense; if there was nothing wrong with the first covenant then we wouldn’t be talking about a second covenant.    Now there was nothing per se wrong with the first covenant except the fact that it was so perfect that men couldn’t keep it.  So that was the fault that was found with it, it couldn’t be kept.

Hebrews 8:8-9:  8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:”  So this is a new covenant we are talking about the old one is getting ready to pass away.  9 Not according to the covenant that I have made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they continued not in my covenant and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”

The amplified says; “It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day that I grasped them by the hand to help and to relieve them and lead them out of the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in my agreement with them, and so I withdrew my favour and disregarded them, says the Lord.”  They did not abide in the agreement, so I withdrew my favour.  I’m not going to make a covenant where man’s faithfulness will determine My faithfulness.  I’m not going to do that.  This covenant is not going to be about man doing his part in order for me to do My part.  That is not what this is going to be about.

This is a new covenant and he goes on in verse 10:  10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” So here is God saying; “all right I’m going to write my laws in their minds and their hearts.  Well what is it?  Is He going to write the 10 commandments?  No He is going to write the law of love, the law of faith the perfect law of liberty, God is going to put it in there, by the Holy Spirit He is going to put it on the inside of you.  Romans 5:5 says; “He poured His love into your heart by the Holy Spirit.”  So the love of God is going to be written on your heart and not just on stone but in your heart He is going to write it, but now look what he says, Hebrews 8:10-11: “And I’ll be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:  and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his bother saying, Know the Lord:  for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”  God says I’m going to teach people to know me.  Isn’t that something?  God says in this new covenant, now this is going to be hard for you to hear this, “I’m going to be serving you.”  Yeah…  In this new Covenant I will, I will, I will…  In this new covenant I’m going to be faithful to you. In this new covenant your faithfulness doesn’t get the opportunity to determine my faithfulness.   In this new covenant I will and I will and I will…

All right, but watch this now:  In this new covenant God makes it very clear what our part is.  Our part is believing.  In this new covenant that is our part.  In this new covenant our part is believing – our part is to believe OK?  Hebrews 8:12-13: “For I will be merciful to their unrigteouness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.  Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”  All right now verse 12 is so important because this is where the last clause of the new covenant applies, in verse 12 it says, that He will be merciful to your unrighteousness and your sins and unlawful deeds He will remember no more.  And God is saying; “I need you to believe that.”  That the ignition to the new covenant working is going to be based on you believing verse 12.

Just like it’s important for salvation and being born again for you to believe what you believe about Jesus, in order for this new covenant to release the blessings of the new covenant, release the goodness of the new covenant, to release the unmerited favour of this new covenant in order for that to happen in order for this unmerited favour to be released in order for the blessings to be released in order for the goodness to be released He says you are going to have to believe that God has been merciful unto your unrighteousness and your sins and unlawful deeds He remembers no more.  If you don’t believe that you will short circuit and find yourself in a situation where you are not receiving the goodness, the blessings and the unmerited favour from this new covenant and it is all based on verse 12.  That is the trigger point.  That is the part he is asking you to believe.  He is not asking you to, with your self effort, to do what would happen in the old covenant – Do good, get good – do bad, get bad.  In the old covenant your faithfulness determined God’s faithfulness, in the old covenant what you did would determine what God could do, He said that’s passed away.  That’s decayed away.  He said what I’m going to do is  – if you would just believe that I am merciful unto your unrighteousness, and if you would just believe that your sins and unlawful deeds are remembered no more, then I can be your God and I can write on your heart and I can write on your mind and I can lead you and I can show you and I can teach you to know me and I can do all kinds of things I just need you – listen to this – to get out of my way!

I’ve been studying for some sermons on the Abrahamic covenant of grace and I went back and studied the Abrahamic Covenant and there was not one thing that Abraham did to deserve anything that God did.  In fact when God showed up to Abraham he was worshipping the moon!  He didn’t deserve anything that God did for Abraham, it was all unearned.  Nothing!  In fact you’ll find Abraham in the midst of disobeying God, in the midst of being dishonest and God blessing Him.  Yeah!  Yeah!

God said; “I want you to leave, go for yourself,” the amplified says, “get away from you relatives” and as he was leaving Lot was going with him!  Lot was right there with him and God said I’m going to bless you.  And then if you go on to the next chapter and they come before Abimelek and Abraham starts to rising a scheme, “You are a good looking woman so we need to get ourselves together, now lie about who I am.”  And God blesses Him!  And then in the next chapter there is strife between Lot’s camp and Abraham’s camp, there is strife there and God blesses them!  Then He goes and tell them that they are going to have a child out of your own bowels, you know you are going to be blessed with your own kid and they laughed!  They didn’t even believe it and God blesses them!  The only time God couldn’t do anything for Abraham was when he tried out of his own effort to make what God had promised come to pass – when they had Ismail.

And now you take that Abrahamic covenant of grace – I can’t help but give you a little bit of it, I’m so overwhelmed with this.  Part of that covenant of Abraham dealt with the slavery of Israel in Egypt so all the way up to Moses’ time when the children of Israel were being delivered out of Egypt He was honouring the Abrahamic covenant of grace.  The Bible says he brings them out of Egypt and there was no feeble one amongst them.  They weren’t even feeble!  There were nobody hopping, they were all straight, it was all good!  It was all good!  There was not even one feeble one amongst their tribe! Nobody died on that journey, nobody died!

If you will read it carefully, man, they got to the red sea and what are they doing?  Murmuring!  You brought us out here to die! It seemed like every fresh murmur produced a fresh mercy of God!  They murmured and look what God did!  He opened the red sea, and he dried it up because he didn’t want their feet to get muddy when they walked through.  What?    Then they got over there; “we are hungry!  You brought us out here to starve us!”  And they started raining down murmurings and guess what God did?  Rained down manna.  It was all grace.  It was all grace and it was all good in that neighbourhood and you know they were complaining and you know they had unforgiveness, you know they had problems with their leadership and God just kept blessing them and kept blessing them…

And look at His presence – His presence was right in the middle of their camp – a cloud by day and a fire by night right in the middle of camp!  The presence of God was right there, they murmured and the presence of God was still right there!

And watch when it changed… When they said; “we can do all that you said.”  Immediately everything changed.  The cloud got thick, God said now tell them they can’t come here no more. If they touch the bottom of that mountain they are going to die.  No, they can’t hear from me no more, because you want to judge you based on your own merit, all right I will give you the law!  This law will bring you to an end of yourself.  Just like with Abraham when I waited 13 years from 86 to 99, when you don’t have any more self effort to depend on and then you are going to have to depend on me and then I will introduce myself to you as the God who is mighty in every area of your life!

I don’t want us to make the same mistake!  Religion keeps telling you to get in God’s way, religion keeps trying to tell you that you need to do these things in order for God to this, religion keep trying to tell you you’ve got to do all of these requirements to do that and God is saying I can take care of all of that.  God is saying, listen, I can help you to fulfil all of the law, and all you have to do is receive my love.  I didn’t tell you to act like a fool!  I’m telling you to yield to me so that I can lead you and guide you in the way that the law has tried to lead you and guide you and you keep trying to come up with a way to help me.  Don’t you know who I am?  Don’t you know where I bought you from?  Don’t you know there are a 1000 ways for me to knock you off before 8 o’clock tonight!

Would you please believe me!  Believe me!  Believe me!  I sent you a helper.  Are you trying to help me?  Believe me, let me do my thing… Then go and tell somebody about it.  How hard is that?  Obey my voice.  Walk with me.  Talk with me.  Fellowship with me.  I’m going to show you things that you know not off.  That is why He wants you to walk with him.  So that He can show you.  So that He can talk to you.  So that He can say it to you.  We are coming to a very rich tender time in the anointing where if you will give the Holy Spirit the opportunity, he is going to lead you and guide you to some truths that is going to take you in places that there would be no way for you to get there in the natural if you will begin to trust him.

But here is the thing you’ve got to trust more than anything: That God has been merciful to your unrighteousness.  You know when it comes time to get healed you cannot be sitting up there thinking about maybe this is a get back for something I did 2 years ago.  When there come times when there is a shortage in your life and the money is not there you cannot be sitting back there thinking about that it was something that I must have done last week.  You can’t do that, because it immediately short circuits what is necessary for that new covenant to begin to operate.  That’s got to be a settled issue.

Then you see Jesus in the gospels trying to demonstrate over and over again when it came to this man that appeared before him who was sick and he went up to him and said your sins are forgiven, and then the church folk had a fit; “who are you to forgive his sin!”  And Jesus knew this and you see this pattern all through the Bible even in the book Psalms (103) you see this pattern where there is forgiveness first and then a great healing took place.  Forget not our benefits, who heals all of our diseases… Yeah!  Who forgives all of our iniquities, well which comes first?  The forgiveness of all of our iniquities and then the healing of all of our disease and then our life being redeemed from destruction and then he crowns our head with tender mercies and loving kindness and then he satisfies our mouth with good things so that our youth is being renewed like an eagle.

But where did it all start?  It all started with you first of all understanding that He has forgiven you of all of your iniquity and then he will heal all of your diseases.  Because the issue that keeps so many people down is they don’t believe that God has forgiven them and you know what happens?  You vacillate from deliverance to bondage because you are not sure that this is the truth.  Every night you go to bed clean.  Every night you go to bed pure.  You live your life under a waterfall of forgiveness.  Do you understand me?  That is how you live your life.  If you keep going back to maybe there was something I didn’t do that is blocking this blessing from my life, you are dealing with a major issue of the new covenant not being able to function in your life.  God is not trying to get you back for sin that Jesus has already paid for.

Based on the new covenant of Grace what does God want you to believe?  He wants you to believe with all your heart that he meant every word when he said I will be merciful to your unrighteousness and their sins and their lawlessness deeds I will remember no more.  In the new covenant there is nothing for us to do but to believe this (gesturing to his Bible)

So its time for you to be healed.  Lord I thank you!  I believe that you have been merciful to my unrighteousness and my sins and iniquities you remember no more.  Hallelujah!  Thank you for healing!  That is all that is needed!”

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I want to share this message out of Jo.seph Prin.ce’s book Des.tined to Rei.gn:

“Pure Grace from Egypt to Sinai

When God liberated the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt; He did not do so because they had kept the 10 Commandments.  The 10 Commandments had not even been given yet.  The children of Israel came out of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb.

The Lord showed me something a number of years ago that ushered me into the Gospel Revolution.  I was sitting in my living room, just spending time in the Word, when He spoke to me and said, “Son, study the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai for this is a picture of pure grace.  Not a single Israelite died during this period although they murmured and complained.

I had never heard anyone preach that before and neither had I read it in any book  So, feverishly, I turned to that portion of the Scriptures, trying to find someone who had died, so that I could prove God wrong!  Have you been there before, trying to prove God wrong?  Well, you can never succeed, and indeed, I could not find any Israelite who died even though the people murmured and complained.

Even though God had rescued the children of Israel from their Egyptian slave masters by performing great signs and wonders, the children of Israel failed to honour God, and murmured and complained over and over again.  When the Egyptian army came thundering toward them from behind and the Red Sea was before them, the children of Israel cried out to Moses saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:11)

That was a complaint against God, and murmuring and complaining are sins.  But what was God’s response?  He opened up the Red Sea and they crossed over to dry land on the other side, safe from their enemies.  Even after God had brought them safely to the other side of the sea, the murmuring continued.  At Marah, they complained about the bitter waters.  What was God’s response?  He made the bitter waters sweet (Exodus 15:23-25).  In the wilderness, they cried out against Moses, when they were hungry.  What was God’s response?  He rained bread from heaven (Exodus 16:2-4).  But still the children of Israel complained.  When there was no water again, they cried out against Moses saying, “Why is it you have brought us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” (Exodus 17:3)  What was God’s response?  He brought water out of the flinty rock.

Study the Bible yourself.  You’ll find that every time the children of Israel murmured and complained, it only brought forth fresh demonstrations of God’s favour, supply and goodness.  Why?  Because during that period, the blessings and provisions they received were not dependent on their obedience or goodness.  They were dependent on God’s goodness and faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant, which was a covenant of grace.

The Exchange Of Covenants at Mount Sinai

Then something tragic happened right at the foot of Mount Sinai.  In Exodus 19:8, your English Bible says that the people cried out to Moses, saying, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  In the original Hebrew text, this is actually a statement of pride.  They were saying, “All that God requires and demands of us, we are well able to perform.”  In other words, they were saying, “God, stop assessing or blessing us based on Your goodness.  Start assessing, judging and blessing us based on our obedience.”  So they effectively exchanged covenants, from the Abrahamic covenant which is based on grace, to the Sinaitic covenant which is based on the law.

All this while, God was with them and had fought for them.  He opened up the Red Sea, rained manna from heaven and brought water out of the flinty rock, even though they kept murmuring and complaining.  But the moment they said those prideful words, God had to change His tone.  He told Moses to instruct the people not to go near the mountain, for “whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.”  (Exodus 19:12)

Why do you think God changed His demeanour here?  It was because man presumed on his own strength and entered into a covenant based on his obedience.  This is what we call self-righteousness.  Since the people wanted to be judged based on their performance, in the very next chapter, God gave them the 10 Commandments.  From then on, since they boasted that they could do all that God commanded, God had to asses them based on His laws.  He would bless them if they kept His commandments, but they would be cursed if they failed to do so.  What the people did not understand was that they had to obey all of the 10 Commandments perfectly because if they failed in one, they would be guilty of all (James 2:10).  You see the law is a composite whole and God does not grade on a curve.

Now, let’s see what happened when the children of Israel placed themselves under the law.  After they boasted that they could fulfil all that God commanded of them, the works of the flesh were immediately manifested. They broke the very first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3) – by fashioning a golden calf and worshipping it as their god! (Exodus 32:1-8)  Isn’t that sad?  So be careful when you boast of keeping of defending the law because the works of the flesh will follow soon after.

From that point onwards, every time the children of Israel murmured and complained, many of them would die.  Observe this:  Before Sinai, none died.  After Sinai, the moment the murmured they died.  Before Sinai, every failure brought forth a fresh manifestation of God’s favour.  But now that the Israelites were under the covenant of law, sin had to be punished.  Their blessings and provisions depended on their perfect obedience, and every failure and sin would result in judgement and punishment.

That is why the law of Moses is called the ministry of death and condemnation.  It is an inflexible standard that had to minister death and condemnation to the Israelites whenever they sinned.  You would think that after 2000 years people would learn, but there are believers today who are still using the same refrain as the children of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai.  They are bragging, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

We Are No Longer Under The Old Covenant

Can you see what the Lord was showing me?  The Israelites’ journey from Egypt to Sinai was a picture of pure grace.  It was not dependent on their goodness but His goodness, not on their faithfulness but His faithfulness.  Before the law was given they were under grace and nobody was punished even when they failed.  But immediately after the law was given, nobody was spared when they failed.  The good news is that we are no longer under the old covenant of law.  We have been delivered from the law through Jesus’ death on the cross.   Because of Jesus Christ, we are now under the new covenant of grace, which means that today, God does not assess us based on our performance, but on His goodness and faithfulness.

Why are there believers today living as though the cross made no difference?  Instead of enjoying the new covenant of grace, they are still fighting to be under the old covenant of law and the 10 commandments.  I declare to you that the cross of Jesus did make a difference.  If you are still trying to live under the law, trying to be justified by your obedience to the law, you are effectively negating what Jesus has already done for you on the cross!

Under the old covenant, God said, “I will by no means clear the guilty.”  (Exodus 34:7)  However, in the new covenant, God says, “I will remember your sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17)  Can you see the contrast?  It is the same God speaking, so what happened?  The cross happened, my friend.  The cross made the difference.  Today, God does not remember your sins or hold them against you because He has already judged them in the body of His Son.   Believers get confused when they do not realize that the cross has made a difference.  Consider this:  If we are still supposed to be under the 10 Commandments as many argue, then what did the cross of Jesus accomplish?

Grace Has Done What The Law Could Not Do

“Pastor Prince, are you insinuating that there is something wrong with the law?”

No, off course not!  There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the law.  As Apostle Paul said, “What shall we say then?  Is the law sin?  Certainly not!  On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law…”  (Romans 7:7)  I am saying exactly the same thing that Paul said.  It is through the law that we have the knowledge of sin, but that is all that the law can do.  It exposes your sins.  It cannot cover, cleanse or remove your sins.  The law was designed to show forth our sins to bring us to despair and lead us to the realization that by our own efforts, we can never save ourselves.  It was designed to show us that we all need a Saviour who can cleanse and remove our sins.  That is the purpose of the law.

While the law is holy, just and good, it has no power to make us holy, just or good.  Only Jesus’ magnificent grace and the splendour of His love can make you holy, just and good.  And His blood has already made you holy, just and good!  God has already done what the law could not do.  How?  By sending His own Son to be condemned on your behalf, so that you could be made the righteousness of God.  That is your position today – you are made righteous in Christ.

With the advent of the new covenant, the Bible says that God has made the old covenant obsolete.  (Hebrews 8:13)  Stop fighting to hold on to something which the Bible has declared to be obsolete!  The law condemns the best of us.  Even David was condemned under the law and I personally esteem him to be the best of those under the old covenant.  The law condemns the best of us, but grace saves the worst of us.  Under law, if you break one law, you will be guilty of all.  By the same token, under grace, if you do one thing right, and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus, then you will be justified from all!  (Acts 13:39)”

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I said in my last post that there are some awesome messages that I want to share with you.  Here is the first one on righteousness by Jo.seph Prin.ce, sermon # 26 Enjoy Abraham’s Blessings in your life:

“The other day I was reading about the covenant that we are under – the New Covenant, in the book of Hebrews and I came to this particular verse that says; “A covenant is not enforced until the death of the testator,” the covenant victim, right?

You know your grandfather could be a multi millionaire, let’s say he puts something to your name in his will, you will receive nothing, even though your name is there, until he dies.  Right?  So the Bible says a covenant is in force, or we can say enforced in your life, only when there is a death.  So every time you partake of the Lord’s Supper, the Bible says you proclaim what?  The Lord’s death.  So in actuality you are saying to the powers that be that the covenant is in force in my life.  You are declaring to heaven as well, that the covenant is in force in my life.  So the covenant of God includes healing, wholeness, prosperity and well being for your entire family!  Praise the Lord!

We want to take off on where left off not too long ago when I preached on 2 Corinthians 5:17, so let’s look at this passage right now, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:  17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  Once you believe in Christ you are a brand new creation – smile to your neighbour and say; “New creation, are you?”  Look at somebody else on the other side and say; “I am a brand new creation, how about you?” Do you all still remember the sharing on the new creation? 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,” Not condemnation.  19 that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the Word of reconciliation.”

Do you know something; the world has not heard Christian preachers as a whole telling them; “God is not mad at you, God is not angry with you, God is not counting your sins against you!  God sent His Son to die for you.  It was while you were still a sinner that Christ died for you.  God loved you when He saw you at your worst – God sent His Son while you were still a sinner.  God is very clear – He has given us the ministry of reconciliation, not condemnation, and the word is this:  God is not imputing their trespasses to them.  God is not counting their sins against them.  Now they are not saved, your relatives are not saved, those that don’t believe in Christ, those that don’t know about  the wonderful gospel that we believe in, the wonderful good news from heaven, they do not know Jesus, they are not saved, but God is not counting their sins against them.  You know something; they need to hear us telling them, God is not counting your sins against you.  Come home, come home.  Why settle for pig food, swine food, when the father’s house have bread enough and to spare!  Amen?  Why settle for people who love you for what you can give them, the moment you have nothing to give them they also leave.  Come back to the Father’s house where his love is unconditional, He will hug you while you still smell like pigs.  He will embrace you; He will lavish you with all His goodness and grace because His love for you is unconditional.  Nothing you do can make God love you more; nothing you do can make God love you less!  God loves you unconditionally.  Hallelujah!  Amen?  And the word we have for the world is that God is not counting your sins against you!  Amen?  Yet, you hardly hear that, but it’s Bible!  “God is not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us:  we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”  God is not mad at you so why are you mad at God?  God is not holding anything against you, what are you holding against God?  Come home, the Father is waiting for you.  Praise the name of Jesus. It does not matter how much you have failed, you don’t know how much He still wants to give to you, how much He wants to lavish on you, how much He wants to pour His love on you.  God loves you folks!  We need to tell the people in the world; “look the good news is that God is not counting your sins against you, the death of His Son is a declaration that God loves you, instead of punishing you for your sins, God took your sins and put it on Jesus Christ and God punished His Son for your sins, so that God will never punish you for your sins, because sin cannot be punished twice.  The law of double jeopardy, any crime cannot be tried twice in a court of law, Amen?  Praise the Lord!

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  Now the next verse tells us something very powerful of when Jesus hung on the cross: “for God made Jesus who knew no sin…”  How many of you know that Jesus knew no sin, and not only that but Peter says He did no sin, John says in Him is no sin, so:  He knew no sin, He did no sin and in Him is no sin, but the Bible says that He who knew no sin, God made to be sin for us, where?  At the cross.  “… so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  Now, I want to tell you something about righteousness, when you see in the Bible Paul talks about justification by faith… those who are of faith…Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness… all this speaks off faith righteousness, not works righteousness.  Allright?  In the Old Testament you must obey God and obey God in everything, all the 10 Commandments, for you to be righteous.  Allright?  There is none who can do that!  They can’t do it outwardly, they can’t do it in their mind, mentally, or inwardly in their hearts.  Then in the New Covenant that Jesus established for us, you believe what Jesus has done and God counts you righteous.  God says you are holy; you are blameless in my eyes.  Under the Old Covenant, Old Testament prophets will call your sins to your remembrance, but in the New Covenant, the New Covenant prophets call your righteousness in Christ to remembrance.  Amen?  Under the law God says; “I will by no means forget your sins, I will visit your sins to the third and fourth generation,” but under the New Covenant because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection there is a New Covenant, and God says; “I will by no means remember your sins…” Good news!

We are dealing with a God who is not holding our sins against us, let alone remember them.  Amen?  Somehow good news doesn’t sound like very good news nowadays; it’s very hard to hear good news – the good news of the gospel is this – That God counts you righteous in His eyes, counts you deserving of all His best blessings, counts you worthy off all that He has to give and the abundant life.  Amen?  I know you don’t consider yourself so- you ask yourself the question, but how can I be righteous Pastor Prince?  How can I be righteous if I haven’t done anything righteous?  So we go back to this verse once again – how did Jesus become sin?  Did He do sin to become sin?  No, He did no sin, so how did Jesus become sin?  He received sin at the cross, so how do you and I become righteous?  By doing righteousness?  No, we receive His righteousness.  Amen?  When Jesus received our sin, did God curse Him?  Yes, God did not say; “I know you are my son, you are just carrying their sins, I will not curse you.  No!  The Bible says that Jesus became a curse for us (Gal 3:13), so even though He was carrying our sins, He received our sins, God cursed Him.  By the same token, now that we have received His righteousness, will God bless us?  Or does God say; “Well this is my Son’s righteousness, it’s not your righteousness, I won’t bless you…”  No, no, no.  God will treat you as if you are what you have received.  As Christ was cursed, as sure as He was cursed, I am blessed.  You are blessed.  So we see the divine exchange at the cross is a glorious exchange.  Once you are right with God, then this “righteousness of God in Him,” is a gift, not a reward.  The bible says in Romans 5:17, “if you receive this gift of righteousness, you will reign in life!”  Over sin, over poverty, over disease, over death!  In life, not in death, you will reign in life!  You will be full of life, you will reign in life!  The amplified Bible says; “reign as kings in life.”  I love that.  Amen?  So righteousness is a gift, it’s not a reward for your good performance.  Learn to receive this gift.  How many of you believe you’ve received the gift righteousness?  How many of you are acting like you’ve received the gift of righteousness?

How many of you are acting, you know, when I pray God hears, because why?  I am the righteousness of God in Christ; I have received the gift of righteousness, amen?  When I’m sick, I expect to be healed.  When there is a problem I expect God to see me through.  Some people say, “why do you expect good things to happen to you, there are so many people in Singapore…”  I expect good things to happen to me!  I expect bad things not to happen to me, why?  I am the righteousness of God in Christ!  So it’s one thing to receive it, but do you act like it?  You ought to feel special child of God!  Because God has made you special!  You are not just an ordinary person walking down Orchard Road.  You are a child of God, washed by the blood of Jesus, made righteous in Him, all right?  Qualified to receive the inheritance and you are now a joint heir with Christ, enjoying all the promises and blessings of God.  Amen church?  Its one thing to know and say amen, but it’s another thing to act like it, to ask yourself do I really treat myself like that?  Like I am a righteous person in Christ, or am I still busy trying to make myself righteous?  Am I still trying to earn the blessings of God?

I want to share with you something that I think is very, very powerful because one thing that hinders our righteousness consciousness is sin consciousness.  It seems to me that in many places, one of the things that preachers think is good for the people is that if we can preach sin to the people and make them sin conscious.  People will realise their sin and then they will turn away from their sin.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  To preach sin to the people and to create sin consciousness is the very opposite of what the New Covenant is all about.  The New Covenant is for you to be conscious of your righteousness in Christ.  The apostle Paul to whom God revealed ¾ of the New Testament and the whole gospel of grace, the apostle Paul says I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, or the good news of Christ, for it is the power of God!  The, definite article, the one and only, THE POWER OF GOD unto your salvation, unto your wholeness, unto your prosperity, unto your wellness, unto your wellbeing.  Amen?  In the gospel.  But what is the gospel that Paul preached?  For in that Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed.  It is not the sinfulness of man revealed.  It is the righteousness of God revealed as a gift to you.  Are we hearing that?  We are not hearing the true gospel that Paul preached.

So what is the biggest problem in the body of Christ?  Sin consciousness.  The Bible says the law, let me show you this verse:  Hebrews 10:1-2 (KJV):  1  For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things,  can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”  See the law is not the good thing to come; the law is a shadow of good things to come.  You know my wife; she loves the idea that I’m carrying her picture with me all the time.  I have a picture with me all the time.  (He takes a picture out of his wallet.)  I have two ladies, this is a beautiful picture of my wife and my daughter, but do you know something?  This is a shadow, this is a picture.  (He kisses the picture.)  Actually what I kiss is paper, right?  Nothing like the real thing.

You know the shadow can never really minister fulfilment to you.  If you are hungry and I put Ken.tucky Fr.ied Chic.ken in a barrel and the light hits the food and you see a shadow on the wall, and I say; ‘help yourself to the shadow while I eat this…”  Trust me, I’ll end up full and you will end up empty and still hungry, right?  So the law is a shadow of good things to come.  Jesus is the substance – so the law and the 10 Commandments are shadows, yet we are preaching the shadows when we actually should preach the substance.  2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered?  Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.”  Your New King James says; “…no more consciousness of sins.”  So what it is saying is this:  If the sacrifices of bulls and goats and lambs in the Old Testament, which typified Christ as the substance – these are just shadows – if these Old Testament sacrifices, if they had worked, the worshipers would not have had sin consciousness.  Now let me ask you – the final sacrifice has come – His name is Jesus Christ – did His sacrifice work?  Drop down to verse 11, same chapter, 11 and every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:”  Every day they offer a sin offering, a goat, every day which can never take ways sins.  You know it’s one thing to hide sin, let me tell you this; if my shirt is dirty, if there is a spot on here, a ink blot or whatever, and I cover it with my jacket – that is called atonement, the Bible uses the word covering, the word atonement means covering.  Now in the Old Testament their sins were atoned by the blood of bulls and goats, but the blood of Jesus in the New has removed…  Nothing like the blood of Jesus and it’s free…  Hallelujah, praise the Lord!  It does not cover, it removes.  Can I have a good amen?  So the Bible says that all the sacrifices can never take away, it only covers…  Cover, cover, cover…  Until Jesus came to take away by His death at the cross.  12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;”    But this Man – capital M – after He had offered – how many?  ONE sacrifice! For sins FOREVER!  Sat down at the right hand of God…  Now, why do you sit down?  Because your work is finished.  Now go back to the previous verse again; “…every priest stands daily…” Can you see standing daily?  Do you know why the Old Testament priests never sat down?  Their work is never finished.  They offer repeatedly – “…daily ministering and offering oftentimes…” or repeatedly, but Jesus “…offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down…”  His work is finished.

Now, according to Hebrews 10 verse 2; “For then would they not have ceased to be offered?  Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more consciousness of sins.”  So why is it that we are sin conscious?  Sin consciousness robs you of faith, it robs you of initiative, it robs you of feeling that you are favoured by God; it robs you of the good life that Jesus came to give you!  And yet there are many people that think that the purpose of preaching is to make people sin conscious.    No!  It is to make people Jesus conscious!  So where did this sin consciousness come from?  The gospel is the answer – unfortunately people are thinking of the gospel as a revelation of their sins.  No, no, no – Old Testament prophets call your sins to your remembrance – New Testament prophets calls your righteousness in Christ into your remembrance…  Into your consciousness if you would.  Good news?  Very good news!  We have to live like it, act like it child of God!  Expect when you go outside, that the sun is shining especially for you.  Because I’m telling you everything in the universe moves around the righteous man, the righteous woman.  It says clearly in the book of James that “the effectual and fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”  That is you, that is you!  Your prayers avail much.

So Jesus Himself, listen carefully, He came to be the sacrifice – He didn’t come to be a new law giver.  He came to die for our sins, that one sacrifice for sins forever.  Ok?  So when you’re sin conscious, let me tell you this, you are not where you are supposed to be.  Hello!  You are not where you are supposed to be in God!  God does not want you sin conscious, God wants you Jesus conscious.   God wants you righteousness conscious!”

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Remember this post?  Well, it seems that the Holy Spirit just won’t let me stop thinking about this.  I think so often on how easy it is to fall back into unbelief and even though I know the scriptures and the promises in the Bible, if one doesn’t meditate on them and speak them out loud every day, even frequently a day, it’s so easy to just start to doubt if it will happen.  Yesterday, when I was giving myself a bit of a pep talk, I just “got it” again, and I want to share this with you, so that hopefully other people will also “get it” whether it is for the first time or a reminder just like I had to get again.

I think a lot of people have trouble believing that a lot of the scriptures in the Bible are promises for them.  I know for a long time I thought that one just cannot claim a specific scripture for yourself.  I thought that God’s will was different for every individual.  For example:  I thought that it was God’s will for some people to have children and that it was also his will for other people to never have children, and that we would never know on this earth why He would will it for some and not for others.

Then one day I started to learn the truth.  That God’s will is the same for every person on earth, and that God only wants all that is good for all of us, and that He wants to give us the desires of our hearts (if they are good desires off course).  I learnt that God has no favourites, and that it is not a case of that some people are getting blessings and others don’t. (Acts 10:34 (NIV): 34 Then Peter began to speak: I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism.” Romans 2:11 (NIV): 11 For God does not show favouritism.”)  God treats us all the same and He wants to give all of us the same blessings.  If I got fewer blessings than others it was not God’s fault, because He made it all available to me, but the problem was with me for not receiving it.

When God speaks there is incredible power in His words.  For example – In Genesis we see that God spoke everything into creation.  Genesis 1:3, 6, 9 (AMP):  “3 And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.  6 And God said, Let there be a firmament [the expanse of the sky] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters [below] from the waters [above].  9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place [of standing], and let the dry land appear. And it was so.” 

All it took was God’s words and everything in the whole cosmos was created.  And not only that but God’s Words cannot return to Him void, (Isaiah 55:11 (KJV): 11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”) and that means that once God has said it, it cannot go back to Him until everything is accomplished of what it had to accomplish.  (To get a better understanding of this read this post.)  So for instance if the Bible says in Exodus 23:26 (NIV):  26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span,” then God’s word cannot return to Him until there is no more infertility or miscarriages on this earth. 

Then there is the importance of the covenants in the Bible.  They were like binding contracts, but those contracts were made by the spilling of blood.  In the Old Testament there is an example of one where God made a covenant with Abraham.

Genesis 15: 1-12 & 17-21 (NIV): “God’s Covenant With Abram: 1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. 2 But Abram said, O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir. 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir. 5 He took him outside and said, Look up at the heavens and count the stars— if indeed you can count them. Then he said to him, So shall your offspring be. 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. 7 He also said to him, I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it. 8 But Abram said, O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I shall gain possession of it?

9 So the LORD said to him, Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon. 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking brazier with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Abraham had trouble believing the promises of God so the fourth time God promised him an heir and land God made a covenant with him, and the way to do it was by cutting animals in half and arranging them opposite each other on the ground.  That was the custom of the day, but the custom was for the lesser, or younger party to walk between the sacrificed animals and to do that meant that the person was willing to be cut in half, just like the animals, if he could not keep his part of the covenant.  In this case God was the one who moved in between the animals, even though he was NOT the lesser party, just so that Abraham could believe that His promise would come to pass.  Well, we know off course that God’s promises all came true and that Abraham was richly blessed not only with his promised son, but also other children, lots of land and incredible wealth. 

Galatians 3: 6-9 (NIV): 6 Consider Abraham: He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. 7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: All nations will be blessed through you. 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

Paul says here that everybody that believes in God is a child of Abraham, and because we believe we will be blessed just like Abraham.  But do you know what?  We have something that is even better than the blessings of Abraham, even though they are awesome enough as it is.

We have the New Covenant that God made with us.  How did he make this Covenant?  By giving His Son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice, by shedding the precious blood of Jesus, so that we can believe His promises for us.  Now think on this.  If Abraham was so richly blessed because of the covenant that God made with him, and there the sacrifice was a heifer, a goat, a ram, a dove and a pigeon, how much more shouldn’t we be blessed because HE GAVE HIS SON – JESUS CHRIST as the sacrifice, as a promise that He will keep His word.

I remember, every time when I read the story where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, I thought – how can he do that?  He waited so long for his son, but even if he never waited, it must be impossible to give up your child!  Now that we have baby G, I still cannot fathom how Abraham could have gone out, ready to sacrifice his son.  To think what God did for us is so much more than what He asked of Abraham, because Jesus 1. WAS sacrificed and 2. the full wrath of God, all the punishment for every human being of all time, came down on Him.

Yesterday I realized that Jesus’ sacrifice was too high.  God gave more than what was necessary, so that we can have his promise, better than a promise, a covenant, a contract, bought with the blood of Jesus, that He will keep His Word, and that we will get what He promised us.  There is no reason why God would not want to give all His promises to us.  The price was too high!  Just try to imagine – He gave up everything for us, why wouldn’t He then give us all He has promised?  Imagine if you had to make a huge sacrifice for someone and for some reason that person did not receive what you gave them?  You certainly would not want to with hold whatever you were going to give, after you’ve already made that huge sacrifice!

Can you see how much God loves you? How much He has sacrificed for you?

Please understand God wants you to have every single promise He has made in His word.  I want to post some more posts in the next few weeks that explain how we are made righteous in God’s eyes, even though it might not feel that way and that we may think we don’t deserve His blessings, that God is gracious towards us, and that means that we get undeserved, unmerited favour from Him, and how to actually receive from God.

I hope this will bless someone.

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I want to share this part of Jo.seph Prin.ce’s book Des.tined to Rei.gn with you today.  It set me free of all guilt and condemnation.  Now I know what Jesus meant when he said;32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

“Many preachers are telling believers that they have to exhibit more Christian character, more self control, more godliness and more brotherly kindness.  My friend, I totally agree that all these qualities are good and necessary, but the question is, how do we develop them? How should we preachers help believers to exhibit more Christian character?  When asked for the solution, most people would say, “Discipline!  We need to focus more on the Ten Commandments and develop discipline, and then self-control, godliness and brotherly kindness will come.”  While all that sounds very good (to the flesh), that is not what the Word of God says, and I for one, want to go by what it says:

2 Peter 1:5-9:   5… add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  8For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9For he who lacks these things is short sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”

It is clear that if a person lacks good Christian qualities like self-control, godliness and brotherly kindness, it is not because he lacks discipline, but because he has forgotten the main clause of the new covenant.  He has forgotten that the blood of Jesus has purchased him the forgiveness of all his sins.  Beloved, if you remind yourself daily that you have been cleansed from all your sins, you will exhibit more and more of these Christian qualities.  Your heart will overflow with self-control, godliness, perseverance, brotherly kindness and love.

Pray like this every day and enjoy your forgiveness:

“Dear Father, I thank You for the cross of Jesus.  I thank You that today, because of Jesus’ blood, I have been forgiven of all my sins, past, present and future.  Today, You are merciful to my unrighteousness, and all my sins and lawless deeds, You will remember no more.  You see me as completely righteous, not because of what I’ve done, but because of Jesus.  I am greatly blessed, highly favoured and deeply loved by You.  Amen.”

My friend the secret behind every godly man and woman is their belief in the truth that they have been forgiven.  Their godliness stems from a revelation of their forgiveness.  They are believers who believe and honour God’s Word.  When God says that He is merciful and that He has forgiven all their sins, they take Him at His Word.  All day long they are forgiveness-conscious.  Even when they say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing or have a wrong thought, they continue to be forgiveness-conscious.  They see the blood of Jesus continually washing them.  They see God in His mercy and grace.  Because of their forgiveness-consciousness, they experience victory over sin.

“Pastor Prince, are you saying that we don’t have to confess our sins?”

Listen carefully:  We don’t have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven.  We confess our sins because we are already forgiven.  When I say “confess our sins”, I’m talking about being open with God.  I don’t go before Him begging for forgiveness.  No, I talk to Him because I know that I have already been forgiven.  I know that I can come to Him freely – He is my God, my Daddy God.  Forgiveness is not dependent on what I do, but what Jesus has done.  So confession in the new covenant is just being honest about your failures and your humanity.  It’s the result of being forgiven and not something you do in order to be forgiven.

Let me give you an illustration that will help you.  When my little daughter Jessica makes a mistake, do I forgive her only when she comes to me and says, “I am sorry, Daddy?” No, of course not!  As a loving father, I have already forgiven her.  I don’t forgive her because of her confession or what she does.  But when she says, “I am sorry, Daddy,” I can tell her that I love her and have already forgiven her.  In the same way, our loving heavenly father does not only forgive us only after we have confessed our sins.  Fellowship with Him is not broken because our forgiveness is not contingent on what we do.  It is contingent on the finished work of Jesus.  We do not confess our sins to be forgiven.  We confess or speak openly to our gracious Father because we have already been forgiven.”

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Explaining the Covenants:

Yesterday and today I got these Daily Devotionals from Jo.seph Prin.ce, and it explains the covenants so well that I felt I had to share it with you.  I also read something in his book Des.tined to Rei.gn, about the covenants that just made sense and I think it ties well together.

Guaranteed By Covenant

Genesis 15:8–9
8And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” 9So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

Are you discouraged because a breakthrough that you have been praying for has yet to manifest? Maybe it has been days or even weeks and you are asking, “How will I know that I will get it?” Abraham faced the same situation and asked God the same question. And God answered, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” What a strange answer!
But if you read on (Genesis 15:10–21), you will realize that God took Abraham’s question very seriously, and went on to show him just how serious He was about being his provider, protector and blesser. God was so serious that He was willing to bind Himself to a covenant.
What is a covenant? It is like a contract. Yet, it is more than a contract. A contract is binding only for a period of time, like five years or seven years, or until certain terms are fulfilled. But a covenant is perpetual. It is permanent. The only way out is through death. That is why marriage is a covenant, not a contract. It is permanent — “Till death do us part”.
In Bible times, when you cut a covenant with someone, you bring an animal, usually a ram or goat, and kill it by cutting it in two. Next, you will face your covenant partner and walk toward each other between the two pieces of the animal, passing each other in the center.
What all this means is that both parties are obligated to protect and provide for each other. Whatever belongs to you is your partner’s and whatever belongs to your partner is yours. Of course, the one who benefits is the lesser or poorer party.
Today, God is in covenant with us. We are the lesser, poorer party. We have nothing to offer God. But God, the richest and most powerful being in the universe, has everything to offer us!
My friend, God has bound Himself to a covenant, an iron-clad guarantee of His blessings and provision in your life, and it is all for your benefit. The breakthrough you are waiting for is guaranteed by covenant!

 

Rightly Dividing The Covenants:

It is important that we understand that God works through covenants because that explains how God blesses people. Under the old covenant of Moses, if the children of Israel obeyed the “big ten” – the ten Commandments – they would be blessed, otherwise, they would be cursed and punished. Think about this for a moment:  Were they cursed because God was a God of wrath?  No, they were cursed because they had failed to keep the terms of their covenant.  It was a covenant that depended on their ability to keep the law and they could not.

The good news is that you and I are no longer under the requirements of the old covenant.  Through Jesus’ finished work, we are now under a new covenant, and in this covenant, we are blessed, not because we are good or because we do good.  To put it simply, we are blessed because Jesus is good, and He made us good and accepted by washing away all our sins with His own blood! We have to rightly divide the covenants.

A  Sleeping Partner Who Benefits:

Genesis 15:12
12Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram…

In business, sleeping or silent partners don’t work but still take home huge profits. They are like the wife of the boxing champion. He gets badly beaten up to win the prize money. But when he gets home, his wife takes it from him and says, “Thank you very much, darling!”
Do you know that in your covenant with God, you are like the boxer’s wife or the sleeping partner?
When Abraham asked God how he would know for sure that he would inherit the land that God had promised him, God made a covenant with him. (Genesis 15:8–21) But instead of cutting the covenant with Abraham by walking in between the animal pieces with him, God put Abraham into a deep sleep and cut the covenant with Jesus instead.
Jesus, the light of the world, appeared as the pillar of fire and cut the covenant with God the Father who appeared as the pillar of cloud. In other words, Jesus took Abraham’s place. He was perfect Man representing Abraham when He cut the covenant with His Father.
By substituting Abraham with Jesus, God was being gracious because if Abraham had done it, he would also have been responsible for keeping the covenant. And Abraham, being a mere man, would fail. But God the Son can never fail! Abraham’s blessings were therefore guaranteed because they did not depend on his performance but Jesus’ performance. Abraham was literally a sleeping partner, a beneficiary of the covenant.
Today, God has also made a covenant with you, called the new covenant. And like Abraham, you are a sleeping partner because the new covenant was also cut between God the Father and God the Son at Calvary. You are simply a beneficiary of the new covenant. You enjoy all its benefits without having to work at keeping it. Jesus, your representative, has already fulfilled all the conditions on your behalf. And because His obedience is perfect and His work is perfectly finished, the covenant blessings for you are guaranteed!
My friend, there is nothing left for you to do, but everything for you to believe. Don’t try to work for your covenant blessings. Rest in the Son’s finished work and receive them by faith!

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