This morning we continue our journey into this year, focusing on making “Intentional Progress.” I shared six steps to intentional progress with you, and I will continue to walk through them over the next few months. Here are the six steps.
Here are the steps again:
3. Wait/Discern God’s Timing
4. Execute/Measure Progress
5. Wait/Faith & Patience
6. Receive When Harvest Time Comes
We have been in this series for a few months, and we are now just a couple of weeks away from Resurrection Sunday. I have been sharing messages with you about the importance of the cross. Today’s message will flow in that same vein. We will look at a passage where the Apostle Paul juxtaposes the Old Covenant with the New one. In the comparison, Paul tells us that Jesus took us from condemnation to affirmation. Let’s take a look at the text:
(2 Cor 3:12-15 The Message Bible)
“If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity?
With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Paul’s characterization of the Old and New Covenants is important.
Paul called the Old Covenant a government of condemnation. No matter how many goats, bullocks, and turtle doves were killed, in the end, the blood of these animals could not wash us clean from sin. Humans were still condemned because of what Adam did in the Garden of Eden. But Jesus changed that. Paul tells us that Jesus took us from condemnation to affirmation. The Bible says, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). Once you know you are in Christ and Christ is in you, and you know you are going to heaven, it changes the way you live your life. You are free from the bondage of sin and the fear of death. So you don’t live in fear. You are free to live in boldness. You are free to live “As Jesus is, in this world!” (1 John 4:17).
2. The New Covenant is permanent.
The Apostle Paul called the Old Covenant, written on tablets of stone, a “makeshift arrangement.” He called the New Covenant, written upon the tablets of our hearts, a “government installed for eternity.” This is important. Jesus is not coming back to establish another covenant. When He comes back, it will be to judge the world. So the covenant we have now, which was ratified with the Blood of Jesus, is permanent. You can rest assured that your position in Christ will not change and the glory/grace He has called you to walk in will not dissipate.
There came a time when the glory on Moses’ face faded away. But under the New Covenant, we have a glory that will never fade away, and we are admonished NOT to hide it. We are supposed to live as conduits of God’s glory every day!
3. Under the New Covenant, nothing can hold us back.
While speaking of the glorious nature of the New Covenant, Paul said, “With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back.”
When you think about what Jesus did for you on the cross, how God raised Him from the dead with all power, and how the New Covenant was ratified with Jesus’ own blood, you can’t help but think about how glorious it is. The Father sent His own Son to die for you. The Son paid a debt He did not owe for a price you could not pay. The Holy Spirit is now living inside of you every second of every day. When you internalize all of this, it should give you a divine excitement that will not burn out. When you live your life with this type of excitement, nothing can hold you back! Enter every day knowing that God is ON you, IN you, WITH you, and FOR you! There’s nothing you can’t do because there’s nothing God can’t do, and He lives IN YOU!
4. Under the New Covenant, we have a glory that does not fade.
Paul tells us that Moses wore a veil over his face. This was not to cover the glory of God but to hide the fact that the glory had faded. Paul said, “He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil.”
— There’s no power left in the Old Covenant. Unfortunately, many people have not realized that, and they are still trying to please God through performance-based religion.
— Jesus established a new covenant based on the grace of God. Under the New Covenant, we have a glory that never runs out. This glory never fades, and it will never be done away with.
— Before the Old Covenant was established, while Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, the Holy Spirit lived INSIDE of them. But once the Old Covenant was introduced and the tabernacle (and later the temple) was built, the Holy Spirit lived inside of the tabernacle/temple. When Jesus went to the cross, he changed all of that. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” the Father Himself reached down and ripped the veil in the temple from top to bottom. He tore it with His own hands. This was to show that the Holy Spirit would no longer live there. 50 days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was returned to man. So now, under the New Covenant, we are the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 6:19).
— You are walking around with GOD HIMSELF on the inside of you. You are walking around with THE GLORY in you. Take God and His glory into every meeting, conversation, and activity you engage in today.
5. The reality of what Jesus did back then should empower and drive you today.
This is a time of the year when we remind people of what Jesus did for the world. But this is not about a history lesson. The Bible is not a textbook to study. It is a life book to live. We tell people about what Jesus did back then, so it can impact them today.
— As you head into this day, think about the sacrifice Jesus made for you and live your life worthy of His death.
— As you head into this day, think about the purpose of the Old Covenant and how it did what it was supposed to do. It proved to humanity the need for a Savior. That Savior came, His name is Jesus, and He ushered us into a new and everlasting covenant.
— As you head into this day, think about the Holy Spirit and how He came INSIDE of you the moment you repented of sin and made Jesus the Lord of your life. You now have the same Holy Spirit Adam had in the Garden when he operated with Kingdom authority over this planet. You now have the same Holy Spirit Jesus had when He exercised power over the Kingdom of Darkness. You are supposed to continue what Jesus started. You are the continuation of His incarnation. Jesus took Your place on the cross, and He went back to heaven. Now He expects you to take His place in the world until you get to join Him in heaven when your time on this planet is done.
— As you head into this day, think about the fact that God placed His glory INSIDE of you, an earthen. He did not this so He could manifest His glory THROUGH you, and so the world would know that the glory is from HIM and not from YOU! If you yield to God daily, you will become a conduit of heaven on earth. That’s the goal. Don’t live your life focused on going to heaven someday. That will happen when you die. Live your life focused on bringing heaven to the earth every day! This is how we are supposed to live.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, thank You for teaching me the importance of the cross. The more I study the Law You established through Moses, the more I understand why Jesus had to die. When Moses received the Old Covenant, Your Law was written upon tablets of stone, and he wore a veil over his face. Initially, the veil was worn to cover the glory. But eventually, the glory faded away, and the veil was worn to keep people from realizing that the glory was gone.
Jesus came, He fulfilled the Law, and He established a New Covenant. This new and everlasting Covenant was ratified with His own blood. I have been Born-Again. I am under the New Covenant. This Covenant will last forever. Under this Covenant, I have access to Your glory, and this glory will never fade. Under this Covenant, I have access to Your power, and this power will never run out. There is nothing I can’t do because You live in me, and there’s nothing You can’t do! I enter this day determined to make Kingdom impact in every meeting, conversation, and activity I engage in. I’ll do this by Your grace and for Your glory! Living this way, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.