The Spiritual Lesson Jan and I Learned:
Jan had a stem cell transplant 8 years ago as a final hope to kill insidious cancer that had been apart of our lives for nearly 20 years.
First, chemotherapy is given to kill the bone marrow. Before the chemo, the donor’s blood is taken and the stem cells are harvested. For a week, the chemo is carefully given and takes the person to the door of death, because if nothing is done within a few weeks the person will die without the ability to make new blood.
On January 19, 2010, a nurse came into Jan’s room with a baggy of stem cells. As these stem cells entered her body, the nurses brought in balloons and sang “Happy Birthday;” this was the day Jan was born again. This bone marrow brought new life and a slow retreat from death’s door.
Every person is born with a fatal flaw called original sin that came from the first sin in the Garden.
Ephesians 2: 3 Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The chemo of sin begins its march to destroy the one part of creation that was formed in the very image of the Godhead.
But, there is a divine Donor in the Masterplan of God. When we stop trying to heal ourselves and instead humble ourselves and say, “This sin cancer has beaten me. I can’t live a good life on my own strength. My choice is death or to receive the great gift of life from the Divine Donor, Jesus Christ.”
When you choose Jesus, you are born again. Your life is now Jesus Christ in you; your DNA is Jesus’ DNA. As long as you are following the Great Physicians instructions, the Jesus-nature will overcome the old sin nature.
Luke 22:17-20 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
This New Covenant, new life is given to us through the life-changing blood of Jesus. God fulfills His covenant to give us a new heart.
Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Many believers are convinced wrongly that their Christian life is to be a continual uphill battle against sin, and that they will never feel that they are free.
Paul says in Romans 7 this is a kind of bondage.
– A person does what he hates.
– Spiritual freedom has been hammered in by condemnation.
– No escape.
– Feeling that they are not good enough to really serve God
Jesus Christ saved me. He did not save me to leave me. He knew I would need all of His power to live this life. It is the power of the New Covenant. We must understand the truths of what happens when we ask Jesus into our lives.
The Two Covenants
1) The New Covenant
Hebrew 8:8-13 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 10:16-17 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
Because we are included in Abraham’s lineage, the New Covenant is God’s pledge of overcoming strength to be “more than conquerors” in any situation.
– The Father’s purpose in the Covenant: Psalm 89:19
– Jesus’ response: Psalm 40:7-8
– The fulfillment of the Covenant began at the Last Supper: John 17:1-4
– The Glory: Psalm 89:26-36
Without this Covenant, the battle against sin and the devil must be fought by me.
But, with this Covenant, the battle against sin and the devil means that all of heaven’s power and authority is aligned with me. It is not me fighting the battle, but the covenant promises of God working through me.
2) The Old Covenant
This Covenant is based on our works, our efforts, our strength.
Exodus 19:5-6 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
Jeremiah 7:23 But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’
The Commandments of God are given and the Old Covenant requires we obey the Law perfectly.
God commanded a law no one could keep to drive us to Himself, so we could come to the end of ourselves.
When you realize how useless our efforts are on our own, how powerless we are to overcome sin, that is when the Old Covenant has had its full effects.
Paul cried out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of death?”
Philippians 2:13 God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to accomplish the good things you desire to do. (Passion)
Freedom from the control of sin
A new heart that desires to follow God
The companionship, power, counsel, and friendship of the Holy Spirit that will never leave you and never forsake you.
1. Which group are you living as: those who have accepted but are still living under the Old Covenant or those who believe and have submitted their lives to Him?
2. What are some things that make it difficult for you to embrace life under the New Covenant?