God promises in His prophesy to Jeremiah to do what the people themselves could never do. Despite all their failure, He promises to save them by a new process – His very Son. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and teach his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:33-34)
God is going to change the motivation of a person’s life; changing it to come from within instead of without. What does it mean that He will put His law within us and write His law upon our hearts? It means that we will learn what love truly is because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and we will respond by faith. “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:1)
And knowing that love will lead us respond out of love for God, out of love for what He has already done in our life and heart. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
God Himself is the strength of our lives; He is our source for all we need. He supplies all the power to act. This is a beautiful description of the New Covenant: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people”. He also spoke about this covenant earlier in the book of Jeremiah: “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.” (Jer 24:7)
He points out that we are part of a new family. “But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God.” (John 1:12) We already know what the dominant drives, and underlying hopes and passions of each life in our family, because they are ours: we want to know Him better, and become like Him.
Then the Lord tells how He wins the battle: “for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:34) When we can’t respond as we should to God’s Law, He tells us about the provision He has already made for all our failure.
“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait until His enemies should be made a stool for His feet. For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified…Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.” (Heb 10:12-14, 18)
God doesn’t hold our failure against us. His love is with us and sustains us through even the results of our own folly. He doesn’t hold anything against us for which we repent IF we have faith in His Son, who is the ONLY way we can reach the Father (John 14:6).
He is for us, and will turn our difficulty into glory so that we are transformed into His image (2 Cor 3:18). That’s the New Covenant in action. As we learn to walk in dependence upon a new motive and a new power, in a new relationship with our Lord and one another, resting upon the forgiveness of God, we discover that marvelous things are happening in our life for His glory.
Father, forgive me for the way I am so sure I can make it myself. Help me to assume this poverty of spirit, which then opens to me the very riches of eternity. Lord, when pride rears it’s ugly head in my mind, help me to remember that only You have the ability to exalt anyone, and You only exalt those who are humble and obedient. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.
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