"the new covenant"
(A Series on Hebrews)
Westgate Chapel 12/3/89a.m. Hebrews 9:15-28
PROPOSITION: The new covenant, provided for those who are summoned by the Holy Spirit to be saved, will give all who come in faith, new freedom in Christ, new purpose, and a new forever future.
- I LIKE new.
- I SUSPECT that everybody does. Everybody likes new. New clothes. New cars. New homes. New opportunities.
- NOW, if this makes sense to you, I like old too, as long as it’s been made new.
- WHAT I mean is, I like antiques, because of the character in them, and the interest I have in history. I like old, as long as it is restored so that it is like new.
- I HAVE had 41 cars in my lifetime.
- MY first car, back when I was in high school, in Africa, was a German 2 cylinder, 2 cycle, bathtub-looking car called an NSU Prinz.
- NOW, by far the majority of those cars have been old when I bought them.......because I could not afford new.
- BUT my first priority when I would get them, would be to make them as close to new as I could, by fixing them up.
- LAST May I bought a 1961 Mercedes 190 Diesel to use as a driver for me. And it had a little rust, and the upholstery was torn in places, and the floormats were orange indoor-outdoor carpet, and the windshield was badly pitted, and the front bumper was dented.
- AND last May I started stripping it down on my days off. I love fixing things up like that.
- AND I worked on it off and on, from May to October, with a lot of help from some friends.
- BUT now, the rust is gone and the paint is new and beautiful, and it has a new windshield, and the front bumper is straightened and chromed, and it has new black floormats, and the tears in the upholstery are fixed, and the inside has been all cleaned......and it is just like new.
- DON'T you think that we are all like that? That we all like new.
- I DON'T think there is anyone who sets out to want grungy, tattered, frayed, rusted, dirty.....in their lives in any department of life.
- I FRANKLY believe that the desire for new is something God put there.
- NOW, we can pervert that desire so that the only place we try to satisfy it is at the Porche Dealership, or Nordstroms, or Costco, or the Camera Shop, or with fixing up old cars.
- OR we can have our desire for "new" satisfied by the only One who said, "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (II Corinthians 5:17)
- TURN with me to our passage from Hebrews for today, chapter 9:15-28.
- I WOULD like to show you three places from these verses where the old is gone and the new has come.
- I WANT to show you how you can be new.
ii. new freedom
- HERE is the first "new."
- I FIND it in verse 15.
"......he has died as a ransom to set them FREE from the sins committed under the first covenant."
- EVERBODY wants freedom. Nobody can find it.
- WHEN you are 2 years old, you want to be free from the playpen. You lean against the side of the thing. You cry. You hold your hands out to everyone that comes near with that pitiful look on your face. You want to be free. If you got your freedom you would probably go play in the freeway...but all you know is you want out of that playpen.
- WHEN you are 5 years old you want to be free from the house. Just open the front door and let me out of here (Tell story about Nathaniel running away from home).
- WHEN you are in school, you want to be free of it. Why? So you can get out and get yourself a job.
- I WONDER how many of you here would like to be free from your job....if someone would just pay you to stay home and have fun.
- WHEN you are 14 you want to be free so that you can drive a car, even some day own a car....so you can change the oil, and rotate the tires, and put in a new transmission, and pay the registration, and the speeding tickets, and make payments for the rest of your life.
- WHEN you are 18 you want to be free of your family, so you can find a wife and have a family of your own, and join the institution of marriage, that 50% of Americans are paying big bucks to get out of in the divorce courts of our land.
- WHEN you have your family, and the mortgage, and the braces, and the health insurance premiums, then you dream of being free of it all, and driving down I-5 in your Winnebago some day, heading for Phoenix with all of your Westgate Chapel buddies after Christmas each year.
- THERE is an incredible longing in our hearts to find a new freedom.
- WE feel hemmed in most of the time.
- MANY are surrounded by loneliness, or sickness, or business failure, or the end of a career, or fear, or oppression, or divorce, or the need to be perfect.....held captive by the enemy of your souls whose chief aim is to kill and destroy.
- AND the freedom that you are looking for can never be found in any circumstance or opportunity in this life.....because in this life each opportunity has its own form of obligation or even bondage.
- BUT there is a new freedom this morning where there are no side effects, no accompanying bondages.
- AND the One who offers this freedom to you is fully capable of delivering it in power.
- LISTEN to the author of Hebrews describe Him to you. Your Liberator.
"For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." (Hebrews 9:15)
- JESUS put into effect a new covenant.
- HE is the mediator, this verse in Hebrews tells us.
- A MEDIATOR is someone who removes a disagreement between two parties, and helps them reach a common goal.
- THAT'S Jesus, who has provided new freedom for those who come to Him.
- MAN cannot meet the demands of a holy God. You and I cannot do enough good. We cannot be holy enough for God on our own. We are slaves in just trying to do it on our own.
- THERE is something inside of us trying waiting to bust out of the confining, restricting bands of this life.
- WHAT we are feeling is the bondage of sin. You can't see it. You can't smell it. But it's there, and all you know is that you want out.
- IT is the bondage of sin. Oh, you don't identify it in that way, but that's what it is, and it leaves you feeling hemmed in.
- AND in that hemmed in condition, the call of God comes to you....like it is this morning.
- AND the freedom that He promises you is certain....declared by the One who does not lie.
- AND the freedom that He promises is eternal....it cannot waste away, or rust, or get dented, or deteriorate.
- ALL this because the One who has left you freedom in His last will for you......died, guaranteeing that you will get it.
- READ verses 16&17.
"In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living."
- IF you need proof of the new freedom that Jesus has for you, just look at the Cross. When Jesus died there, your freedom was signed and sealed.
iii. new purpose
- BUT there's something else "new" that Jesus has for those who put their faith in Him.
- IT is found in verses 18-22.
"This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, 'This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.' In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
- THE blood, which speaks of the giving, the spending of life, was used in Old Testament worship as a symbol of the payment needed to cleanse the people of their sin, and to cleanse the tabernacle and instruments of the tabernacle used in the worship of God.
- A LIFE was called for, to pay for the stain of sin that is on the things of this world, before they can be released in their intended purpose.
- AND the blood of the calf, in the Old Testament, symbolized the giving of the life, so that the book of the Law, and the tabernacle, and everything in it, could be released for their intended purpose.
- NOTHING was considered purified for use, unless the blood was on it.
- NOW, you and I were born to be used of God.
- YOU were not born just to be used by Boeing, or Safeco, or Washington Mutual.
- YOUR purpose in life is not fully realized by being a good parent, as important as they are these days.
- YOUR highest fulfillment is not complete when you get that college degree, as good as it is to get an education.
- MARRIAGE will not provide the pinnacle of purpose, if you are single right now.
- YOU were created to have eternal usefulness, bigger than what you can touch, see, or feel in this life.
- YOUR purpose in life is to glorify God in your thoughts and your actions.
- YOUR purpose is to do those things that will build His kingdom where you are at Boeing, or Safeco or Washington Mutual.
- YOU are destined by God to redeem the world He has placed you in, in your family, your neighborhood, and your sphere of influence.
- YOU are an instrument of God, born with the specific purpose of being used by Him.
- IT is a new purpose, not the old trappings of a world that is in decay.
- BUT, only the blood, applied to your life, can cleanse you for His use.
- YOU must be purified to be used for your higher purpose.
iv. new future
- A NEW freedom. A new purpose.
- BUT there is one more "new" thing that I want to share with you from Hebrews 9 this morning.
- IT is found in the last six verses of Hebrews 9.
"It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
- IF Jesus appeared, once for all, at the END of the ages....then how much more are we not at the end of the ages?
- JESUS is at the right hand of the Father, the work of salvation is complete, and He is our Guarantor.
- HE is the Guarantee of your salvation, and mine.
- SIN'S power is cancelled. He is there to prove it.
- SIN'S penalty has been removed. He is there to guarantee it.
- YOU have a new future.
- AT one time, your future was eternal judgment.
- WITH God's wrath on sin, you were destined to face an angry God, and the lake of fire reserved for the devil and his angels.
- THIS life was going to be the best you would ever know, and after that the sure judgment of God.
- BUT now you have a new future.
- IF the blood of Jesus has been applied to you, the curse of sin has been broken over you. You are free. You have a new purpose.
- VERSE 28 says that Jesus will appear a second time....and when He comes He will bring the completion of the salvation that is ours through faith in Him.
- PAUL puts it this way in I Thessalonians 4:14.
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."
- YOU have a new future.
- IT doesn't depend on the stock market, on the Malta Summit, on your health, on anything.
- IT is guaranteed by your Mediator, Jesus Christ, who has provided a New Covenant by His blood.
- THERE is only one way to satisfy your urge for new.
- AND that is with "new freedom", with "new purpose" and with a "new future."
- HOW about laying down the old this morning, and becoming a "new creation" in Christ Jesus.