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     Today I want to start teaching on a new subject. I don’t know if I’m going to go on for a few weeks or if this is going to be the only message along these lines. The title of today’s message isA Covenant of Grace.”

     Throughout the centuries of human history, God has remained committed to lifting His people out of the limits of their own ways and into the limitlessness of His ability.

     I. He joins Himself with His people through covenants.

              A. A covenant joins 2 parties together and brings the strengths and weaknesses of each into the other’s situation.

                        1. When you received Jesus as Lord and Savior through faith, you also embraced the covenant that has been established through the shed blood of Jesus.

                        2. When we begin to understand the power of the covenant that we have with God, you will step out of weakness and defeat and into the victories that Jesus obtained for you.

              B. Look what Moses said in DEUT 7:9

                        1. The Old Testament depended upon the Israelites’ obedience to those commandments.

                                  a. People had faith in the God who made those Laws.

                        2. In this V. God revealed who He was and how firm His commitment was.

              C. Now look at ISA 54:10

                        1. Did you know that His kindness and His Mercy toward us are more establish than the mountains.

                        2. If there is anything that is established on this Earth, it would be mountains.

                                  a. But God’s kindness and His Mercy are more of a sure thing than the mountains.

                        3. Now look with me to JER 32:40.

                                  a. God is speaking of a new covenant here in these Vs.

                        4. He also adds this from (Ezekiel 36:26-27) “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].”

                                  a. This new covenant would bring God’s presence from dwelling among them to dwelling within them.

                                  b. The Old Covenant was established on Earth by the Blood of bulls and goats.

                                           i. The New Covenant was established in Heaven and Earth forever by the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     II. In this New Covenant, as well as the Old Covenant, faith is very important.

              A. In the Old Covenant, they had to have faith in the future work of God’s plan.

                        1. Now we have faith in the work that God has already done, the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

                        2. Now God gives His greatness and His grace to all those who come to Him in simple faith.

                                  a. His Covenant is a covenant of Grace.

              B. The word “Grace” is used primarily in 2 different ways.

                        1. 1st, it’s the very heart attitude of God which moves Him toward people.

                                  a. Because of God’s Grace, He is willing to be involved with you and me.

                                  b. He gives His love, His resources, and His promises freely, not based on performance.

                        2. 2nd, Grace is the power active within the heart of the believer that works in him and empowers him to do God’s will.

                                  a. If a man ever had a need, it would be for God’s Grace.

                                           i. Not only Grace to see you through something, but also God’s Grace to give you the victory.

                                  b. The natural mind wants to feel self-sufficient, capable of handling anything.

                                           i. But all of us are inadequate in many areas.

                                           ii. The businessman may be very successful in 1 area, but lacks in family life.

                                           iii. Someone that is a good homemaker might be very good in the family, but lacks in some other area.

                                  c. Jesus has provided a way for us to receive His strength and God’s ability to equip us and to empower us to do what He has for us.

                                           i. That way is found in the Covenant of Grace.

                                           ii. God has given us the ability, the Grace to do what He wants us to do.

                                           iii. You and I have been given the privilege of living in fellowship with Almighty God and walking in the Grace He continually provides.

                        3. It’s by faith and faith alone that we have entered into this covenant with God.

                                  a. Look at EPH 2:8.

                                  b. Salvation is more than going to heaven after you die.

                                           i. The inheritance of Jesus is yours after His death on the cross, not after your death.

                                           ii. That means His inheritance is yours now.

              C. Everybody says that we receive God’s promises by faith, but it’s not.

                        1. It’s by Grace through faith.

                                  a. God’s Grace is handing His promises to us, and we receive them through faith.

     III. Now turn to HEB 4:1; 9-11

              A. Before we go on, this V talks a lot about entering into God’s rest.

                        1. How do we enter into rest?

                        2. (V 11) Says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest.”

                                  a. 1st of all it’s not through our own works.

                                  b. He said in (Hebrews 4:10) “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works.”

                                           i. There is a rest when we simply trust in His power and in His ability, not our own.

                                           ii. (Hebrews 4:11) Says again, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

                                                     a. (The NIV says “Disobedience.” This whole chapter is talking about why the Children of Israel did not enter into the promise land. There Disobedience was unbelief.)

                        3. HEB 4:3

                                  a. Paul said, “The works were finished.” It has been.

                                  b. You’ve been created to enter into His rest.

                                           i. He’s created everything for you.

                                           ii. You receive it by entering into His rest.

                                           iii. Once again, how do we enter into His rest?

                                           iv. By simple putting our faith and trust in Him.

              B. Turn to MATT 11:28-30

                        1. Notice that He promises Rest to those who bring their load of cares to Him.

                                  a. That goes along with casting all of our cares, all our worries, all our fears, and all of our anxieties upon Him and trusting His for the answer.

                        2. Notice something else that Jesus is trying to bring out here.

                                  a. In (Matthew 11:29)  He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

                                           i. We usually refer to a “Yoke” as a “yoke of bondage.”

                                           ii. (Galatians 5:1) Says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

                                  b. But what did Jesus mean when He said that we are to take His yoke upon us?

                                           i. The picture He is trying to paint here is that of a farmer that joins his oxen together with a yoke. (A bar that would hold 2 oxen together.)

                                           ii. When a farmer trained a young ox, he yoked him to an older, fully trained ox.

                                           iii. The young ox may want to go off to the right, or to the Left, or even lie down, but the yoke on his neck that linked him to the older ox held him to the speed and direction which was right.

                                  c. If you yoke yourself to sin, it’s going to lead to bondage.

                                           i. But if you yoke yourself up to the Lord Jesus Christ and let His Word become the final authority in your life.

                                           ii. He’s going to led you to life and peace and all of His promised.

              C. Living by this Covenant of Grace is the key to bringing glory to Jesus and not yourself.

                        a. It’s our job to learn of Him, as He said in (MATT 11:29), and He will give you rest, that’s all of His blessings.

                        b. It all begins with a covenant, the Covenant of Grace.

WOLCC Sun AM 9/18/94

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