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Ruben D. Martinez
Covenants.... what exactly is a covenant? It is a formal agreement between two parties that has requirements for at least one party, and includes blessings and curses for obedience or failure.
Several week ago we celebrated the most important covenant for all of mankind in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ… Passover Easter celebration. I truly love this time of year as the climate for the church family is intensified on the study of the celebration all over the world.
Church families grow this day by leaps and bounds as people come to be part of the Easter service. But, what does it really mean… what difference does it really make…why is it so important…?
It is a great time to discuss the wonderful great news that Jesus Christ is risen, and that we are no longer slaves to the law. But, why was it so important to remove the law that we were trying to be obedient to?
Today’s sermon title is Substitution. Before Jesus in the temple there were many sacrifices that were made as substitution for sin. Because of the new covenant of Jesus’s blood He shed for us all there is no longer a need for these sacrificial substitutions. We are no longer bound by the sins of the past with sacrifices that were made that could not be the perfect atonement.
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
Gods word tells us there is NO CONDEMNATION in Christ Jesus!
Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Life in the Spirit
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
AMEN!!! It is hard to really grasp what the true depth of this meaning is. We often just take it for granted that Jesus went to the cross. I am saved, and we live our lives in as best as we can and really don’t declare the full rights we have as an heir and part of the body of Christ the church. It is not taken seriously and many families put God on the shelf, and only take Him down for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, sometimes when someone is born, and when someone dies.
When we close God’s word how can you find His peace? How can you be prepared for what the day brings if you are not ready?
Just like going to work everyday you prepare yourself before you leave your house. It should be no different with your daily walk with God.
A New Covenant
A New Covenant
A covenant was created for you and me by the blood of Jesus Christ. This is an amazing thing. Your sins are gone, wiped away forever!
When Adam and Eve sinned they brought the sin into the world that could never be atoned for by birds and animals.
When Satan introduced the original sin into the world, our blood was poisoned. It is a disease that slowly works its way through our bodies, and our lives. When Adam and Eve were walking in the Garden of Eden they only had the Spirit of God over them. They were sinless and there were no worries of right or wrong. They only knew the one wrong they had which was not to eat of the fruit God directed them to stay away from. But, they did not think of killing or stealing or any other sin. It is hard to imagine but sin did not exist with them.
When Satan distracted Eve and then Adam that is when sin was introduced. This distraction separated their thoughts on God, and now opened their eyes to the flesh. Their eyes were opened.
Genesis 3:6–7 (NLT)
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
They had no sin in the garden of Eden until that day. They had no idea of the carnal thoughts, and they realized they were naked, and for the first time they felt a feeling they never felt before…. They felt shame, and shortly after this they felt fear for the first time….
Genesis 3:8–10 (NLT)
8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
This is because their blood was no longer the same… sin was introduced into their bodies by Satan’s temptation. This war in our souls that constantly pushes us to the worldly living rather than the life that God has in store for us. It is the sting of death that was given to us, and the poison infiltrated our body and runs through our blood. No one is without it.
God knew from that moment forward that we needed a redeemer a pure substitution to overcome the world. And God knew we needed a helper:
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
We need the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us to overcome the distractions that come at us each day.
When we walk out our doors on any day, we can be prepared and the Holy Spirit it with those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
That is why Jesus was the substitution; Jesus who was without sin. And his substitution on the cross was to destroy the law.
Romans 8:2 (NLT)
2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
Jesus set us free from the sin of the law. See when Christ went to the cross he created a new covenant for us to walk in. A covenant is solemn oath that is sealed with blood.His blood sealed it once and for all.
1 Corinthians 15:56–57 (NLT)
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus shed His blood throughout Jerusalem as He was beaten and His flesh torn from His body as He carried the cross His blood was spilled in the streets as He walked to Golgotha to be nailed to the cross.
In the old testament when Adam and Eve brought into the world the sin of man God created a temporary covenant the Adamic covenant and shed the first blood and sacrifice as a temporary atonement for their sin and covered them with skins of animals.
Genesis 3:21 (NLT)
21 And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
This was the new covenant that God created and He moved them out of the Garden of Eden, and from that day forward they would have to sweat and work the land.
The guilt of the man required a new covenant to be created and God provided. This was a curse that followed us from that moment until the new covenant in Jesus Christ the Lamb of God the most holy of Passovers.
The law was created which would be for man to have a temporary atonement for their sins. The problem is that the offering that was sacrificed according to the law could never be the perfect substitution for us. The High Priest was a busy man going to the Temple every day to atone for the sins of Israel. He had no time to rest… keep this in mind…
The offerings at the Tabernacle were flawed and could never be the perfect atonement for our sin. That is why we needed the substitution a new covenant... in Jesus Christ.
Made A Curse
Made A Curse
Jesus the Lamb of God became the curse for us. A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation on generational cursing, and the thought that we today are bound to some degree by generational curses.
So, in other words what was done on the cross was only covering a certain portion of sin, and that if my father or mother or ancestors were habitually living in sin that I was bound to their sin.
I want to be very clear today that that teaching is WRONG! Stay with me on this… listen…
We are all guilty of sin according to Romans.
Romans 3:23 (NLT)
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Romans 3:10 (NLT)
10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
Romans 5:12 (NLT)
Adam and Christ Contrasted
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
Romans 5:8 (NLT)
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Romans 10:9–10 (NLT)
9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
We have been found guilty! God is so pure and holy that sin must be vanquished and God curses sin. Sin is a poison that destroys from within our soul and the consequences are death… separation from God.
These were consequences that were due to us! His mercy was given to us by His substitution on the cross. Once and for ALL! See we were bound to the law… the law requires payment of the debt created by us. This was the curse…. BUT!!!
Galatians 3:13 (NLT)
13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
This curse was not of Himself! He is God and had no sin But, by His mercy He was “Made” He “Became” a curse for us!
We had sin…. We were cursed and the law required the atonement for this. Jesus only had mercy and love! This was our only road to redemption in His substitution for us!
When He took on the sin the curse on the cross even though He was innocent took on all the sins of murderers the adulterers… the theft… all the wrong things. He was treated as a guilty man... And the curse was on Him.
Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all.
Jesus knew what He was taking on. This is the mercy that He showed to us, Charles Spurgeon a 19th century Baptist Minister said
“The sins of God’s people were lifted from off them and imputed to Christ, and their sins were looked upon as if Christ had committed them. He was regarded as if he had been the sinner; he actually and in very deed stood in the sinner’s place. Next to the imputation of sin came the curse of sin. The law, looking for sin to punish, with its quick eye detected sin laid upon Christ, and, since it must curse sin wherever it was found, it cursed the sin since it was laid on Christ. So Christ was made a curse. Wonderful and awful words, but since they are scriptural words, we must receive them. Sin being on Christ, the curse came on Christ, and in consequence, our Lord felt an unutterable horror of soul. Surely it was that horror which made him sweat great drops of blood when he saw and felt that God was beginning to treat him as if he had been a sinner.”
Our sins are paid in full! There is no more curse on us, a new covenant was created and overwrites all we were responsible and will be responsible for. The law was the old covenant…. Sin requires payment or penalty and the Law looked for collection…. When we accept Christ as our savior we hold a receipt that says “Paid in Full!
You were in debt, But Jesus… Your Redeemer paid your debt in full! Praise GOD!
Remember a few minutes ago I mentioned how busy the High Priest was…He was a very busy man there was a lot of sin that had to be atoned for… but he was so busy because all the shed blood could never be pure… could never be enough…
Jesus Christ is now High Priest who tore the curtain of the Tabernacle from top to bottom so we could enter with the blood He shed for us.
Hebrews 4:14 (NLT)
Christ Is Our High Priest
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.
Jesus in His purity became our substitution…. And now…
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Jesus SAT DOWN! The High Priest we have in Jesus is sitting. There is no generational curses you are under. There is no condemnation… We are clean and the poison has been washed by the Blood of Jesus. We have the ultimate blood infusion!
Now that we have this debt paid in full we need to stop sinning and follow the plan laid out for us in His Word.
Romans 6:11–14 (NLT)
11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Be careful now…Even with Christ in our lives we are not superhuman now, and oblivious to sin. No. We need to be cautious and avoid sin and walk the life worthy and as God has given us instruction to walk. We need to avoid the habitual deliberate sin.
Hebrews 10:26–27 (NLT)
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.
God knows the temptations we will face as we walk with him God faced these same temptations. When we were under covenant of the old law the High Priest would go before God for the redemption of the sin of men. Now, with the new covenant we have a High Priest in Jesus Christ!
Hebrews 4:15 (NLT)
15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
Jesus goes before God and says this one is mine! His debt is paid in full. That does not mean to let down your guard and know that “Well even if I sin I am forgiven” Yes, this is true…. But the life you lead if you are weak to sin and don’t follow in obedience and love of the Substitution is FAR less that what God has given you as your plan.
God has so much more in store for us in His plan for us in our daily walk. When we follow the plans of the flesh or the world, we miss the full blessing that God has in store for us. There are only two ways…
There is the way of Satan which is against the Word of God. His way is destructive, and self-seeking, it is conditional and only ends in disappointment and hollow. There is no satisfaction in this way.
The way of our God leads to building and re-building what may have been lost in the time we spent in the ways of the world.
God knows we will fall… He knows we are not able to walk as Jesus.
1 John 1:8–9 (NLT)
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
So, we will have been cleansed and will be cleansed. Walk a life as God has planned. Your choices are your own. We are not bound by the sins of the past on our own, or of our ancestors. We have a free will to walk in the light of Christ! We have been redeemed from the curse. Jesus was our substitution, and we have no condemnation from the world! WE are debt free!