The New Agreement from God to His people.
What is The New Agreement from God to His people? Jesus says, "THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD; DO THIS, WHENEVER YOU DRINK IT, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME." These words made sense to some of the Jewish people Jesus was speaking to, if not at the time, then later after His blood was shed at His crucifixion. Some understood that blood was an important aspect in a covenant or agreement from God to His people and also later the cup played a role in covenants at times. Some may have remembered that in previous covenants there was a symbolic aspect of remembrance. With Noah it was the rainbow and with Abraham it was circumcision and now with Jesus it was the cup used with the last supper. Some remembered that a blood sacrifice offering of a lamb was normal in Abraham's day and at the time of the Passover and in Temple worship. Some connected these facts when John the baptizer saw Jesus and referred to Him as, "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". Unfortunately, many Jewish people did not understand as God complained about people who hear but do not "understand", including some Jewish followers of Jesus who subsequently stopped following Him after His comments about blood. Remember Jesus says, "You cannot come to Me, unless the Father makes you want to come" 1.
Most Christians are not comfortable with the mention of blood even though some translations make it more understandable such as "This cup shows the new agreement from God to His people. This new agreement begins with the blood of My death. When you drink this, do it to remember Me". To understand the new agreement we do not have to develop a Jewish mindset. Rather than focusing on what is confusing, it is better to focus on the new agreement from God to His people. Although many details contribute to the new agreement, the main detail is by believing in Jesus and what He teaches us, we can have eternal life now. People quote the words of Jesus and say they believe and yet do not seem to understand when He said God, "gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life". It is not a trick like there is a hidden clause that says, if a believer can pass judgment day after they die, then he or she will have eternal life. Jesus tells us, "They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life". Most Christian religious teachings are not compatible with these statements of Jesus. If you say you are a believer, yet do not believe what Jesus says, you are not a believer! Jesus says, "Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying Do you believe this?" The new agreement with God enables us to have eternal life now, which will continue after our bodies' die2.
Of the details that contribute to the new agreement, a first step may be for a believer to "Turn away from your sins" or "repent". As we turn away from our sins, we need to seek God's forgiveness for our sins, as we meet His requirement for forgiveness, by forgiving "those who have sinned against us". The concept of forgiveness by forgiving others is also included in the prayer to God, which Jesus tells us to pray daily. Realizing that it is not always easy to turn away from our sins, God gives believers spiritual warfare power by using Jesus "name". Also in the prayer Jesus tells us to pray, we pray "Please don't bring us into temptation and please rescue us from the evil one", which is asking God's help with our spiritual warfare. As part of the new agreement with God we are given awesome spiritual authority. Jesus tells us, "I have given you authority over all the power of the Enemy" 3.
Jesus also provided help with the new agreement by requesting God send His spirit, which Jesus refers to as the "Comforter" who will "teach you all things" and "convict" believers and the world of sin. Jesus tells us that God's spirit, who he also refers to, as "the Spirit of Truth" " will guide you into all the Truth". Apparently one of the ways we are guided is by our new prayer language, which some translations refer to as "new tongues". Some believers are concerned that they might get overly anxious with avoiding sin and perhaps this is one of the roles of God's spirit as a "comforter". As God provides comfort with His spirit, He also provides "power" to witness and to be obedient to everything Jesus has commanded. To help us feel more comfortable in our relationship with God, Jesus encourages us to have direct communication with God, always using Jesus "name" when communicating with God as a way of letting God know we are a believer in Jesus4.
To summarize "the new agreement from God to His people" is that " everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life". And to help us have eternal life before our bodies die, Jesus gave us the "authority over all the power of the Enemy" which enables us to be set "free" from sin because as Jesus asserts "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed". Does this mean at some point you can say I have eternal life and stop making an effort to do what God wants? No, but you may discover as you live the way God wants you to live with less sin exposure, you may find that less spiritual warfare effort is needed and that God's spirit will give you comfort regarding eternal life. Remember Jesus tells us "he who stands firm to the end will be saved". Be encouraged as a follower of Jesus, a believer, to thank Jesus daily for setting you free from your sins and helping you have eternal life5. If you say you are a believer, yet do not believe what Jesus says, you are not a believer! Jesus says, "Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying Do you believe this?"
1. 1 Co 11:25; Ge 9:13; 17:4-14; 22:7-8; Ex 12:3-21; Lev 9:3; Jn 1:29(NI); Is 6:9; Jn 6:53-66(CE)
2. 1 Co 11:25 (IC); Jn 3:16; 5:24(TE); Jn 11:25-26 (NL)
3. Mt 4:17(TE); Mt 6:12; Lk 10:19(TL); Mk 16:17; Mt 6:13(ET); Mt 15:17-19(IC)
4. Jn 14:16; 26; 16:7-8. 13 (AB); Mk 16:17; Ac 1:8; Jn 16:26-27 (NI)
5. 1 Co 11:25 (IC); Jn 3:16 (TE); Lk 10:19 (TL); Jn 8:31-36; Mt 10:22 (NI); Jn 11:25-26 (NL)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
A Psalm for reflection "He gives food to those who fear Him. He remembers His agreement forever" Ps 111:5 (IC)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
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MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop
"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."
Why work on your marriage? 1. Most people want enjoyable, lasting marriages. 2. Jesus quoted (Mt 19:5 TE) God (Ge 2:24) when He said " two will become one ". Being one doesn't happen automatically, you have to work at being one and learning how to work together as a team. 3. God said in Mal 2:16 (NI) "I hate divorce " Being obedient to God is important to your eternal life. Take no pleasure in getting divorced and then telling your ex they are going to hell.
One time, a high profile Christian, who once shared with a group of pastors including me about what a strong Christian his wife was, made the news that they filed for divorce after over 30 years of marriage. My wife and I had been married over 30 years when we went through the marriage workshop together. In our first workshop we agreed that if we saw any one we knew we would just say we were learning how to help others. The truth is our marriage needed help and we benefited from the workshop. Subsequently I was trained to conduct workshops and I did learn how to help others. Today, I can tell you that our marriage is better than it has been in years and it continues to get better every week. Some people seem to have so much pride they would rather get divorced than work on their marriage. Our workshop at Jesus Center is better than counseling because we help you learn how to work together as a team and resolve your own problems.
Also it is good to know that from a study in 2009 of over 3 million households, 76 % have married only once. Over 19% have been married twice; and only 5% have been married three or more times.(7.25% in Oklahoma). Often to try to encourage people to work on their marriages people manipulate statistics to make people feel like everyone is divorced. Actually the exact opposite is true. Join the majority and stay married. Our workshop can help every marriage be better. We don't want you to say we have been married for 25 years and haven't talked to each other in 5 years. We want you to say that your marriage is better and more enjoyable every week.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). Also you can treat your spouse like you want to be treated as Jesus teaches us to Lk 6:31 (TE) "Do for others just what you want them to do for you."
Hi Followers of Jesus,
As you read God's blessing, accept it for your self, "May Yahveh bless you and take care of you; May Yahveh make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; May Yahveh turn His face towards you and give you shalom!" Nu 6:24-26 (ET)
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