Monday, 22 July 2013

Discovering the Life-Changing Power of covenant

Living by God's Word

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalms 119:11 NKJV
From Today I’m introducing a new series of sermons entitled, “Living and Walking in God's Principles.”  Over the decades working with many pastors, local churches, leaders, and Believers at all levels across various states of India, I’m reminded that we are the sum total of all the people we have known, met and learned from. This piece of writing is the result of countless individuals whose thoughts, ideas, perspectives and work have given me the exposure to the truths, ideas, values and principles of God’s word which I have learn and shared in this sermon.  First let me take a moment and establish the context for this series. Every sound successful management principle used in this world is based on a Biblical principle. We should recognize the fact, that God, who created the universe and the world in it, is using a set of His covenant principles to manage and govern the whole universe.

God Is, God Speaks, God Creates and sustain all things by His Word.

God created the whole universe, everything that we see, and last of all he created man. Man is special and is the crown of God's creation in other words Man is the crowning work of God’s creation that’s not a statement of arrogance, that’s a statement of fact. In the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, the creation of humanity is shown as the high point of God’s creation.  And the implication is the profound value of human life. Man is the Crown of Creation because he is the only created thing made in the “image” and “likeness” of God and, therefore, uniquely distinct in his existence. No other creature is like man; he is one of a kind. Only man has been “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5).

As image bearers of God, we reveal and unveil something about the character and nature of God in bearing His image. Sometimes in our earthly mind, the awesomeness of God is lost. To think He was there before the world began; that He created the world and sustains it with His powerful word. Now the most significant point to notice is that we are made in God's image and likeness. From the first chapter of Genesis we can learn three vital characteristic of God which we are privileged to partake as the divine nature.

 First, there is creativity. Throughout first chapter of Genesis we read, "God made... God created... God formed... God fashioned." That kind of activity involves imagination, the ability to think in conceptual terms, i.e., abstract thinking, the ability to see a thing with the eye of the mind and then fashion it with whatever powers are available. This great faculty man shares with God. Man too is creative. Not to the same degree that God is, for we cannot make things out of nothing, as God does, but we can fashion things, make things. Man can compose a symphony or design a computer, he can paint a picture and plan a building, and he can even devise a new formula. No animal can do this. Man has the function of creativity because he is made in the image of God. This is the dignity of mankind that separates him, by a vast gulf, from the whole animal creation.

Second, God communicates. He speaks, and so does man. Man is the only creature that can talk. Perhaps some are saying that animals also can communicate with one another. Animals do make sounds, but they do not communicate, they do not speak, as we use that term. They do not use language. They have certain signals which they utter and which are mutually understandable. But they do not convey ideas, they do not discuss matters together, they do not talk over an issue as we do. This ability is reserved for man. Again, throughout first chapter of genesis we can see the universe sprang into being because God speaks. It is the word of God which forms the ages, says the writer to the Hebrews God uses words as power, which alters, changes, and affects events and people. This too is the way man speaks. We alone of all created beings on the earth are able to appreciate the power of a word and to use it to alter lives or to shape history. We always appreciate good words. We know how words can affect us and change us. Words can ruin lives, they can heal and restore. What an amazing faculty is speech! It is part of the image of God in man. To be created in God’s image means that we reflect God in our personality and communication. This is why we have value, dignity, and worth.

Third, in the first chapter of genesis, we notice that God is always pronouncing things good. He is therefore a moral being, and man shares that character as well. Man, too, is a moral being. He has the faculty of being able to distinguish between evil and good. Remarkably enough, even in societies where there is a denial of morals, as in the relativistic society of today, men still go on pronouncing things good or evil. The standards may vary but the result remains: some things are called good and other things bad. This practice is found universally among men. Everywhere man has a consciousness of moral values. We feel the trouble of a bad conscience when it sits in judgment over us. Even though we try to stifle it, it keeps insinuating itself upon us and we cannot get away from it. We recognize moral choices and moral values, and this marks us as having been made in the image of God. The bedrock principle upon which such decisions must be made is the fact that all men are created in God’s image. This is why our Lord Jesus could sum up the whole of the Old Testament in two commands, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:37-40)

God knows every single thought of all the 7 billion people who are on earth right this minute… all at the same time.  Just thinking about Gods unfathomable wisdom is mind-blowing! God made us different from everything else, to be like him in a way that nothing else is like him, to have the capacity to fellowship and respond to him that nothing else has. There is a form of divinity that has been implanted in us that we cannot get rid of. We understand God, we know God, we long for him, we are receptive of him, we sense him, we need him in ways that nothing else created ever did, because he made us that way.  Many are the ways in which God is seeking to make Himself known to us and bring us into communion with Him. Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing. The open heart will be impressed with the love and glory of God as revealed through the works of His hands. The listening ear can hear and understand the communications of God through the things of nature. The green fields, the lofty trees, the buds and flowers, the passing cloud, the falling rain, the babbling brook, the glories of the heavens, speak to our hearts, and invite us to become acquainted with Him who made them all. The trees, the birds, the flowers of the valleys, the hills, the lakes, and the beautiful heavens, as well as the incidents and surroundings of daily life, were all linked with the words of truth, that His lessons might thus be often recalled to mind, even amid the busy cares of man's life of toil.

From the stars that in their trackless courses through space follow from age to age their appointed path, down to the minutest atom, the things of nature obey the Creator's will. And God cares for everything and sustains everything that He has created. He who upholds the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, at the same time cares for the wants of the little brown sparrow that sings its humble song without fear. When men go forth to their daily toil, as when they engage in prayer; when they lie down at night, and when they rise in the morning; when the rich man feasts in his palace, or when the poor man gathers his children about the scanty board, each is tenderly watched by the heavenly Father. No tears are shed that God does not notice. There is no smile that He does not mark.

Adam was created with a threefold responsibility: he was a Prophet, a Priest, and a King. As Prophet he walked with God and was taught of Him, then in turn he was to teach his family God's revelation. As Priest, he had no sin in himself, so he had a right to stand before God in holiness. As King he was over all the creation, according to the command of God (Genesis 1:28-30). All of this continued until Adam sinned. Since the fall of man, when it comes to recognizing what is good and evil, we must return to the right source. Human thinking is not the right source. A particular path might appear to be a great one, but it just might lead to destruction (Proverbs 16:25). God charged the children of Israel to do that which was right and good in His sight, not their own (Deuteronomy 6:18). When God tells us, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9), He expects us to accept His judgment about what is good and evil. The word of God is the only source to which we can turn to identify properly matters that are good or evil. Jesus said “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,” (John 5:39).

 One that does not come to the Bible to learn God’s standard of good and evil will never be able to properly tell the difference between good and evil. In fact every man wishes to obtain life and good, and to escape death and evil; he desires happiness, and dreads misery. So great is the compassion of the Lord, that he has favored men, by his word, with such a knowledge of good and evil as will make them forever happy, if it be not their own fault. Let us hear the sum of the whole matter. If they and theirs would love God, and serve him, they should live and be happy. If they or theirs should turn from God, desert his service, and worship other gods, that would certainly be their ruin. There never was, since the fall of man, more than one way to heaven; which is marked out in both Testaments, though not with equal clearness. Moses meant that same way of acceptance, which Paul more plainly described; and Paul's words mean the same obedience, on which Moses more fully treated. In both Testaments the good and right way is brought near, and plainly revealed to us.

God speaks to us through His providential workings and through the influence of His Spirit upon the heart. In our circumstances and surroundings, in the changes daily taking place around us, we may find precious lessons if our hearts are but open to discern them. The psalmist, tracing the work of God's providence, says, "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." Psalm 33:5; 107:43. God speaks to us in His word. Here we have in clearer lines the revelation of His character, of His dealings with men, and the great work of redemption. Here is open before us the history of patriarchs and prophets and other holy men of old. They were men "subject to like passions as we are." James 5:17. 

So before we further discover Biblical principles and how it applies to our daily lives, we need to understand the foundational truths of the trustworthiness of God and His Word. The Bible was not written for the scholar alone; on the contrary, it was designed for the common people. The great truths necessary for salvation are made as clear as noonday; and none will mistake and lose their way except those who follow their own judgment instead of the plainly revealed will of God.

Bible says  “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

The above statement begins with the fact that God is, God speaks, God creates and God sustaining all things. Ps. 19:1 the heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. If you look around, you know there is a God. Even if you look inside yourself, you know there is a God, for the Bible says, Rom. 1:19-20 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Earlier, God spoke through the prophets. Now, He has spoken through Jesus. Why? Because Now, the Father has appointed His Son Jesus Christ to be heir of all things. That means everything that belongs to the Father will be given to the Son. Everything on this earth, in the universe, all power, all authority hence Christ is greater than the prophets? Unlike the prophets, He is not a sinner. Remember that although the prophets spoke the Word of God, they themselves did not have the nature of God. For example, James clearly told us, James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours...

The Father made the world through His Son Jesus Christ. John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. The first statement the writer of Hebrews makes is that Jesus is the "radiance of God's glory, and the exact representation of God's nature." Paul put it this way in Colossians, Col. 1:17 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” He is maintaining and controlling the very molecules and atoms that the universe is made of! How? By the word of His power. He is sustaining the universe the same way He created it - simply by speaking it. God spoke everything into existence: stars and sun, oceans and animals, plants and people. He spoke it and it happened. There is power in the Word that God speaks. He spoke it, and it was accomplished. The Word of God is powerful beyond our comprehension. It is the Word of God which upholds the universe. It is the Word of God that heals or build. Do you know that this book you hold in your hand is the Word of God? It is incredibly powerful - living and active. It is able to effect your life, to change your eternal destiny. 

As your senses delight in the attractive loveliness of the earth, think of the world that is to come, that shall never know the blight of sin and death; where the face of nature will no more wear the shadow of the curse. Let your imagination picture the home of the saved, and remember that it will be more glorious than your brightest imagination can portray. In the varied gifts of God in nature we see but the faintest gleaming of His glory. It is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Bible says “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any mans judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16) Paul says saints have "the mind of the Lord." The spiritual man discerns the things which are spiritually discerned, though he himself is not discerned or properly appreciated by any natural man. To judge here means to discern, to appreciate, and thus pass judgment upon. But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him]. (AMP)

We don’t have to judge people’s hearts and motives. The Word of God judges all of us and is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is not only inspired by God -- it is useful for spiritual birth, spiritual transformation, spiritual growth and sanctification. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The Scriptures point us to the principles of living a godly life. Those who follow God's Word also experience a blessed life, as described in Psalm 119:1-3: "How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways."

 In creating the universe, God established laws and principles which can be discovered and understood by the human mind. We are discussing some of the principles here, and through science we know many of the laws of nature and how they work. These laws, which are perfectly consistent, give the universe order and patterns that enable it to maintain itself in balance and harmony. As creators we are free, but as we experience life in the phenomenal world we are bound by the laws of creation. Every person starts with basic assumptions in life. Assuming that Bible as a revelation from God to mankind, and as an objective guide for understanding life, let us consider some basic assumptions.

All truth is God's truth. The truth of the Bible tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16).God’s laws and principles teach us the best way of life now and show us how we can gain everlasting rewards in the future. Since God created us, it is only right that we respond appreciatively to his guidance. He has given us this information in His revealed Word; the Bible. The Bible is to the person somewhat like the automobile instruction manual is to the car. It is the manual of operations to help us run the car efficiently. So, God has given us a spiritual manual of operations, so that we enjoy the fullness of life (John 10:10). The Bible is the genesis and sourcebook of understanding mankind, his life, his emotions/will, and his body.

Our decision to resist Evil and temptation shows the inherent power and consciousness within us to live by Biblical principles. My childhood, I had been taught by my parents that “A man reaps what he sows." (Galatians 6:7). I can still remember my mother warning me about my choices in life and advising me to trust God rather than lean on my own solutions and strategies for handling life. Those principles helped me to trust God and realize that the quality of the life is determined by the quality of the choices. One of the most beautiful things about life is you can make your life better and influential by your right choice. No matter what situation you are in, you have a choice. No matter how bad things are, you have a choice. No matter what you think you can or cannot do, you have a choice. Your decision and disciplines will determine your destination.

Discovering the Life-Changing Power of covenant

All life operates or arises out of a covenant. A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and His children. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey these conditions. Making and keeping covenants qualifies us to receive the blessings God has promised. When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings. Our covenants guide the choices we make and help us resist temptation. When two people want to go into business together the first thing they do is draw up a contract or a partnership. That is the basic covenant that defines the terms of their operation. A marriage is that kind of a covenant. It is an agreement between a man and a woman to stick together against all odds, to work out their problems, to share their resources. Life itself is the most fundamental covenant of all. Life is the agreement or the arrangement that God has already made with us that he will provide to us what it takes to operate, to act. All men, Government and Nations are operating on this principle, but they are blind to this basic truth.

If we are not in covenant with God, we will never know him at all. And if we do not understand the importance of the covenants, we will not be able to make much sense of vast portions of the bible. What was it, in the simplest mode of expression, that Jesus shed his blood to accomplish? According to his own words at the last Supper, the significance of his death was summed up in one term, “New Covenant” (Matthew 26:28). If we do not understand covenant terminology, this will leave us at best with a very unclear understanding of the benefits of Christ's death; and if we do not understand the unity and organic connectedness of the divine covenants, we will miss the coherence of the bible, the unity of God's redemptive design, and the centrality of the Christ of the covenants, who is the bible's great champion.

The Covenants between God and Man

The fundamental question to which all theology addresses itself is the God-man relationship. How does God relate to man? How can man establish a relationship with God? Can there be any real stability, dependability and predictability to this one-sided relationship of the infinite, perfect God with finite, sinful man? The Bible answers these questions by showing us that the divine-human relationship is based on a covenant. This idea of a covenantal relationship between God and man is so basic and overwhelmingly predominant in the Scriptures that the two great sections of the Bible have appropriately been called the Old Testament (Covenant) and the New Testament (Covenant) The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament are about God's covenant with men.  The writings of Moses and the prophets are covenant documents and should therefore be studied in that light. The twenty-seven books of the New Testament are also about a covenant between God and man.

Christianity is a covenantal religion. Its documents are covenantal documents. The whole Bible, therefore, is about a divine-human relationship which is based on a covenant. Apostle Paul calls an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. Now the passage we use oftentimes in teaching the whole truth of both of these Covenants, or arrangements for life, is found in 2 Corinthians.3: Paul says some interesting words about the Greater Glory of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is more than the second half of the Bible; it dramatically changes how we relate to God. Through the finished work of Jesus the covenant, or contract, God established with man has transformed. When Jesus died He brought the New Covenant into affect. The truths of the New Covenant are very relevant to Christians today. After all, it is the New Covenant that we live under. While the Old and New Covenants are full of the same words: faith, righteousness, sanctification, and prayer, for example, their meanings, purposes, and processes are radically different.  Under the New Testament our faith should be based solely on the finished work of Jesus.  Although God has NOT changed (Malachi 3:6), the way God can now relate to humanity has dramatically changed because Jesus took the punishment for sin and satisfied God's anger. Under the New Covenant God's anger has been satisfied. God is NOT mad at you! He loves you.

God's covenants is indispensable

The covenant theme is not just one of many interesting Bible doctrines; it is part of the very framework of biblical theology. Whereas the study of some things in the Bible may be regarded as optional as far as understanding its essential message is concerned, some understanding and appreciation of the covenants is indispensable to a sound knowledge of the Scriptures. The Bible is the only book that gives you understanding of God and His will. God proclaims the power of His Word: “So will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 NASB). Life-changing faith is always in agreement with the Word of God (1 John 5:14-15).

God's revelation to mankind has two significant and parallel lines of truth in the Bible, that impact the life of every believer: 1) the Kingdom of God, and 2) the Royal family. These two primary principles are like the two sides of a coin, they go together: one side is God's promises to mankind, and the other is mankind's response to God. Taken together they form an indissoluble bond between God and the believing saint. The Bible is the source book from which this understanding comes, and it is the responsibility of every believer to know and understand these two basic principles, in order to comprehend God's program for mankind, as well as to know how to live in a sinful world.

God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change, frightens the Devil, causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character, transforms circumstances, imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation, infuses hope, releases power, cleanses our minds, brings things into being, and guarantees our future forever! We cannot live without the Word of God! Never take it for granted. You should consider it as essential to your life as food. Job said, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12 NIV). God’s Word is the spiritual nourishment you must have to fulfill your purpose.

Good men always are afraid of sin, and are in care to prevent it; and the most effectual way to prevent is to hide God’s word in our hearts, that we may answer every temptation, as our Master did, with, “It is written,” Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert after He had fasted forty days and forty nights. Each time Jesus answered the enemy who wanted Him to sin against God, He answered, “It is written…”, and then he quoted a scripture. Jesus said. “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). To live by faith you must know the Word of God. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).

God's covenants are unbreakable

When you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you receive the power of His blood that seals your redemption from sin and entitles you to eternal life. And if that was the only thing Salvation in Christ brought you, it would be the greatest gift of all. But there is much more to this agreement with Almighty God. This agreement is a sacred covenant between you and the Father God that entails more that most believers have ever even imagined. It's time to discover the depth and power of God's eternal oath with you. This secret strength hidden within the heart of the Christian life reveals the profound depth of God's unconditional love and is bound by the blood covenant. Those who realize and embrace this strength live in a realm of faith and victory that others only dream of. The most amazing news to be announced to the human race is that God, in His unconditional love for us, has called us to participate in the most intimate relationship and unbreakable bond known among men.
God's covenants are unbreakable. All God's promises will be fulfilled. We are saved, not by a philosophical agreement, but by a covenantal commitment. The covenant is offered to us by grace. Our faith is a partnership with God in a covenant agreement that cannot be broken. God said in Psalm 89:34 that “I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.”  “He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations,” (Psalm 105:8)


The nation of Israel failed to live up to the terms of the old covenant. It was impossible because of the radical depravity of man. Of course, it was never meant to bring salvation. The only person who ever lived up to the requirements of the law was Jesus Christ. Israel's problem was spiritual. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9). The new covenant was required because of the sin problem. Jeremiah 31:33-34 is an exact description of the covenant under which the true Christian lives. It is the communion and walking in the Holy Spirit as a result of regeneration of the depraved sinner. It depicts the radical change of the sinner and his new relationship to Jesus Christ. Such a believer is abiding in Christ.
“It will not be like the covenant  I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand  to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant,     though I was a husband to them, “declares the Lord.
 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God,  and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me,    from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.“For I will forgive their wickedness   and will remember their sins no more.”Jeremiah 31:32-34

God says He will place His law within the individual and will write it upon the heart. There will be the consciousness within the life of the Divine thought and will and purpose in that moment of reflection. These principles of the new covenant will be upon the heart. They will not be on tables of stone. "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (v. 33). This is the whole argument of Hebrews 8:6-7. He then quotes these verses from Jeremiah 31 to argue his point. Jesus Christ "has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second." The fault was with the depraved sinners who were incapable of keeping the covenant with God.  The new covenant will be a clear apprehension of the will of God by individual souls, without human mediator. The apprehension of the will of God will be possible through direct and personal knowledge of God on the part of all men. This knowledge will result from putting away of moral defilement. The result will be a clear vision of God. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

 This is a description of the covenant under which the Christian lives. It is a description of the communion with the Holy Spirit. The indwelling Spirit interprets His word in the hour of need. I am to expect the Divine voice to break in upon my conscience as I read the Scriptures and pray. It is intimate fellowship, not through intellectual attainment, but direct, immediate, a consciousness which is independent of instruction by man, by mediator. It is based upon His saving grace. Maintained fellowship and abiding in God’s Word is the condition for this immediate illumination of Him. The measure in which we regard iniquity in our heart determines our distance from Him in our illumination.

It is important to realize that we cannot even understand the Old Testament without the New Testament. Saint Augustine aptly observed that the Old Testament is revealed in the New, and the New is concealed in the Old. For the Christian, Christ is the theme of both covenants. For example, in the Old Testament, Christ is in pictures, in the New Testament in person; in the Old, Christ is in ritual, in the New, Christ is in reality; in the Old, Christ is prophesied, in the New, Christ is present; in the Old, Christ is implicitly revealed, in the New, Christ is explicitly revealed.

Why the New Covenant is better.

Here are a few examples of what makes the New Covenant a better covenant:
1. In the New Covenant we are redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13)!
2. In the New Covenant we receive God's righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)!
3. In the New Covenant we become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
4. In the New Covenant we become one with God (John 17:20-23)!
5. In the New Covenant we receive eternal life—the life of God (John 3:16)!
6. In the New Covenant we are delivered from Satan's dominion. We no longer have to be afraid of the devil (Colossians 1:12-13)!

7. Under the New Covenant God has greater power in the Earth (Matthew 28:18).

Jesus Christ purchased many wonderful blessings for us through His death, burial, and mighty resurrection. Thus, a victorious Christian life is assured for those who discover all Jesus has purchased for us.

Life under the New Covenant

… I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts…Hebrews 8:10

What laws was God referring to when He said, “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts”? The laws that God puts in our minds and writes on our hearts refer to the royal law of love and truth (Matthew 22:37–40), the perfect law of life and liberty (James 1:25) and the law of the Spirit of life in Christ and faith. (Romans 3:27, 8:1-3) These are the laws of the new covenant. You live according to the laws of the new covenant when you are conscious of how much God loves you. And the more you are conscious of His love for you, the more your heart is filled with love. When that happens, you will love God and the people around you supernaturally and effortlessly. That is God writing on your heart the royal law of love — that we love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)  Secondly, when you know that you are perfectly accepted by God because of Jesus’ sacrifice, you can have the courage and liberty as a child of God to come boldly into the presence of your heavenly Father. And in His presence, He is able to write on your heart new desires. You will find yourself wanting to do the right thing at the right time. You will live life victoriously from the inside out. This is the perfect law of liberty operating in your life. Thirdly, when you sense what God is writing on your heart and putting in your mind, and as your faith is activated causing you to trust Him and His love for you, He calls it obeying the law of faith.

In the New Testament we are explicitly told in Romans 3 (where Paul is quoting the Old Testament) that “there is no one righteous, no not one!”

A pure, holy (set apart from sin/disobedience), and righteous God is set before us and manifested for us in the person of Jesus Christ. This person is presented for our consideration as our personal Savior and Lord in the New Testament.

God gives us the gift of faith that we can choose to accept in order to enter this New Covenant—this unconditional promise of Life that sets us free from the Old Covenant of the Law where total obedience was the condition for blessing.

This is so remarkably profound and simple at the same time, that upon dwelling on this for a length of time, it fills us with awe, love, and thankfulness and a joy (that surpasses our understanding) in any circumstance, even the terrible dismal ones. A whole new way of life opens up when we begin to understand that Jesus never said we could [do anything], He always said He would [do everything]! Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life… (John 14:6a).

We begin to understand what God’s mercy and grace given to us means. We learn that apart from His indwelling Spirit, and the Lord’s presence, and the Father’slove in us—we can only act and live in the flesh and not in the Spirit. It is Jesus who says, “apart from Him,” an intimate union with Him, “we can do nothing” (meaning nothing of eternal value). And Paul further teaches that we can do everything in Christ—since He is the One doing it! We learn in Philippians 4 where Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (The Greek word for through here is “en” which is most often translated “in”.)

How you maintained fellowship and abide in God’s word? The psalmist internalized God’s Word by meditation, delight, and memorization. “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:10-11). He desires not just to know about God, but to know God personally, His ways, His character and to experience God’s guidance daily. “Bible meditation and memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? “Meditation and Memorization” “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

As a starter, it is imperative for an individual to become related to God through a personal relationship with Him, by accepting the work that Christ accomplished on the cross, and making a personal commitment to Jesus Christ to care for one's sins against God (John 3:16-18,36; 5:24; Romans 10:9,10). Once the person's sin problem with God is settled, and that person is spiritually regenerated, then one enters a family relationship with God, and enjoys the fullness of God's promises and blessings both now as well as for eternity. Along with these promises go certain responsibilities within the family of God. When God created mankind, He did so for three purposes as stated in Psalm 8:4-6. In v.4 God created mankind for fellowship with Him, then in v. 5 it states that mankind was created to reflect the moral qualities of God Himself (the word glory means God's moral attributes), and finally in v.6 we see that mankind was to be a delegated king over the rest of God's creation (i.e. the animal, plants and water kingdom).

Life is God’s Gift

Is man a piece of nature or the crown of creation? Or is he both?

 Modern science has pushed him to the edge of the universe, reducing him to a tiny point on a tiny planet. In both the Old and New Testaments there is agreement: man was created, and he was created by God. And all the texts imply that the creation of man was an act, an act that was completed at a point in time; there is no intimation of a process involving unlimited time that allowed man to evolve from stage to stage. This means that man exists because of purpose, God’s purpose. God is one, infinite, all in all and over all, and the entire universe is unified in God consciousness. God has a long term and short term plan so far as the world and the people in it are concerned. Thus man’s place in the cosmos is not the result of blind chance or some impersonal power; man exists because God created him and had a purpose in creating him. This in itself gives man profound significance. In other words management is God’s motivation to create mankind. God will not allow rain and growth where there is no man to manage the ground. Bible says

“Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.”(Genesis 2:5)  The first management principle God assign to man is mention in Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, (productive) and multiply,(reproduce )and replenish (distribute/fill)the earth, and subdue (Discipline/control) it: and have dominion (leadership/ /management)over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”(KJV)

Therefore Man is God’s glory because he shows forth God’s delegated authority over all creation. Man is therefore the crown of creation and shines forth the image and glory of God in a way no other creature does. Man is the Crown of Creation because he is the only created thing made in the “image” and “likeness” of God and, therefore, uniquely distinct in his existence. No other creature is like man; he is one of a kind. Only man has been “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). Out of all of creation, man is most like God.
From this we have to recognize the fact that our God always has a purpose and a perfect plan, an organization to execute it. The earthly and the heavenly creatures have been created and entrusted with some responsibility to ensure that God’s perfect purpose and plan is executed eventually, to execute his judgment by rewarding the good and punishing the evil and the disobedient. All the news that is flashing in front of the very eyes of the people today, and reported in details in the news media, proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that our God is a manager of the whole universe and nothing can escape from the knowledge and control of God. Therefore, we should realize that when we diligently study the bible, the Word of God, we can also know the truth. When we follow the truth, we can escape God’s wrath and punishment for our evil acts and inherit the kingdom of God and live in peace in the presence of God forever. When we manage the affairs of this world according to the laws and the principles of God, we can maintain harmony and peace in this world and there will be justice, order, peace and abundance of supplies for all the needs of every living creature, particularly human beings, who have been created as the children of God. It is therefore necessary that we recognize all the management principles of God himself, and submit ourselves to God’s law and live according to his teachings and laws. 

The Bible is the only book ever written which has over and over again proven to be accurate in spite of numerous attempts to disprove it and above all the “prophetic" accuracy is unparalleled in any other writings. The Bible is clearly the most influential book the world has ever known. King David said “I will worship toward your holy temple, and praise your name for your loving kindness and for your truth: for you have magnified your word above all your name. “ (Psalm 138:2.)  We value Scripture above every opinion of men because it is exalted above all things. We value Scripture above human reason, above scientific inquiry, and above all other sources of truth because God has exalted his word above all. You can pick up any other book and read it, but this is the book that reads you. It liberates a person from the prison-house of his myths, class, race, customs, standards and even his own beliefs and traditions. It is the fountain by which character is formed, mind is refined& intellect is sharpened, as a result, one can stand against all storms of life. It pulsates with life and power. It cuts, burns, crushes, and wields mountain-moving power. His Word has a life of its own. It is the voice of God to you. You cannot refuse it, deny it, distort it, or dilute it. You can only bow before it.

We must guard ourselves against lowering the standard of God’s Word to our level of understanding or political correctness. And we must guard ourselves against raising the standards of human philosophy and traditions above the standard of His Word. The Bible is not meant to be paraded past the judgment bar of human mind. Bible says “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”(Colossians 2:8)

Jesus Himself is the Author of Revelation and the giver of the vision to the apostle John, He concludes the book with a confirmation of His testimony to the finality of the prophecies contained in the Bible. These are His words, for those who attempt to subvert the message and prophecies taught in this most awesome book, there awaits a judgment pronounced at the very end:“ I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” (Revelation 22:18-19) He warns against distorting them in any way, whether through additions, subtractions, falsifications, alterations, or intentional misinterpretations. The warning is explicit and dire. The plagues of Revelation will be visited upon anyone guilty of tampering in any way with the revelations in the book, and those who dare to do so will have no part in eternal life in heaven.

Life is a choice

"I have set before you life and death"

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
When Moses stood before all Israel and said, "Therefore choose life," he was only repeating what had first been heard by Adam:  God tells Adam regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:17). With these words Moses challenged the children of Israel to renew their covenant with the Lord. We may have heard the same words earnestly addressed to us by parents, teachers, and church leaders. We know what they mean. Or do we? Perhaps we could gain by pondering them together one more time. Moses is referring to the abundant spiritual and material life they will experience because of God's relationship with them and because of their willingness to respond wholeheartedly to his love. Note that nothing is withheld from God's children. When we establish a spiritual relationship with God and walk according to his known will, we receive nothing but everlasting life, prosperity and blessings.

God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to make life easy for us by encouraging us to "choose life."  Our Loving Heavenly Father knows the difference between ‘benefits’ and ‘consequences.’  He does not encourage us to choose death and cursing—because they carry consequences that are undesirable to us. If it were not for the enemy blinding the minds of many, NO ONE would choose "death and cursing."For those of us who are seeking God’s kingdom diligently, we must make a choice between good and evil, and, between life and death, and in today’s confused world – that choice is more difficult than most people realize.  God has set the same choices before everyone who has ever lived. 

All who choose to live evil lives will die – that is the wages of sin. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  (Romans 6:23)  Christ’s sacrifice offers us a choice, but does not eliminate people making choices of sin, or evil bringing spiritual death.  It is of course necessary to choose the holy footsteps of Christ, to have access to spiritual life. God says, "I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil."  (Deuteronomy 30:15) We find that we must choose life – and more than life, we must choose the author of eternal life – God Himself!!! 

But again, let’s examine why God said to "choose life."  He said, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."  God knows that when we "choose life and blessing", we are choosing everything needed to live a blessed and prosperous life in Jesus. Our spiritual choices are based in the motivation or intent of our heart. The choosing of life, involves ...a decision. There is a decision we have to make. We’re not born into God’s family where there is a transfer of salvation, because of my family, church, heritage etc. But there has to be a personal and individual choice to choose Salvation from sin and death.

And God says, "Choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." God wants you to live a blessed, full and flourishing, prosperous life and He know that the only way for that to happen is to make the right choices. And in this case, that choice is life. When you choose life you and your descendants declare and show that you serve the living God who definitely wants only good for you and not evil. You declare and show that God is your God, by the choices you make.

When we make wrong choices through this freedom we have, we can bring the consequences of ‘destruction and ruin,’ and in essence, ‘the curse’ on us because of those decisions. Therefore, choose life and live! Demonstrate your love for God as you choose life. God says, "choose life" and speak (declare) life; and watch me show off. Which will you choose?  …
Life is a trust, a test and a temporary assignment.
In creating the universe, God established laws and principles which can be discovered and understood by the human mind. We are discussing some of the principles here, and through science we know many of the laws of nature and how they work. These laws, which are perfectly consistent, give the universe order and patterns that enable it to maintain itself in balance and harmony. As creators we are free, but as we experience life in the phenomenal world we are bound by the laws of creation. Every person starts with basic assumptions in life. Assuming that Bible as a revelation from God to mankind, and as an objective guide for understanding life, let us consider some basic assumptions.

 All truth is God's truth. The truth of the Bible tells us that God created mankind as; Spirit, Soul, and Body (I Thess.5:23). This word strongly indicates that man is of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit as our inmost part is the inner organ, possessing God-consciousness, that we may contact God (John 4:24; Rom 1:9). The soul is our very self (cf. Matt.16:26; Luke 9:25), a medium between our spirit and our body, possessing self-consciousness, that we may have our personality. The body as our external part is the outer organ, possessing world-consciousness, that we may contact the material world. In other words among the three parts of human nature the "spirit" is the highest part of man, that which assimilates him to God; renders him capable of spiritual. The Spirit is the life that we have from God, the Soul is our psyche (i.e. emotions, mind, will) or soul is the inferior part of his mental nature, the seat of the passions and desires, of the natural propensities. The "body" is the corporeal frame or our flesh.
The body contains the soul, and the soul is the vessel that contains the spirit. In the spirit, God as the Spirit dwells; in the soul, our self dwells; and in the body, the physical senses dwell. God sanctifies us, first, by taking possession of our spirit through regeneration (John 3:5-6); second, by spreading Himself as the life-giving Spirit from our spirit into our soul to saturate and transform our soul (Rom 12:2 2cor.3:18); and last, by enlivening our mortal body through our soul (Rom 8:11,13) and transfiguring our body by His life power (Phil 3:21). Therefore, the basic assumption must be, that God who created us, should know best how we operate in life, to give us the fullness we desire. Our Creator is wiser than we are. As a loving Father, he cares for us. Also, he did not intend for us to be independent of him.  Bible declares, “LORD, we know that people do not control their own destiny. It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them “(Jeremiah 10:23) as just as a small child needs the guidance of parents, we all need the guidance of God.

Biblical principles provide guidance that is a gift from God. “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17, 18) “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16).God’s laws and principles teach us the best way of life now and show us how we can gain everlasting rewards in the future. Since God created us, it is only right that we respond appreciatively to his guidance. He has given us this information in His revealed Word; the Bible. The Bible is to the person somewhat like the automobile instruction manual is to the car. It is the manual of operations to help us run the car efficiently. So, God has given us a spiritual manual of operations, so that we enjoy the fullness of life (John 10:10). The Bible is the genesis and sourcebook of understanding mankind, his life, his emotions/will, and his body.

Nothing that God does is wrong, unjust, improper, haphazard, without a good reason or purpose, unscrupulous, unjust, without a plan or purpose, disorganized, without adequate and able persons or creatures to assist and execute, improperly directed, and uncontrolled, and incidentally these are the basic management functions which are performed by God or under his control and plan. God's ways are perfect. As the bible says God's ways are excellent, perfect and marvelous, but man's ways are evil, immoral, imperfect and wrongful. As the Bible says excellent are His ways and the decisions he makes and the judgments he executes are perfect! God owns everything, but as your Lord, He checks to see if you can manage.  If you have been faithful over God’s property, He will give you more property of your own.  If you cannot be consistent in disciplining yourself to always be faithful in setting aside what God says is His, God may say that He cannot trust you with more. Leadership   requires accountability, discipline, honesty, diligence, faithfulness, and trustworthiness. All of these components are necessary for management.
In the Bible, three inter-related metaphors are used to teach us God’s view of life:  Life is a trust. Life is a test. And life is a temporary assignment. Life is a test because life is a trust because life is a temporary assignment, for we were made for eternity. These principles are the foundation for God-given, living on earth. We find them elaborated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 4 and illustrated by Jesus in the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25. Let’s examine them each and see how they are related.

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”(1 Corinthians 4:1)  Notice Paul describes us as servants - servants entrusted with a role. God has entrusted to us all our talents, all our intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resources for one purpose. God has entrusted to us a ministry of reconciliation.(2 Corinthians 5:18) To know him and make him known. We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans the earth to us while we’re here. It was God’s property before you arrived and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for a while as trustees.” We are trustees of God’s property. As Paul goes on to say in verse 7, “For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” (1 Corinthians 4:7NLT).  
Jesus often referred to life as a trust and told many stories to illustrate God’s kingdom rule, Jesus said, "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. (Matthew 25:14-15)  

In the Parable of the Talents, when the master returns, he evaluates each servant’s faithfulness and rewards them accordingly. The owner says, ’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' (Matthew 25:21).

“At the end of your life on earth we will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well you have handled what God has entrusted to you.”  This means everything we do, even the little things like causal talk, can have eternal consequences. So, life is a trust. Therefore, Life is a Test. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)

 It is precisely because life is a trust and that one day we will have to give an account that we are tested now to prove our trustworthiness. In the Bible, words like trials, temptations, refining and testing appear on more than 200 occasions. Character is both developed and revealed by tests.” Indeed, “all life is a test. You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment,” and even your faith will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticisms, and even senseless tragedies. Most people fail to realize that money is both a trust and a test from God. God uses finances to teach us to trust him and for many people, money is the greatest test of all. God watches how we use money to test how trustworthy we are. In another story about stewardship in Luke 16:11 Jesus says, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” That is why James writes with assurance “Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

However, God says that if you mismanage His resources, you will lose everything including your own body, soul and spirit. Therefore, right management protects you from future crisis.   There are ways to manage any crisis by correctly managing your God-given life, purpose and resources. Firstly, you have to determine what your needs are. Needs are different from “wants”. You have to make a distinction between what you want and what you need, and only acquire what you need. Then decide not to live beyond your means, and forego the unnecessary. Cut back on discretionary expenses. By observing good management principles, you can save, conserve, protect, and expand your resources.

The question is, how do we live reasonably in life, which then relates to one's philosophy of life? From the ancient Greek philosophers came the questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? Today, the same questions confront each individual, which a person has a personal responsibility to seriously consider. Because one's philosophy of life is the track upon which one runs that directs us, and gives fullness of life or not. That is why it is important for each one to have a well thought out philosophy of life.

God's principles are always perfect, as coming from a holy God. But, He takes us where He finds us, less than perfect, and elevates us to a positional perfection in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6), and gives to us of the Holy Spirit to re- characterize our lives, that our behaviors may be brought into line with our position in Christ. Bible says "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builder labors in vain." --Psalms 127:1 God will watch how you manage resources by how you manage your life.

The Bible is the revelation of God! For hundreds of years the Spirit has composed progressive revelation regarding God’s management principle and His will for humankind. Though there are aspects we can learn about God through nature and the human conscience (Psalm. 19:1–6; Rom. 1:18–20; 2:15), the Scriptures are the only complete and sufficient source (Psalm. 19:7–14). Bible is the book devoted to principles for living, illustrated through human relationships, and thus is applicable to us today for our daily guide. The Bible remains relevant for the following reasons: God is eternal, His principles are eternal and His Word is perfect and eternal and it presents precious management principles from living.

A principle is defined as "a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine or assumption". Principles have a lasting and unchanging quality to them. When based on Bible truths, principles provide spiritual direction to us. In the Bible, God expected parents to teach the Word of God continually. “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (Deut. 6:6-7). As a home educator you can have that same element of continuous and spontaneous Bible teaching with your children.

Every Successful Management Principle is based on Biblical Truths or Principles. It is important that we understand that the Lord is the master architect He was the original designer and master planner of the entire universe. He spoke the world into existence, and it became. We are to make certain that the Lord is doing the building of our life. The journey is a spiritual one, and the Lord must build the house.  He will guide, direct and build His house. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” This reminds us of the temple in the O.T. Great care was given to its design and immense wealth was placed into its construction.(1 Chronicles 29:1–5) Solomon reminds us that we make the plans. However, it is God that directs us. Well-drawn plans always reflect God's vision. We should make plans…counting on God to direct us." --Proverbs 16:9

So being educated biblically is far more important because biblical principles teach us how to properly relate to God as well as to our fellowman (Matthew 22:37-40; cf Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 30:6). The teaching of spiritual and moral values to children is the backbone of any nation and provides nations with moral stability. As you begin to use it as your foundation, you will start building everything you do on the principles in God’s Word. Therefore True success begins and ends with God. In this piece of writing we will discover some practical principles for success in life, business, and everything else you may deal with daily. Be encouraged to not just read, but apply what you learn through these principles. Enjoy reading!