Friday, November 02, 2012

God's covenant in our DNA

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hebrews 8:1-9:10

TO CHEW ON: "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be My people." - Hebrews 8:10

The writer to the Hebrews was a living example of someone with God's word in his mind, for here (Hebrews 8:10-12) he quotes straight from Jeremiah 31:33-34.

The idea of God's word close to is, in us, a part of us was not new with Jeremiah. Psalms and Proverbs are full of the same desire and ideal:

  • The man who fears God and delights in His commandments is called blessed - Psalm 112:1.
  • The blessed man (and woman) delights in God's word and meditates on it day and night - Psalm 1:2; 119:97.
  • He keeps those words close, binding them on his fingers, writing them on the 'tablets of his heart,' tying them around his neck, storing them within his heart where they give him 24-hour guidance - Proverbs 7:3; 6:21,22; 4:4.
  • He delights to do God's word - Psalm 40:8.
  • God's words make him wise and are a means to great peace - Psalm 119:98, 165.

But tell-it-like-it-is Paul lays bare a nasty truth when he says there is also in us something that fights against living this Word-sensitive life. See Romans 7:21-25.

What to do?

Well, it's not what we do but what Christ did. He legally did away with sin's right to us, giving us the practical means to defeat sin in our everyday lives: the Holy Spirit: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death .... But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you" - Romans 8:2,9.

And so Guy Duffield, who writes my Bible's study notes on Hebrews has it right when he says, "Jesus' ministry is performed under the covenant of God's grace wrought within the mind and hearts of believers by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus God established a new personal covenant relationship with His people based not on a compelling force from without, but on an impelling power from within" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1738 (emphasis added).

May this covenant be in our DNA as we say "YES" to the Spirit's impelling power within us through all that we think, say, and do today!

PRAYER: Dear God, the expressions grieving the Spirit and quenching the Spirit come to mind. Help me not to hinder the life of Your Spirit  within me in any way but give Him full rights to my mind house, my heart house, and my body house. Amen.

MORE: "In" the Holy Spirit

In his wonderful chapter on the Holy Spirit (Systematic Theology), Wayne Grudem makes these observations:

"It is surprising how many particular activities are said in the New Testament to be done "in" the Holy Spirit: it is possible to rejoice in the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:2), to resolve or decide something in the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:21), to have one's conscience bear witness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1), to have access to God in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) to pray in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20), and to love in the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:8). In the light of these texts, we might ask ourselves, for how many of these activities during each day are we consciously aware of the Holy Spirit's presence and blessing?" - Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 649 (emphasis added).

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