new covenant

What Makes the New Covenant New?

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There’s a classic scene in The Simpsons where 8-year-old Lisa is offered a large check. Monty Burns has made a $120 million from an idea that Lisa gave him and he wishes to give her a ten percent share. But the money represents ill-gotten gains from harvesting the sea, so Lisa says no. Lisa later apologizes to [...]

The Law Written on Our Hearts is not the Ten Commandments

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“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time,” says the Lord. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” (Heb 10:16) “This is obviously a reference to the law of Moses,” says the law-preacher. “The Ten Commandments were written in stone, now they’re [...]

Top 12 Verses on the New Covenant

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I have this strange idea that we should preach nothing but the gospel. Two reasons why: (1) Jesus told us to and (2) it’s the only thing we’re really good at. Any club or religion can teach you about good works and charity and seven steps to financial freedom, but the church has a monopoly on grace. You will [...]

A New Covenant Picture of Repentance

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Two classic signs of covenant confusion are: (1) you interpret repentance as turning from sin and (2) you think repenting will get God to forgive you. As I have explained elsewhere, God does not need your permission or even your repentance to forgive you. He forgave you before you were born in accordance with the [...]

The Greatest Law Preacher

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“Don’t stray too far from the red letters,” is a piece of advice often given to new preachers. It means, stay close to the teachings of Jesus and you can’t go wrong. It sounds good, but it’s actually bad advice. Everything Jesus said was good and wonderful, but not everything He said was meant for you. [...]

Are We Completely Forgiven?

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Read the Bible indiscriminately and you’ll get a mixed message. You’ll take on board laws that were never meant for you and you’ll end up confused and lukewarm. You’ll fall from grace and cut yourself off from Christ. The best way to read the Bible is through the lens of Jesus and his finished work. When [...]

God Doesn’t Change; We Do

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In a recent post I argued that God is not a jealous God, even though He said He was. I am either the world’s greatest heretic, or I am confident that I know who my Father is! How can I say God is not jealous when it’s right there in black and white in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 6? Because I have learned [...]

Is God a Jealous God?

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“You shall not make for yourself an idol… You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and [...]

Does God Use Correction Fluid?

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UPDATE: This is an old article. An updated and expanded commentary on this passage can be found in Paul’s book Letters from Jesus. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? If so, are you worried that Jesus may blot out your name? It seems that many Christians are. They are afraid that they might do [...]

“The Lost Secret of the New Covenant” by Malcolm Smith

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About 40 years ago, Malcolm Smith was invited to speak at a church in Oregon. He preached about a God who is irritated and annoyed with lukewarm believers. At the end of his message, he called for people to rededicate their lives to Christ. And that was the last time Smith ever mixed grace with works. The next [...]