Relationship Is Better Than Rules

By: Joycel and Mylene Evangelista
From: April - May 2015
Found in: The Gospel of Grace
The new Covenant has totally changed our relation with God. Let us look further into this loving relationship we now have with Jesus Christ.

A Better Covenant

Hebrews 8:6 (NLT) But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.

Do you like better deals? What about better seats? If you were on an airplane sitting in economy class and the flight stewardess came and offered you a free upgrade to business class, would you take it? Of course you would! Why? Because it’s better! As believers, we must understand that God has given us something better. The Old Covenant was good, but what we have today under the New Covenant is far better.

Under the Old Covenant, the covenant of the Law, the emphasis was man’s effort. It was a covenant of “YOU shall” and “YOU shall not”—an external set of rules and regulations, which YOU had to perform. The Law was good, but the fault of man was that he could not do it (Hebrews 8:7–8). In fact, that was the very purpose of the Law, to show man that he could not do it on his own and point him to a better way.

Instead of “you shall” God says, “I WILL.”

That better way, the New Covenant of grace came through the person, Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Under the New Covenant, the emphasis is no longer man’s performance but God’s performance. Instead of “you shall” God says, “I WILL.”

Under the New Covenant, God’s law is now written in our hearts and when something is written in your heart, you cannot help but do it (Hebrews 8:10). He now lives in us, empowering us from the inside out to do what is pleasing to Him (Philippians 2:13).

Friend, God wants you to know that you don’t need to struggle and strive, trying to live life on your own strength. There is a better way! In Christ, you have a better covenant. You are no longer self-sufficient, but God-sufficient. You now trust in Him to perform in and through you, and when God is the one performing, you can expect His performance to be glorious.

Jesus Our High Priest

Hebrews 7:17 For He testifies: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Do you know that Jesus is our high priest? You may be wondering, “what’s a high priest?” Under the Old Covenant, the high priest was appointed to represent the people before God. According to the Law, this high priest had to be a son of Aaron from the tribe of Levi. The problem was that Aaron’s priesthood had limitations, as these men could never serve perfectly, and eventually they would die and need to be replaced (Hebrews 7:23,28). However, God never intended for Aaron’s priesthood to be permanent. He had something better in mind—a better priesthood, with a better high priest.

Under the New Covenant, Jesus Himself has become our High Priest, and He is not limited. He serves perfectly before God, and He never dies (Hebrews 7:24,28). He has become our high priest forever, not according to the priesthood of Aaron but according to the priesthood of Melchizedek (an unchanging and eternal priesthood).

The high priest of the Old Covenant entered God’s presence just once a year, but our high priest, Jesus, never leaves the presence of God. He lives forever to intercede with God on your behalf (Hebrews 7:25). How amazing! Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven continually praying for you (Romans 8:34).

Whatever your concern is today—know that Jesus, your high priest, is taking it to the Father in prayer, and God never says “no” to His Son.

What is He praying for? Hebrews 9:11 says, He is praying for the good things to come. He is praying that you have a healthy marriage. He is praying that you walk in wisdom. He is praying that your sons and daughters grow up in the knowledge of Him. He is praying that you receive everything that He has paid for.

Whatever your concern is today—know that Jesus, your high priest, is taking it to the Father in prayer, and God never says “no” to His Son. You may not know what you need in the days ahead, but Jesus does; and He is already praying for your tomorrow, so that when you need it, it will be there!

Relationship Is Better Than Rules

John 1:17For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

When I was a kid, my dad used to send us gift boxes from the U.S. I would love getting gift boxes from my dad; but do you know what was even better than receiving a gift from my dad? It was when my dad would come home. The gift was good, but my dad coming in person was far better.

John 1:17 says, “the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Notice here that the Law was “given” but Christ “came.” God gave the old covenant of the Law; but when He established the new covenant of grace, He did not just send something down from heaven, He came personally. He did not just send the answer—He came! God came down in the person of Jesus Christ and died for you and me, so that we could enter into a relationship with Him.

Now let me ask you, what’s better: rules or relationship? Relationship! More than rules and regulations, God wants relationship with His people. Hebrews 7:18 says that the old way, the system of commandments did not work. It was not able to change us, nor help us grow to maturity, so God set it aside and established a new way—Jesus! Jesus is the way that works.

As you get to know your Savior more, you will find yourself changing effortlessly.

He is the way to maturity and a transformed heart. Now, we obey God not because we have to, but because we want to. Our obedience springs forth, not from a heart afraid of punishment, but from a heart of love. When we see how much He loves us, we cannot help but respond in obedience.

Friend, be reminded today that the new life you have in Christ is not based on a system of rules, but on a loving relationship with your Savior, Jesus. As you get to know your Savior more, you will find yourself changing effortlessly. You will find yourself growing and maturing like never before.

All Of God’s Promises Fulfilled In Christ!

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT)For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

Are you standing on a promise from God today? Well I have good news. The Bible says that ALL of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ. That means when you approach God with a promise from His Word, He says YES!

You may have heard that when you approach God with a promise, He either says “yes”, “no”, or “wait”. But the Bible is very clear: When you approach God asking for something He has promised you in His Word, He always says YES! When you approach Him for healing, He says YES! When you approach Him for provision, He says YES! When you approach Him for wisdom, He says YES!

That means when you approach God with a promise from His Word, He says YES!

The second part of this verse says when God says “yes”, our response is “amen”. Amen means “so be it”, or “I believe”. So when you say “amen”, what you’re really saying is “I believe”. That’s why when you hear God’s promises declared from the pulpit, we encourage you to say “amen”. It’s not to make us preachers feel better. It’s for you to release your faith and grab hold of that promise. It’s you saying, “That’s mine! I believe!” And when you believe, then you receive!

The awesome thing about God is that He knows us all too well. He knows that we need more than just a promise. His word is more than enough, but for our sake, He has backed up His promise with a covenant. So, not only do we have His promise, but we also have His covenant, and these two things are unchangeable because God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:17–18).

Friend, I don’t know which of God’s promises you’re standing on today but you can rest assured that if God said it, He will fulfill it. He always keeps His Word. Your part is to simply say “amen!”

 

By: Joycel and Mylene Evangelista

Pastors of “New Life Christian Center - The Fort” at the Philippines.

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