Articles by Loren Larson

The Everlasting Covenant

June 2019

“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” — Jeremiah 32:40

Background Of The Text
By looking over the text of Jeremiah 32:36-41, the reader will gain a better understanding for the purpose of verse forty. Jeremiah was declaring the Word of God to a nation that had rebelled against the principles and statutes given by God. God declared that they would go into captivity and that Jerusalem would be laid waste as a result of their sin and rebellion. Almost in the same breath, the Lord prophesies Israel’s return to the land that He is now about to remove them from. At this time, Jeremiah is a prisoner of King Zedekiah. He has been imprisoned in the court of the prison which was in the king’s house. The king was angry with Jeremiah because he had openly prophesied that the Babylonians would be victorious in the battle for Jerusalem. It looks to be a hopeless scenario, but if you choose to read through the entire chapter, you will see the heart of God displayed in regard to His people. God promises not only to restore them to their homeland after captivity but also the establishment of a new and better covenant. God still hates sin in the lives of His people, but today there is a legal means by which He can deal with them without totally eliminating them from His presence. He does so through the means of an everlasting covenant that was established by Christ at Calvary for all who will believe.

The Everlasting Covenant
The Old Testament often describes the sins of God’s people and His harsh response to them. The chosen people of Israel broke the covenant that God had made with them at Sinai. Because of this, God was forced to end communion with them and chose to discipline them through the Babylonian captivity. After seventy years, He brought them back to the land He had chosen for them and even promised a future restoration. This restoration would not be dependent upon the old covenant, which Israel had broken. Their future and complete restoration would be a result of a new covenant that God Himself would provide. In Isaiah 42:6 the prophet declared that the Jewish Messiah would be given to mankind as this new covenant. Jesus Christ is the Messiah of Israel. He is the Son of God who was born of a virgin and offered Himself as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for the sins of all men. When He gave his life, He established this promised covenant—one that can never be broken. He was the representative of God in this covenant; He was the representative of man in this covenant; and He Himself was the blood sacrifice that sealed and confirmed the availability and eternity of this new covenant. The only way to eliminate this covenant would be by eliminating Jesus Himself. In Revelation 1:18, Jesus declares, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” As long as Jesus lives, this covenant, along with all of its benefits, will continue to be available to all who believe.

He Will Not Turn Away To Do Us Good
When the believing sinner accepts Christ as His Savior, God imputes to him the righteousness of Christ. This granting of a righteous position is what allows God to interact with and dwell in man. As long as the righteousness of Christ is applied to the believer, God does not have to turn away from man, even when he sins. This marvelous truth is called justification. Justification is not an excuse to live an unholy life. It is the basis for assurance that even when we fail, God will not turn away from us. Based on this knowledge, when failure happens, we can find strength through faith to rise above the failure and continue in the process of sanctification. Because of the everlasting covenant, God is now able to stay in us and with us, despite the fact that we are imperfect. He is there to do us good. First He saves us and delivers us from the power of sin. Then He transforms us into the image of His Son. As a result of the presence of the everlasting covenant, He is able to continually bless us according to His riches in glory. This is all because of what Christ did for us at Calvary and our continued faith in this everlasting covenant.

The Fear Of The Lord In Our Hearts
When the believer is born again under the terms of the new covenant, he instantly experiences regeneration. The inner man—the heart, the soul, and the spirit—are all immediately impacted. However, God does not complete the total process of transformation at salvation. The renewing of the inner man is progressively carried out by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He lives in us and works on us as a result of our continued faith in Christ and what He did for us at Calvary. In addition, the new heart that the believer receives generates a tenderness and propensity toward God and His ways. In the inner man, the believer will experience a sincere love for God and a sensitivity to right and wrong. This produces an appropriate sense of fear in regard to the person of God. This fear gives believers a respect for God and is coupled with a desire to serve Him with all of their hearts. Not only does the new covenant allow God to stay with us throughout the transformation process, but the results of constant renewal also keep the desire to yield ourselves to God continually burning within us. God can now stay till the work is done. We have the capacity to love and fear Him while He finishes that work. This is all available to those who will continually believe in Jesus Christ and depend upon what He has accomplished for mankind on the cross of Calvary. Press on!

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