“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant … I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Jeremiah 31:31,34
Apple, Samsung, Nokia—someone is continually advertising their newest smart phone, tablet, or another device. Do we really need the newest? It may have a few more features, but the changes are only incremental.
What about the Lord’s new covenant? Do we really need it?
Consider our situation without it. How would we gain life with God? Our conscience tells us that we must obey his law. That’s the condition. What does his law say? If you do not murder or steal, you will live. Doesn’t sound too hard. But the conditions don’t stop there.
If you never dream of revenge, if you never feel lust except toward your spouse, if you never feel greed, never gossip, never covet, then you will live. Does it still sound possible? But there’s more.
If you always love your neighbors, helping them in need and speaking well of them, and if you always give the proper respect and honor to those in authority, then you will live. But the law’s not done yet.
If you love God above all, cherishing him more than your stuff, your family, your pride, if you trust him above all, if you hold his commands in highest regard, if you never misuse his name but continually call on him in prayer, if you never slight his word but always gladly hear and learn it.
Need I go on? How miserably we fail! How much we need something new!
Is the new covenant an incremental improvement, modifying the conditions? Not at all! We’d still fail. The new covenant is not incremental, but revolutionary. It has no conditions. That’s right, no conditions at all! Rather the Lord God declares: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Do you see any “ifs,” any conditions?
The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, put this new covenant into effect. His resurrection is God’s signature. You are forgiven. God remembers your sins no more. Jesus erased your record of wrongs.
This unconditional Good News makes our hearts new, so that we believe this promise and desire to do what God commands.
Prayer: How great my sin! How much greater your forgiveness, O my Lord! Amen.