Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 29, 2014

“one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 26:1-13.

“1 ‘You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.  2 You shall keep My sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary;  I am the Lord.  3 If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.  5 Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time.  You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. 6 I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble.  I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land.  7 But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword;  8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.  9 So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you.  10 You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new.  11 Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.  12 I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.  13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”  Leviticus 26:1-13.

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Today’s Scripture provides a summary of the Old Covenant which I summarize even further:  “If you obey Me, then I will bless you.”  We know that the sons of Israel did not obey God and continue in this covenant.  But, even in this Old Covenant, there was the concluding hope:  “I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”  Verse 13.  If God did it once, then God could do it again.

And, here is how God did it again.

“7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.  8 For finding fault with them, He says,

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”

13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete.  But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”  Hebrews 8:7-13.

The problem was not with the Old Covenant;  the problem was with the party:  the sons of Israel, man generally.  The problem was the “Total Depravity” in man.  Other doctrine teach than man just needs to get wiser and try harder.  Reformed Doctrine teaches that because man is dead in sin, this “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, man needs a sovereign and all-powerful God Who will do all that is necessary for man’s salvation (the “U” through “P” of “TULIP”).  Reformed Doctrine is consistent with the New Covenant.

Now, instead of the Old Covenant which is “If you obey Me, then I will bless you.”, we have the New Covenant which is “I will bless you so that you will obey me.”  “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:27.

Instead of an Old Covenant dependent on man’s wisdom and willpower, we have the New Covenant dependent on God’s power.

In summary, like the Law was never intended to be “Plan A” for salvation (that would need a “Plan B”), but the Law’s purpose was only to lead us to Christ, the one and only plan for salvation (Galatians 3:23-29), the Old Covenant was never intended to be “Plan A” for salvation, but its purpose was only to lead us to Christ, the one and only plan for salvation.  So, in a sense, there is only one Plan for salvation, only one Covenant, and only one Reformed Doctrine.  “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”  Ephesians 4:4-6.

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