SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

THE NEW COVENANT

by Marion Clark


The New Covenant
D. Marion Clark
Jeremiah 31:1-34


''Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.''

E and D, this passage speaks of days to come, of what will be. Today is a time to speak of what has come. For months the two of you have spoken of what would be. Now, standing here, you declare and affirm what is now come to pass. You prepared for a new covenant to be made between you before the Lord. And now before the Lord, you acknowledge the covenant that has been made for your union in Christ. Let us consider The New Covenant of which this Scripture speaks and that has come to pass.

The main point of the passage is that the New Covenant is better than the Old. Did God do a poor job of drafting the first? Would he have been better off hiring a lawyer to handle the small print? No. The problem was not that the covenant needed tighter language and better protection from loopholes. The problem was a matter of the heart. The hearts of the people were left unchanged. As you would know, D, lawyers don't draw up contracts to change hearts, but to protect clients from the dangers of hearts, such as greed and self-interest. Contracts, or covenants, at best restrain the heart; but they cannot ...

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