Agonizomai: Heb 8:10-12 - Christ - The Monergistic Salvation of God

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Heb 8:10-12 - Christ - The Monergistic Salvation of God

Heb 8:10-12 - Christ - The Monergistic Salvation of God

Heb 8:10-12 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

How is this new covenant achieved and what are its characteristics? Who is doing what to whom? This is again from the prophet Jeremiah {Jer 31:33-34}. In it there is an unsolicited, freely given regeneration from God. He puts a new heart within a people that he calls "the house of Israel" - by which he means true Israel, the Israel of faith. It does not say that they will take a new heart for themselves, that they will decide to accept a new heart, or that they will create a new heart in themselves. God says that it will be He that does this thing. Regeneration must and does precede both faith and repentance. Through regeneration, God is, in fact, the cause or the source of these things in the sinner, making him a saint.

It will no longer be a question of keeping a set of rules and regulations in dizzying detail and with perfect compliance imposed from outside. It will be instead, an inner desire to please God by trusting and obeying him. This desire will spring from a newness of heart. A renewed essence. A holy seed. The indwelling Christ. The Holy Spirit. It will be us, but no longer us but Christ living in us. He will increase and we will decrease.

We will want to please God. And we will fully understand that this desire does not spring from what we have been since natural birth, nor what we have made of ourselves since we were born. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation - behold old things are passed away and everything is new. We regard ourselves as having died with Christ and as being resurrected with him. This is not "improvement"; it is radical regeneration - replacement, re-making, new creation by the Word of God through the Spirit of God, just as in Genesis.

Now God will truly be their God in their hearts and not by some externalized tip of the hat. They will be wedded to him, fused, partakers of the Divine nature. As such, His will be their desire. But all of this will come by grace from the initiating, upholding, infinite treasures of God in Jesus Christ. This will be relationship, familial intimacy; uneven, lop-sided, creature to Creator familial to be sure, but familial nevertheless. It will be intimate. We shall even ultimately know as we are known.

Not only will He be our God in a true sense, but we shall be his people. This is mutual ownership. This is Christ owning humanity and causing humanity to own God. (By "own" we do not mean "possess," but "take unto oneself".) Naturally, this God-initiated and growing intimacy will not require any intermediary, as did the old system. God himself is the intermediary in the form of his risen Son. No pope, priest, guru, teacher, latter-day apostle or prophet - no pastor or elder can come between God and a redeemed man. There is one authority in the church of Jesus Christ and all who claim to be acting in that authority must be found conformed to the word of God, which is the ultimate authority - the only rule of faith and practice.

And since every individual believer (this is the sense of the passage) will be in intimate personal relationship with God under the new covenant, each believer is ultimately responsible to God for ensuring that all teaching and authority with which he is in contact is according to the Word of God. And each will know, for He is in them - at their shoulder - to say to them, "This is the Way - walk in it." {Isa 30:21}

This has nothing to do with submission in the church. In the church every saint submits to all the other saints - and all do it for Christ’s sake. But they do not do so like blind fools and idiots. They are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Also God does call and equip some saints as pastors and teachers and there is to be submission to these fellow saints for the sake of order - always with the proviso that they are speaking according to God’s revealed will. (And God’s revealed will is found in the Bible)

"I, I am he who blots out your transgression for _______ sake, and I will not remember your sins." {Isa 43:25} Fill in the blank. On account of what or whom does God blot out sin and remove it as far as the east from the west in His remembrance? Is it on our account? Is it for anything in us, or foreseen in us? No! It is for His Own sake. For His Own pleasure, purpose and glory. And this was all done in the Name which is above all names - we are forgiven for Christ’s sake. Notice that we are not free of iniquity before God’s gift. God shows mercy to us in our iniquity for Christ’s sake. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Neither are we without iniquity after our regeneration. We live in this body of death which is at war with the spirit until the day we die. And we make war on it by the grace of God through the Spirit of the indwelling Christ, by faith in Him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This speaks of such glorious freedom, yet I often let the weight of my sins drag me down to where I can not walk in this freedom. Thank you for repeating these liberating Scriptural truth loud and clear.

1:46 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Never happens to me of course but, you're welcome.[/wink]



4:35 pm  

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