Five according to Bullinger is the number for grace. so perhaps this should be my last article on this subject exclusively , but I do not see how I will not reference it from time to time because the new Covenant defines how we are to relate to God. In the new covenant we are to learn to be more and more like our Lord. Just as I shared about Jesus, we should never feel lonely in our Christian walk. We should never feel like shouting (as the traditionalist have taught that Jesus did) that God has forsaken us. It will always be us that walk away from Him not the other way around. He and His son are always ready to reenter our lives if we have kicked them out by ignoring them and focusing on what the devil would have us think about instead. We entertain pagan practices and all the “news” about what the devil and his crew have managed to pull off recently in an ever broadening area of our planet. We get concerned about what has hurt people even if we are not in any way in position to render assistance. The news makes up something for us to get all concerned about (if there is nothing dramatic going on that can be brought to our attention.) The Obama care fiasco for example, we are to get all upset that there are a few million people out there that elect to not get a certain type of insurance, It turns out that after this law gets fully implemented that there will still be those that choose not to pay for the coverage, but in the meantime those law abiding citizens that try to comply with the law are paying for coverages that they do not want or will never need. An example: any man or woman that for whatever reason cannot have children still needing to shoulder the cost of maternity care coverage. Meanwhile it remains a fact that those that elected to not carry coverage before the law went in to effect were covered for emergencies without making millions buy more coverage than they need anyway. Under Obama care we will still not have everybody have insurance, so all we accomplished was to possibly change who did not have coverage. Meanwhile, those that are covered, their rates are higher than they were before. We all pay higher taxes because the program will remain underfunded like all the rest of Government heath care programs. Doctors and hospitals are closing doors because they will not be getting the reimbursements that they were before the law was passed. Doctors reportedly are thinking that their demanding lifestyle that used to be a good money maker is not meeting their needs any longer. It takes time to replace the manpower that this experiment in social medicine will cost our country. Insurance companies may close their doors as well as fewer people find they can afford coverage. Health care costs go up as we must pay for the added layer of government workers that have to get involved in it to administer the law. To use the common new vernacular it is not sustainable. It is not that people were not being taken care of better than they were in the past , but as researchers were able to develop more and more expensive ways to keep people that used to “die of natural causes” from dying of those causes and now all of a sudden it is every bodies right to all those expensive procedures even if they have not ever been successful in life or even if they do not try to live healthily so that they do not need the expense of care that was once reserved only for the rich. It has always not been fair who got what care. Making the homeless be in line for the same care as the rich removes the incentive for some to be rich, and the way of life that we once enjoyed goes down the tubes. We are almost at that tipping point now that more people think that they can’t live without government help than those that live without that help, so tax income against government spending continues to decline. It becomes even more unsustainable.
So what does all that have to do with the new Covenant. Nothing. That’s the point, it is all a distraction from what does matter and meanwhile it becomes harder and harder to even discuss the Word in public but accomplishing nothing will be discussed for hours on end while the cost of living will continue to go up. We are one of the few countries in the world where only owning one tv, one refrigerator and a roof over the head and food every day puts you under the poverty level. And I suppose that one phone and one computer will soon be added to that list of necessities. Phone and Cable tv bills for a family of four is approaching the cost of a mortgage I’m told. My family of two almost has that cost so I am not surprised if this info is true. Do we really need to be that connected?
James 1: 5-13 perhaps has much to say about this article’s point about the new covenant. God’s wisdom is so much wiser than man’s yet a man who believes himself to be wise can allow his pride get out of bounds. A footnote on the Biblical usage of rich and poor in this respect from the “A Journey through the Acts and Epistles” Vol II page 76 Copyright 2013 Walter J Cummins All rights reserved says it so well I am going to quote it verbatim with permission:
‘1:10 rich: According to Bishop KC Pillai’s teaching on the customs in the lands and times of the Bible, the phrase “poor in spirit” is an idiom used in Matthew 5:3 to refer to those who are humble: “Blessed are the poor in spirit [the humble]: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Likewise, in the similar passage in Luke 6:20 the word meaning “poor” is used idiomatically to refer to humble people: “Blessed be ye poor [humble]: for yours is the kingdom of God.” The occurrence of “poor” meaning “humble” in Luke 6:20 is contrasted with the “rich” in Luke 6:24, which says, “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.” The word “rich” in Luke 6:24 idiomatically refers to those who are arrogant and who seek to achieve success by their own means rather than becoming humble before God and allowing God to be their sufficiency. Likewise, here in James 1:9-10, the “low brother” is contrasted with the “rich” person who is arrogant and not humble. The rich (arrogant) is not called a brother. The arrogant person has not submitted to God, and he will wither away as the flower of the grass, whereas, the low, or humble, brother who has submitted unto God will flourish. Thus the humble brother who is addressed frequently in this epistle (see note on verse 2) is to rejoice in his being exalted by God. The ellipsis of a verb in verse 10 has allowed readers to substitute the word “rejoice” or “boast” from verse 9. However, the rich or arrogant have no reason to boast in their being humbled since they will whither away. Like the similar passage in Luke 6:20 and 24, the poor (humble) have reason to boast, whereas the rich (arrogant) have reason to have woe or great grief in that they will whither in their life’s journeys. Let the low [humble] brother boast in his being exalted and let the rich [arrogant non-brother] be grieved in his being humbled. These rich people are again mentioned in James 2:6 and 5:1-6.’
One of the longer foot notes for sure but never the less instructs on the Biblical usage of rich and poor because whether or not you are successful in life in accumulating wealth so that you can be comfortable in your life style, the condemnation is of the love of money and has a lot more to do with attitude towards the possessions than the actual accumulation of them. If you arrogantly assume that since you have possessions, you have no need to have a relationship with God, you will whither and die. Remain humble and become a brother of Jesus Christ, (again male tense is used inclusively to indicate inheritance qualification, you lovely ladies out there are not excluded)(also lovely refers to your hearts not necessarily to your physical appearance), and you will have reason to rejoice because you are family members. So what is it then, I have mentioned a few times without giving a reference, that the true Christian life is a balanced walk Pp 4:5 “let your moderation be known unto all men.” would be one of the verses I would site to support that view. There are no verses to tell you not to eat meat on Friday, not to dance, not to smoke or drink an alcohol containing beverage. There are warnings about being drunk but prohibition is not Biblical. People are taught that if they are alcoholic prone they cannot ever sip alcohol or they will lose all control and drink till they are drunk. I do not see that as a truth from the Word. God expects us to be in control of our faculties so if your experience is you do not have that control so that you are not able to stop drinking then maybe you should adhere to the complete abstinence that AA recommends. I will never have that problem as I have never found that I like the taste of alcohol. But to make non abstinence from all tastes of Alcohol a reason that condemns you to the second death is not supported by scripture See I Ti 5:23 the word for wine here is not referring to non-fermented juice. Being given to wine is not the same thing, this would be where if you cannot stop drinking till you are several “sheets to the wind.” That is several times mentioned as a practice that is not recommended. You need to stay clear headed so that the choices you make in life are ones you truly freely choose to make, not that your life is by default in the dumps because your mind stays so clouded that you can not think straight. Personal responsibility for your decisions is something God expects you to not give up or surrender because you are under the influence.
I have ranged far and wide so far in this article, in this season of “the holidays” Where Christians and pagan’s alike feel the need to allow “love in the air” to permeate more of their lives than usual, when we try to insert the messiah into pagan observances that are not in the Bible to begin with. Next time you are told to buy a Christmas tree to honor Jesus read Je 10:1-5 or review the words of the Christmas Song “Oh Tannenbaum” or in less German sounding name “Oh Christmas tree”. We are not to give more honor to an evergreen than we are to give to God. God has no form or visage but I dare say there are very few who set aside a portion of their living space for God and treat it with the place in our hearts that many grow up feeling for the dying trees that occupy so much room for in some houses at least a month. We build “war chests” of decorations that get passed down for generations that the value of the decorations heaped on the tree is greater than the monthly food budget. Maybe we no longer acknowledge the spirit in the tree is what we are worshiping by continuing this pagan practice that Jeremiah says followers of God should not learn to do but never the less we have learned to do it. I have even seen trees decorated and placed in Sanctuary’s. Places that are supposed to be holy because we are supposed to go there to meet with God. Prophets that went about tearing down altars set up to observe pagan rites and rituals would have a hard time in todays world telling the difference between “Christian Church’s” and other high places of old where similar decorations might have been prevalent. But I am accused of setting up stumbling stones by pointing out that Tradition whether labeled as Christian or not should not be a part of a confessed Bible believer’s life style if it does not line up with Bible teaching. We have the freedom to do so much in our lives, perhaps I should not make a big deal about it but I think if you are going to allow pagan rites into your lives you should at least know that that is what you are doing as you just go with the flow. It is obvious to me that I will need another post on the new Covenant because I have already gone on for many words and have not covered all I know to say about it. We are promised so many great deals at this time of year, but the best deal of all is what we have in the new Covenant. I may try to address that as the next article until then think about what I have said in this one. What you choose to be your source of Truth really does affect what you will think about what I have said above. Church sanctions or scripture, you must decide, but your decision might affect your eternal life and the abundance you might earn or lay up for yourself in heaven. Selah.