The New-Covenant Life

This Sabbath School study guide has dealt with the “covenant.” It involves not just a theological concept but a saving relationship with God. Tom Blackaby said, “A covenant would be used to define a relationship, binding the parties to the promises they made to each other.”1 When individuals give their life to Christ and are “born again,” they enter into a completely new covenant relationship with him. The covenant relationship frees the individual from guilt and sin.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11296

Dear Dr *Youssry Guirguis,

Did you mean to say,“Believers under the old and new covenants are justified by grace alone through faith because of Jesus alone.”
This quarters lessons have been very confusing and as a result many have stopped doing them. It appears this is due mainly, if not entirely, to the presupposition that not only are the old and the new covenants considered to be the same, grace was provided under the old covenant, cf. the following.
.
The 2003 and the 2021 Sabbath School Lessons.
Saturday 01/03/03; and Saturday 29/05/2021

A Cartoon”.The box of detergent and the word “new.” “It’s the “New” on the box that’s new. In other words, all that changed, all that was new, was simply the word “New” on the box.
---- In a sense one could say the new covenant is like that. The basis of the covenant, the basic hope that it has for us, the basic conditions of it, are the same as what was found in the old covenant. It has always been a covenant of God’s grace and mercy, a covenant based on a love that transcends human foibles and defeats.’

Was grace and mercy provided under the old covenant?

If the transgressor is to be treated according to the letter of this covenant, then there is no hope for the fallen race; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. The fallen race of Adam can behold nothing else in the letter of this covenant than the ministration of death; and death will be the reward of everyone who is seeking vainly to fashion a righteousness of his own that will fulfill the claims of the law. By His word God has bound Himself to execute the penalty of the law on all transgressors. Again and again men commit sin, and yet they do not seem to believe that they must suffer the penalty for breaking the law. (ST Sept. 5, 1892). {6BC
1095.4}

Could Paul have made it any clearer in Romans 8: 1-6.

8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh (old covenant), but after the Spirit. (new covenant)
8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (new covenant) hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (old covenant)
8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, (old
covenant) God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (new covenant)
8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh (old covenant), but after the Spirit (new covenant).
8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; (old covenant) but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (new covenant)
8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; (old covenant) but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. (new covenant).

*They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken ; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. **Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant *** {PP 371.4}

Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing. Yourself, Brother Dan Jones, Brother Porter and others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented”, (letter 59, 1890).

I was, and should have been anyway, excited by the following Scriptures in Monday’s lesson titled “Guilt-free.” Coulda been called “The Gospel.”
● John 5:24 — Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.
● Romans 3:22-26 — For there is no distinction, [23] since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; [24] they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, [25] whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; [26] it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
● Romans 8:1 — There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
● 2 Corinthians 5:21 — For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

They were affirmed with this note on the same page.
One of the great promises of living in a covenant relationship with the Lord is that we no longer have to live under the burden of guilt. Because of the blood of the covenant, we—who choose to enter into that covenant relationship with God, who choose to abide by the conditions of faith, repentance, obedience—can have the burden of guilt lifted. … [B]ecause of the covenant relationship we have with the Lord, we no longer live under the condemnation of that sin.

I ask you, “How do you marry the following statements by Ellen White to all of that?”
§ By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. (GC420)
§ For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work—to cleanse the sanctuary. (GC421)
§ [T]here must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. (GC422)
§ Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. … When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing. (GC425)

So much for Christ’s atoning sacrifice!

The fact is this: not sin(s) but names are recorded in The Lamb’s Book of Life!

Boy! Am I glad we have the Bible.

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Are you saying there is no need for confessed sins to be atoned for?
Didn’t Christ die to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world?
What was the purpose of the cross if Christ’s death does not atone for the sins of the people who have the “faith/faithfulness of Jesus.” cf. Rom 3: 19-26 KJV, NET.

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (although it is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed— 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

This quarter’s lessons just made muddy water out of the covenants described in the Bible. And the end result of that is serious confusion about righteousness by faith.

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On the one hand, Scripture, especially the Scriptures I have already quoted. One might also add John 3:16, Romans 8:28-39, Colossians 2:13-14, , 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 5:11-13, Revelation 5:9 and many others.

The price has been paid. Sins have been expunged. The Lamb’s Book of Life records names only. Good News! “Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it.”

On the other hand there is this. Jesus says that starting October 22, 1844 he will investigate the records. “While I am doing that, you must review your own lives, examine your hearts, redouble your efforts to expunge the last drop of sin from your lives. When I have completed my task and you have completed yours, you will be ready for me to return.”

Not good news!

As I said, “So much for Christ’s atoning sacrifice!”

Sounds like what St Paul called “another gospel (Galatians 1:6-7),” a new theology —- and right at the heart of “The Great Controversy.”

Boy! Am I glad we have the Bible!

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What muddies the waters is that the Sabbath has to be preserved at all cost, whether it be creation - atonement - grace - righteousness by faith - the sabbath is immovable; so no Bible study, on whatever subject, starts with the Sabbath, and the rest of the study comes from preserving the Sabbath as being the central point for salvation upon which judgement is made. That is why there is confusion. As soon as the focus of the Christian life begins to look like they’re finally getting it, up pops the Sabbath issue right beside it. It used to drive me up the Machlan auditorium walls when I was recently baptized and trying fit things in order. The only bridge that connects “saved by grace” to “thou shalt” is a one lane bridge that starts at Sinia and ends at Golgatha.

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