This is taken from the Treasures in Heaven radio show.
By accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, our sin is transferred to the Cross, and Christ’s righteousness is transferred to us by faith—and the New Covenant becomes living and real to us personally. To be conscious of the New Covenant translates into Christ consciousness, not sin consciousness. As Peter stated in his second letter: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). Let grace and peace be multiplied by the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord regarding the New Covenant.
Christ, the Anointed One of God, fulfilled the Law on our behalf. By His sacrificial death, He ended the Law’s sacrifices and handed us the New Covenant—the new agreement—between God and man, whereby we would be made righteous by the blood of Christ by faith and grace.
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col. 2:13, 14)
Old Covenant versus New Covenant
Moses: Old Covenant
And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us. (Deut. 6:24, 25)
Paul: New Covenant
[A]nd be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. (Phil. 3:9)
New Covenant: Righteousness from God.
Old Covenant: Our righteousness.
Thank God we don’t trust in ourselves to work to earn righteousness; we trust in our Lord’s work and what God has done for us already through His Son.
The Last Supper
[Jesus] took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19, 20)
This dramatic threshold in the history of man was foretold by the prophets: the coming New Covenant. Christ Himself said:
These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44, 45)
What the prophets foretold about the New Covenant, came to pass.
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says 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. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. (Jer. 31:31-34)
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I display my holiness before their eyes. (Ezek. 36:22, 23)
I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (Ezek. 36:25-27)
The New Covenant would bring forth cleanness, a new heart, and the indwelling Holy Spirit—and God would write upon our hearts by that Spirit. The Old Covenant could accomplish none of this.
The Old Covenant is the knowledge of sin. Man is sinful and the wages of sin is death. However, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
The prophecies of the New Covenant speak to us today, for we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God.
This New Covenant would not only apply to Israel but all bloodlines. Listen to Peter and Paul speak of the New Covenant.
Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. (Acts 15:7-9)
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is sure. (Titus 3:4-8)
The New Covenant is faith and grace imparted to us.
Faith: “cleansing their hearts by faith”
Grace: “justified by his grace”
The glory of the truth regarding faith and grace is revealed throughout the New Testament. This article will focus primarily on the revelation Christ gave to Paul in Romans. This includes the prophecy about becoming sons of God.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it [the gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16, 17)
In the Gospel of Christ, “The just shall live by faith.”
This prophecy—“The just shall live by faith”—came from the prophet Habakkuk. Christ fulfilled it, opening the door to us to have the Spirit of Christ alive within us by faith. Thus, we are conscious of what God did for us through Christ in this New Covenant.
What follows is Paul’s declaration in Romans about faith and grace, Christ living in us, being sons of God, saved, justified, and made righteous.
In the Gospel of Christ, there is the Faith of Jesus Christ.
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. (Rom. 3:22)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom. 10:17)
God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3)
The measure of faith transferred to us is the faith of Jesus Christ, which is unto all and upon all who hear and believe the word of God.
The Just Shall “Live” by Faith
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. (Gal. 2:20, 21)
Christ lives in us. The life we now live, we live by the faith of the Son of God.
Look at what Christ said about our “life.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27)
Christ is our life, our righteousness, our eternal life within—by faith and grace.
Grace is God’s unmerited divine favor.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Rom. 3:23-28)
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness (Rom. 4:5)
To believe on Him who justifies the ungodly is the essence of our faith. We believe the truth—just as Abraham did.
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3)
By belief in the truth, God imputes righteous by faith.
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. (Rom. 4:16)
Therefore being and rejoice in justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:1, 2)
We are reconciled (brought back together) with a holy and righteous God—at peace with Him.
He [God] says also in Hosea:
“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”(Rom. 9:25, 26)
How do we fulfill this prophecy of becoming sons of the living God?
Paul explained it in Romans 10: believe the word (or message) of faith.
For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:5-13)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom. 10:17)
Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. (Rom. 11:5, 6)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Rom. 12:1-3)
The core of the New Covenant is God acting on our behalf through Christ. How can we not be Christ conscious? Now, our lives are lived reflecting this—which is our reasonable response. Quite reasonable indeed!
God bless you,
Dr. William Ayles