At North Shelby Baptist Church we are stepping into a new chapter in our church’s history this week as our new pastor and his family arrives. Pastor Mike Meadows and his family are coming from Texas and their first Sunday will be this Sunday, March 8th. Our church has been without a pastor for two years but the time is finally here for a new pastor. Thinking about a new pastor reminds me of the new covenant in the New Testament.
After Jesus died and was risen a new covenant was made with followers of Christ and many promises went along with this new covenant. One promise that God made in the new covenant was God’s forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28; Acts 13:38). God’s forgiveness is complete because of the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. In the old covenant bulls and rams were sacrificed for sins but now Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice.
A second promise, God remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17; Jeremiah 31:34) because of justification it is as if we never sinned. Jesus took on all sins so that Christians could appear sinless in God’s eyes. God promises to never be angry with us (Isaiah 54:7-10). This is a covenant of love and peace that God has made with those who follow Him daily. God promises to never let go of us (Philippians 3:12; Jude 24). God will never let go of His children. God has proven this over and over again in the Bible through His prophets, His followers, and especially the Israelites. God loves His children and always wants to be with them, God wants to be with His children for eternity.
A third promise, God gives Christians eternal life (Romans 6:23). The Bible reveals to us that we deserve death, separation from God, because of our sins. Our sins separate us from God but because of the forgiveness He has given us we can spend eternity with Him if we accept. All of the promises are more then we deserve but in the midst of hardship and struggles in this world the promise of His rest is so comforting. God promises us His rest (Hebrews 4:10-11). When the old covenant was made the Israelites always had to work or do something to earn forgiveness but now there is rest in the new covenant because the sacrifice has already been given.
A forth promise, God promises to empower us over the enemy (1 John 5:4). God is the authority over all of creation and He is the one empowering us. God has given us divine protection by empowering us over the enemy. God promises to always be with us (Ezekiel 37:27). Before the new covenant people had to travel to be in the temple and to be in God’s presence. Now because of Jesus’ sacrifice we are the temple and God is in us. We do not have to travel far and wide to be with God, to talk to God, to ask for forgiveness, or to beg God to help us. Since Jesus died on the cross for our sins God will always be with us and He will never leave.
God has promised us that He is for us (Romans 8:31). God is our biggest cheerleader rooting Christians on knowing that we can succeed. Today God is cheering us on and this is shown through His grace. Titus 2:12 shows us that His grace enables us to overcome sin. God has promised us many things and here is the final one I will speak of, God has promised us the Holy Spirit. Our God is a triune God; this means that God is three in one. He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God the Father is seated in the throne room and He is watching over the world. God the Son was sent by the Father to sacrifice Himself for everyone. God the Holy Spirit was sent to direct and guide believers. Our triune God work separately but they are so fluidly synced that they cannot be separated. The Holy Spirit that God has empowered believers with reminds believers of God’s righteousness and His glory. At North Shelby Baptist Church this is an exciting time. I hope you can come join us in our new endeavors.