The New Covenant Life

Scripture: John 10:10
Date: 06/26/2021 
Lesson: 13
Why should we feel joy? What is it about the covenant that should free us from the burden of guilt? What does it mean to have a new heart?
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Shawn Brummund: Hello, friends, and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour," right here in the sanctuary of our new facilities here in the Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Greater Sacramento area of California. We are just so glad that you have decided to join us and invest the next hour into studying God's Word as we look at today's last subject in this particular quarter of the year. And so for many of you who have been studying with us, you're familiar with this. For those of you who are joining us for the first time, we're going to be studying from a quarterly guide entitled "The Promise: God's Everlasting Covenant." And so we've been looking at God's great covenant theme, right from Adam and Eve, all the way through to Jesus Christ, of course, the ultimate covenant that He has sealed with His own blood on the cross.

So today we're going to be looking at the last lesson, which is Lesson Number 13, "A New Covenant Life," and our pastor that is teaching today is Pastor Carlos, and so we're glad to have him here with us here today as well. Now, I don't have a copy of next quarter's study, but I do know the title. It's called "Rest in Christ," and so if you haven't got a copy of that, make sure that you try to get a copy if you're at your local church sometime today or throughout the week, and if not, make sure that you go to the Amazing Facts website, and you can simply go to the search bar and find a digital copy there as well. So make sure that you go ahead and get a copy of that so that you can study throughout this next week and be prepared for our study as we get together for that.

Just a little bit of a trivia that I shared last time we came together as well is that the next quarterly actually has a family connection to our administrative pastor, Pastor Jean Ross. Pastor Jean Ross's sister and brother-in-law are the authors of the next quarterly study, so make sure that you take that in. I know that you will be blessed. Don't forget to take advantage of today's free offer, which is "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?" And it's written by Joe Crews, the founder of Amazing Facts Ministries. So please take advantage of that. All you have to do is dial in 1-866-788-3966. That's 1-866-Study-More, and ask for free Offer Number 187.

Now, that's if you're in the continental America, and if you're also interested in a download, a digital free download, you can also text that and receive the link. All you have to do is text to the number 40544. That's 40544, and text the message "SH040," and you can see that on your screen as well. So please take advantage of that as we continue to study and look at God's power in our life to be able to find victory over sin.

So before we invite our speaker and teacher out today, we're going to be blessed in music as we have some young people that are going to be blessing us in worship through music.


♪ My faithful Father ♪

♪ enduring friend ♪

♪ Your tender mercy's like a river with no end ♪

♪ It overwhelms me, covers my sin ♪

♪ Each time I come into Your presence ♪

♪ I stand in wonder once again ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ Your love is still a mystery ♪

♪ Each day I fall on my knees ♪

♪ because Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪


♪ Oh, patient Savior ♪

♪ You make me whole ♪

♪ You are the author and the healer of my soul ♪

♪ What can I give You? ♪

♪ Lord, what can I say? ♪

♪ I know there's no way to repay You ♪

♪ only to offer You my praise ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ Your love is still a mystery ♪

♪ Each day I fall on my knees ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ It's deeper. It's wider ♪

♪ It's stronger. It's higher ♪

♪ It's deeper. It's wider ♪

♪ It's stronger ♪

♪ It's higher than anything my eyes can see ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ Your love is still a mystery ♪

♪ Each day I fall on my knees ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪

♪ Your grace still amazes me ♪♪


Carlos Munoz: Maranatha. Ooh, come on, where are the saints? Christ is coming, amen? Maranatha. Happy Sabbath, everybody. Welcome to Granite Bay Hilltop SDA Church, to our "Sabbath School Study Hour." I am so excited because I get to close this wonderful topic, amen? This, as I mentioned before when I did the lesson I think a few weeks back, this is the core. This is the core of the Gospel. If we don't understand the covenant, we will not understand the Gospel, and if we don't understand the Gospel, and the covenant, we will not understand the plan of salvation, and so

I'm excited to put a close, to put an end to this lesson, and it seems to be something habitual, right? Like the previous lesson, I closed it also, the previous one also, so I'm excited, right? And the lesson for this week is called "The New Covenant Life." I put a slash there. I like to, you know, I like to always put a little juice into it, "The New/Everlasting Covenant Life," because the Everlasting Covenant is the New Covenant, amen? It is the same covenant. It's just given a different name because of how it is being applied when Christ comes along. But before we get started, let's have a word of prayer.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for this opportunity to come together again to spend time in Your Word, and we just ask that Your Spirit guide us, direct us, so that we can have a greater understanding, a deeper understanding and that not only to understand this in an intellectual way, but it may be an experience in our lives. Thank You, Father for this opportunity. Thank You for this blessing, Father, and we ask and beg these things in Jesus's name, amen, amen.

And so the new, the Everlasting Covenant life, as we close, the memory verse for this lesson is John chapter 10: "I come that they might have life," and that they might have it how? More abundantly. In other words, what Jesus is saying, "There is life," right? We're all alive. We're all physically alive, but there is something beyond physical life that God is trying to offer to us that is much more abundant than just physical life, and it is that abundant, spiritual life, amen?

We may be alive physically, you may be breathing, you may eat, you may be listening to me, you may be watching me, but you might be spiritually dead, in other words. That's what Jesus is saying. Life is not just enough, not this physical life, but there's a spiritual life that God wants to inject into us so that life is lived abundantly, joyfully, amen? That's why I love this verse in Romans chapter 8, verse 11: "If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus--" that means the Spirit of the Father who raised Jesus Christ from the what? From the dead.

Now, this is not talking about just physical death, although Jesus was literally raised up from the physical death. He says that same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead will also give you what? Life, amen? That's not just talking about a physical life. This is talking about everlasting life, eternal life, amen? "And give us life to these immortal bodies through His Spirit," who dwells where? In us. You see, it's before-- without the Spirit of God, we have no life. We're living, we're physically here, but we're not alive. I'll give you an example.

In Puerto Rico, there's a lot of promotion of, you know, beer and alcohol all over the place, and it always presents, "Oh, this is the life." So I used to think, when I was young, "Oh, the life is partying and drinking and traveling, and I thought that was living life, and that's what those people think: "Oh, you're living life if you're doing this." That's a complete lie. That's an aberration to the Gospel because the Gospel says that it's only when we have the Spirit in us that we truly understand what it means to live, amen, that we truly understand what it means to fulfill the purpose and the mission which was God has brought you forth.

Remember, God did not create us to condemn us. God created us so that we can give Him glory, amen, so that we can show the world the goodness of God, the righteousness of God, that we can see that God deserves all the praise, all the honor, all the glory, all the worship. He deserves everything that we have. And so that's the life that God is trying to give us. He's trying to reveal it to us through who? Through Jesus Christ in the Spirit, amen? And that's what I call "The New/Everlasting Covenant Life." Who says amen to that?

Now, the lesson presents this life in a very interesting way. It presents five experiences, five primary experiences in the Everlasting Covenant, or five covenant promises that we can experience today. And what I did is, when I looked at this lesson, I thought this was very interesting because this is kind of a barometer. This is kind of a measuring stick to see, am I truly living in the New Covenant life? Am I truly living in the New Covenant experience, or am I living in the Old Covenant? Hmm, we'll talk about that in a second.

How do I know that my life is genuinely aligned with the will of God, with the purpose of God, with the mission of God, with the mind of Christ? How do I know that? Well, that's what--the way that I took this lesson, and I tried--I'm going to explain it and share it with you in this context of the aspect of this experience and these barometers, these tests, that show where we truly are. And so the first one that is presented is what? Everlasting? Everlasting joy, amen? Everlasting joy.

Are you joyful? Do you have joy? Did you wake up this morning and said, "I can't wait to get to church"? "I can't wait to come to church and spend time with my brothers and my sisters in the faith, come listen to the Word of God, listen to beautiful Gospel music. I am excited about being here." Are you excited, or do you just have the mask on, right? Or do you just have that mask where you say, "Happy Sabbath," right? You put a big smile, but inside, you're not joyful.

Go with me, please, to 1 John. It's the verse that they give us in the lesson that I thought was very, very good because I love how John explains it here. Go with me, please, to the book of 1 John chapter 1. 1 John chapter 1. 1 John chapter 1. When you're there, say amen. Look at what it says here in 1 John chapter 1. We're going to read verses 1 through 4. The experiencing the Everlasting Covenant promises today has to do with everlasting joy, amen? Look at what it says.

John says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled," concerning what? The Word of Life. John is not speaking from a technical, a theoretical aspect or perspective of the Gospel. John is saying, "I saw it, I lived it, I embraced it." Isn't that what God says in the New Covenant when He says, "Nobody will have to teach you about Me. Nobody will have to sit you down and show you something because I will be your personal teacher."? It's talking about this intimate relationship that God wants to have with us, amen?

That's the New Covenant experience where nobody's telling you about God because you have experiences, those promises and those blessings on your own. You don't need to hear other people's testimony to get excited about what God is doing because God is doing it in your life right now, that fresh manna that is coming out of that oven, amen? Huh? Ooh. Hear what it says in verse 2: "The life was manifested," the life of the Word, "and we have seen it. We bear witness to it, and we declare to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us, that which we have seen and heard we declare to you," that you also may have what? Fellowship with us.

Would you want to have fellowship with somebody that's as joyful and full of-- like that, as John? Of course, you do. Wow, really, because you can't deny it that joy is manifested. You can't hide it. You can't masquerade it. You can't make believe you're joyful. Either you are, or you don't, and if you're trying to do it and you think you're fooling people, you're not fooling anybody because you can tell right away when somebody's being genuine and honest and when they're not. "That which you have also fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." And here's verse 4, "And these things we write to you," that your joy may be what? Full.

This is not a partial joy. This is not joy just on when Friday comes around and you don't have to work. This is not a joy when you have a holiday off or you have Memorial Day off. This is not a joy when you go on vacation. This is a daily, eternal, everlasting joy from what? From just knowing that you are accepted in God through Jesus Christ, amen? That can't be fixed. That can't be masqueraded. You can't. It's just in you. It shows out. People see the genuineness, amen? They see what exactly it's talking about.

And look at what it says here in 1 John chapter 4, verse 10. What is the foundation of this joy? "This is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us." And what did He do? How did He manifest, God, that He loves us? By sending His Son to be what? A propitiation, or the word is an atonement for our sins, amen? That word atonement is a fascinating word, which I love how it explains "reconciliation," amen, through Christ, because despite our sins, we are reconciled with God. We are reconciled with divinity, amen? And so that brings us peace to know that we have been accepted in Christ and that, through Christ, through Christ, we have peace with God, amen? That brings joy. That brings happiness.

Look at what it says in 1 John chapter 1, verse 9, the same book: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just--" let's stop there. Faithful and just to what? To His covenant promises, amen? "He is faithful and just to His covenant promises--" and what are those covenant promises? Number one, to forgive us of our sins and number two, to what? To cleanse us from some unrighteousness. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see that correctly, all unrighteousness, amen? See, many, many Christians believe that, "Oh, yeah, God will cleanse you but only partially. Just the outer works. He won't go deep down into the core, you know, take out those tendencies, those sinful habits."

No, no, no, no, no, no, God is not just a superficial cleansing. That's not what the Bible says. It is a complete and total cleansing, amen? It's the righteousness of God manifested in us, in human flesh. As it was in Him, so the promises shall it be seen in you and me. Hoo-hoo-hoo! I know, it blows our mind because we can't-- yes, that's the promise of the Gospel. That's the promise of the Everlasting Covenant, amen? And God is going to forgive us of our sins-- we can say justification-- and cleanse us from our sins. We can say sanctification.

We'll talk about that in a second, too, because there is a lot of misconceptions in Christianity in regards to these two terms also, which I thought the lesson did not explicitly say it, but it's implicit, and I thought it would be a great time to share with all of you.

The second aspect, the experience of the Everlasting Covenant, is the promise, or the promises for today is what? Everlasting guilt-free. Now, of course, I know it doesn't sound right. I just wanted to put everlasting in front of every concept that was being touched in the lesson. But it's everlasting guilt-free, or we can say what? Justification, right? What does it mean?

Why are we guilt-free? How is it that we can be with no guilt? You know how many people I know are still burdened with the guilts of their past? And I'll tell you the truth. It creeps up on me every once in a while, too, right? That's why I say, when the Bible says, "God will not-- He will forget our sins," amen? If God is going to forget them, how about us? You think I'm going to be carrying around this burden? No, we're going to be free from that, complete, total freedom from guilt, from sin. Who says amen to that? And so we see that. That's where we gave the verse on Romans chapter 8, verse 1: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Jesus Christ--" who says amen to that?

Why is there no condemnation for those that are in Jesus Christ? Because Jesus Christ carried our condemnation, and so because He carried our condemnation to the cross, we are free. We are guilt-free. The one that had no sin took our sins, and that gives us what? That makes us free in Him. Adam and Eve, in the very moment that they sinned, what happened? God said, "The day that you eat of that tree, you shall surely die." Death sentence. Woop, that's it right there at that moment. Why didn't it happen? Because the lamb took their place, amen? The lamb took the responsibility, the burden of sin on His shoulders.

And please notice this, and I think this is very important because sometimes we forget about the next part, "who are those that walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," amen? Pastor Doug's going to be talking about that today in the next--in the sermon, so I'm excited about that. That's always a great topic, but it's--notice--is that-- I have a question. Is this state of no condemnation, is it just declarative in the past, once and for all, and that's it? Or is it ongoing? It's ongoing because you're walking, amen? You're in this relationship with God. You're not living in the flesh. You're living what? You're learning to live in the spirit. That's the New Covenant everlasting experience that God wants us to experience as Abraham had to learn through his own experience, amen? Who says amen to that? And so this is this understanding, this concept of justification.

Look at what it says in Romans chapter 5, verse 1: therefore being what? Justified by faith, what do we have? We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Who says amen? So notice, my loved ones, that guiltlessness that we are experienced is because of Christ because we have been reconciled. We have made--been at peace with God the Father," through who? Through Christ, justified by faith.

Another way of saying this is to call it imputed righteousness, right? Is that it's not our own righteousness. Don't get me wrong. It's not our own merits. It's the one of Jesus Christ. He is the one, amen? He is the one that is covering our sins. He is the one. It's all His work. All we can do is what? Is accept it. All we can do. And really what we're doing in most cases is we're either rejecting it, too, because if you resist the call of the Holy Spirit, then you're condemning yourself.

God is not condemning us. We're condemning ourselves when we reject, when we deny, when we say no thank You, God, to the gift that He has given us of peace in Jesus Christ, which is what? Which is justification, amen? And so this peace between the Father and the Son--and I think I mentioned it in one of the previous lessons, the covenant-- remember this, please-- the Everlasting Covenant is not a covenant between God and us. It is a covenant that was made between the Father and the Son, all right? We are just invited into the covenant. We are inserted into the covenant through faith and accepting this covenant. The covenant is between the Father and the Son, because if it was based on us, then the covenant would be completely and totally invalidated consistently. This is not what the Bible explains, and this is not what the Bible teaches.

Look at what it says here, "Desire of Ages": "Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united," in what? In a covenant to redeem us. Who was around when this happened? None of us. Everlasting before any of us. The Father and the Son said, "We are coming together, that if the humans should be overcome by sin--" they had clasped their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the what? The surety, or the guarantee. Who says amen? For the human race.

Notice, our salvation is not based on any of us. It's based on the guarantee in Jesus Christ. He is the guarantee. He is the promise. He is the covenant, and God is offering us the covenant when He offers us His Son Jesus Christ. He's offering us this second chance, this second opportunity, amen? And so I'll show you another verse that proves that this covenant was from the very beginning, way before we did.

Go with me to the book of Ephesians, please, Ephesians chapter 1. Ephesians chapter 1 explains it. Ephesians chapter 1. When you're there, say amen. Look at this, verse 3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him," before what? Before the foundation of the world. This is talking about the Everlasting Covenant. The Father said, "Son, through Your sacrifice, through Your humiliation, through Your giving Yourself," for humankind what? They will be what? "They will be accepted into Us," amen, "that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Who says amen?

I have a question: Can we live holy and blameless lives on this earth? Oh, yes, in Christ, of course, we can. That's a promise here. Now, notice what it says here, having been what? Predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, amen. This is true predestination. The Everlasting Covenant presents the true understanding of predestination, not the one that is distorted that, sadly, many believe, that we are predestined why? Because we are accepted in Christ, amen? All of us are. The problem is not everybody accepts Him back.

Everybody is invited into this Everlasting Covenant, into this reconciliation, this atonement, but the question is are we denying it, or are we accepting it? And now you're probably sitting here today and saying, "Oh, I accept it, yes, I accept it." Well, that's what we're doing. We're putting this to the test.

Do you have joy? Do you feel guilt-free? If you don't have joy and you don't feel guilt-free, then there's an issue. There's a misunderstanding, a miscomprehension, and it's usually in this case of justification. You see why? It's because the flesh wants recognition. The flesh wants applause. The flesh wants to be recognized. And so when you come to the Gospel and this Gospel says, "No, humble yourself, lower yourself," you're like, "No." That's why the Spirit cannot be in unison with the flesh because the flesh wants to be recognized and acknowledged but not in Christianity. That's not how it works here. That's how it works in the world, but not here. Here it's all about Him, amen? Here it's recognizing Him, and that's very hard for us, even when we sometimes have accepted it, and we say that we have accepted it.

And so notice this peace that God brings, this council of peace. It's mentioned in Zechariah chapter 6, verse 12 and 13, "Behold, the man," Christ, "whose name is the Branch, He shall bear the glory. He shall sit and rule on His throne, so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace," shall be between who? Between them both. The counsel, the covenant of peace is between the Father and the Son.

Now, immediately, you're probably asking yourselves-- and somebody asked me already, "Well, what about the Holy Spirit? Where is He?" I have a question: Is the Holy Spirit not involved in the Everlasting Covenant? Ha-ha, all over the place. Of course, it is. Have you ever heard of the promise of the Spirit? Look at Ephesians chapter 1, verse 13 and 14, having believed, you were sealed with what? With the Holy Spirit of the promise. What promise? The covenant promises. The promise is that Father said, "Son, this is how we're going to save humanity. Holy Spirit, go down and get to work," amen? "Go into those hearts. Go, impress those hearts, speak to those hearts. Convict them of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment," amen?

The Spirit is the one that is carrying out this work effectively, and look at how the Holy Spirit is also part of the guarantee of salvation in Jesus Christ. See, "The Holy Spirit of promise was the guarantee of our inheritance--" that's the inheritance, or the promises of the covenant-- "until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory," amen?

So is the Holy Spirit involved in this? Oh, my loved ones, this is the work of the Godhead. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the one that are carrying it out. All we can do is what? Is accept it. All we can do is say, "Lord, here I am. I accept this gift that You have bestowed upon us," and this is the covenant.

Now watch how the Holy Spirit is directly involved with this covenant in the life of Jesus Christ. This is beautifully explained in Isaiah chapter 42, verse 1 and 6: Behold, my Servant whom I what? "Whom I uphold, my Elect One in whom My soul delights." This is the Father speaking of the Son. "I have put My Spirit upon Him. I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and I will hold Your hand and I will keep You and give You," as a what? "Give You as a covenant to the people," amen? That's why Jesus is called the Prince of the Covenant. Jesus is the covenant, amen? And this covenant cannot be invalidated, cannot be broken, because it is not between us and God.

Now, don't get me wrong. We tried to make a covenant with God on Mount Sinai, but it didn't work, right? But this covenant, my loved ones, we can reject it, yes, but it cannot be broken. This covenant is everlasting, amen?

Now, why does the Father make a covenant with the Son and not with us? It's very simple. It's explained here very clearly. Because the Father knew that in the Son there would be a complete and total submission, surrender, abiding and trusting in the promises in the Father and that He would put His Spirit in Him. And He knew the Father, that Jesus would depend so completely and consistently and constantly on the promises of the Father, that the Father said, "I have called You in righteousness. I will uphold Your hand and I will keep You," amen? He know--the Father knew that Jesus was not going to depend on the human flesh. He was not going to depend on fallen nature. He was going to learn to completely, consistently, constantly, and daily trust in the promises of the Father, on the righteousness of the Father, in the power of the Father through the Holy Spirit, amen?

And that's really the biggest challenge we have in Christianity today. It's learning to consistently, constantly, daily surrender every moment, every time, every decision, ever temptation. It's learning to, as Jesus was, to lean on the Father, to depend on the Father in every essence, amen? And when we learn to do that, that's what it means to live the faith of Jesus Christ. That's what it means to have the faith of Jesus Christ, and when we have the faith of Jesus Christ, when we have the mind of Christ, when we have the character of Christ, guess what? The righteous life of Christ will be manifested in each and every one of us. Ooh-hoo-hoo!

This is so amazing. I don't know how this cannot give, just, this great news and just fill us with delight. And notice what it says here in Isaiah 54:10, "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills will be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you," nor shall My what? "'Covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord, who has mercy on you." Here's the manifestation again of the covenant of peace-- God's kindness, God's mercy, God's character, amen? And notice, it cannot be removed. No matter how much we reject it, no matter how much we try on our own efforts to try to live up to the principles of God's law and His kingdom, it's not possible, but it doesn't mean that it's invalidated because it's between the Father and the Son, and the Son is the guarantee, along with the Holy Spirit. Who says amen to that? Whoo! Amen?

And so we can trust, despite our flaws, despite our shortcomings, despite what--when we see that we cannot live up to the principles of God, that's exactly what God wants you to understand. We can't do it on our own strength. We can't do it on our own effort. It is only God that does it in us, and so it's learning to say, "God, I can't," and then God says, "Finally." That's what happened in Mount Sinai, remember? God says, "I want to make this everlasting covenant with you as I did with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." He says, "I want you to be a sanctuary. I want to dwell in you," God was telling them. "I want to write my law on your hearts as I did with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and what did they say? "No, no, no, no, no, stay over there. We don't want that covenant. No, no, no, no, no. We want to be a--we want to receive the blessings, but we want it from over here."

They denied that intimate spiritual relationship with God. And so what does God do? He adapts, and He writes the law on tablets of stone and in a book. And then they say what? "Oh, yes, whatever You say, we'll do it. We got it." All right, so God, in His love, what does He do? He adapts to our unfaithfulness, and He says, "Okay, go ahead, go try." Two weeks later, they're worshiping a golden calf. God is like, "I told you, you can't do this." Go read chapter 32, "Patriarchs and Prophets," the law, and the two covenants. Mm, delicious. Explains it perfectly how this is the problem-- and this is our problem too.

You see, when we don't learn to live by faith, we immediately, automatically become idolators, if not of self, of something else, and that's what God is trying to point out to us. That is what God is trying to show us, and that's why it says in Romans chapter 3, verse 24, "Being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

Why do I use this verse? Because many people believe, most Christians believe that justification is just declarative: "It's just in the past. That happened already. You're good to go. You're fine." But this is teaching that justification is what? Present, amen? Justification is now. Justification is every day. It's every day receiving the forgiveness of God. It's every day putting our knees to the floor and saying, "God, I recognize that I am unworthy. I am unrighteous. Only you are righteous. Only you are worthy." This is a daily, constant aspect of our understanding, amen? And so that's what God is telling us, and that's why it says in Isaiah chapter 26, verse 3, "And you will keep him in perfect peace."

I have a question: Ever since you accepted Jesus Christ, have you been in this perfect peace constantly, daily, consistently? Ha-ha-ha, no. So this teaches that this peace, this guilt-free is a daily experience. It's learning to live by faith. It's learning to live in the New Covenant as Abraham had to learn and as you and I are still learning today. Is everybody with me? That's what God is trying to show us, but there is perfect peace in who? In whose mind is stayed on you.

I have a question: Is this a daily experience? Do we daily have to be feeding off of the bread of life to remember the promises, to remember the blessings, to remember how God has dealt in the past with sinners? Oh, yes, it does. That gives us peace because He trusts in you. We learn to depend on Him. We learn to trust on those prominent promises: "Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord," is what? Everlasting strength. Who says amen to that? That's the--this peace experience, this guiltless experience, not because we're not guilty but because we have been justified in Jesus Christ, amen? But that is a daily experience.

Justification is not just declarative, my loved ones. Justification is experiential, and it is transformative. That's what God wants to show us. Then we have the third blessing or promise in the Everlasting Covenant. It's what? The everlasting what? New heart. We can call this sanctification. The everlasting what? The everlasting new heart.

Go with me, please, to Ezekiel chapter 36. Ezekiel chapter 36. I love how Ezekiel 36 breaks this down and explains this in just such a clear, concise way. Ezekiel chapter 36. We'll start on verse number 25. When you're there, say amen. I didn't hear anybody say amen, but I'll continue to go. "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your--" how much filthiness? All.

How much cleansing is God going to do in us? Is it a partial job? "I'm just going to get rid of some sins, but the rest of them, you've got to deal with them until Christ returns." Is that what the promise is? Of course not. There is no promise in the Bible that says we are going to continue to be slaves to sin. It's the total opposite, amen? "You'll be cleansed from all your filthiness and all your idols." That's the blood of the Lamb. That's the blood of the Everlasting Covenant that cleanses us. "I will give you--" notice this, a what? A new heart.

Why does God have to give us a new heart? Because our heart is corrupted because there's something wrong with our fallen nature, right? And so God gives us a new heart, which is basically talking about a new mind, a new spirit. It's talking about the mind, the spirit, the heart, right? "I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

This is the New Covenant experience. God is transforming and changing us how? By looking at the cross, by looking at the blood of the Lamb. By seeing what Christ has done for us, it should change the way--I'm like, "Whoa." I remember when I was an unbeliever, and I reconciled. I was reading this book about the historic aspect of the life of Jesus Christ, and I was looking at all the extra-biblical evidence to the existence of Jesus Christ, and I said, "Wow, what the Bible says is true." And then I had to come to myself and say, "Why would somebody do that? Either He's a complete lunatic, or He truly is who He said He is." Because as soon as the Romans get that first whip, if He is not genuinely who He says, He's out of there. "Woop, nope, forget about it. I'm not dying for these people. See you later."

That's what happened with all those other Messiahs in Christ that tried to be. That changed my mind. That made me start to think, and so I have a what? I'm starting to have a new mind, a new heart, amen? And now look what happens, and out of that new mind, what does God do? He gives us a new heart, amen? In verse 27, "I will put my Spirit within you," why?

Why does now God have to put His Spirit within us? So that we can-- "and I will cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments, and do them," amen? "In other words, this is what I need to do to restore you and put you in harmony back again with my will. This is what I need to do so that we can dwell again, so there could be perfect atonement, complete atonement, that I can dwell in you, as I need to do this transformative thing in you so that we can dwell together again." And now we can accept this, or we can reject it. That's what it says in Genesis chapter 3, verse 15, remember? It says, "I will put enmity--" What's that enmity that God puts between the devil and us? It's the cross of Calvary. It's seeing that, and by putting an enmity against the devil, we're automatically starting to move towards God, amen? It's that promise again, the everlasting covenant promise in Genesis chapter 3, verse 15, that God is saying, "I will change you. I will transform you. I will restore you." It's not on our own accord. It's only looking at Christ and seeing the greatest, most beautiful manifestation of love ever given to humanity, amen?

Look at what it says here in "Steps to Christ": "If you give yourself to Him and accept Him as your Savior, then sinful as your life may have been, for His sake," you are what? Accounted righteousness or imputed righteousness. This is justification. "Christ's character stands in your place, in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned." I put there justification.

Now what's the problem? Most of our brothers and sisters in Christianity believe, "That's it, you're justified, you're good to go." Just put your seat belt on, hit "cruise control," and you're going to heaven. Is that enough? Do you think this is not going to change the way we look at God and say, "What? This free gift that God has given me?" Really, it should blow our minds away, and there's a reaction to that, amen? There is a reaction to what God has done in this process of accounting us righteous is when we are unrighteous. And what is that? More than this, amen?

Get excited, because this is where many of our brother and sisters fall short. They think, "Oh, that's it. You're good to go. Keep on living in the flesh." They don't say that, but that's what they're teaching. More than this, Christ does what? Changes the heart. Ezekiel 36, we just read it. "He abides in your heart by faith." That's the New Covenant. That's the Everlasting Covenant abiding in our hearts, abiding in us what Israel rejected, and that's why God had to put the law on tablets of stone and a book, and He had to make an earthly sanctuary, not because He wanted to. He wanted to dwell in them as He did with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, but they said no.

Now watch this: "He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ," by faith and what? Continual surrender. That's present and future perseverance in the faith, "by faith and total surrender of your will to Him, and so long as you do this--" this is perseverance-- "He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure." That's sanctification, amen? This is it.

You cannot separate justification and sanctification. Many people try to do it, but you can't, and that's where we fall into these pitfalls and these errors and theological errors when we think justification is one thing, sanctification is one thing--no, they're what? They're both sides of the same coin. The evidence that you have been justified, that you have accepted, acknowledged, and received the accounted righteousness of Jesus Christ, is that God is transforming you, that God is changing you. That's what it says in Romans chapter 1, verse 16 and 17, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God," amen, "to salvation for everyone who believes."

The Gospel is the power of God, and where is that power found? Where is the essence of the Gospel, and the power of God found? It says it in the Hebrew parallelism in verse 17, "For in it," or in the Gospel, what? The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, amen? So the Gospel of Christ is the power of God, and that power, that essence of that power, of that dynamite, is the righteousness of God perfectly revealed from faith to faith in the life of Jesus Christ, but it doesn't stop there because it says, "And as it is written, 'The righteous, or the just, shall live by faith.'" In other words, that same Gospel, that same power, that same righteousness that was revealed in the life of Jesus Christ, will be revealed in our lives too. Hoo! Come on!

What it says in "Review and Herald," June 4, "The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed. The righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is what? Our fitness or preparation for it, amen? It's the cleansing experience, my loved ones. And some people still get-- you know, they could get a little muffley.

The concept of justification, sanctification, I'll just break it down in a very simple way. Justification is not just declarative. It's experiential and transformative. Or in another way, I'll put it to you this way: Sanctification is justification in progress. It's a daily surrender, that daily repentance, that daily forgiveness what is daily transforming and changing us, amen? And that only can come through an intimate, personal, daily relationship with God. And if you don't have it, now you understand why you may not be experiencing a guiltless life, a joyful life. But God has brought you here because there is still hope. Who says amen to that?

Number four, experiencing the Everlasting Covenant promises today is everlasting eternal life. Who says amen? This is glorification. I have a question: Can we experience this today? Can we live in this state today? Yes or no? Can we live as if our minds are already in heaven, thinking, contemplating, like God would want us to do constantly and daily, constantly as the news to be.

Oh, yes, we saw, for example, we talked when I did the previous lesson these three main promises that we find in Genesis, right? The three main covenant promises: Number one, God is going to forgive you of your sins, number two, God is going to give you victory over sin. That's Genesis 3:15. Forgiveness of sin is Genesis 3:21, but then you have Genesis 3:22, where it's not explicit, but it's implicit what? He's going to give us eternal life because it says the tree of life was there, and what did God say? Guard the tree of life. He didn't say eliminate it, He said guard it, protect it, until when? Until we solve the problem of sin, and once that problem of sin is solved,

I have a question. Are we going to be restored into the tree of life and eternal life with God? That's what it says in Revelation chapter 22, if you haven't read it. And for that, implicitly, it's talking about the Resurrection, right? It's implicit. All of this is in Genesis chapter 3. That's why I told you it's my favorite chapter because it's all there, and that's what God wants to do. Look at what it says here. This quote was in the lesson. "Those who see Christ in His true character and receive Him into the heart have everlasting life." Now, again, receiving into the heart is talking about this New Covenant experience. "It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us, and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith." This is the beginning of what? Of eternal life.

My loved ones, you can start living eternal life now. It's already given to us, amen? Are we--looks like we're, yeah, we're fading away, but that's just temporary. That's just passive. God has promised eternal life, and if you trust and live and lean on those promises, you will live as if you're thinking for eternity. Only my brother here said amen. Are you catching me?

We can live that, that joy, that peace, knowing that in God we are accepted. If you don't have it, then you're not getting it. And I'm not saying this because I got it, but I am saying that I am--I'm moving in that direction, amen? I'm going in that direction because I want to see the glory and the power of God revealed in my life. I want God--I want the world to know that God is just, that God is good, that God is righteous, that God deserves all praise and all honor.

Look at what it says in Psalms chapter 37:29 and 31, talking about this eternal life. "The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous speak wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice." The law of his God is where? "In his heart, and none of his steps shall slide," amen? This is the New Covenant experience talked about where? In the new heavens and the new earth. That can be your experience and mine now.

We can have that peace, that joy. We can have that experience, that covenant relationship experience with God, and that's what it's talking about when it says that God's people have the seal on their forehead. The seal on the forehead is the character of God, the mind of Christ. That's going to be the reflection of those that live in the end times. That's going to be those that are standing, and of course, the commandments of God are already written in the heart, so it's going to be what? It's going to be out of joy and love that we rejoice in keeping His commandments.

I'm not talking about coming to church on Saturday. I'm talking about keeping the Sabbath. That can only come with an intimate, personal relationship with God. My loved ones, the law of God in the heart and in the mind is just another way of saying that God's character or God's righteousness has been written or sealed in our character amid this, and thus His righteous character is being revealed and manifested in us through Christ, amen? That's what it is. This is what is happening in the end times, and one thing maybe where the lesson fell short, it doesn't talk about the relevance of the Everlasting Covenant in regards to the end times, but it's the same experience. It's the same thing that happened with Abraham.

And so in the lesson, if you read Galatians chapter 4, it presents the covenants, not just as historical dispensationalists where I know it can fall into those categories: This is the Old Covenant, this is in the past. This is the New Covenant, it's in the future. But it really talks about in Galatians 4, as an experience, as learning to trust in God, and Abraham fluctuated between those two, but then he learned how to trust completely in God, and that's what God wants to do with you and me, amen? So you can be in the New Covenant dispensation historical period right now, and you can be living in the Old Covenant because you're trusting on yourself. You're leaning on yourself. You're depending on yourself. You're not learning to depend and live on the righteousness of God, amen? And so this is the thesis: "The covenant was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will," placing them where they what? Could obey God's law.

That's the foundation of it. It's that reconciliation. It's God placing us back in that place where we can delight in serving Him and living for Him and rejoicing in His presence, my loved ones. And when that happens, when we have this experience, when we are living in harmony with God's will, guess what's going to happen? The last promise, everlasting mission. That's salvation in action. That's going out. It's just--and you can't contain it. You can't hold it back. You have to share it with others. You have to talk to others about Christ. You have to present it. If you don't have this, there's a disconnect. There's an issue. There's a misunderstanding in salvation.

One of my favorite pastors, his Spanish churches, he says, "If you do not have the mission spirit, you do not have the Spirit of God." Pow-pow! If you don't have this desire to share others with Christ, this burden, then there's a disconnect. And so what do we need to do? We need to get on our knees and say, "God, show it to me. I need to spend more time in Your Word. I need to spend more time," amen? This is what it is about, my loved ones, and as we close, notice the covenant promises. This is the covenant promise, Job chapter 33, verse 26, "He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him. He shall see His face with joy, and for He restores to man His righteousness," amen?

This is the New Covenant experience that we are face-to-face with God every day in His Word, that we are delighting in Him, that we are praying, seeking God, and we are seeing how He, through the power of the Holy Spirit is what? He's restoring His righteousness in you and in me, amen? And that brings joy, delight. That brings all of this. That's why it says in 1 John 4:9, talking about the joy that we started off with: "In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world," for what? That we live through Him, amen? It's not my life. I am crucified daily. I have to die daily for Christ to be able to live in me. I have to take this flesh and submit it under the power of the Holy Spirit if I am going to let God do the work that He wants to do in me. But that's what it says in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ."

This is a daily experience. This is that justification, my loved ones. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me," amen? "And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God." It is Christ that is living in us. It is Christ that is being manifested through us. It is Christ who is being revealed through us, amen?

All we're doing is surrendering and let God do the work that He wants to do, but Christ living in us, that's the precious promise. And I finish with this last quote about what is the purpose and the foundation of experience, this Everlasting Covenant, this New Covenant experience, as did Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, David, so many of the great patriarchs and matriarchs. Here it is, my loved ones, Acts of the Apostles. "Holiness is an entire surrender of the will of God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence. It is resting in His love."

That's actually the next lesson, "Resting in Christ." This is the key. This is the key to being able to live that New Covenant/Everlasting Covenant experience: entire surrender, living by the Word, doing His will, trusting in Him, walking in His--by faith, not by sight, relying on Him and resting in Him, trusting that His promises will be fulfilled. And my loved ones, this is what it means to live the faith of Jesus Christ, amen? That's the purpose of the covenant is to restore us back into harmony with God's will that the same life of Jesus Christ will be manifested in each and every one of us, and those are the ones, the only ones that will be standing in the end, because if you do not, you're going to be taken away by the winds of tribulation and persecution.

I have a question: Does anybody here want to say, "I want to live in the faith of Jesus Christ"? "I want to live and to have that joy, that peace, that Jesus Christ had, despite the tribulations and battles." I know I do.

Let's have a Word of prayer. Father, we thank you for this wonderful topic that we studied during the Sabbath School lesson, and we just ask, Father, that you guide us, direct us, and be with us, so that all of this can be fulfilled in us as Your Word promises. In the same way that all of these promises were fulfilled in Christ, that they may be fulfilled in us, and that through Christ, we become heirs, beneficiaries, partakers, of the blessings and the promises of this covenant, Father.

Help us to look at the examples in the Bible and to trust in your Word and to learn to live by faith as Jesus Christ did daily, consistently, and constantly. We thank you, Father, for this opportunity for this study lesson, and we ask this in Jesus's name, amen.

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Female: I grew up in a family that was very saturated with God. We had morning worship. We had evening worship. We were taught from young children to have personal devotions each day, but for whatever reason, I seemed to always find myself alone. I never really had a big group of friends, and it always seemed to be like friends were just taken away from me. You know, I prayed for friends, and then I'd meet someone, and then six months later, then they moved to Washington, you know, across the United States.

And so finally, I was just like I'm not going to pray for any more friends because it hurts too much to lose them. But over the next two years, as I got closer to God, I started to be able to be thankful for the alone times because I was forced in that aloneness to seek God. That is probably what has made me who I am and given me the experience with God that I have now. The place where I feel most comfortable is being alone with God.

I know a lot of people have questions about "Where is God when it hurts?" "If God is such a loving God, why is the world so bad?" Embrace the pain, embrace the hard times, and let God reveal Himself through that, because He has answers to questions you don't even know how to ask.

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