What a Relief!
Do you think that being a Christian is hard because there are so many rules to follow? “Do this! Don’t do that! Act this way!” Is Christianity about how well you are able to keep the rules? And is God angry with you because you are not keeping the rules very well. If so, you’ve got it all wrong.
Listen to this beautiful and powerful prayer found in the Book of Hebrews:
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV)
Notice how the Holy Spirit described God in this passage as the “God of Peace.” He is drawing our attention to the posture God maintains toward us in Christ. It is one of peace. Peace with God, not wrath, not judgment, is what the New Covenant is based on. And this covenant, this peace, is everlasting because Jesus purchased it with His blood!
Look again and you will see a wonderful promise that is ours because Jesus shed His blood for us and has established everlasting peace between God and us. The God of Peace will Himself, “make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight.” How different this is from the Old Covenant!
In the Old Testament, God was the Law-giver on the throne and the people were the law-keepers on the earth. Unfortunately, the law-keepers broke every commandment and suffered constantly from the curses of the broken law. That was not a situation God took delight in. So, because of His great love and abundance of mercy, God decided to replace that covenant on our behalf with a new one based on better promises.
And here we discover one of the reasons the New Covenant is so much better than the old, and why it is everlasting and will never need to be changed. It depends on God’s ability, and not upon man’s ability, to do God’s will! In this new and better covenant, the Law-giver on the throne (GOD) becomes the Law-keeper in our hearts (JESUS). That is, the God of Peace does not leave it to us to become what He desires for us to be. He, Himself, will make us what He desires us to be through Jesus Christ.
Child of God, let me repeat. God does not just tell us what to do, gives us instructions to follow, and then leaves it to us to do. He does not just give us a measure of love with instructions; faith with instructions; joy with instructions and then leaves it to us to make it work. No, the very essence of the New Covenant, what makes it new, and better, is that God keeps His side, and then through Jesus Christ, sticks around to keep our side. What a relief!
What’s your part you ask? Your part is simply to give Him your consent each day to make you complete in every good work to do His will. And then, each day, follow the example of the writer of Hebrews and begin praying this beautiful and powerful prayer for yourself and other believers. He has promised to work in you, Himself, the things that are pleasing in His sight.
And, indeed, He will. To Him, and Him alone, be glory forever and ever. Amen.