Summary: Christians have a New Covenant.
THE NEW COVENANT
Hebrews 8:1-13; 10:1
By Cleavon Matthews
March 26, 2006
There was a time when you knew what a church believed simply by it’s name or association. But now in our postmodern day many churches have dropped their denominational names and associations disguising themselves with more inviting user and seeker friendly names.
Also in this postmodern era there has been a shift in the language and terminology regarding the vocabulary of the religious community. Dynamic phrases and terms such as anointing, covenant, harvest, seed, miracle, and pastor have recently gained prominence and popularity. The adoption of church names including: fellowship, faith, ministry, new life, and believers have developed.
In desperate attempts to attract non-church goers many churches have appealed to the felt and perceived needs of people. Christianity has been commercialized. Church has become another suggested alternative to temporarily satisfy the wants and aches of the hurting. People at crossroads and crisis are often advised to start going to church! But which church among the thousands should they attend? If they need counseling then the ideal church would provide it. If they are having family problems then obviously a church with a strong family emphasis is preferable. If they are single then a church with a strong singles group is of course recommended. If they are into the cutting edge of technology and hip hop then there is a church for them!
Perhaps the shift in vocabulary and religious terminology is a reflection of the changes in the attitudes and motives of church leaders and church goers. Church goers have felt needs and church leaders recommend their churches as the solution! Unfortunately a solid Biblical understanding of these terms often does not accompany their flippant use. Many religious groups have begun to emphasize the great biblical idea of covenant and many churches have incorporated the term covenant into their name. The term ‘Covenant’ has even made its way into the social domain. ‘The Covenant with Black America’ has made it onto the New York Times Best Seller List! And although it appears to contain good ideas to address the social injustices in America; there is no saving power in the 10 Covenants!
The letter to the Hebrews was written in order to push and urge God’s people forward. Some where turning back and contemplating a departure from the faith because the demands of Christianity were challenging. Persecution was real and in an attempt to circumvent chastisement many considered opting for a lesser religion. They wanted a religion based on their felt needs rather than God’s plan.
The same thing is prominent in this period of history. Most people base their religious and spiritual decisions on felt needs or perceptions rather than God’s word. However if we would abandon our felt needs and think seriously while listening closely to God’s message we would be immersed with His truth, saturated with His wisdom, humbled by His holiness, astonished by His glory, and satisfied by His sacrifice.