God's Holy Fire: 'The New Covenant of Life'

Sunday, March 3, 2019

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It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
— 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 NLT

Key Thought

Unfortunately, many of us who claim to follow Jesus can miss the incredibly radical claims of the apostle Paul. One of these claims is simple and clear: "[We] are not under law" (Romans 6:14 & Galatians 5:18). It's not that the righteous demands of law are bad, but they have no power to change us — not down inside where the problems in our attitudes and behaviors really reside. Instead, when we surrender our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. With the gift of the Spirit's presence come both the power and the urge to be more and more like God — to be holy and righteous, gracious and compassionate. Written laws can convict us of our failures, but this new "law," i.e.,>/span> the principle of living by the Holy Spirit of God within us, is life-inspiring and enabling. Rather than a law demanding us to be holy, we have the presence of the Holy One inside us urging, leading, empowering, convicting, and transforming us to be like Jesus.

Note: Translations of Romans 6:14 & Galatians 5:18 frequently say "you are not under the law," but the definite article "the" is not in either verse in the Greek. A literal translation without "the" is used above.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I appreciate the Ten Commandments and the rules, regulations, and laws you gave your people through Moses. I hear your call to me to be holy — to be righteous and compassionate as you are, things you commanded in the Law. But I know, dear Father, that without the empowering presence of your Holy Spirit and the gift of your grace in Jesus, I would never even have a chance to measure up. I ask that you give me life, hope, holiness, joy, peace, passion, endurance, and grace as I seek to yield to the Spirit's influence in my life. I want to be the kind of person you want me to be. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Illustration

Illustration of 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 NLT —  The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

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About This Devotional

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.