Understanding New Testament ministry

OUR presentation of the Gospel comes from the finished works of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the demands or met the obligations of the old covenant, ie, the Mosaic Law in order to release the New Testament. The Bible therefore in our dispensation asks us to minister this new covenant. This is the message of Christ. We are empowered to do so. Embedded in this message is power.
By Erasmus Makarimayi

Inherent in it is divine ability to bring to pass its testimony or promises. Presentation of this message is presentation of power. Reception of it and believing it is acceptance of power. This message is called the Gospel of Christ or the Grace of God.

It avails the accomplished works of Jesus Christ. After receiving it, you don’t start looking for power because you would have received power.

Partakers and sharers of it are endued with divine ability. 2 Corinthians 3:6 tells us, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” We’re made by God to minister or dispense His message. Believers and carriers of the Grace of God are powerful. They’re not weaklings. They minister the Spirit of God not mere words of dos and don’ts as it was under the Old Testament.

The coming of Jesus Christ and the resultant sufferings, death, burial, resurrection and ascension released the New Testament. Jesus said in Matthew 26:28, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The blood of Jesus is the covenant blood of the new.

The blood of Jesus is powerful and alive. Therefore we don’t minister death but life and power. Jesus Christ is the power of God. Revealing Christ is revealing power. 1 Corinthians 1:24 declares, “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” The coming of Christ made it possible for the power of God to dwell inside His people. Believers are the residence of the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 3:16 reveals, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” The New Testament brings God to His people whereas under the Old Testament, Israel was trying to reach out to God. We know it failed as only Jesus would do it. Matthew 1:23 explains, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” In Christ, we’re in the presence of God.

It is sufficient to notice that the best spirits in the nation of Israel became conscious of the inadequacy of the old covenant and eventually of its failure. The prophet Jeremiah lived through the long agony of his country’s dissolution and saw the final collapse of the ancient order. He felt this failure most deeply and was consoled by the vision of a brighter future. That future rested for him on a more intimate relation of God to His people; on a constitution, as we may fairly paraphrase his words, less legal and more spiritual.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 record, “[31] Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: [33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Alexander MacLaren describes this passage as, “the utmost reach of prophecy; it is a sort of stepping-stone between the Old Testament and the New.”

He explains further: “We do not know whether many of his contemporaries or successors were able to climb the mount which offered this glorious prospect; but we know that the promise remained a promise — a rainbow light across the dark cloud of national disaster-till Christ claimed its fulfilment as His work.”

It was His to make good all that the prophets had spoken; and when in the last hours of His life He said to His disciples, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins,” it was exactly as if He had laid His Hand on that passage of Jeremiah, and said.

“This day is this scripture fulfilled before your eyes. By the death of Jesus a new spiritual order was established; it rested on the forgiveness of sin, it made God accessible to all, it made obedience an instinct and a joy; all the intercourse of God and man was carried on upon a new footing, under a new constitution; to use the words of the prophet and the apostle, God made a new covenant with His people.”
Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

l All Bible quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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