The second covenant that God gave the Jewish people is essentially the one Christ has entered into with us as Christians. Jeremiah 31:31-34 spells it out, but I strongly recommend reading all of chapters 29-32 for some of the most inspiring promises of God in all of Scripture. Here’s His covenant:
31“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The Lord’s covenant with His People is written inside of each of us Christians, via the Holy Spirit. We know good from evil, right from wrong, as long as we’re still in contact with Him (in prayer and through His Word). It’s hard to be in tune with God if we aren’t listening to Him! But assuming we are actually Christians, we don’t have to worry about tracking our individual sins as much as we focus on living a life that pleases the Holy Spirit within us! We lead a life aimed at living positively, not avoiding the negatives as they lived under the Jewish Law.
(Did you realize that in Jesus’ day on earth, the Pharisees had “God’s Law” up over six hundred things to obey? How impossible was that? As Christ pointed out, most of those were human rules, not God’s.)
Back then, in the first century, Paul and the various Christian apostles dealt as much with the Judaizers (those who wanted to keep enforcing the Law as Christians) as with those who saw living by faith as a license to simply sin to one’s heart’s content. Today, I’d argue with little fear of debate, it is the latter that we need to fight against to save souls, rather than the former.
Too many people today seem to think that if you say a little prayer (“Lord, I am a sinner; I need Christ’s sacrifice to wipe away my sins and make me righteous before God”), you’re automatically a Christian, and you no longer need to worry about your salvation.
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Satan’s biggest victories over the millennia have been the twisting of the Truth in key areas, manipulating those who think they’re being saved into a position where they’ve fallen victim to him but aren’t aware of it. It is these people of whom Christ spoke when He warned that there would be many to whom He would have to say, “Depart from Me; I never knew you”, because they held only a mockery of a faith in Him.
The list of satanic abuses is legendary – the Catholic church of the Middle Ages through to about the 1900s, the various cult adaptations (LDS, JW, 7DA, etc.), and the prosperity gospel of more recent times, appealing to the very fleshly dream that to believe in God means to have your earthly desires fulfilled.
Similarly, the idea that all you have to do is say you’re a Christian, and then you can do whatever pleases your flesh, is a perfect satanic appeal to the human desire to have it both ways. Read Romans 10:9-10 again, the most succinct and accurate way to salvation:
…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
“If you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead”, then you believe that He is Who He said He was, the One Path to Heaven. And if that is the case, and you’ve confessed that Jesus is your Lord, you are therefore obeying His commands, because He said many times that was a requirement to follow Him (the most straightforward is in John 14:15 → “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” ).
And if that is the case, you cannot just casually walk through life ignoring what He taught!
Hebrews 10 makes the point rather forcefully that if you do, you are NOT yet saved!
26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.
29 Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.
30 For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The LORD will judge his own people.”
31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
37 “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.
38 And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
I urge you: be a faithful one whose soul will be saved. Live the life that your Lord intended you to live. Listen to the Holy Spirit within you. Save your eternal soul and ride the Rapture that is coming sometime soon!