Word of the Month

God’s covenant and His law

September 2010

Already in the Old Testament the Lord promised to make a covenant through Jeremiah. He also described this covenant in greater detail, saying: “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts.” Then He gave the promise: “… and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” This is a reference to the covenant of the Holy Spirit: on the day of our Holy Sealing, we were accepted by God and incorporated into His covenant. Thereby we became His people and were given His promise: “I will be their God.” Here it says that His law is written in our minds. The people of Israel in the Old Testament had a law too, namely the Ten Commandments, as well as further prescriptions given by the Lord. These had been chiselled into stone. Things are different with the new covenant which the Lord has made with us: He has written His law into our minds and hearts.

Let me describe this divine law. The first important element of it is the law of love. God loves us and He wants us to love Him in return. This is a law He has written into our hearts. If we truly love the Lord, we will not have the heart to disappoint Him. We will want to have fellowship with Him, to be close to Him. And we will bring our offerings, not out of obligation or duty but because our heart urges us to do so. That is the law of love. And this law of love also dictates that we love one another. We will then endeavour to support one another and try to make things easier for each other. We will also pray for one another and have empathy for those who are sad.

There are still other aspects to the divine law, notably the law of faith. The Lord once expressed that if we truly have faith, we can move mountains. Faith is a real power. Nothing can hinder us if we are truly motivated by a strong faith. In the Bible we read of many people who turned to the Lord Jesus because they had health concerns and other problems. And in many cases they were helped. Often the Lord Jesus told them: “Your faith has made you well!”

Still another aspect is the law of divine grace. In the Scriptures it says that God gives grace to the humble. If we turn to Him in humbleness and in the knowledge that we cannot accomplish anything without Him, then we can receive grace.

There is also the law of forgiveness. The Lord Jesus once told His Apostles: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.” If we stay with the Apostles, we too can have our sins forgiven.

Finally there is also the law of hope. We know that the Lord Jesus will come again in order to take us to Himself. This law has been written into our hearts, and we expect the fulfilment of this promise daily. All of these laws have been written into our hearts. Let us never forget them. After all, they constitute the covenant which God has made with us. He is our God and we are His people!

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)