Saturday, October 29, 2005

My Spirit shall remain: Is 59:21

‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the Lord: ‘My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring's offspring,’ says the LORD, ‘from now and forever.’” (Isaiah 59:21)
When studying the Old Testament, one must determine weather the scripture is speaking to those under God’s old covenant with the nation of Israel, to those who would live under the new covenant initiated through Jesus Christ, or to both. For example, there was a worship song that was popular in some Christian churches during the 1990’s. It was taken from Psalm 51. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Psalms 51:10-12) While it was a beautiful song and expressed our desire to be holy before the Lord, it wasn’t accurate for the covenant we live in now. This scripture from Isaiah reminds us that God has promised not to take His Holy Spirit, or His word, away from us. David cried out to God not to take His sprit away from Him because he had seen God do such a thing. He saw what happened when God removed His spirit from King Saul. “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.” (1 Samuel 16:14) Under the old covenant, God’s Holy Spirit was given to an individual for a specific purpose and with no guarantee that His Spirit would remain forever. This, however, is not the case under the new covenant. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) God has also given us a new heart, a clean heart. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

We need to be careful not to confess who we were before we were accepted into the new covenant. We need to confess the promises of the new covenant and not the judgments of the old covenant. Even when Christians say that they are sinners saved by grace, they neglect the fact that the scriptures testify of then that they are a new creation. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) We used to be sinners, but not any more, we have been created anew. We need to learn to confess who Jesus says we are and not who we feel like we are.

David Robison

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