I Will Put My Law on Their Hearts
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.”
Why are we here in Jeremiah instead of Romans 12?
- This is Pentecost Sunday. It has been 50 days since Passover, seven weeks from Easter Sunday.
Pentecost is important for both Old Testament and New Testament reasons. In other words, God had the people celebrate Pentecost and in Christ, there is a new meaning, just as there is with Passover. We will be exploring this meaning. All of these celebrations are pointed toward God and what He is doing in our lives. So, Pentecost is important because of the working of God in our lives.
The role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of a follower of Jesus is not as clear, I think, than say the role of Jesus in our lives. Jesus is our Lord and our Savior. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins and we follow Him as our Lord. Jesus is physical, He has a human body. It’s easier to relate. Some of His words are recorded, that makes the communication easier as a starting point. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in terms of what He is going to do in the lives of a person who is following Jesus. But even that gets complicated in our culture.
Pentecostal Christians, Full Gospel Christians these are terms that imply a real difference in the lives of Jesus followers. And often times there has been and is real conflict over the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of people who are following Jesus. And so, I want us to work on this issue for at least two weeks, maybe three. What should we expect the Holy Spirit to do in our lives as Jesus followers? And how can we cooperate with Him in His work.
Jesus came as Redeemer and Lord and many did not receive the benefit of His ministry. That is not what He wanted, but it is what happened. I believe the same is possible with the Holy Spirit. We can miss the benefit of His ministry.
I want to start our study by thinking about the purpose of Pentecost as a feast.
- The Purpose of Pentecost
- The historical observance of Pentecost
50 days after Passover
A festival that celebrates the wheat harvest. (God is providing for us).
The feast of Booths: it looks back to God’s saving provision in the wilderness. Daily bread.
Passover celebrates deliverance from Pharaoh and Egypt. So, Pentecost celebrates God’s provision for His people after salvation!
Pentecost celebrates God keeping them in the wilderness. What is the most important thing that God does for the COI in the wilderness?
- Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Law
Shavuot, the Jewish Pentecost, (Also called the Feast of Weeks. 7 sevens following Passover) is a holiday that today commemorates the single most important event in Israel’s history: the giving of the Torah
The greatest need of God’s people throughout history is that they might keep the law. This is true of us today. We do not keep the law in order to be righteous in God’s eyes. It is too late for that. We keep the law in order to have life!
However, having the law and keeping the law are two different things.
- Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit
28 “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will have dreams, Your young men will see visions.
29 And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 quotes this passage from Joel as
Acts 2: 14 But Peter, taking his stand with the other eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, [n]know this, and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you assume, since it is only the [o]third hour of the day; 16 but this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour out My Spirit on all [p]mankind;
And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
And your young men will see visions,
And your old men will [q]have dreams;
18 And even on My male and female [r]servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days,
Now, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in their lives in Acts 2 was not dreams and visions, it was the sound of a roaring wind. It was little flames of fire that rested on each of them. And it was the ability to speak in languages that they had not previously learned.
The Holy Spirit does not always manifest Himself in the same way! He is God and can do as He pleases. But He does manifest Himself openly several times in the book of Acts. 2, 8, 10 and 19.
The manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Holy Spirit are different. Manifestation is how He shows Himself. Outward signs. The ministry is what He is doing. It is the why. Acts 1:8 You will receive power to be Jesus’ witnesses. And when we look at the Spirit’s work in the Apostles lives in early Acts, this is exactly what the Spirit is about!
Acts 4:8-13 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
OT Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Law!!
- The Fundamental Purpose of the Giving of the Holy Spirit and the Giving of the Law is the Same!
- Jesus’ teaching on the Law in Matthew 5
The Law is the information that we need in order to be blessed by God. This is Jesus’ purpose in Matthew 5: First the blessings stated in the Beatitudes. Then the exhortation concerning the law,
- Opening challenge: it is not passing away. Not the smallest stroke of the pen until all is accomplished!
- Public rebuke of current interpretation: 5:20 The way the Scribes and Pharisees are interpreting the Law is not good enough!
- Closing challenge all must follow the law as Jesus is interpreting it. 7:13-27 Narrow gate, narrow road. Beware false prophets. “Lord, Lord…”
- Build your life on Jesus’ teachings
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
- Jesus’ teaching on the ministry of the Spirit in John
John 14-16 summary:
John 14: 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (Lives with you: Jesus, Will be in you: The Holy Spirit)
- The Spirit is another advocate, just like Jesus. His ministry in the lives of the Disciples is to function as Jesus’ ministry.
(How successful was Jesus at teaching the Disciples what God was doing in His ministry as Messiah?) Luke 22:24 Disciples are arguing about who the greatest is, Judas is betraying Jesus, Peter will deny Jesus, after starting a fight in the Garden. Jesus asks them to pray and they sleep, all will scatter after His arrest and Crucifixion. That is the state of His closest twelve. I believe we are accurate in stating that no one understands what the ministry of Jesus is YET!
- 14:26 The Holy Spirit will teach and remind the Disciples of what Jesus said. (About the law, about the temple and sacrificial system, about who the people of God are and about the kingdom of God)
- 15:26 The Holy Spirit will testify about Jesus
- 16:7 It is for our good that Jesus left and the Holy Spirit came!
- 16:8-11 The Holy Spirit will convict the world of errors in thinking as it relates to sin, righteousness and judgement.
8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
This basically relates to errors in understanding the nature of Jesus’ ministry as Messiah.
- The most basic sin is to not believe in Who Jesus is and What He did for us.
- Righteousness is provided for us as a gift in Christ. And He has gone to the Father’s presence to secure that righteousness.
- The present judgement accomplished by Jesus is a condemnation of Satan! It is not a judgment on Rome. Jesus’ ministry is spiritual, not political!
- 16:13-15 The Holy Spirit will guide the Disciples into all truth. The Holy Spirit and Jesus are the same fountain of information. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus.
- John 7 invitation:
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
All who are thirsty and come to Jesus receive the Holy Spirit to quench their need and give them abundant life.
The ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit are meant to give us life!
How does the Holy Spirit give us life?
- Connection of Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5
- The Holy Spirit is God. Acts 5: 3-5
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
- God speaks and has spoken
God speaks: Subjective experiences with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18ff 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are commanded to be continually filled by the Holy Spirit and that is compared to drunkenness. When we are drunk we are given over to the control of the drug of alcohol. It influences our behavior. The Spirit is to influence our behavior in a similar manner.
God has spoken: Objective. Col 3:
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Conceptually these two books, that are more similar than any other two in the New Testament, are in the same place. Paul is talking about how we are to live our lives following Christ. And the two ideas are parallel: Being filled with the Holy Spirit and Letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.
It is God’s will that you be filled by the Holy Spirit. So do this:
- Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.
I John 5:
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
- Fill your mind constantly with the Word of God.
Bible reading. Bible listening (Bible Gateway). Christian music. Christian podcasts (The Bible Project).
- When you fill your mind with the Word of God, you give the Holy Spirit vocabulary to speak to you! When He speaks, obey!! If you do not obey, then you quench the Holy Spirit in you. You cannot walk after the Spirit and after the Flesh. Apply some effort to apply the Word of God in your life and rely on the Holy Spirit to energize you and give you life.
- Do not argue about the sin in your life, turn from it.
How will I know if I am filled by the Holy Spirit? What should I expect the Holy Spirit to do in me? Next week we will try and tackle that.