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Day 40

The ‘Ifs’ and ‘Buts’ of the Bible

“Therefore if you bring your gift (Matthew 5:23)…For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matthew 5:46)…For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:15)…Again I say to you that if two of you agree…” (Matthew 18:19).

Christians have often been in danger of trying to claim the results of obedience, whilst choosing to live in perpetual disobedience (James 1:22). To become wise, it is important for every Christian to know, understand and apply the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ of the Bible. God often says to us, “If you do this, I will do that,” and adds, “But if you do not, I will not.”

All believers are subject to the terms and conditions of Jesus’ new covenant (Matthew 26:28, 2 Corinthians 3:6). In our culture we do not appreciate how important a covenant was in biblical days; the closest we come to it is found in a legally binding agreement. For example, if you have signed a contract with your employer, it explains the benefits of working for them and the conditions to receive the benefits. If you do not turn up for work, you will not get paid. If you publish confidential information, you could get taken to court and punished, etc.

A covenant is a Divine binding agreement between God and man, administered by God and it will form the basis of the terms and conditions which will be applied on Judgment Day.

When we confessed faith in Christ Jesus, we verbally accepted an agreement with God in the spiritual realm. One stipulation of this agreement or covenant states: ‘If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9). God holds us to His covenant and this is why we are given a warning. ‘Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people” ’ (Hebrews 10:29-30).

This is an excerpt from the book Jesus Today - Daily Devotional - 100 Days with Jesus Christ’ by Paul Backholer and is used by permission.

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