New Testament Message

 Let me pose a question: what is the true New Testament Message? Or what is the New Covenant message to us?

Please note that we are not thinking what the New Covenant is, but simply what is the New Testament message, and how it is different from the Old covenant message.

Surely the New Testament message was spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ to all humans, in all nations and in all ages. It is an ageless, timeless message without any barrier of race and nations.

At the same time, we know that Jesus, primarily talked to the Jews living in Judea. Jesus lived and served as a Jewish rabbi, talking in their language, in a different culture and religious background.

That was God’s perfect plan. We read in Romans 1: 16 : “… it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (NKJV)

For us, Jews or Israelites are not just a group of people living in the particular geographical area. But Israel for us is the chosen generation, the descendants of Abraham, for fulfilling God’s plan to restore the Kingdom of God. They are the descendants according to the flesh of Abraham.

But of course, when God called Abraham to go to the promised land and inherit it, God had in mind, not only his descendants according to his flesh, but the spiritual descendants of the New Testament also.

Still, Jesus was born and spoke to the Jews in Judea.

So it is important to understand what Jesus really talked to them and what the Jews in Judea at that time understood. This is the primary application of His words and His same words come to us also as the New Testament message.

 

Jesus started his ministry on this earth, announcing the Kingdom of God and its values. His declarations are according to the practices of the region to proclaim a new nation or a new king. It has other historical implications also, which I do not have time to discuss in this message.

Jesus came to restore the kingdom of God. So he declared its inauguration and its principles or values.

So Jesus announced:

 

Matthew 4: 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (NKJV)

In Mark in 1: 15 we read this declaration as:  "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."  (NKJV)

If we read together these two verses, it would be something like this:

The time has come to restore the kingdom of God. So you have to repent. And believe in the gospel of the Kingdom.

This is a simple message, but it has deeper spiritual mysteries in it. So let us try to understand it.

In fact the Jews, from the time of Abraham, were eagerly waiting for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. But the understanding of this spiritual mystery was different with Abraham and the Jews lived during the time of Jesus.

For Abraham, the Kingdom of God is, “the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” So he lived hopefully in the “the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;” (Hebrews 11: 9, 10)

That means, for Abraham, the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. But gradually the descendants of Abraham lost this vision.

After Abraham the Israel went through many political and social disturbances. They were attached and conquered by the enemy gentile nations more than once. They were taken as captives into foreign lands. Gentile kings ruled over them many times.

David could establish a safe and strong Kingdom of them. David received also the promise from God for an eternal kingdom.

But unfortunately, what really happened is that the Israel kingdom was divided into two after Solomon. The one Israel nation became two, one on the north and another on the south.

In In 722 BC the northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians and the population deported to their nation.

Still the Jews did not give up their hope for an eternal kingdom. But their understanding of it changed from the spiritual plane to physical reality. And gradually the Kingdom promised by God became a physical Kingdom. They interpreted the Davidic covenant and all prophesies of their prophets in such a way that a physical kingdom will be established on this earth for them.

They believed that the Kingdom of God will be established during sometime in future, for Israelites and on this earth. Kingdom of God is an earthly political kingdom giving final victory for Jews over the gentile nations. That was their belief and hope.

During the Old Testament period, Israelites were the only people who worshipped Yahweh, the God. So naturally the kingdom expected will be exclusively for the Jews.

This was the expectation of the Jews during the time of Jesus.

But instead of establishing a kingdom for them, they were conquered by the gentile enemies and they had to go to exile.

During the Babylonian exile, many pious Jews realized that their sin is the reason for their defeat and exile. Their sins keep the kingdom away from them. They are repeatedly defeated by their enemies because their sins against God. So they prayed and taught for a spiritual revival.

Thus the groups like Essenes of which John the Baptist himself was a member and the religious fanatic groups like Pharisees arouse. They spread an urge and zeal for the Kingdom of God among the people.

In a sense, it is true that a physical kingdom will be established in future by a Jesus for them. But the promise had more in it. They simply missed the spiritual part of it.

The eternal Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom which will contain people from all races and nations.

Jews of the time could not understand this mystery.

To the Jews, who were earnestly hoping for the Kingdom, John the Baptist and Jesus said that, finally the Kingdom of God has arrived. So they must repent and believe in the gospel.

Though John the Baptist also announced the proximity of the kingdom, he was not the prophet who came to declare the kingdom. Scripture says that he came to prepare the way for the king to come and declare the kingdom. A kingdom is always declared by the king. So when John said that the kingdom is at hand, he meant, the King Jesus Christ is coming soon.

And the presence of the King is the manifestation of the Kingdom. Where the king is, there the kingdom is.

This is quite easy to understand. Where a magistrate is, there is the court. Where a doctor is, that is the hospital. Where a teacher is, that is the school.

In the same way, the king has come, means, the kingdom has come.

In the announcements of John the Baptist and Jesus, we notice three things. Or rather they announced three things. The Kingdom of God, which the Jews have been waiting for has finally come. So they should repent. They should believe in the good news about the Kingdom and live according to the values of the Kingdom.

That means, the central message is, “repent”. Why should they repent? Because the Kingdom has come.  This is the central message of the whole New Testament.

The New Testament message demands, not only Jews, but us also to repent.

Now let us try to understand what exactly the demand for repent really mean?

The root Greek word for ‘repent’ means to feel sorry for all the sinful past in our life. We agree that we have committed sins in our life and we decide to give up those sins in future life.

The same Greek word also means to think different from the past. This meaning is very important.

Repent is to think different from the past. It is to think different from the past religious, social and political life that we have been leading in the past.

As we know, our thoughts produce words and actions. Our thoughts define our personality. So when we think different from the past, our words become different, our action becomes different and our total personality changes. We become a new person.

Our old thoughts may not be so bad, may not so sinful. But if they are not according to the value systems of the Kingdom of God, we have to think different. That is repentance.

Repentance goes beyond sins of the past. It is sharp turning back to the life that we have been leading so far and moving in the opposite direction to the kingdom of God. In a life after the repentance, only the values of the Kingdom matters.

Our reasons for a good life according to the standards of this world is no longer valid. What we feel about the good life that we have been leading does not matter anymore.

Only the values of the Kingdom of God matters. That is repentance.

Jesus asked the Jews and the New Testament Covenant asks us to repent.

Here let me add one or two sentences to make clear what I have been telling.

Repentance happens to us, not to God. Only we, humans are in need of repentance, not God.

God never repent. God never changes His thoughts, actions and personality. That is the reliability of God.

Let us try to understand it in this way.

God once and for ever has chosen the divine attributes and that is eternal. Since it is a choice that He made for once and for ever, He cannot and will not change.

That is what James says in his letter 1: 17: “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (NKJV)

So God has the same mindset that He had before the beginning of this world. God thinks, speaks and acts in the same way from the time before the beginning of the world to the eternity.

In fact, God wanted human being to make the same choice once and for ever. So He offered an opportunity for it to them in the Garden of Eden. But humans choose sin.

Their intention was to become like God. For that they should have chosen good and obedience and loyalty to the Heavenly Kingdom. But with the same intention, they chose evil, disobedience and rebellion against the Heavenly Kingdom.

But by His Grace, God has given us one more opportunity, to make another choice, once and for ever. This is our last opportunity for a choice of good. And we have the freedom to exercise our last opportunity for a new choice – we may chose good or evil.

The new choice for good, obedience and loyalty to the Kingdom of God is repentance.

So Jesus is asking us to repent. This is the New Testament message.

So far we have been trying to understand the meaning of repentance. But we have not come to the real subject of this message.

So now let us go back to the Jews who heard the message of repentance. What did Jesus mean when He asked them to repent? The answer to this question is the subject of this message.

In fact, what Jews understood when they heard Jesus speaking of repentance is the true New Covenant message, not only to them, but to all human beings of all races and time.

Because Jesus was telling that without repentance, none can inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the crucial question is that, from what they had to repent?

When we raise this question, repentance becomes a difficult word to understand. 

So let us try to understand the term from the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom

The first message we understand from the exhortation to repent is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

When John the Baptist was baptizing repented people in the river Jordan, some Sadducees and Pharisees also came to him for baptism. But John refused to baptize them.

In Matthew 3: 8, he asks them: "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (NKJV).

“Worthy” means, equal in value to repentance.  

What did John mean? We know very well that the Jewish community was so proud about the descent from Abraham. They believed that because they were the children of flesh of Abraham, they need not repent to enter the Kingdom of God. Kingdom is a covenantal promise between God and Abraham and they are the only true inheritors of it.

Washing their body with water was a ritual practiced by the Old Testament believers. No true repentance was necessary for the ritual. But John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.

So John is asking them to repent and to change their mindset.

To be simple, John is telling them that a ritual of washing the body cannot cleanse them from their sins. They must change their mindset.

That means, kinship with Abraham is not worthy of the kingdom. Nothing done in the flesh and no claim of flesh can inherit the kingdom. Not even the fact they are circumcised is worthy of the kingdom.

The Jews were all these, they were children of flesh of Abraham and circumcised. And Pharisees had an outward religious life. But they were still unworthy of the kingdom.

In fact, this mystery was revealed in the life of Abraham itself.

In Genesis 17, Abraham received the commandment from God to circumcise all male child in his house. According to the command, Abraham, his son Ismael and his servants received circumcision. Later on Isaac also received circumcision. And the practice continued from generation to generation.

But all those who received circumcision did not inherit the covenant promise to Abraham. Ismael did not inherit the covenant; Abraham’s servants did not inherit the covenant.

Abraham married a second time, after the death of his wife Sara. He had six sons in that marriage. But they too did not inherit the covenant.

Bible says that Abraham gave gifts to all his sons and send them away, while his promised son inherited all his wealth and the covenant. Isaac was his promised son and redeemed son.

Still the Jews of the time believed that a physical kinship with Abraham is worthy to inherit the kingdom.

John is telling them that, a physical descent is not worthy of the kingdom, they must repent.

Jesus also preached the same message. In John 8, we read a long speech by Him.

The occasion is that, a woman was caught in prostitution and she was brought to Jesus to pronounce the verdict to stone her to death. But Jesus saved her from the angry mob. And before she leaves, He told her: “sin no more”.

After this incident Jesus made a long speech and a lengthy conversation with the Pharisees. Jesus said to them that “ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:21, 24).

Many people who heard his preaching believed in Him.

To those Jews who believed, He said: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (8:32 - NKJV)

The unbelieving Jews did not like this statement. They argued that, “We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?" (John 8:33 - NKJV)

The argument is that the Jews are the children of flesh of Abraham and they need no repentance to inherit the covenant.

Now let us read some of the arguments that went on between Jesus and the Jews.

 

John 8

39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.

47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (NKJV)

What Jesus was trying to tell them was that, they may be the children of flesh of Abraham. They may be physical descendants of Abraham. They may be circumcised Israel. But that do not make them worthy to inherit the Kingdom of God.

By their mindset and deeds, they have become the children of devil. That is why they are rejecting the gospel of the Kingdom.

This is the meaning of what Jesus said to them. Jews by claiming the kinship with Abraham or by a physical act of circumcision, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

The New covenant message is very simple. It just says us that no flesh and blood can inherit the Kingdom of God. No good deeds, no good name, no fame, nothing of this world and flesh can make us worthy of the Kingdom.

We may be born in a religious family to born again parents. We may have good standing with a local church. Our wife or husband may be a born again person. We may be supporting many evangelists.

But all these are not worthy of the Kingdom of God.

To inherit the Kingdom, we must repent; turn around, and move in the opposite direction.

We must give up the values of this world and accept the values of the Kingdom.

This is the same message that Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3:

 

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (NKJV)

As we know, Nicodemus was a Jew, a religious pious person, a Pharisee and an official in the synagogue. He knew the Mosaic covenant, the laws and the prophets very well. He might have been leading a life perfectly well with the Mosaic laws.

But all those were physical and flesh.

So Jesus said to him to be born again. That is to repent from the works of the flesh and to be born again to the spirit of the New Covenant.

The Kingdom is not earthly but spiritual. So a turn around is necessary. 

So, if we wish to inherit the Kingdom of God, we must give up our reliance on flesh and blood and must repent, turn around and walk in the other direction.

This is the New Covenant message of repentance.

Hypocrisy cannot inherit the Kingdom

The second message of repentance aims at the Sadducees, Scribes and Pharisees.

I am afraid I may not get sufficient time to tell about them in detail. But it will be good to get some information about them.

We know that these three groups rejected Jesus as Messiah and opposed Him to the crucifixion. Jesus also opposed them for their beliefs and works.

Sadducees were a group of Jews who had great influence among the people during the time. They were all rich people. They showed much interest in temple affairs and rituals.

They almost controlled the temple governance and the Sanhedrin. Sanhedrin was the Supreme Court of the Jews during the time. Jesus was tried and condemned to death by them accusing blasphemy.

Though they showed much zeal for the religious life of the Jews, their life was corrupted.

Accumulating wealth was their sole aim. Temple and the rites and rituals there were a way for them to increase their wealth. They used religion and beliefs to exploit the people to make money.

That is why John the Baptist called them, "Brood of vipers!” (Matthew 3:7 - NKJV)

Jesus called them, "A wicked and adulterous generation” (Matthew 16:4 - NKJV)

Jesus advised His disciples to, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6 - NKJV)

Jesus was warning against the evil doctrines of the Sadducees and Pharisees.

In Matthew 22: 29, we read Jesus telling them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (NKJV)

Sadducees taught wrong doctrines. Their life was corrupted. Religion, beliefs and the Temple itself was a source to make money for them.

Since their financial source was the Temple, they decreased in number and finely disappeared, after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70.

Both John the Baptist and Jesus told them to repent from their corrupted life and turn back to the opposite direction. The Kingdom of God has come. It is time to repent.

Scribes were another influential religious group of Jews during the time. They were experts in legal matters. Preparing legal documents, writing letters for kings and rulers etc. were their main occupation.

Since people who knew to write and read were few during that time, scribes were involved in copying the Old Testament. So in a sense, they knew the Old Testament very well. But they miserably failed to understand the spiritual mysteries in the scripture. They failed to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah, the King.

So they opposed the gospel of the Kingdom of God preached by Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 23: 2 & 3, Jesus says about them: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” (NKJV)

Here Jesus is referring to their knowledge of the scripture. He is asking the people to do what they instruct according to the Law. Jesus also adds that the scribes instructs the people to obey the laws, but they themselves never obeys them.

Thus we understand that the scribes were a group of intellectuals, who knew the scripture word by word, but never understood the spiritual mysteries in them. They never lived according to their teaching. Their life is not a good example to follow. They were hypocrites.

In Mark 12: 38 – 40, we read Jesus saying: 

 

Mark 12: 38 – 40

38 Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,

39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,

40 who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."  (NKJV)

The third major religious group of the time was the well-known Pharisees.

Pharisees were generally common people. The large majority of them were financially not rich. Only few poor Temple priests joined them.

But they were fundamental and fanatic in religious matters. So common people acknowledged and respected them.

They believed every word in the written scripture as it is. Also they considered the Oral Torah as equivalent to the written scripture.

Still they were in enmity with Jesus Christ. They too failed to recognize Jesus as the long awaited Jewish Messiah. 

Though they were religious fanatics in physical appearance and observances of the Law, they were hypocrites. Jesus decried their hypocrisy whenever he got an opportunity.

It seems, Jesus disliked hypocrites more than a sinner. A sinner has hope for salvation, a hypocrite has no hope for repentance.

Pharisees were self-deceiving hypocrites. They believed that they were holy and pious by their works in the flesh. But they were so insincere in their heart.

In Matthew 23: 5-7, Jesus says:

5    But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.

6    They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

7    greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi.' (NKJV)

In the same chapter, verse 13 to 36, Jesus pronounces “Woe to you”, 8 times, at the scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus says so because of these things:

1.      They shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for they neither go in themselves, nor do they allow those who are entering to go in. (13)

2.      They devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. (14)

3.      They travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (15)

4.      They are blind guides. (16)

5.      They tithe of everything but neglected the weightier matters of the law. (23)

6.      They were clean and pious outside, but inside they were full of extortion and self-indulgence. (25)

7.      They are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. (27) They outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (28)

8.      They are the descendants of the murderers of prophets (29-32)

So Jesus called them, “Serpents, brood of vipers! (33). He advised them to repent, because the Kingdom of God has come.

What should these people repent from?

Repent from their greed for financial wealth and using the Temple for increasing their wealth.

They should give up wrong doctrines and accept the values of the Kingdom. They should live according to the Kingdom principles.

They should realize that they are deceiving themselves by their outward appearance and actions of a pious life and should give up this self-deceiving hypocrisy. No out ward appearance can enable them to inherit the kingdom.

Give up, turn around and move in the other direction towards the Kingdom.

Apostle Paul is exhorting us with the same message in Philippians 2: 5: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” (NKJV).

He is exhorting us to have the same mindset of Jesus Christ. Nothing less than this change of our mind is repentance.

Give up physical blessings

Let me move to the last part of this message.

Repentance is turning away from physical to the spiritual.

The New Testament concept of blessings is directly oppose to the concept of the Old Testament.

For the Old Testament Jews, the Kingdom of God was an earthly Kingdom, established to restore their earthly promised land and other promises.

They understood that the Davidic covenant for an eternal kingdom is an earthly Jewish Kingdom.

And in a sense it is true. The Messiah would come and establish a physical kingdom for them on this earth, in future.

But they failed to understand that all Old Testament promises and many of the prophecies have two planes of fulfilment. They have a now and future conditions. The “now” is the physical fulfilment and the “future” is the spiritual fulfilment.

This is not a difficult mystery to understand. Just look Abraham once again. As we have already discussed in this same message, all promises to Abraham were physical. He was promised a Land, descendants and blessings. All these were physical and were fulfilled in this world, during his time itself.

He inherited a land, he begot a son and he died at the ripe age as a wealthy person.

But Abraham knew that there is a spiritual fulfilment also for all these promises. He understood that everything physical is only a type of the spiritual that is yet to come.

And He hopefully waited for it. Isaac and Jacob also believed in this spiritual mystery and so all the fore fathers.

This mystery is explained in Hebrew 11. The letter starts by saying that, the elders obtained a good testimony by hopefully waiting for the things not seen.

That means, their testimony is not what they have gained in this world, but what they will inherit in future. Not the physical but the spiritual.

Verse 9 and 10 says:

 

9    By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (NKJV)

And verse 13 says: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

Verse 16: “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

And the last two verses of the chapter sums up the whole argument in this way:

Verse 39 & 40: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

The meaning of these verses is very simple. The great patriarchs, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob inherited great physical and material wealth during their life in this world. But they did not receive the promise. They were not made perfect.

That simply means that the physical and material blessings are not the promise and the perfection promised to them.

Now Jesus is exhorting the Jews and all the New Testament believers to understand this spiritual mystery and repent to turn around and walk in the other direction.

Turn around from the physical and material blessings and walk towards the spiritual kingdom and the spiritual blessings.

This is the New Testament message.

This does not mean that God will not bless us with physical and material blessings. God surely blesses His children with material blessings and physical healing. He is faithful and powerful to supply everything we need to live a comfortable life in this world.

Our God is the same God who blessed all the saints of the Old Testament. God has not changed; His character has not changed.

But, material and physical wealth are everything or they are a sign of God’s blessings on a person, is a wrong doctrine and a defective attitude. Material blessings do not define our relationship with God. In the New Covenant, our spirituality defines the relationship with God.

I shall give more explanation to this.

We know that the foundation of the relationship between God and Israelites is the Mosaic Law. The character of this Law is described in Deuteronomy 28.

That is, if you live according to the Mosaic Law, God shall bless you as narrated in the chapter. If you disobey the Mosaic Law, God shall curse you with the curses described in the same chapter.

All covenants have conditions with curse and blessings. And Mosaic Law is also has conditions, curses and blessings. These curses and blessings define their relationship with God.

That means, whenever they are in a healthy relationship with God, they will be blessed with all those blessings described in Deuteronomy 28.

When Israelites are under a curse, it is a sure sign that the relationship with God is broken.

And in this chapter, and in the whole Mosaic Covenant, there is no promise of Heaven or threat of hell.

The covenant speaks of earthly life, blessings, health, victory, kingdom and then curse, defeat, famine, diseases and exile.

In another way, no spiritual mystery is revealed or discussed in the Mosaic Law.

If we study closely the history of the Israelites during the Old Testament period, we can see the fulfilment of everything narrated in Deuteronomy 28.

When they lived in obedience to God’s laws, they were blessed and when the disobeyed His laws they were cursed. For them living in exile was the worst curse. Exile means loss of their promised land. This explains the intense desire of the Jews for their land.

But those blessings and curses described in the Deuteronomy 28 also has two level of fulfilment. As we said already, it is now and future; it is physical and spiritual.

I have explained it to you already in this message. Abraham and other patriarchs realized this mystery. So they lived as strangers and pilgrims on this earth.

But gradually the Jews lost their focus on the spiritual and everything became physical.

Here Jesus is asking them to repent. Repent from focusing on the physical and material and turn around to focus on the spiritual city that will be built by God.

Jesus is asking for a change of their mindset.

The Sermon on the Mount spoken by Jesus is recorded in Matthew 5 – 7. This sermon is the manifesto of the kingdom of God. In another words, the Sermon on the Mount is the declaration of the principles and values of the kingdom.

So Jesus announced an important value of the Kingdom in chapter 6: 33,34.

 

Matthew 6:33, 34

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (NKJV)

In the same chapter, verse 25 Jesus exhorts us: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. (NKJV)

And in verse 32, Jesus gives us this promise: "For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (NKJV)

That means, God knows that we need food, clothes and houses. God supplied all these things to Israelites while they were travelling through the desert. He knows that we need these things to live in this world. And He is faithful to supply it.

Jesus is not preaching salvation through poverty. He is not promoting renunciation. He does not mean that Christian life is a life of poverty.

What Jesus asks us is to seek first the Kingdom of God. He is asking for a change in our priority, a change in our mindset.

It is high time to forget the physical and material and to seek intensely the spiritual Kingdom of God. Because the Kingdom of God has come. So repent, turn around and move in the other direction.

This is the pure New Covenant message.

Conclusion

Let me conclude this message.

The New Testament message is a message of repentance. Why should we repent? Because the Kingdom of God has come.

Repentance means a change of our mindset. It is stop our present journey, turn around and move in the other direction. It demands a change in our thoughts and attitude.

We cannot in any way inherit the kingdom of God with a physical birth into a Christian family, or by a membership in a local church. All our works in this world do not qualify us for the Kingdom. We have to repent from our sins.

Hypocrisy, out ward appearances of spirituality do not make us worthy of the kingdom. In fact Jesus rejected the out ward appearances of spirituality. Only a renewed mindset matters.

It is time to stop focusing on the material and physical blessings. It is high time to turn around to focus on the spiritual.

The New Testament message simply means, to repent.

Let me cut short the message here. Your feedback is welcome.

May God bless you all!

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