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A New Transaction

July 20, 2011

The car I drive right now is the only new car I have ever owned.  When I drove it off the lot, I did so with a sense of pride that of course couldn’t last and couldn’t satisfy.  Even with that said, I did not have the delusion this was the last car I would ever buy.  I knew no matter how new or how durable this car was that it would wear down, and I would one day have to have a new transaction to buy a new car. 

This is the way we often relate to God.  We have experienced salvation and often seek the supposed greater blessings He might have in store for us instead of living out of the fullness of the blessing He has already given us. 

I am afraid that often we diminish the ministry of Jesus in our lives by seeing what He has done through His cross and resurrection as an incomplete transaction that is still in need of a new transaction.  Many see their post-salvation life as a search for the blessings of God, and they are looking for formulaic ways to gain those blessings.  So they do religious and spiritual things in order to get God to give them these blessings.  This is the seeking of a new transaction.  This is an attempt to do something in order to gain what God has for us:  we are paying for a new reward from God

I have great news.  All has been paid in the old transaction that occurred between Christ and the Father, to remove all wrath from you and to bestow upon you every spiritual blessing of God.  They are already yours.  You just might not know it. 

You might say, “Well, don’t we have to mature and grow and doesn’t this bless our lives?”  Yes, we must grow, and yes, it is a blessing to go.  However, it isn’t a new blessing from a new transaction.  You are working out the full repercussions of the old transaction and accomplishments of Christ.  It is retrospective.   It is to live an “I am now” sort of life in the “He has done” realm, instead of the “He might do” realm.   

When folks are seeking a new transaction they are living in an Old Covenant system instead of the New Covenant mode of spirituality established by Jesus.  Hebrews (and Leviticus 16) tells us that a transaction occurred every year on the day of atonement in which a transfer of sins occurred from the sinful people onto an animal sacrifice.  The mediator of this transaction was the High Priest.  The punishment of sin is death, but in God’s grace He provides a substitute sacrifice who takes our place; this substitution occurs with the transaction of blood, which is the sign of death.  The writer of Hebrews makes the point that this was an event that was not eternal and indeed must be repeated (Heb. 9:7; 10:1; 10:3; 10:11).  In other words, as soon as you finished with one transaction, it was 364 more days until another was needed. 

Hebrews compares this constant need for a new transaction to the ministry of Christ in which Christ is both sacrifice and High Priest (Heb. 9:11).  This transaction is repeatedly said to be “once and for all” (Heb. 9:12; 9:28; 10:14).  While the priests stood to repeat sacrifices, Jesus sat down when He was done as a sign that all that was needed to be accomplished has been accomplished (Heb. 10:12).  It is all finished!

When Christians live in a mode that seeks a new transaction in which we do things to pay God for things we hope He will do for us (scratch his back so He will scratch our’s), the result is devastating.  Let me list for you the difference between a life lived in confidence in the “old transaction” (referred to as OT from now on) made between Jesus and the Father, and a life seeking a “new transaction” (refered to from now on as NT) with our payments to God in exchange for His blessings.

Seeking a NT diminishes the power of Christ’s work, and living in the OT demonstrates confidence in Christ’s accomplishments.  In the NT form of spirituality, we are saying that Christ’s sacrifice is not sufficient and that we must sacrifice something to God to get His attention, make Him help us, or to receive blessings from Him.  This diminishes what He accomplished. 

Seeking a NT leads us to work for God with a motive of greed rather than a motive of gratitude that springs forth from confidence in Christ’s accomplishments.  Works are an important part of the Christian faith, but only works that are produced by true faith in Christ are righteous.  Works that come from greed and do things for God so that He owes us a favor are nothing but filthy rags.   Greed-motivated folks will not live a steady life of faith, because at some point, they will not be given what they want and will have to either blame themselves for not doing enough for God or blame God for not coming through.  This happens a lot when we pray for healing and think that God owes us this miracle because of what we have done for Him.  Gratitude, on the other hand, is a spring that never runs dry.  It can only be produced by a confident faith in the OT and assurance in its sufficiency. 

Seeking the NT leads us to a “what if” faith, but trusting the OT leads us to an “already is” sort of faith.   Many people live with a spiritual carrot hanging before them they never can reach.  This is, of course, EXHAUSTING.  Seeking the NT leads us to live an unsettled life even though everything was settled on the cross.  It is to continue to strive to gain what is already yours.  We want to be accepted by God and can’t accept that we already are if we are in Christ.  We want cleansing from guilt and shame and cannot accept that we already are.  We want to gain power from God, and cannot believe that He has already empowered us through Christ.  Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”  If you have Jesus, then you have everything there is to have.  Read through the New Testament again and read all of the things that it says you already are.  You are clothed in Christ, hidden with Christ, forgiven, empowered, regenerated, indwelt with the Holy Spirit., etc., etc., etc.

Praise God for the Old Transaction that cleanses us and blesses us with the favor of God once and for all!

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