Bible Studies Sermons By Phyllis Corbin / last year Share Tweet Pin Share BIBLE STUDY LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH Lesson # 11 Cuting a New Covenant Nehemiah 9:38 (KJV) And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it. After the confession of sin, it was time to cement the walls of decision together to prevent the sins of the past from ever occuring again. There is no point in getting saved only to continue being what you used to be. There is no point in coming to Christ and living in the past. Fishing in the sea of forgetfullness is one of the best ways to rob yourself of victory and quickly take every ounce of joy from the Christian walk. There is no version of the Scriptures I know of that expressed the way a covenant was made. In fact a covenant was not made , but cut. Literally , the verse says, “We cut a firmness”. They made it a firm covernant. The verse also says, “And on the seat were our leaders..” The first 27 verses of chapter 10 record the names of the leaders priests, Levites and heads of families who affixed their seal to the document . Nehemiah 10:28-29 (KJV)28 And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding; 29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutesè Again we have the strange combination of an oath and a curse, The oath was a commitment to be bound by the stipulations which were outlined. The curse would take effect if the oath was ever broken. It had a cause and effect relationship. All of the separated community took the oath and accepted the terms (even the curse) to be clean and separated unto God and the practice of the Law. It became the foundation of a renewed relationship based on obedience. We can make the application for ourselves. Once we have confessed out sin we are released from the Law of Sin and Death. In its place is a Covenant of Obedience that places us in a new relationship with God. To break the covenant (testament) we have made with God is akin to inviting the curse back upon our selves and again falling under the rule of sin and death. The big difference is that we have been released from the Law of Sin and Death to live for God according to the Law of Christ . The reality of this Law is that Christ, takes up residence in our lives, imputes righteousness to us and provides the ower not to sin . The Jews bound themselves to a number of ordinances: Neh. 10:30-39 MARRIAGE ——- Nehemiah 10:30 (KJV) And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons: SABBATH———Nehemiah 10:31 (KJV) And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt. TEMPLE TAX —–Nehemiah 10:32 (KJV) Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; Nehemiah 10:33 (KJV) For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. FIREWOOD——-Nehemiah 10:34 (KJV) And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law: FIRSTFRUITS—-Nehemiah 10:35-36 (KJV)35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD: 36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God: (Recognition of God as the source of their porsperity and abundance. It also expressed care for the people whose duty it was to minsiter in the temple) TITHE————–-Nehemiah 10:37 (KJV) And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. (The tithe was considered sacred as the ownership of it was Gods) ACCOUNTABILITY—–Nehemiah 10:38-39 (KJV)38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God. (Attendance to the needs at the temple was seen as a way of uniting the nation around one common place and faith. Of necessity a good accounting system was put in place to assure these matters were handled judiciously).Conclusion: Notice how strongly many of these stipulations of the covenant were based on the Ten Commandments. These words given by God on Sinai are still foundations to a just and God- pleasing society. Jesus broke them down into two components (1) Love God and (2) Love your neighbour as yourself Exodus 20:1-17 (KJV) 1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. Sadly, the Law could only try and deal with external matters. It was something to influence conduct. The Law of Christ brought a marked change since our reconciliation to God allowed for a transformation of character. The only way that we can have that transformation today is by obedience to whole Word of God . We are under the new Covenant and the doctine taught in the book of Acts by the apostles. We could never obey all the laws under the old covenant and God knew this so He became flesh under the new covenant and gave us a way to come to Him , to be free of sin , and that way is found in Acts 2:38, 39 Acts 2:38-39 (KJV)38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. I praise the Lord that that it was revealed to me by the Holy Ghost the true plan of salvation after years of being taught error in many different denominations . I knew no difference until Jesus led me to people who were in truth and the Holy Ghost revealed to me what I needed to be to be saved. It was like a light bulb came on inside my head and it became so clear and it was like pieces of a puzzle all began to fit together into one beautiful picture of salvation . Or another way to put it would be one verse of scripture became one building block and other verses other building blocks all fitting together to make a strong foundation and help me grow in my faith over time and I thank the Lord for all these wonderful pastors and sisters and brothers in the Lord who witnessed to me by not only words but by their lives they lived in front of me God bless!