“LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY” SERIES – Message #3 Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant

{Listen to the audio above while following along in the transcript below…)



I want to remind my heart and yours about the indispensable principle of Bible study, and that is total reliance on God’s Holy Spirit.  As you go on in the Lord, you’re going to find many helpful things.  You are going to find commentaries and Bible dictionaries and atlases and sermons and devotional books, and all kinds of helps, but there is only one indispensable thing, and that’s total reliance on God’s Holy Spirit.  We must come as little children, and then He’s promised that He will open His word.  We come hungry with an open mouth, and He’s promised that He would fill us.

I want to share this Bible verse, and then we’ll go to prayer.  It’s Hebrews 9:15,

 “For this reason, He’s the mediator of a new covenant, in order that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called, may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” 

That’s a lot of words, but the verse begins by saying that our Lord Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant, and that is vitally tied to the end of the verse which says that those who have been called, may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.  The mediator of the new covenant and the eternal inheritance are connected.  Let’s pray…

Heavenly Father, we thank You so much that You have gathered us here this evening.  We know that You know us through and through.  You know our hungers, You know our capacities, and You know our hang-ups.  Meet us where we are and take us where You want us.  We commit each one unto You, and we pray for all the will of God.  We thank You in advance that we can expect this, not because we deserve anything, as we know better, but Jesus deserves it, and it’s in His name that we’re claiming it.  Amen.


Let me review a little bit of what we’ve been looking at.  So far, I’ve had two opportunities as we’re looking at this wonderful approach to the subject of prayer.  In our introduction lesson we focused on Romans 8:26,

“In the same way the Spirit helps our weakness.  We do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” 

The Lord that lives in our heart prays for us according to the will of God.  Ever since the fall of man, Romans 7:18 is true, “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.”  Don’t miss the connection there, and don’t think your flesh is one thing and you are something else; it’s everything in you, and that is your flesh.  What is the flesh?  It’s me.  What is the flesh?  It’s you, and from that we have glorious deliverance. 

We were looking in our first lesson at the amazing heart of God, how the Lord looks down upon us and sees us as needy.  He has no needs; He is full supply.  The One, who is all supply, is compassionate on those who are all needs, and He desires so to meet those needs.  For a needy man to connect with an all-sufficient God, that connection is what we’re calling prayer.  Of course, it’s more than that; it includes the great atonement.  That’s what we saw in the first message, the full and passionate desire to pour out His life and to fill His fallen creation.

In the second message we looked at the same truth, but a little more developed.  The first time it was a seed, and then we looked at it as a bud.  We looked at the Lord’s Prayer and looked at the so-called conditions to prayer.  We discovered that the main truth in the Lord’s Prayer, beginning with the Father/child relationship, is that it’s relationship.  God, who is all fullness, wants to pour out His life to those who are needy, but He has given us a relationship to make that wonderful connection.  That’s what we looked at in that second message.

That brings us to what is the heart of what is my burden to share with you, the second half.  The first half is that we don’t know how to pray, and the second half is that He does, and He lives in my heart.  I don’t know how to pray, and I never will; He does, and He lives in my heart and in your heart.


According to my little outline that I gave last night, the first illustration I have shared was the Lord’s Prayer.  In tonight’s illustration, we’re going to look at one small portion of His priesthood, and that is that He is the Mediator of the New Covenant.  We’re going to look at that, and then, Lord willing, tomorrow we’re going to look at the clincher illustration.  We’re going to look at the principle, but we don’t want to confuse the illustration; you can’t study prayer and not go to Gethsemane.  We’re going to look at the garden of Gethsemane tomorrow.

To get this before your heart, when we say the name Jesus, and then connect it with the word prayer, we automatically think of priest.  When you say Jesus and prayer, you think of the high priestly ministry of Christ.  I want to read Hebrew 7:23-25,

“The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater number because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.  Therefore, He’s able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Once again, we have the priesthood and prayer.  He’s a priest, and He lives forever to make intercession for us.

We’re not going to fully appreciate His prayer ministry in the believer, in my heart and in your heart, and we’re not going to appreciate the Holy Spirit groaning with words that we can’t utter, and Him praying for the will of God, until we begin to see Jesus as Priest.  Clearly, that’s a subject that’s bigger than this message.  We’re not going to look at everything, but I think it’s important to look at something.  So, we’re going to spend a few moments setting up the principle by looking at His Priesthood.

At our first look at His priesthood, you might think that it was after He died, rose again, ascended to heaven, and became a Priest after the order Melchizedek, and that’s a truth and series all of its own, but I’m not going to begin there.  I’m going to begin with His priesthood; many times, He’s compared to Aaron, but mostly it’s contrasted with Aaron, but sometimes it’s compared to Aaron.  I’d like to suggest to you that He was a priest on the cross, and that’s going to be our starting point, and it’s very necessary.

He was both priest and sacrifice; He was the Lamb and He was the One who offered the Lamb.  It’s important that we see Jesus as a priest on the cross.  Usually, we don’t meditate in that direction.  Usually, we focus, and rightly so, on the Lamb, on the sacrifice.  We can’t thank God enough that He was willing to die as our substitute and in our place, but we cannot neglect the other side.  In fact, there would be no atonement if He were not the priest.  We don’t think of Jesus on the cross as a priest, but we know He was our substitute, and He was the Lamb that was slain, even from the foundation of the earth, in the mind and heart and purposes of the Lord.  We meditate on that.  Theologians have a word for that; they call it His passive suffering.  When He died as a victim, He was done unto.  That’s Jesus dying on the cross, and He was done unto—birth, heaven and hell; everything was against Him, and we are familiar with how He was a victim.

He’s also a priest.  Actually, that’s the glory of the cross, and it’s a big part of what I’d like to share with you.  His passive suffering was for man; His active suffering was for His Father, God.  We need to look at His activity.  Hebrews 5:1, “Every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin.”

So, He was qualified because He was taken from among men, and He’s qualified because He offered Himself as a sacrifice, and He’s qualified because of things pertaining to God.”  There’s a man-ward aspect and a God-ward aspect.  Jesus, and may God teach us this, was very active on the cross, not only that He was a victim, but He was doing something and was very busy. 

You remember that on the Mount of Transfiguration, the Bible says that He went up there to pray.  Luke 9:30, “Behold, two men were talking with Him.  They were Moses and Elijah.”  What were they talking about? Verse 31, “…who appeared in glory and were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”  If I dropped over dead right now before you, you wouldn’t say, “Oh, look, Ed just accomplished death.”  I didn’t accomplish it; I succumbed to death.  But He accomplished death; He was doing something.  So, He’s not only a Lamb suffering, but in His death, He was doing something and offering something to His Father God.  He offered actively.  Ephesians 5:2, “…as Jesus also loved you and gave Himself up for us as an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  On the cross He not only suffered, but He gave Himself up.  Galatians 2:20, “…who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”  John 10:11, “I’m the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  He was busy on the cross; He was active on the cross; He was working; He was accomplishing; He was in a war; He was fighting on the cross.  John 10:17, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I laid down My life, that I might take it again.  No one takes it away from Me.  I lay it down on My own initiative.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This commandment I’ve received from My Father.”  Revelation 1:5, “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood…” 

Why am I stressing this activity, this positive side of the Lord?  It’s because that’s what leads to intercession; that’s where He becomes the One who prays for us.  We cannot appreciate His intercession unless we can, in some sense, comprehend His active work on the cross.  He gave Himself for you; He gave Himself for the church; He poured out His soul unto death; He purged us from our sins in His own body on the tree; He was obedient; it was an act of obedience; He was active on the cross. 

When He died, He didn’t just ebb away.  When He died, He died in full strength with a shout, “It is finished!”  The work was finished.  He was very busy on the cross, and that activity that He did on the cross, in my own thinking, He was more active on the cross, hand and foot bound where you would think He was not able to be active, He did the most for us when it looked like He could do the least.  I believe He was more active on the cross than He was when He created this universe.  I just want you to see that.  Matthew 27:50, “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and yielded up the spirit, and behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”   That’s a wonderful picture, the rending of the veil, but in Hebrews 9:24, “Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”  He died, He entered heaven to appear for us; that’s prayer.


Now, you can’t say Jesus and prayer, and not think priest; and so, you can’t say Jesus, prayer, priest and not think New Covenant.  They are all connected.  Hebrews 9:15 begins with these words, “For this reason He’s the mediator of the new covenant.” For what reason is He the mediator of the new covenant?  The answer is it’s because of His activity on the cross, because of what He did.

Since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who had been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.  Ask the Lord to help you understand, or to help me speak clearly, to see this wonderful connection.  Jesus is a priest, and because of His activity, He’s able to intercede.  Our key verse, that He lives in us to pray and to intercede.  What is He praying; what is He interceding?  For this reason, He became the mediator of the new covenant.  Now I want to meditate on the New Covenant.  Hebrews 9, the last part, “So, those who have been called,” that’s you, and that’s me, and that’s us, “may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”  He’s the mediator of the New Covenant, so that we can receive the eternal inheritance.  What is that all about, and may God help us now!

We’re coming to the chief burden that was on my heart to share, and our other messages were leading up to this.  Hebrews 13:20,

“Now, the God of peace who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, tying the covenant and His death together, Jesus, our Lord, equipped you in every good thing..,”  

The New Covenant is an eternal covenant, and it’s eternal on both ends.  It will never end; it goes on and on and on.  We say that the New Covenant is the covenant of grace, and it is.  But, brothers and sisters, it’s more than that, and we want to see what the “more than that” is.  It has always existed in the heart and the mind and the purposes of God.  In eternity past, He had that New Covenant in mind.  It was always His desire to have that New Covenant fulfilled.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit somewhere in eternity past came up with this covenant.  It was always God’s heart to have a creation made in His image into which He could pour His life and pour His fulness, and they could manifest that life and fulness throughout the created universe.  That’s all part of the covenant. 

The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, was the principal heir in that covenant, and we in Christ have become co-heirs in that wonderful covenant.  I hope truths like this grip your heart.  Deuteronomy 32:9, “The Lord’s portion is His people.”  It’s you, it’s me, and we’re His portion.  Ephesians 1:18,

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so you would know what is the hope of His calling, the riches of His glory of His inheritance in the saints.” 

It’s not your inheritance in Him; it’s His inheritance in you.  That was ordained long before time began, in eternity past.  I love, in that connection, Proverbs 8:22-23, where wisdom is speaking, and it talks about before there were depths and before there were waters and before there were mountains and before there were hills and before there were the heavens and the planets, and all, Proverbs 8:30,

“Then I was beside Him,” (wisdom here pictures our Lord Jesus), “as a master workman; I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world, His earth, and having my delight in the sons of men.” 

I love to tell people that the Lord delights in them.  Before there was anything, His delight was in the sons of men; there were no sons of men, and already He’s delighting in the sons of men.  That’s the eternal covenant; that’s the New Covenant.  I remind you, through the terrible fall into sin, that Jesus was then required, according to that covenant, to come to earth.  He didn’t want to lose His portion; He didn’t want to lose His people.  So, He came to earth in order to redeem His possession.  We were His inheritance; we are His inheritance.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with this but when the Lord Jesus was a little baby, He spoke.  I actually wrote to the company that prints the red-letter addition in the Bible because they didn’t put this in red letters, and that bothered me.  Hebrews 10, I’m not saying that Mary heard it and I’m not saying that Joseph heard it or the wisemen or the shepherds; I don’t know, but He spoke.  Hebrews 10:5, “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says…” so, He’s coming into the world, and He says; what did He say? “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You’ve prepared for me.  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You’ve taken no pleasure.  Then I said, ‘Behold, in the scroll of the book it’s written of Me, “I come to do Your will, oh God.””  He said that I come to do Your will.


The Holy Spirit develops it.  This is not my idea, and this is not the idea of some preacher; He develops it.  Hebrews 9:16,

“Where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it, for a covenant is valid only when men are dead.  It’s never enforced when the one who made it lives.” 

Now I want to tie a couple of things together.  Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant.  The New Covenant was created in eternity past, and all the details that are in that covenant were in there, and when Jesus came to earth, He brought down that New Covenant, but it didn’t become valid until He died. 

I think we’re all familiar with a will.  I wasn’t in Delaware a week when I went to the lawyer and had a will made.  I thought I was coming to Delaware to die.  My health wasn’t good, and I went there in order to die.  I didn’t have a lot of stuff to put in a will, but I thought I needed to do something.  At first, I got the lawyer a little upset because I was trying to joke, but he was very serious.  He said, “What do you want to include in that will?”  I said, “Well, I want to leave a diamond mine that is in Africa; I want to leave that to one of my kids.  And I want to leave an island in the Pacific to another.  I told him how many kids I had and grandkids, and I told him I wanted to leave each one of them a million dollars.  He said, “Unless you have that, you can’t put that in the will.”  I thought he would have caught on. 

Anyway, Hebrews 9:17,

“A covenant is valid when men are dead.  It’s never enforced while the one who made it lives.” 

The one who makes the will, who writes the will, is called a testator, and in this case our Lord Jesus is the testator.  When my Dad died, he requested that I be the executor of his will.  I hope that never happens again.  He won’t die again, but I hope I’m never asked to be an executor again.  Actually, my daughter-in-law helped me a lot.  Anyway, he made a will and he spelled everything out, who is to get this stock, and who is to get this bond, and what to do with the insurance policy, and what to do with the cash, and all of that; he spelled it all out.  Nobody could claim anything that he had in that will until he died; he had to die to validate the will. 

In the picture, the Holy Spirit makes the Lord Jesus the testator who will die in order to put the will in force.  The Holy Spirit goes one step further.  My father had to die to make the will legal, but he didn’t have to bleed.  In fact, he didn’t bleed.  But with our Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit makes a big deal about his blood.  Hebrews 9:14,

“…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.  For this reason, He’s the mediator of the new covenant.” 

His death made the covenant valid; His blood made it into a covenant, a promise, a guarantee.  He said, “I’ve written a will, and I want to guarantee that every detail in that will goes to the beneficiaries.”  Matthew 26:28,

“When He had taken a cup and given thanks, he gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; this is the blood of the covenant poured out for many for the forgiveness of sin.’”

Every time we break bread, we remember the eternal covenant, the one that He makes valid by His death, ascertained by the shedding of His blood.

You can name somebody in a will, but if they don’t know it, they’re not going to inherit, or if they know it and don’t cash in, they’re going to live on bread and water, and miss the fatted calf.  I want to make this as simple as pie.  The New Covenant was written long before time began.  Who wrote that covenant?  The answer is that God wrote that covenant.  That’s His will.  If God wrote it, can we call it the will of God?  You see, we talk about the will of God, but when He talks about the will of God, He’s talking about the last will and testament of the Lord Jesus, that He died to make valid, and that He bled to make certain.  He’s talking about the last will and covenant.  Our High Priest lives in our hearts, and the Bible says that He lives in our hearts to pray according to the will of God, according to the covenant, according to what He has willed for you.  It’s the inheritance.  We just say, “I want the will of God, and I hope He gives it.”  It’s your inheritance; it’s my inheritance; it’s His last will and testimony, and He is determined that every line of that will be appropriated and taken by faith.

We talk about the will of God, and we want God’s will, and we hope God gives His will in this or that, but we don’t often think of the will of God as the last will and testament of the Lord.  We think of it as, “God decided yesterday that I’m going to break my leg.  If that’s in the will, He decided that long before yesterday.”  Everything in the will was decided in eternity past.  He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  When you study the New Covenant, it’s mentioned several places in the Bible.  You have to study Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36, and several places in Hebrews 8 and Hebrews 10, and so on. 

What I’m about to share now, God assisting, is very dependent upon what we’ve already looked at.  It depends upon a relationship; it depends upon your heart toward the Lord, and it depends upon my heart toward the Lord.  God wrote this will, this New Covenant, that Jesus is now mediating, and is making sure that every line comes to pass, and He’s not writing it day by day.  It’s not with every new experience, “Oh Lord, do your will.”  It’s all settled; it’s settled in heaven; it’s in the covenant.  The will can’t be changed after a person dies.  There might be something in the will with your name on it, and you say, “Oh Lord, deliver me from this.”  It’s in the will, and the will of God is good, and perfect and acceptable, and when something is in your life, you’ve got to say, “It’s not only that I want God’s will, but I want God’s last will and testament.  If He’s put my name on it, I want to enter in, and I want to claim that.”


I want to develop that a little.  Some things in a will are common; everybody gets the same thing; everybody gets a share.  If child one gets something, then child two gets the same thing.  So, there are many things in the will that are common blessings.  Hebrews 10:16, for example, “’This is the covenant I will make with them after those days,’ says the Lord, ‘I’ll put My laws on their heart, and on their mind, I’ll write them.  Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’”  That’s in the will for everybody; all God’s children can share that.  We all get a circumcised heart, we all get the indwelling Life of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit, we all get the reality that He’s our God and we’re His people. 

If you asked any Christian, “What did you inherit because Jesus died?”  Usually, they’ll mention the common blessings, “Because Jesus died, I’ve been forgiven; all my sins are gone, and in their place, I have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus, just as if I never sinned, just as if I had always been Jesus.  I’m clean.  I’ve become a member of God’s family, and we’ve become one; we’ve become the body of Christ.”  Everybody gets that; everybody gets the indwelling of the Lord.  When Jesus died, I was given a reservation in heaven.  When I die, I’m going to heaven; I’m not going to hell; every Christian has that.  Some don’t have quite the assurance they should have, but every Christian has that.  I’ve been delivered from this present evil world; He’s given me a great commission.  Every Christian says, “I’ve got peace that I never had.  I have joy that I never had before.  There’s a liberty in my life now, and everything is new.”  Read John 17; that is the High Priestly Prayer of the Lord.  You can’t really study prayer and leave that out, but I’m leaving it out for now.  It’s such a wonderful prayer.  Read Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock.  Your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  That’s in the will for every Christian. Ephesians 1:3,

 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.”

That’s in the will for every Christian. Romans 8:32, “He did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all; how will He not also, with Him, freely give us all things.”  That’s in the will, and that’s part of our inheritance. 

I was once called up by a lawyer, and he told me that a dear sister in Christ died, and I was mentioned in the will.  So, the lawyer invited me to the reading of the will, “On a certain day and a certain hour I want you to come and see what she left you.”  Well, I went into the room, and there were about eighteen people there, mostly her family.  They were all invited because they had some part in the will.  What did I inherit?  Actually, he named me before he mentioned anybody in the family, “To Ed Miller, one thousand dollars.”  So, I got a thousand dollars.  Then I looked all around and it was just family, so

I thought, “Well, I think I’ll leave.”  So, I left.  I got a thousand bucks, and I wanted to leave.  I didn’t stay for the rest of the reading of the will.  I think some Christians have heard some precious things that they’ve inherited, and then they walked out of the room, and they didn’t hear the rest of the will.  In the name of the Lord, I’m inviting you to come on back in the room and listen to the whole reading of the will.  You’re in it, and I’m in it.  It’s an inheritance.

I get excited, Christians get excited when we talk about those common blessings.  “I’ve got forgiveness and I’ve got relationship and I’m going to heaven,” and then they run out from the will and tell everybody about that.  It’s wonderful; He bequeathed all that to us.  But brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s another part of the will that’s not in common, that we all don’t have; there are some things in the will that have your name on it.  It was decided in eternity past; it’s got your name.  He wants you to inherit this.  It’s good, it’s acceptable, and it’s perfect.  This is the will that He died for that you would inherit, and He bled, to be certain that you could get it.


Like I said, most Christians are eager to cash in on the common blessings, but then they leave the room, and they don’t listen for what I’m going to call the redemptive blessings.  It’s not the same for everyone.  You might think that what comes into your life becomes the will of God because it’s reached you, and you might think that you wished this hadn’t taken place.  You’ve got to look at the will of God as your inheritance.  You’ve got to look at the will of God as His last will and testimony.  If He’s got something with your name on it, He had a wonderful reason for willing that to you, and willing that to me.  So, there are shared benefits in the will, and there are individual benefits—redemptive blessings.  By that, when I say redemptive, I mean that God wants to use you because He has a heart for all—for others.  What He allows in your life that is in the will with your name on it, is to give you a glorious privilege.  He’s willing to you, He’s giving this as part of the inheritance to you, and he wants you to take it as His precious provision for you, because through that He wants to manifest Himself.  Sometimes, what has your name on it is very positive.  Psalm 37:23 says,

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord.”

So, He takes you by the hand, and as we said before, He leads you from need to need, so that He can reveal Himself.  Sometimes it’s very positive.  We get together, and we testify, and we say, “Boy, the Lord has really blessed me.” 

I’m so glad that my Lillian had my name on it.  God said, “I want you to have a wife,” and He gave me Lillian.  Sometimes He leads you to a church, a good fellowship, an assembly where you can grow and learn and be matured.  Sometimes, He gives you a ministry, and opens doors and gives you opportunities.  Some students in college say, “I praise God

that I passed that exam.  I didn’t expect to pass it, but I did, and I’m so thankful to the Lord.”  Somebody else says, “It was the will of God that He gave me that job.  He gave me that promotion.”  I’ll tell you, it was in the will; it’s part of your inheritance.  He blessed your investment; that’s part of the will.  He met your need.  The storm that came through the town, He spared you from that.  The fire that could have taken you out and burned your house down, He spared you from that.  The violence: a couple of weeks ago two brothers in the fellowship where I minister were murdered.  It was a terrible violence.  How you rejoice when the will of God is positive!  Then Psalm 146:6 is yours,

“Let your mouth be filled with the high praises of the Lord!”

So, were filled; we’re so happy.

But sometimes, to these natural eyes, it looks negative.  You think, “Was this really in the will?  Is this part of the inheritance, redemptive hardship?  And with these eyes, we say, “I don’t know; I’ve got this heavy burden for my kids and for my grandkids and my neighbors, and those I work with.  I need guidance; I’m so confused, and I don’t know which way to turn.  I’m being opposed, I’ve been misrepresented,” persecution perhaps.  As you get older (I’m really getting to experience this), and when things begin to wind down, and your eyes begin to get dim and your hearing is not that sharp and your energy is gone and you need new teeth, and all kinds of stuff, is that in the will?  Is it in the will of God for me to have to go to the hospital?  Is it in the will of God for me?  I’m His child.  What if I wasn’t spared?  What if I don’t have a life partner?  What if I have to go bankrupt?  What if I flunk the exam?  What if the doors of opportunity are all closed?  What if I did not escape the disease and the fire and the storm and the affliction and the accident and the violence of wicked men?  You might think that can’t be part of the inheritance.

I want you to remember when He wrote the will.  It wasn’t yesterday, and it wasn’t last week.  What’s in the will with my name on it?  Well, you might need a stent.  If that’s in the will of God for you, that’s part of the inheritance, and there’s a purpose, marvelous purpose to give you an opportunity to manifest Christ.  You say, “Well, I broke my arm, and I have to have a shoulder replacement,” or a hip replacement or knee replacement.  I’ll tell you; that’s part of your inheritance.  He didn’t plan that yesterday or last week; He planned that eons ago in eternity past, and it had your name on it because you’re special, and He chose you.  He wanted you to be able to manifest Him there.  It’s an awesome privilege.  We usually don’t look at these things as part of our inheritance.

In His first body, when He came to redeem, His heart was to seek, and to save; He had a heart for people.  Where did His redemptive heart take Him?  It took Him to the cross.  That was His first body.  He’s got a new body, now.  It’s the same Jesus, but He’s got a new body, a mystical body, the church—you and me.  In His first body, in order to redeem, He went to the cross.  The same Jesus now lives in you, and where do you think He’s going to go?  He’s going to the cross, in order to redeem, and you’re going to have a privilege; it’s in the will.  You are going to have a privilege to represent Him and to carry in your body the dying of Jesus, so others can look at your life and see the patience that God gives you, and the peace at such a time as this.  When you walk through the fire, some Nebuchadnezzar is going to be in the peephole looking down and seeing you walking with the fourth man in the furnace.  You might say, “Oh, I’ve got to go through this.”  It’s your inheritance.  Jesus lives as the Mediator of the Covenant, and He takes you by the hand, and He leads you from need to need, in order that you might see that He has these things planned for you.  May God help us when we think of the will of God in this way! 

Don’t complain about the will of God; don’t be bitter about what God brings into or allows into your life.  If it’s the will of God, it’s the inheritance, it’s the promise, it’s the New Covenant, and it’s good, acceptable, and perfect.  What a difference it would make, if we saw the will of God as the will of God, the will that He wrote, that He died to validate, that He bled to make so certain!  When they see your peace, your unspeakable joy, and your heart of thanksgiving when you are going through this or that, that’s a testimony, and He’s given you that privilege. 

In that privilege, also, He wants you to know Him more intimately, and all of that crowds you to Christ, so that you’ll know Him more intimately.  Every part of the Covenant is good.  He doesn’t will bad things for His people; He only wills good things for His people.  May God help us to claim all the will of God, not most of it, not pretty nearly all of it, not some of it, but all of the will of God—everything; the common blessings in the will that you can claim, and the individual blessings with your name on it.  Thank the Lord for that, because it’s His purpose and His plan for you.  That’s the redemptive part.

This morning our brother, Jim, was sharing with us and he made this comment, “Every work of faith will lead to the will of God.”  That’s exactly right!  What you have and what I have and what God allows that’s in the will, it’s missionary sickness, it’s missionary loss, it’s missionary failure, it’s missionary responsibility.  You say, “I have this responsibility, and it’s going to drain my energy and it’s going to drain my resources.”  Well, that’s all part of the plan.

I got so excited recently when I had sort of a mini stroke and went to the hospital.   It was so exciting!  I’ll tell you why it was exciting.  I’m serious; I wake up giddy, because I don’t know what the day is going hold.  I’m in Christ Jesus, and whatever He wills for me is okay, because He’s going to use it to unveil Himself in a fresh way.  This is the most exciting time of my life, as things are wearing down.  I’m just praying that you’ll accept all the will of God, and that you’ll experience that joy, and respond with gratitude.  By the time it comes into your life, it has become part of the inheritance.   Jim also said that faith will lead us to the cross, and that’s exactly right, as well.


How do I know what is made out in my name?  How do I know what part of what’s taking place in my life is made out in my name?  I think God has a clue.  In Colossians 2:6,

“As you’ve received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in Him.”

So, let me ask the question; how did you receive Christ Jesus, the Lord?  Let me make this suggestion.  It all began with the Holy Spirit showing you your need.  You had to see your need.  You were lost, and you were undone, and you were under condemnation.  You were lost and in the world in darkness in the wrong family, and you had to see that.  Then what happened?  Then, after He showed you your need, He showed you His wonderful provision in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you saw that He was your substitute, and He died in your place.  Then what happened?  Then, Romans 10:13, “Whoever will call on the Lord will be saved.”  He invited you to pray.  That’s how you got saved.  He showed you your need, He showed you His provision in His Son, and then He invited you to pray, to call on the Lord.  That’s how you got saved, and that’s how it is all along the way, as you received Christ.

What is God doing in your life?  He’s leading you to a need, and He’ll show you that need and reveal that need.  Then what?  Then He’ll unveil the Lord Jesus and how He’s the answer to that need.  Then what?  Then He invites you to pray; He invites you to cling and to appropriate that provision.  We are all needs, as we suggested, and we deserve nothing, but we always have to see our need, and then see His provision, and then we have to pray.  This is how He’s going to lead us; “As you received Christ, so walk in Him.”

I’ll give a couple of illustrations from my life.  For this weekend I had to study, and when I studied, I said, “Lord, I need light.  He showed me how desperately I needed it, and then He showed me the Holy Spirit who would enlighten me and take me to Jesus and show me Christ in the word, and then I prayed that the Lord would speak.  Hebrews 4:16, “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  So, all through your life you say, “I need patience.”  Then He says, “You have Christ, and if your have Christ, you have patience,” and then you pray, and you say, “Lord, thank You,” and you ask the Lord to do that.  One day I need guidance, “Help me, Lord,” and the Holy Spirit says, “You don’t deserve guidance; you don’t deserve anything.  But I died on the cross to validate the will, and so even though you don’t deserve it, you’ve asked, so I’m going to answer it.”  I say, “I need strength.”  I don’t deserve strength, and yet He gives it, His strength. His weakness is stronger than men; even if I had His weakness, I’d have enough. But He never promised me His weakness; He promised me His strength.  So, I pray.


Let me give a big illustration, and sort of get ready to wind it up.  Ezekiel 36 is one of the great chapters on the New Covenant.  There’s so many things there, the “I will, I will, I will, I will do this, I will do that, I’ll sprinkle clean water upon you, I’ll give you a new heart, I’ll cleanse you from your filthiness, I’ll put a new Spirit in you, I’ll remove the heart of stone, I’ll cause you to walk in my statutes, I’ll will be your God, you will be My people, I’ll give you victory over the enemy, you’ll inherit the land, I’ll make you like the garden of Eden,” and there’s a lot more—“I will, I will.”  We say that’s unconditional but look how the chapter ends.  Ezekiel 36:37,

“Thus says the Lord God, ‘This, also, I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them.’”

He gives a whole list of what He wants to do, and then He says, I’m going to let you ask Me, and when you ask Me, I’m going to fulfill the covenant.”  We’ve got to ask; we’ve got to pray. 

How does that tie in with Jesus praying in my heart, the Holy Spirit praying, as we read in Romans 8:26&27?  He wants me to claim everything that He died to give me.  Everything that’s in the will, He died to make that mine, and now He’s the Mediator of the New Covenant, and He keeps showing me what else is in the will, in order that I might see my needs, see His provision, and then claim it.  When we have the life of Christ, we say, if we give something to somebody, “It’s not me; it’s the Lord.  It’s my gift from Him.”  When we go to visit somebody, we say, “Well, the Lord led me, and it’s His feet, so He’s guided me to do that.”  Whatever we do, we just know that He loves through my heart, and He gives through my hands.  Romans 6:13,

 “Present yourself to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness.” 

So, it’s Him; it’s not me.  It’s His love and His life and His hands and His feet, but when it comes to prayer, we say, “I’ve got to pray.”  It’s the Lord doing everything else, but when it comes to prayer, I’ve got to do it.  I’m just suggesting to let Him pray through you the same way you let Him give through you and love through you and minister through you; He wants to pray.   So, with the common blessings and the individual blessings He brings us to the place where He lives in us, and He prays, and we pray, and it’s together.

I think you are familiar with the description of what some say is of prayer as incense.  Have you heard that?  Psalm 141:2, “May my prayer be counted as incense before you; the lifting up of my hand as an evening sacrifice.”  And in Revelation 5:8, “When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”  From verses like that we say, “The sweet-smelling incense, when I pray it’s incense going up to God.”  But I’d like to suggest from Revelation 8:3&4, that’s not quite the full picture,

“Another angel came and stood at the altar holding a golden sensor; much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar which was before the throne, and the smoke of the incense with the prayers of saints went up before God.” 

I’m suggesting that the incense is not my prayer.  The prayer rises, and the incense rises with it; with my prayer is the incense, but I’m suggesting from 2 Corinthians 2:14 that the sweet aroma is the merits of Christ, and He is the incense,

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 

Ephesians 5:2,

“Just as Christ loved you and gave Himself up for us as an offering, a sacrifice to God, a fragrant aroma.” 

You say, “He prays.”  Yes, He does.  “I pray.”  Yes, I do—we pray; I pray, and He adds His merits, His sweetness.

I grew up under the care of my grandmother.  My Dad and Mom were divorced when I was young, and my Mom worked full time in a pin factory, so my grandmother pretty much raised me.  I lived in terror of my grandmother.  She was a little German woman, and I felt like she never liked me.  She named me Butch, and the reason was because she hated my father who was named Ed, and she said that she would never call me Ed.  So, I’m Butch.  I always tried to please her, and it seemed like it never worked out.  I could tell you some very funny stories, but I remember when I was about six or seven years old, I decided that I would surprise my Nanny and give her a bouquet of flowers. 

I know I had dandelions in that bouquet, and I know there were some violets out in the field, and we lived by a swamp, and so I found a couple of Jack in the Pulpits, and then I found a bush, the most beautiful blue blossoms, like berries.  I remember bringing that bouquet to my grandmother, and she smiled.  In my whole childhood I had never been hugged, except that one time when my grandmother gave me a hug.  I never forgot it; she gave me a hug.  I thought, “She is so pleased.”  It blessed my heart that she hugged me.  The next person that hugged me was my Lillian, so I had to marry her!!

When I got to the table, my Mom was coming home from work, and she had the bouquet in the middle of the table, and we were going to have supper together.  I noticed that the best part of the bouquet was not there, and it made me feel sad.  So, I went to greet my mother and walked through the kitchen, and when I looked in the kitchen, the best part of my bouquet was in the trash.  My grandmother had taken that big, beautiful whatever-it-was and put it in the trash.  It broke my heart, and even though she had most of the bouquet on the table, that part was gone, and that was my favorite part.  I found out later that was poison sumac.  So, I had given her poison sumac. 

She never said anything, but she weeded it out to make the bouquet acceptable.  I’m just suggesting that when you pray, you don’t know how to pray, and when I pray I don’t know how to pray, but as my prayer goes up, the incense, the merits of Christ go up, and He weeds out the sumac and everything, and by the time it reaches the Lord, it’s a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him.  May God help us see these things!  I pray; He prays.  I need to pray; He’s praying through me.  I hope I didn’t confuse you.  I know the Lord is only beginning to teach me some of these things.  He wants us to learn how to pray.

I opened with Hebrews 9:15, “For this reason, He’s the mediator of the new covenant.”  And then the end, “That those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”  May God enable you to appropriate with great joy the shared inheritance and may God with great joy enable you to appropriate with thanksgiving the inheritance individually that has your name on it!  He died to give you those blessings, and everything that’s in your life is a privilege and a blessing, and by the time it comes to you, it’s part of your inheritance.

I’m going to close by quoting 1 Peter 4:19, and this is the negative part that might be in the promise with your name on it,

“Let those who suffer according to the will of God,” (according to that will that was written in eternity, the last will and testament), “entrust their souls unto Him as unto a faithful Creator.” 

That seems strange.  If I’m suffering according to the will of God, I want mother-love, I want comfort, and I want someone to embrace me and sympathize, but He says no.  When you suffer in the will of God, commit your souls unto Him as unto a faithful Creator, and may I suggest why; it’s because when you suffer in the will of God, you don’t have what it takes.  When I suffer in the will of God, I don’t have what it takes, but I have Him who can create what it takes, and you have Him who can create what it takes.  May God enable each one of us to claim all the will of God!

Father, thank You for Your word.  I just pray, Lord, that You would save Your people from anything that was just my own ideas.  Burn indelibly into our hearts the great wonder that You are the Mediator of the New Covenant, and You are absolutely determined that we don’t miss one thing that’s in the will.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.