His oath, his covenant, his blood

Yesterday morning in Bible study we discussed Luke 22:14-20 where Jesus institutes the Lord’s supper and asserts that the new covenant is sealed with his blood:

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.”

In our study we then connected that back to the new covenant promises found in Ezekiel 36:22-38:

Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

My forgiveness, my assurance of salvation, my living a new life, my having God’s spirit in me, is all grounded upon an oath, a covenant that God has made and which has been sealed with Christ’s blood shed for me.

With all that in mind, I was particularly struck by the third verse of the hymn, “The Solid Rock”, which we sang in worship service this morning:

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Are we leaning on other people in our lives—parents, spouses, friends? Are we leaning on ourselves and our own abilities? Or is our salvation built on Christ and Christ alone, his oath and covenant sealed with his blood, which is our only “hope and stay”? 

Galatians

If you’re a Latter-day Saint, please read this and consider posting a comment. There are a few questions for you and I’d like to get as many responses as possible. Thanks.

I’m starting a personal in-depth study of the book of Galatians and I have a few observations to make and questions to ask.

I’ve noticed that many Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals employ Galatians 1:6-9 when preaching against or defending themselves from each other. Even if you don’t recognize the zip code, you’re probably familiar with the passage:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

It’s clear to me from our mutual use of this passage against each other that Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals preach different and incompatible gospels—either one of us or the other is correct, or we are both wrong, but we cannot both be right. When considering a passage like this, whether we are LDS or Evangelical, it’s natural for us to assume we’re the ones with the true gospel and they’re the ones with the false gospel. But how many of us simply jump to that conclusion without reading through the rest of the epistle to see if Paul further expounds upon the gospel he advocates? This is the aim of my present study. I want to get to the bottom of this, not to prove my own beliefs, but to better understand the gospel Paul is really trying to preach here.

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