The Better Covenant

One of the most edifying and personally-challenging series of sermons I have been listening to recently has been the Desiring God Radio series through Romans, particularly as Dr. Piper has been advancing through Romans 9. I commend it to you no matter who you are or what you believe if you want to get a grasp of the Gospel and its implications for real assurance regarding the goodness of God.

However, there is a real gem in the introductory remarks to today's installment which is not necessarily in the body of the sermon. The excerpt that struck me as especially powerful goes like this:
Surrounding that sacrificial system was a system of cultic practice of clean foods, and certain keeping of certain holidays, and circumcision. Those three things in particular – the food laws, the circumcision laws, the festivals – those are all gone, and wiped away by Jesus' decisive work. [also] Israel was a political, ethnic entity, governed, therefore, by a constitution laid down in the Torah which had the death penalty for several dozen things. You curse your parents, you're dead. You sleep with a woman, you both are stoned. Those things have gone. Jesus didn't require the death penalty for these kinds of things – in fact, he pointed the other direction. And the reason they're gone is because the church is not an ethnic, political entity located somewhere in the world with a capital: the church is permeated through all governmental structures, and all societal structures so that it isn't governed, per se, the way the Old Testament people were with statutory laws that govern all of our legal repercussions to misbehaviors. Rather, we live under various regimes, we operate there, and we show, we teach, the Biblical morality but we don't exercise, as though we were a political entity, the right to do capital punishment.
It is interesting that Dr. Piper here underscores that what is evident in the church ought to be something which transcends the merely political and ethnic.

Think about that today rather than fester resentment because I haven't gotten to the next part of the Zens paper.