New is certainly better! In this premier episode of The One Thing That’s Needful podcast, Dr. Siohvaughn Funches takes us through a journey of divine purpose and what it means to be a new covenant believer. Dr. Funches is a mediator, arbitrator, and parenting coordinator at The Mediation Matters Firm, LLC. She opens us to the reality that new laws are, without doubt, better. She also shows us how Christ is redeeming us from the curse of law, and discusses the striking difference between the old and the new covenant.
Listen to the podcast here:
The One Thing That’s Needful (Part 1)
My name is Dr. Siohvaughn Funches. I want us to embark on what I know will be a worthwhile journey together with me sharing with you that this show has a divine purpose. I’m also going to share with you what that divine purpose is and then lay a foundation for what it means to be a born-again believer of Jesus Christ under the new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Also as new covenant believers what we’re required to do. Before we get into that, I want us to take a moment and pray together. I ask you, Heavenly Father, that you give to each and every one of us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. The eyes of our understanding being enlightened that we may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of His mighty power. Jesus, I pray that he’d be all of you, Lord, and none of me. I thank you that you will expound on these Scriptures to us about things concerning yourself and bless us, Lord, that we may comprehend the Scriptures in your name, Jesus, we pray.
Four Purposes Of This Podcast
Before I get into the message, let me take a moment and let you all know who have taken the time and who will continue to take the time to read this that this show has a divine purpose from God. This is not a place where we come to eat the bread of idleness, but we’ve come here to feast on the bread of life, as a result, to have our lives transformed from the inside out. There are four purposes that God showed me that He has for doing this show and for those who are reading this. First, God showed me that the readers were all going to know God as well as His son, Jesus. He expounded to me, even in the Scriptures about the benefits of knowing Him and His son more and later on we’ll get into that.
God also showed me too that both the faith in God and the faith of God will be imparted to us. We’re also going to see the blessings and the benefits of believing God and having faith in God. God told me we’re going to be positioned and empowered to receive every promise that God has made us written in His word and spoken through us, whether it’s via dreams, His prophets, the unction that we have, a vision that God has shown us something that’s to come or something that He’s going to do in our life. This is going to happen to us without effort and sweat, which was a real blessing to me when I heard it. Not only that, God said we’re going to be positioned and empowered to fulfill our destinies in Christ Jesus, which means He’s going to reveal to us what it is He’s called us to do more and more in the days to come as we come here and gather together and hear his words.
Let’s get right to it. I’m excited to share with you everything that the Lord has been sharing with me in my time with Him. All these eye-opening and enlightening revelations that God has been giving that have brought me rest and peace. Not only that but I’ve realized many promises that God made me that have even been years in the making when I began to do what God showed me, the one thing that’s needful for a new covenant believer. First, I felt from God to establish with you all and not assume that people know this. What I mean by born again believers of Jesus Christ are we, as Christians, are definitely under the new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are no longer under the old covenant of law. The Bible said in John 1:17 that the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The Old Covenant Versus The New Covenant
That old covenant was a covenant of law, the one that was given through Moses on Mount Sinai but grace and truth are what came through our Lord Jesus Christ. We are now under the new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You don’t have to take my word for it. Not only not in this episode, but in the episodes to come because everything that God is showing me, he wants to speak through me to His people about the Lord has given me His word to back it up. Surely, all these messages and revelations have been founded on the sheer word of God Himself. God has made sure of that. We’re first going to get into the fact that there are these two covenants, old and new, and there’s a difference that has come.
There’s a striking difference. God began to lay these covenants side-by-side to me and show me the difference. Not only that, He showed me that He’s better because there are children of God that are still trying to fight to hold on to the law. God told me they have a zeal for God and they are sincere in trying to hold onto the law, but they are sincerely wrong. God, as we know in His word, says He corrects who He loves. God is correcting us and renewing our minds even daily if we’re allowing Him to do so. We’re definitely doing that. As I said, everything that God gave me is established in His word. God wanted me to begin by letting us all know there are two covenants.
Most people know that, but I don’t want to assume anything because that’s the commission I received from God. We have the old covenant that has passed away. We have a new covenant. This new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is better than the old. I’m going to give you the differences that God showed me in this old and new covenant and prove to you in a sense that we are in fact undoubtedly under the new covenant and that this new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is better. We’ll get into what’s our responsibility? What’s the one thing that the Lord Jesus said is needful for us as new covenant believers? You heard me correctly. Jesus said there’s only one thing that’s needful. I know that life and challenges will tell us. There are many things that we have to do, “You better do this, you better fix it and you better do that.” Jesus Himself who cannot lie, who is the truth, say one thing is needful.
We’re going to get into that not only now but I believe in the days to come because the Lord showed me this is a series. This is not something that He wants me to rush through, but God wants to lay a solid foundation for what it means to be a new covenant believer. That’s not only laying a foundation for this show, it’s laying a foundation for our entire Christian walk. God is starting off this show by teaching us what our position is in Him, what benefits that brings, what our party is to play in it so that we can possess every promise effortlessly the way He ordained for us to do under this new covenant.
Let me begin by explaining that you can find the old covenant in Exodus 20 where God lays out the Ten Commandments. I know there were ceremonial laws as well as Levitical laws that were given to them. There are likely hundreds of those. That was all a part of the old covenant. When I say the old covenant, I am referring to the Ten Commandments as well as those Levitical and ceremonial laws, which God did give for a reason. The Bible calls it a tutor that was to bring us to Christ. Christ has come, the law has served as purpose, and after serving its purpose, it’s over and it’s done with. We’re now under the new covenant.
You can see in Exodus 20 that God was blessing His people in this old covenant on a merit system. When people did what God told them to do, then the blessings of God will be released in their life. No one has ever kept the law perfectly other than Jesus Christ. When people disobeyed the law, and in James, the Bible tells us that when people break one of the laws of God, they are guilty of them all. When people disobeyed the law, not only were they not receiving the blessings that they could have if they did obey it, they came underneath the curse. We’re under the new covenant. Praise be to God, thanks be to Jesus and Jesus has fulfilled the law for us. You’ll find the new covenant in Hebrews 8:10-13. I’m going to read it for you. I also want to encourage people if you are able to have your Bibles with you or at least something you can write with because God is going to be doing this show and the foundation upon which he’s laying it is His word.
If you don’t have an opportunity to have your Bible with you, I’m going to be reading Scriptures. I don’t know if you want to read along with me and be able to see for yourself what I’m talking about. If not, then at least have something you can jot down a piece of paper or something like that. If you have a designated notebook, I know that I do when I’m in Bible study or what have you or spending time alone with God and learning. I want to encourage people to do that or even be able to jot it down in your notes on your phone because God is using His word to prove to us whatever message that He’s delivering through this show.
In Hebrews 8:10-13, this is where you find the new covenant under the Lord’s grace for us as new covenant believers. This isn’t the only place. I want to point that out even Jeremiah prophesied about this new covenant. You find it in Jeremiah but this is the place I like to read it from the same to take all of the pieces of it and put it all together. I like to look at the new covenant from Hebrews 8:10-13 and I’ll be looking through the Bible and reading it through the new King James Version. Feel free to enjoy whatever version God leads you to. That’s the one that He has me study out of most times and it says, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people. None of them shall teach his neighbor and none his brothers saying, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, sins, and lawless deeds. I will remember no more.”
We can see a huge difference right off the top. Under the old covenant, if people disobeyed God’s law, not only were they not able to receive the blessings of God, but they also came underneath the curse. Here, God doesn’t even make a mention of whether you obey or disobey anything. He simply keeps telling you what He’s going to do. “I will make a covenant with the house of Israel. I will put my laws in their minds. I will be their God,” and He goes on and on about what He’s going to do. There’s no mention of works for the man anymore like it was under the old covenant. If you look back at the old covenant, it was from start to finish, what man had to do. When you find that in the Levitical laws, you find that in the Ceremonial laws and you find it in the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not.” It’s all on man and what man is going to do. When looking at this new covenant, it all falls on God and what God has done and what He’s going to continue to do. We already see a striking difference. Not only that, there’s no mention of a curse, there’s mention of a blessing because God is talking about being merciful to our unrighteousness, sins and lawless deeds.
Not only is He not punishing them, He does not even remember them. Definitely something has changed and this is not the old covenant. This is certainly something new that has come, and it’s quite obvious to me even with this comparison, although we’ll look at more, that this new covenant is much better than the old. God told me that under the old covenant of law seeing increased. I know this is quite contrary to what I was taught. I was taught that when you preach and teach the law, it would get people in check. It will cause people to walk morally upright. God Himself who cannot lie and knows all things says, “I don’t care what the preacher said to you.” Growing up or what you heard, what tradition you were taught, what religious rhetoric was giving to you time and time and again, God Himself, this is His law. He knows His law certainly.
God says under that law, sin would increase. It would agitate it and stir it up and make it increase. In Romans 5:20 it says, “Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound.” However, under the new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you’ll see in Romans 6:14 it says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” We can clearly see that under the old covenant of law, it often caused seeing, in other words, to abound, not only increase abound. Under the new covenant, sin won’t rule over you. It won’t have dominion over you. It won’t be increasing and leading you in your life when you go and accept the fact that you’re not under law but you are under the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are the blessings of God you receive without merit, works and the fulfillment of the law because Jesus, as we’ll see soon, has fulfilled the law on our behalf for us.
Here’s another difference the Lord showed me under the law in Galatians 3:10 I’m reading from. It says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. For it is written, cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Let’s put a pin in this because this blew my mind. It says for as many as are of the works of the law, not as many as are breaking the law, but whoever tries to keep the law. I was not taught this. I don’t know about you all but when God began to open my eyes to these things, I was saying, “God, I’ve had this same Bible for years. No matter how many times I read it, I’ve never seen this.” This is extremely vital. How did I miss it? God gives revelation and insight when we’re ready to receive it. I can clearly see that now was the time for us to receive it. I’m super excited about this. It’s eye-opening. To keep the law is under the curse for it is written.
Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law. No one from the beginning of time has kept and done all things that are written in the law except for Jesus. Everyone from Adam to now has failed and faltered time and time again. No one who tries to go under the law and keep it is going to be anything less than cursed because you can’t keep it. It’s that simple. Not only can you not keep it, but you’ll find that God Himself says He doesn’t believe a man is justified by the works of the law anyway, so you still would be unjust before God. This is important that we get the truth, like Jesus said, “My people would know the truth and the truth will make them free.” No wonder he’s saying we’re going to fulfill our destiny. We’re going to be free to know that God is for us and certainly never at any time, for any reason.
No matter how many times we fail, he’s not against us because we’re not under the law. Come to find out we’re under the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is no longer about us, this is about the covenant cut between God and Jesus. It is as sure as the word of God, the blood of Jesus and the faithfulness of them both. We cannot lose with the God we choose is what I like to say. Looking at the new covenant of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you see in Galatians 3:13 it says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Having become a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” This blessed me because I say to God, “Every single thing you’ve done in the life of your people is with a reason and for a divine purpose.” I’m blessed to be a part of this.
Jesus, back then when he died, he was Jewish especially the primary way for Jews in executing someone was to stone them to death but Jesus was hung on a tree. Jesus was crucified instead, which was the Roman way of executing people. None of that is a coincidence. All of that is the divine purpose of God. All of that played a part in redeeming us. Everything Jesus did, every single detail of His life is for our benefit. I’m blessed the more God opens up the Scriptures and reveals this to me that there’s nothing insignificant. There’s no such thing as a coincidence and I did it all for you all. Every single thing, every breath thought took, every step I made, every city I entered into, the order I entered into within, every healing that’s recorded and not recorded is all for your benefit.
I’m talking about He gave His life for us. He lived, bled, died and rose for us. He did it for God, but he did it for us. God Himself had us in mind. It’s such a blessing to get to know God more, get to see His heart more, and see the heart of love in His son Jesus for us. We have to remember and again God has proven to us that the new covenant is better. We’re not under that old covenant of law where certainly people would come under the curse. At some point in time, they’re going to come under the curse because no one can keep that law perfectly but Jesus. We’re under the new covenant. Even if you do something that was against that old law, you don’t have to worry about the curse coming on you because Jesus Christ Himself has redeemed us from the curse of the law.
God did that for us. Whatever it is that God does, it cannot be undone. There’s no sin you can commit that can undo the power of Almighty God. This is something we have to know and believe because it is the truth. Jesus said, “The truth doesn’t come along and set you free automatically. You have to know the truth and then it’ll set you free.” That’s part of the purpose of this show. God is enlightening us with His truth and freedom is breaking forth uncontrollably in our lives. We’re sitting here reading and hearing His word, which I love this effortless part. Another thing God showed me that was amazing, under the old covenant of law, God Himself calls the old covenant the ministry of death.
Remember, God can’t lie. He made it. I suppose someone who makes something knows what it is. God Himself said, “The old covenant is the ministry of death.” You find it in 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 it says, “If the ministry of death written and engraved on stones was glorious so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away. How will the ministry of the spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect because of the glory that excels. For if what was passing away the old covenant was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.” That would be the new covenant of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I love it. For those of us who have been taught to try to hold on or fight for this old covenant of law, God already said as many as are under it or under the curse, the Lord is showing us here in the Scriptures the old covenant he calls the ministry of death. Why? No one can keep it and the wages of sin is death. It certainly brings death because it brings the curse because no one can keep it. If you can’t keep it, you’re not blessed, you’re cursed. Thank God for the new covenant, we’re not under the old covenant and Jesus fulfilled that old covenant on our behalf and blessed us to be beneficiaries of this new covenant of His grace and His favor.
God Himself calls this old covenant the ministry of condemnation. That’s serious. We know what guilt can do. We know how that can eat someone alive being condemned and feeling guilty. God also says that this glory that was in this old covenant, he admitted it had some glory. It did but the glory was passing away. It had a measure of glory but the glory that’s under the ministry of what God calls righteousness in this new covenant, this glory is much more glorious. It exceeds in glory, God says. Its glory is here to stay. Thank God for the new covenant. We have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves as being from ourselves. You’ll find in the new covenant the striking difference where it says and we have such trust through Christ toward God.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves. To think anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant. Not of the letter but of the spirit for the letter kills. That’s the ministry of death again but the spirit gives life. This old covenant, God calls a ministry of death. All the way glory was passing away, it was bringing in condemnation and death, and had a little bit of glory. You find in the new covenant, God calls it a ministry of righteousness. The righteousness of God is being revealed in this new covenant, not before under the law. The covenant with His spirit gives life to us. This is the place where we find life.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” This is the life that He came to give us. It’s found in this new covenant, not in the old covenant, that where the letter kills and that God Himself calls a ministry of death and condemnation. Let us embrace this gift that God has given us freely and enjoy all the benefits and blessings which we’ll get into soon. If not now, then we’ll get into it next time. I also want to point out to you something else that the Lord showed me in showing the striking differences between these covenants. This difference is something that literally brought tears to my eyes. Under the old covenant, man was separated from God. You can find in Exodus 19 when the Lord was getting ready to come down the mountain and speak to Moses in front of the children of Israel.
In verse 11, the Bible records the Lord saying, “Let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day, the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all people.” You shall set bounds for the people all around saying, “Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up the mountain or to touch his base. Whoever touches the mountains shall surely this or that, absolutely for certain be put to death.” God had to set the balance for the people. Get back, stay back. The consequences of even drawing near to God at that point were sure death, not Moses thought they were going to die, God Himself who cannot lie, say it, they will surely die. We see the striking difference under the new covenant. God is close to us in this new covenant that his Holy Spirit literally dwells in us.
God lives in us. Women who are reading this, God is in us like when we carried our children. Women who fed children, God is in us like that. He’s that close. Have you ever been pregnant before? You know it doesn’t matter what you go, what you do, you’ve got to mess up all day long or you could have a good day where all your i’s were dotted and all your t’s were crossed. That baby in your womb went with you the whole time, never left you, never forsake you. It simply cannot. The baby is indwelling you and living in you. God is doing even greater about His spirit because there is no time of birth that comes and the Holy Spirit leaves you. He’s going to be with you now and forevermore. Not only that, God has put us in Christ Jesus. This is in 1 Corinthians 6:19, the Scripture says, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
In Galatians 2:20 it says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ Jesus who lives in me. The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” We can see in both these Scriptures that God is so near to us. He’s in us and we’re in Him. The old has passed and the new has come. Praise be to God. It’s crystal clear that this new covenant is better. Another difference God showed me and you can find this in Galatians 3:11. God told me, “Under the law, no man is justified.” In other words, no man is righteous in the sight of God. God Himself is the judge saying this, “No man is righteous in my sight under the law.” In Galatians 3:11 because you don’t have to take my word for it, it says, “No one is justified by the law and the sight of God is evident. For the righteous shall live by faith.”
The Old Is Gone, The New Has Come
God took me to part of the new covenant in Romans 8:33 where the Bible says, and this is the striking difference, “Who shall bring a charge against God’s select? It is God who justifies.” This is us in this new covenant, God has made us righteous. Whatever God does, cannot be undone. I don’t care what sanity is you committed or how many times you’ve committed it. Trust and believe it. In Romans 3:28 the word says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” There it is again. In Romans 4:5 the word of God declares, “To him who does not work but believes on Him, Jesus, who justifies the ungodly. His faith is accounted for righteousness.” If that wasn’t enough, in Romans 4:6 it says, “God imputes or gives righteousness apart from works.” That’s apart from the deeds of obeying the law. You find in Romans 5:1 it says, “Therefore having been justified by faith in Jesus Christ, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is crystal clear. The old is gone, the new has come. The new is certainly better.
I’m going to end right here because I’m running out of time. As I said, I don’t want to rush this. I fell from God, “Take your time and allow me to do this through you where I lay a solid foundation.” That’s more important than rushing through the message. We’re going to pick up where we left off next time with this series called The One Thing That Is Needful. Let me pray and bless everybody on their way out, not by my mighty power God, but by your Holy Spirit. The Lord bless you all, keep you all, make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His aggressive peace that surpasses all understanding, guarding your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name, I pray that you go out with joy and you be led forth with peace, in Jesus’ name. For more information or ways to get involved with the ministry, God has blessed me with a Woman’s Worth Foundation. Please visit DrFunches.com. I love you. God bless you.