How to Spot the New Covenant, Part 2 Continued from Part 1
Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
In my last post, we examined the pattern of Old Covenant teachings, from Deuteronomy 28. The basic pattern of all Old Covenant teachings is, “If you do something, then God will do something, but if you don’t do something, then God will not do something.” Even if the teaching is not explicitly about the Law of Moses, but follows this pattern, it is an Old Covenant teaching.
The pattern for the New Covenant is first mentioned in the book of Jeremiah 31:31-34, where God describes this new Covenant he is going to make. Later, Paul quotes it in the book of Hebrews, and that is where we will examine the pattern for the New Covenant.
Hebrews 8:8-9 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
The very first thing we see in this New Covenant, is that is not going to be like the Old covenant, because the people could not obey it (verse 9). Paul states that Israel did not continue in the Covenant, failed to obey, and this New Covenant was not going to be dependent upon our obedience.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
In Verse 10, we note that the Covenant will be made with the house of Israel. Some people take this to mean it will be made with the Israelites exclusively. But I do not believe that is what this is talking about. As I’ve written elsewhere, Jesus Christ has become the embodiment of True Israel, He is the one with whom the Covenant was made between God the Father and God the Son, and all of humanity was included in Jesus Christ, and we participate in Their Covenant, by faith. That is another lengthy study for another time.
More importantly, we see the pattern of what this New Covenant will be all about, God acting towards Man first. Notice God’s use of the Phrase, “I Will.”:
“I will Make the Covenant…”
“I will put my laws in their mind and write them in their hearts…”
“I will be to them a God and They shall be to me a people…”
In verse 11, God reiterates the universal aspect to this New Covenant to affect all people:
Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Then God Continues to express what He Alone shall do in verse 12:
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
In verse 13, Paul acknowledges that this very covenant has already been struck, it has already been established, so all of the “I Will” statements are already in effect for all people, making the old covenant ready to fade away.
But in this study, we realize that there is nothing that is required on the part of the recipients. Everything in the New Covenant, is God alone saying, “I Will…”, and Paul confirmed that it is Finished. So that is the pattern “God Says, I will, Jesus says It is finished.” That is what we see Paul express through the New Testament.
This is why the Gospel Means, Good News! News is something that has already happened. It is not called a Prophecy, about something that will happen if you obey and do all the right things. Instead it is the Good News that Jesus has obeyed and done all the right things, and he has freely given you all the benefits. You cannot mess it up. The most you can do it, is reject it, or accept it by faith.
So what does a New Covenant Teaching look like? It sounds like this:
Jesus has already done your part on your behalf, It is Finished.
The Father is holding onto you (John 10:28-29), and Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
God has delivered you from all evil (Colossians 1:13), and protects you (Luke 10:19).
God has already blessed you with all things for life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
God has already Forgiven you all your Sins (Ephesians 1:7).
God accepted you when you were his enemy (Colossians 1:21).
God has already poured out Abundance on your life (Ephesians 1:3).
New Covenant teachings always highlights what Jesus has done, and unlike the Old Covenant, Man responds to what God has done. The New Covenant is always past tense, and nothing you can do will make something that has already happened, happen in the future. In fact, trying to do something to make something happen in the future, disconnects from believing it’s already done, and accessing it by faith; that is how a person falls from Grace. The only choice we have left is to accept what has already been done by faith, or reject it in our unbelief, and then try to make it happen in the future by our works.
In the New covenant, we do not strive to do more to get more or be more. Instead the Bible teaches that we are complete (Colossians 2:10) and we have already become like Jesus Christ (1 John 4:17). It is now a matter of discovery as we grow into the things that Jesus said are already true about us.
The Comparison of Grace to Law – Rob Rufus