The New Covenant, What actually is it?
I was listening to a Preacher expounding on the New Covenant, but he was always quoting the “Church Father’s” as his evidence, skipped past a couple of scriptures that were very general in nature, but was totally silent on what actually this Covenant was all about, so I thought that it was way past time that we actually examined it in some detail. Now there are only four “New Covenant” verses for us to work with. Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” 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:” Hebrews 8:13 “In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 12:24 “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.”
This list is not very specific as to what is actually contained in this “New Covenant,” Paul in Hebrews gives us most of the verses, but if we go back to Jeremiah again, and read on further we get to this text. Jeremiah 31:33 “But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
This is certainly the clearest of all verses thus far as to what is actually contained within this concept of a “New Covenant.” I hear the odd person who declares that the New Covenant is in because the Old Covenant has gone; the Law was done away with at the cross and nailed to the cross, the Ten Commandments are gone, we are under a “New Covenant.”
The interesting part is that Jeremiah tells us what the “Terms and Conditions” of both covenants are exactly the same. We have the “First Covenant” set out in Exodus 19:8 “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” Exodus Chapter 20 spells out the rules in a wide ranging scope of ten commandments broken into a set of four to cover their relationship with God and a set of six to cover their relationship with their fellow human beings.
The thrust of this “Old Covenant” is this, “God; you say it, and we do it.” When you look at the “New Covenant” we have Jeremiah telling us that God writes them on our hearts (New Heart), so it becomes our lifestyle or the “Navman” that directs our paths in all things. Matthew 4:4 “But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Exodus 31:13-16 “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am] the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it [is] holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth [any] work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh [is] the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth [any] work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual covenant.”
We have this in Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This sounds just like Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:33 “But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Galatians 3:29 “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
From this, we get a very clear statement, that if you are a “Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ,” then you are part of “Abraham’s Family” and that would in modern terms make you what is currently called, “Jewish.” Or to put it another way, to be properly Jewish, then you are actually part of Jesus Christ, who is from the Line of David, who is from the Line of Abraham, who is in the Line of Adam, who is “the son of God” for we are all part of “The Family of God,” or “God’s Kids.”
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” NIV. So from our study we have discovered, that this verse seems to tie it all back together, for the evidence of the “Love of God” being in us is evidenced in fruit of the Spirit and in following our Saviour and doing and living just like he does. John goes on writing further and then makes this statement in John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” This encourages us to abide in his Love, he is obedient to his Father, and so should all his children be also.
Dear Reader; let us give Jeremiah the last statement as found in Jeremiah 31:33 “But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Who’s actually in your heart, Jesus or you?
Galatians 3:17 And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.