Tuesday, January 21, 2014
WHY I NOW BELIEVE IN THE NEW COVENANT
Hebrews 9:15 is a powerful verse. It says, “And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament [covenant], that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament [covenant], they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
Then Paul said this to the Roman Christian in his letter, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” [Romans 6:14]
What we see in these verses are references to two different covenants. There is first the Covenant of “the Law.” Exodus 34:27-28 shows it with these words, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”
The Covenant of “the Law” was made with Israel specifically, and it was based on law or performance. What the Covenant of 'the Law' says is, “If you” keep the Law, “then I, the Lord, will bless you.”
“If you don’t” keep the Law, “then I, the Lord, won’t or can’t bless you.”
Israel failed to keep the law as we all know. So the sacrificial system was established, including the Temple and the sacrifices and the priesthood, to point Israel in picture form to a coming Messiah/Redeemer.
This first covenant, or Covenant of 'the Law' has been viewed by Dispensationalists as set aside for the church age, but, according to them, there is coming for Israel in the future a new land, and a new Temple, and a new peace. There was a time I agreed with this view but at present I hold a differing one and it is basically the result of my understanding of the New Covenant being presented here.
Reformed Covenant Theologians see the covenant of law as part of the one Covenant of Grace__the only eternal covenant__ and that covenant of 'law,' along with all other covenants, are simply different administrations of this one__ eternal Covenant of Grace.
I disagree with both Dispensationalists and Reformed Covenant Theologians. Here's why and what I believe about the New Covenant as it relates to the Old Covenant.
2 Corinthians 3:6 says this, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament [new covenant]; not of the letter [old covenant], but of the spirit [new covenant]: for the letter [old] killeth, but the spirit [new] giveth life.”
Again, 2 Corinthians 3:14-16 - “But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”
Then, Hebrews 10:9 - “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”
Through these verses, and many others relating to the New Covenant, we have shown to us that the Old Covenant had a Mediator__Moses__but the New Covenant has a NEW Mediator__Christ.
The Old Covenant had a High Priest __Aaron__but the New Covenant has a NEW High Priest__Christ
The Old Covenant had a sacrifice of lambs, goats & calves but the New Covenant has a NEW sacrifice__Christ
The Old Covenant had a Temple__in Jerusalem but the New Covenant has a NEW Temple__ Christ in me and you and ALL of us collectively.
The Old Covenant had a Law Giver__Moses__but the New Covenant has a NEW Law Giver__Christ: “Hear ye Him”
It becomes quite obvious with a study of the text of the New Testament that the New Covenant is Christo-centric: “Love”- “as I have loved you” and “Forgive”- “as you have been forgiven”
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 -“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.”
Further study will show that there is no mention of an eternal covenant as pre-existing because covenants relate to time only, and covenants are referred to in the plural in Scripture, not singular, as seen by these verses....
Romans 9:4 - “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the COVENANTS, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.”
Ephesians 2:12 - “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the COVENANTS of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”
All of this becomes incredibly important as it completely changes our view of the cross. We see that the Cross really has redeemed us, sanctified us and glorified us. [Past tense in Romans 8] So all the lambs of the Old Covenant were simply a picture leading to the final Lamb of God. There are no lists needed to perform anything in order to get His blessings because, "We have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus."
It completely changes our view of the law as well. The Law [Ten Commandments] was a “school teacher” to bring Israel to the need of a Messiah. When the Messiah came He fulfilled the law of Moses which had brought condemnation but not life.
So, this means we, the church, have a new Law-giver__ Christ Himself__" Hear ye Him."
He has established His own Law which is the expression of new life in Him. We would no more think of going back to living by the 10 commandments than we would go back to offering lambs once a year. The purpose for it all has been fulfilled "in Christ."
Finally, this view of the New Covenant completely changes our idea of living life. All of life is now a gift and is sacred and is to be lived as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving because of His grace given in Christ Jesus our Lord. Every day is truly a Sabbath day as we rest in His grace and live by His law written in our hearts FROM a place of acceptance rather than FOR a place of acceptance.
The NEW COVENANT really does bring LIFE!