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The New Covenant
Heb. 8:7-13


The main point of this Epistle is Christ and Christ alone. His superiority and excellency of His priesthood had been well presented. In Christ we have a uniquely superior high priest who is able to save us now and always, to the uttermost. The Apostle Paul now writes about the New Covenant which is described as a “better covenant”.

Illustration 1/Application: Covenant
A solemn agreement, such as the pact between Jacob and Laban (Gen. 31:44). God’s love and grace are shown in the readiness to make covenants with people. When God promised Noah that he would not again destroy the world with a flood, he made a covenant with him (Gen. 6:18; 9:9-17). A very important covenant existed between God and Israel (Exod. 24:1-8), which is pictured in the book of Hebrews as the old covenant. When the people repeatedly broke that covenant, God promised a new covenant based on forgiveness and the writing of his law on people’s hearts (Jer. 31:31-34). Jesus inaugurated this new covenant with his blood (Mark 14:24; 1 Cor. 11:25).
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton , IL; 1984), p. 348

I. The old Covenant
A. The Old Covenant or the Mosaic Covenant was not faultless. Otherwise, there should have been no need for a new one.
B. The OT Law with its Levitical priesthood could not bring perfection (Heb. 7:11).
1. The Old Covenant was made between God and Israel in Mount Sinai. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant
2. The Old Covenant was not defective in itself; The Mosaic Law was true and righteous, but it was not able to make man righteous; it could only condemn him because he could not live up to its holy requirements.
3. It could never fully reconcile man back to God.
4. It could not remove sin, bring about righteousness, and justification
5. It could not cleanse the sinner’s conscience.
6. So, it was nullified and superseded by another one
C. The reason or the problem is the sinfulness of the people which have no remedy.
1. They did not obey His covenant. (Jer. 11:7-10).
2. Therefore, they were punished for their disobedience. (Jer. 11:11-14).

II. The New Covenant (Heb. 8:8-9)
A. The Lord Promised a New Covenant
1. Prophesied in Jer. 31:31-34
2. He would make a new covenant with the house Israel and the house of Judah.
3. A covenant different from the Old one made in Mt. Sinai.
B. The new covenant vanished away the old covenant
1. The coming of the new covenant, abolished the old one
2. The old covenant actually continued for about 500 years after Jeremiah.
3. Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant.
4. The death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ made the sacrifices of the Old Covenant useless.
5. The nullification of the Old Covenant can be seen in the days of the Hebrew writer.
6. When the temple was destroyed by the Romans in70 A.D., the Levitical priesthood with its ceremonial laws and sacrifices came into an end.

III. God’s promises regarding about the New Covenant (Heb. 8:10-13)
A. It will be inward and spiritual . prophesied in Jer. 31:31-34.
1. I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. The Law of Moses could declare God’s holy standard, but it could never provide the power needed for obedience. Sinful people need a new heart and a new disposition within; and this is just what the New Covenant provides. When a sinner trusts Christ, he receives a divine nature within (2 Pet. 1:1-4). This divine nature creates a desire to love and obey God. By nature, sinful people are hateful and disobedient (Titus 3:3-7); but the new nature gives each believer both the desire and the dynamic for a godly life. The gospel must be heard and obeyed from the heart to save the sinner (Mk. 16:15-16, Heb. 5:9).
2. The Law was external; God’s demands were written on tablets of stone. But the New Covenant makes it possible for God’s Word to be written on human minds and hearts (2 Cor. 3:1-3). God’s grace makes possible an internal transformation that makes a surrendered believer more and more like Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
3. It is unfortunate that many Christians think they are saved by grace but must then fulfil their Christian life according to the Old Testament Law. They want the New Covenant for salvation but the Old Covenant for sanctification. The Apostle Paul had a phrase to describe this condition: “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). Not “fallen from salvation,” but fallen from the sphere of God’s blessing through grace. We do not become holy people by trying to obey God’s Law in our own power. It is by yielding to the Holy Spirit within that we fulfil the righteousness of the Law (Rom 8:1-4); and this is wholly of grace. (Bible Exposition Commentary)
B. It will provide closer relationship with God (Heb. 8:10) I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people
1. He would be their Lawgiver, their Counsellor, their Protector, their Redeemer, their Guide. He would provide for their wants, defend them in danger, pardon their sins, comfort them in trials, and save their souls, He would be a faithful friend, and would never leave them nor forsake them
2. And they shall be to me a people. This is not merely stated as a fact, but as a privilege. It is an inestimable blessing to be regarded as one of the people of God, and to feel that we belong to him–that we are associated with those whom he loves, and whom he treats as his friends.
3. In “this age”, we enjoy a closer relationship with God. 2 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Pe 2:9-10. But even more so, in the “age to come”, which is in eternity – Rev. 21:1-7
4. How close are you to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

Illustration 2/Application: God’s people
1. A peculiar treasure, Ex. 19:5
2. Chosen by Jehovah, Deut. 14:2
3. Exalted above all nations, Deut. 26:19, 1 Sam. 12:22, Ps. 29:11
4. Guided like a flock, Ps. 78:52, 100:3
5. Prepared for Service, Lk. 1:17, Acts 15:14
6. Characterized by zeal, Titus 2:14
7. The Law written upon their hearts, Heb. 8:10, 1 Pet.2:9, Rev. 21:13 (Thompson Chain Reference Bible)


C. It will be with people who know the Lord (Heb. 8:11)
1. And… all shall know me… least to the greatest.  In the New Covenant all will be taught of God (Isa. 54:13; Jn. 6:45), whereas under the law only the educated scribe could understand the details of the law. 2 Cor. 3:7-18. We ¡°know¡± God only through His Word which begets the Spirit Life within us (Rom. 10:17; Jn. 1:13; Jas. 1:18; 2 Pet. 3:18). This way of love is written in the fleshly tables of the human heart, not in cold, lifeless stone (2 Cor. 3:3).
D. It will provide true forgiveness of sins (Heb. 8:12)
1. Under the New Covenant then sins of God’s people are blotted out so that, in His reckoning, it is as if they never have been committed. This is because Christ has paid sin’s penalty.
2. So, the New Covenant provides what the first covenant could not: true forgiveness of sins! – Heb. 10:1-4,11.
E. The Old Covenant vanished away (Heb. 8:13)
1. After the book of Hebrews was written, the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and the Levitical worship ended.

Illustration 3/Application: New Creation
Futile Renovations
London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs.
Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.
As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
Forget about the repairs, the buyer said. When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site.
Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God’s, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17).
He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build.
. 10,000 Sermon Illustrations

IV. What association do church age believers have with the New Covenant?
A. Jesus. taught that there is an association (Mat. 26:28). Paul taught the same thing in 2 Cor. 3:6.
1. New Testament believers participate in the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant through Christ¡¯s atonement. (a) We see this in Heb. 8:8-11 (quoted from Jer. 31:31-34), where the writer cites only the spiritual aspects of the New Covenant. (b) We see this in Heb. 10:15-18, where the writer again mentions only the spiritual aspects of the New Covenant.
2. Nowhere does Hebrews say that this covenant has been transferred from national Israel to “the church” or that the physical aspects of the covenant should be spiritualized. The new covenant that God will make with Israel does not reach as high as the position that God has given the New Testament believer. The new covenant says nothing of entrance into the Holiest, as we know it; nothing of being raised up together and seated together in Christ Jesus in the heavenlies; nothing of union with Him as members of His Body by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The new covenant is blessing for the earth and on the earth in the coming day.  (Ironside).

V. Conclusion:
The promise of the New Covenant was prophesied by Jeremiah. It was fulfilled at the coming and death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the cross. The Old covenant is completely vanished and nullified. With this solid truth, the view that literal sacrifices will again be offered in the future for me is unacceptable. Also, the perfect has come in Christ; why go back to the old and obsolete?

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