The new covenant – What is it?

Throughout the Bible, God made covenants with His people. Some of those covenants were conditional, like the Mosaic covenant, in which God promised blessings if the people would follow His Law. Others were unconditional, like the promise God made to Abraham to make him a great nation. Problems arose with the Mosaic covenant because the people of Israel were unable to follow the Law. Their hearts were constantly turning away from God and breaking the Law. Because the result of sin is death (Romans 6:23) a new covenant was formed, in which God Himself would fulfill the requirements of the Law and give the people the ability to follow Him in love and obedience (Jeremiah 31:31, 33; Ezekiel 36:26-28).

The most important element of the new covenant is the blood of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, blood sacrifices were required for cleansing and atonement when the Law was broken. Under the new covenant, Jesus Christ provided His own body on the cross as a sacrifice that would purify once, for all time, those who had faith (Hebrews 10:10, 14). God proclaimed the first covenant, the Mosaic covenant, as flawed because of the inability of the people to fulfill their part of the deal. Because His love, and His promise to Abraham, superseded the demands of the Mosaic covenant, God did away with the old covenant and made the "new covenant" in Christ's blood (Hebrews 8:8-13). According to the terms of the new covenant, God would forget about the sins of the people, and be merciful towards them. He promised also to put the law into their minds, and write the law on their hearts. This prophecy of Jeremiah looks forward to the coming of the Holy Spirit, who would indwell all who have faith, teaching and helping them to follow the Lord's commands (John 14:26; Psalm 23:3-4; Romans 8:9-11).

Now that the new covenant is in effect, we can receive the gift of salvation and the presence of the Holy Spirit freely, without payment (Ephesians 2:8-9). Everyone who is thirsty is welcomed to come to the water, and he who has no money to pay is encouraged to buy wine and milk without price (Isaiah 55:1-3). Isaiah speaks of God's "steadfast, sure love for David" in conjunction with this promise. Throughout Scripture, it is evident that the covenants work together. The Abrahamic covenant promises that righteousness will come through faith (Galatians 3:6-14; Genesis 15) and the Davidic covenant promises that an eternal King will come from the line of David (2 Samuel 7:16). The Mosaic covenant exists to show us our inability to obey, so that we will know to turn to God for mercy (Galatians 3:23-25). And the New covenant in the blood of Jesus, the Eternal King, provides redemption from sin and freedom from the Mosaic covenant (Hebrews 9:13-15). "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

Related Truth:

What are the different covenants in the Bible?

Covenant Theology - What is it?

The Adamic covenant - What is it?

The Abrahamic covenant – What is it?

The Mosaic covenant – What is it?

Return to:
Truth about Theology

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