The New is Better Because… Part Two

“…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 did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them...” (Hebrews 8:9-11).

Change for the sake of change is never a wise plan of operation. Not all change is good. Not all change is bad. As explained in Hebrews 8:8-13, God’s change from the first (or old) covenant to the second (or new and better) covenant is a huge blessing.

In this passage, nine proofs are given to demonstrate the “better-ness” of God’s new covenant. The first three (see yesterday’s post) are: The new covenant is better because of its inherently superior quality; the new covenant is better because it fulfilled Old Testament prophecy; and the new covenant is better because it is predicated upon greater redemption. The next three are:

The new covenant is better because Israel failed to keep the condition of obedience found in the first covenant. Israel “did not continue in” the covenant (v. 9). The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob repeatedly broke it. In fact, when given the choice by Pilate, they loudly and publicly rejected God and His Messiah, declaring “We have not king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). With such unfaithfulness to the old covenant, a replacement certainly was needed.

The new covenant is better because its focus is upon the inner, spiritual part of a human being. A Jewish male entered his covenant with God on the eighth day after his birth when he was circumcised. He had no faith or choice in the matter. It was a decision made for him. To enjoy the blessings of the new covenant a person must be taught God’s word. Entering a covenant with God necessitates proper instruction, personal volition, and joyful obedience from the heart. No one can become a Christian against his will.

The new covenant is better because it provides intimate fellowship with God. The possibility of knowing God was quite limited in the old covenant. Only members of the tribe of Levi were authorized to perform the divine services at the tabernacle and temple. No one but the High Priest (and that only once a year) could enter into the place called “the Holiest of All” (Hebrews 9:3) which symbolized the presence of God. Not so with the new covenant. Every person of God’s people—from the least to the greatest—can draw near to Him and enjoy glorious fellowship with Jehovah.

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Author: jchowning

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