Skip to content

God has made a new covenant with us, not of the letter but of the Spirit

27 July 2018

God has made a new covenant with us, not of the letter but of the Spirit

holy-bibleThe old covenant

After God, through Moses, brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, He led them to Mount Sinai, where He made a covenant with them. For the Scripture says that God came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain, and He spoke to Moses many words and many laws. Then Moses went and told the people of Israel all the Lord’s words and laws. And all the people answered with one voice and said: “All the words which the Lord has said we will do” (Exodus 24:3 – NKJV). And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said: ‘All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient’. And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said: “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words” (Exodus 24:8 – NKJV). Then likewise Moses sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. Therefore, that covenant was dedicated with blood.

The covenant that God made with the Israelites was made of moral laws (you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not make for yourself an idol, etc.), as well as ceremonial laws (you shall keep the Sabbath day, the feast of Passover, the feast of Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles, new moons, etc.), and dietary laws (abstention from unclean foods, prohibition against boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk, etc.).

God told the Israelites that He would bless them if they kept His commandments; here is what God said through Moses to the people of Israel: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

However, God told the Israelites also that if they did not obey His laws He would curse them and punish them severely. Here are the words of God: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof. Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them. Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand. The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head. The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee. Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee: So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! [Oh, that it were evening!] and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! [Oh, that it were morning!] for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you” (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).

The covenant made by God with the Israelites had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. This sanctuary was built in the wilderness according to the pattern shown by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. It consisted of two rooms; the first room was called the Holy Place, in it were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread, and the gold altar of incense. The second room, called the Most Holy Place, was behind the second veil and had the golden censer and the gold-covered ark of the covenant above which were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Outside the sanctuary, that is, before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was the altar of burnt offering.

The priests – who were descendants of Levi – performed various services in the tabernacle. One of the things that the priests had to do was to offer sacrifices in order to make atonement for their sins and the sins of the people. According to the law, there were atoning sacrifices that could be offered any day during the year (Leviticus chapter 4), and atoning sacrifices that had to be offered only on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which was on the tenth day of the seventh month. For on that particular day the High Priest had to offer some sin offerings to make atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel. Unlike the other days of the year, on the Day of Atonement the blood of the sin offerings (not all the blood but just some of it) had to be brought inside the veil, that is, in the Most Holy Place where the High Priest (the only priest who was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place) had to sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side (Leviticus chapter 16). That’s how the High Priest, once a year, made atonement for his sins, for the sins of his house and for the sins of all the Israelites.

The promise of the new covenant

After several centuries, God promised through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. For He said: “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: 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 continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:8-12; Jeremiah 31:31-34).

The new covenant

When the fullness of the time came, God made with the Israelites the new covenant of which He had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah.

God made this New Covenant through His Son Jesus Christ, whom God sent into this world at His appointed time to die four sins and to rise again for our justification. He is the One used by God to establish the New Covenant, because it was through Him that God gave the New Law, that is, the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 9:21), upon which the New Covenant is based, and because through His death on the cross Jesus Christ made atonement for our sins, reconciled us (both Jews and Gentiles) to God and qualified us to become the people of God, and because it is through Jesus Christ that we now have access to God the Father. Jesus Christ therefore is “the Mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12:24) and the High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1) of faith. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

This New Covenant made by God with us is better than the old covenant because “it is founded on better promises (Hebrews 8:6 – NIV). What are these promises made by God? Here they are: “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” (Jeremiah 31:33); “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). These promises made by God, on which the New Covenant is founded, are better than the promises of the Old Covenant, for the following reasons.

With regard to the first promise, the reasons are these. When God made the covenant with the Israelites at Mount Sinai He wrote His law on tablets of stone and then He gave the tablets of stone to Moses, while when God made the New Covenant with us He wrote His laws on our hearts, thus “not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3 – NKJV), and they were written by the Spirit of the living God. Let me say one more thing, according to the law, the Israelites had to write the commandments of God on the doorposts of their houses and on their gates, as it is written: “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9 – NKJV), so that they might remember God’s commandments continually, but now, since God has written His laws on our hearts we don’t need to do such a thing any longer.

With regard to the second promise, the reasons are these. While in the sacrifices God had commanded to offer for the sins every year there was a reminder of sins every year because it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins, now under the New Covenant, since Jesus Christ offered Himself once for all for our sins and made us perfect in regard to the conscience, our sins have been blotted out and taken away, thus God does not remember them any longer. Such a thing under the Old Testament was impossible because those atoning sacrifices prescribed by the law were just a shadow of the perfect sacrifice of Christ, as the Scripture says: “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect” (Hebrews 10:1). Therefore, the perfection in regard to the conscience could not come through the sacrifices offered by the High Priest every year for his own sins and the sins of all the Israelites; if those sacrifices could have done such a thing surely they would have ceased to be offered for the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But it was exactly for this reason that the worshipers continued to offer those sacrifices, because even after they offered them their conscience would accuse them of being sinners, that is to say, because their sins were still on their conscience. What happened when Jesus Christ, the High Priest of the good things foreshadowed by the law, came into the world? It happened that through His sacrifice, and thus through His precious blood, our conscience was purified from all our sins, and as the Scripture says “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10 – NKJV), and “by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14NKJV). Therefore, the perfection in regard to the conscience that could not be attained by the worshipers under the Old Testament through the blood of bulls and goats, came through Jesus Christ and therefore God does not remember our sins any longer; they were blotted out through the blood of Jesus and thus it was fulfilled the promise God had made through Isaiah the prophet: “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins” (Isaiah 44:22 – NKJV). Therefore, this is a great and precious promise. Obviously those who wants to see the fulfilment of this promise in their life must believe that Jesus Christ offered Himself for our sins, because remission of sins is obtained by faith in Jesus Christ. The sacrifices of the Old Testament, therefore, have been replaced by the sacrifice of Christ made once for all. This replacement was foretold by the Son of God, through the Spirit, in this way: “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:6-8). As you can see, first the Son of God said that God did not desire sin offerings and burnt offerings, which were prescribed by the law of Moses, and He had no pleasure in them either. Then He said to God: “Behold I have come… to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7 – NKJV). What was the will of God? The will of God was that the Son had to offer Himself for our sins. And because of this will of God – that Jesus did – the first covenant was taken away and replaced by the second covenant. For since Christ offered Himself for our sins making us perfect in regard to the conscience, we no longer need the imperfect sin offerings of the Old Testament which could not take away sins. And therefore, since we no longer need those imperfect sin offerings, we no longer need the priests who offered those sacrifices, and in fact they have been replaced by the High Priest of the good things to come, namely Jesus, who in the fullness of the time was of God made High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek and He was made High Priest with an oath, as it is written: “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4). First of all, notice that the order is different, it is not the order according to Aaron (the order to which belonged the priests of the Old Testament) any longer, but the order according to Melchizedek, which is better than the one of Aaron because Melchizedek is superior to Aaron. Its superiority is confirmed by the fact that Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, king of Salem, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, blessed Abraham in whose loins was Levi at that time (and the lesser is blessed by the better), and Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek (thus, even Levi, who had to receive tithes according to the law, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak). Secondly, notice that Christ was made priest with an oath, while the High Priests of the Old Testament were made priests without an oath, because this fact not only makes the priesthood of Christ superior to the Old Testament‘s priesthood, but it makes the second covenant, of which Jesus became a surety, a far better covenant (Hebrews 7:21-22) because the oath made by God to the Son shows to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, so it is impossible for the priesthood of Christ (on which the New Covenant is founded) to be replaced by another priesthood in the future and therefore, knowing this, we are greatly comforted, for we know that His priesthood is everlasting and unchangeable. As it is written in the epistle to the Hebrews: “For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:16-20). Christ, therefore, has an unchangeable priesthood, a priesthood that cannot be transmitted to anyone else because He continues forever, while the Levitical priesthood was transferred from the father to his son because death prevented the high priests from continuing in office (Hebrews 7:23-24). Therefore, we can rely on Christ fully for our salvation, because He always lives to intercede for us, as it is written: “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25 – NKJV). In addition, while the Levitical priests had to offer sin offerings also for their own sins, Christ was blameless and sinless because He was born without sin and lived a sinless life and so He was able to offer Himself for our sins once for all.

Let me tell you something else concerning the superiority of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is better than the Old because it delivers a man from the curse of the law. Let me explain this concept to you. The Old Covenant is based on the law that God gave to Moses for Israel, and that law is based on works, as it is written: “And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them” (Galatians 3:12), and those who rely upon the works of the law are cursed, for it is written: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). However, Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, became a curse for us, because it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (Galatians 3:13NIV) and thus He delivered us, who believe in His name, from the curse of the law. We were delivered through faith in His name, or, as Paul calls it, “the law of faith” (Romans 3:27) on which is based the New Covenant, of which Jesus Christ is the guarantee. Therefore, the law of faith is superior to the law of works, because while those who rely upon the law of works are cursed, those who rely upon the faith in Jesus are delivered from the curse of the law and are blessed because they are justified from all things from which they could not justified by the law of Moses. Therefore, since the First Covenant is based on the law of works, while the Second Covenant is based on the law of faith, the second covenant is better than the first. But let me explain this concept again with other words. The first covenant causes death, while the second makes people alive, as it was written by Paul to the Corinthians: “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (2 Corinthians 3:6-11). Now, the Old Covenant is called ‘the ministration of death’ or ‘the ministry of death’ because when it was established with Israel, sin, which was in the world, sprang to life and through the law put men to death, as it is written: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Romans 7:11). Besides, the law was not given in order to put away sin but to make sin abound, as it is written: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound” (Romans 5:20). That’s why the Covenant of letter is called ‘the ministration of death’, because it brought death and was not able to give life nor to justify; nevertheless, it came with glory for when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two Tables of the testimony in his hands, his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. However, that glory was fading away. On the contrary, the Covenant of the Spirit, called also ‘the ministration of righteousness’ or ‘the ministry of righteousness’, is much more glorious than the Covenant of letter because it justifies sinners, makes them alive and deliver them from the condemnation of the law and its glory will never fade away.

The New Covenant is better than the Old because while the Old Covenant was dedicated with the blood of calves and goats – for, as we have seen, Moses took the blood of calves and goats, and sprinkled both the book and all the people and with it he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry -, the New Covenant was dedicated with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Therefore, the blood that Jesus shed on the cross for the remission of our sins is the blood of the New Covenant. The fruit of the wine that Jesus blessed on the night He was betrayed and that represented His blood was called by Jesus “My blood of the new covenant” (Matthew 26:28 – NKJV). On the other hand, if it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with the blood of animals, the heavenly things themselves had to be purified with a better blood (Hebrews 9:23).

The New Covenant is better than the Old because while the First Covenant established by God with the House of Israel was temporary, for it had to last until the time of reformation, the Second Covenant is eternal, as it is written: “I will make an everlasting covenant with them” (Isaiah 61:8). That’s why the blood of Jesus is called “the blood of the everlasting covenant” (Hebrews 13:20).

In conclusion I want to say the following important things.

When I spoke about the Old Covenant I said that when the Israelites sinned they had to offer some sacrifices to God in order to be forgiven (even though those sins were not blotted out from their conscience because as I have explained those sacrifices could not take away sins). You may ask then; What must we, who are under the New Covenant, do when we sin in order to be forgiven? We must repent of our sins and confess them to God. Here is what the apostle John says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 – NKJV). So God has promised us to forgive our sins if we confess them to Him; however, I would like to remind you of this other important thing. Jesus said: “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15 – NKJV). As you can see, God will surely forgive us our sins if we confess them to Him, but on a condition which is very clear, that is, if we forgive men their sins.

Another thing I said concerning the Old Covenant was that God told the Israelites that if they obeyed Him and kept His commandments He would bless them, but also that if they disobeyed Him and broke His commandments He would punish them severely. Likewise, under the New Covenant if we live according to the flesh (that is to say, if we steal, murder, commit adultery and fornication, etc.. ), God will judge us severely. First of all, we will die spiritually, as it is written: “If you live according to the flesh you will die” (Romans 8:13 – NKJV), and then we will be punished by God. He may strike us with a disease or put us to death, just as He did toward some believers of the Church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:30). I remind you also of Ananias and Sapphira who were put to death by God for they lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10), and of Jezebel who was cast into a sickbed and those who committed adultery with her into great tribulation (Revelation 2:22). This teaches us that God is still the same God of the Old Covenant. Obviously, those believers who live according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, will not inherit the kingdom of God. And now let me say something else in relation to this subject. God promised us eternal life (1 John 2:25), but we will inherit it if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first (Hebrews 3:14), otherwise, that is to say, if we cease to believe in Him, God will have no pleasure in us and we will perish. In other words, if we endure, we shall also reign with Him, but if we deny Him, He also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12). Therefore, brethren continue in the faith, hold fast it until the end and you will inherit the kingdom which the Lord promised to those who love Him (James 2:5). Let no one deceive you with empty words.

Giacinto Butindaro

From: http://www.the-new-way.org/

Comments are closed.

No Temas Sino Habla

Entonces él Señor dijo de noche en visión á Pablo: No temas, sino habla, y no calles: Porque yo estoy contigo, y ninguno te podrá hacer mal (Hechos 18:9-10)

Blog di Aldo Prendi

Per la diffusione e la difesa delle dottrine bibliche

Acordai-vos

Tocai a trombeta em Sião, e dai o alarma no meu santo monte.

Egli è altresì scritto...

Blog di Nicola Iannazzo

Destatevi

"Suonate la tromba in Sion e date l'allarme sul mio santo monte" (Gioele 2:1)

Il Buon Deposito

Dottrine della Bibbia

Listen to the sound of the sword

«Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it» (Jeremiah 6:16)

Sana Dottrina

Perché verrà il tempo che non sopporteranno la sana dottrina; ma per prurito d'udire si accumuleranno dottori secondo le loro proprie voglie e distoglieranno le orecchie dalla verità e si volgeranno alle favole.(2Timoteo 4:3-4)

La Buona Strada

Blog di Giuseppe Piredda, cristiano evangelico pentecostale trinitariano fondamentalista

He who has ears let him hear

A voice crying in the wilderness

%d bloggers like this: