The New Covenant In A Nutshell
It’s hard to fathom that the majority of us have never (or seldom) heard a teaching in church about the New Covenant and what it means for us today. How is it possible that so many have glossed over such a foundational truth within the Scriptures? Frequently, ministers are teaching what was handed down to them—erroneously mixing portions of the Old Covenant and New Covenant together, while others will try to persuade you the New Covenant hasn’t even begun. Don’t be overwhelmed with theologians who specialize in complicating something that is meant to be simple enough for a child to understand.
Below are just a few vital keys to begin unlocking what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us by establishing a new and everlasting covenant. Understanding this foundational truth will help align our thinking correctly when reading the Bible. This is a small sampling of headlines as it relates to separating the Old Covenant from the New.
For further Bible references and more details on avoiding the trap of religious bondage inside of a new and better covenant, look for this book available only on Amazon in paperback or eBook for Kindle:
“Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee” (by Michael C. Kapler).
- The Old Covenant containing the Mosaic Law was provided to the nation of Israel, not to us Gentiles born outside of the Jewish race (over 99% of the world). That law consisted of a package containing 613 commandments, rules and statutes, including the “Ten Commandments” (the tablets of the covenant).
- God did not establish the law to aid Israel towards living an improved moral lifestyle, but rather it was given to show them they could not live up to the required standard it demanded. Sin was not reduced under the commands, it increased. But where sin increased (under the Old), grace abounded much more (under the New).
- The New Covenant did not begin with the birth of Jesus, but rather after His death. Jesus was born of a woman, born under the law. His ministry on earth was primarily aimed only at the Jewish people who were under that law while the Old Covenant was still in place. When Jesus told them to repent, this meant they would need a change of mind and begin to think differently. In other words, the Jews would need to stop seeking righteousness through the works of the law because the law was not of faith. He came to redeem them from the curse of the law—meaning to purchase away from a ransom.
- Jesus would often elevate and magnify the law and commandments … not to encourage the Jews to try harder at keeping it, but to show them their inability do it. They would always fall short of the requirement—which was to do all of it perfectly. They needed a Savior who could bring them into a state or condition of perfection with one sacrifice.
- The Old Covenant came to an end and was replaced with a New Covenant, where both Jews and Gentiles would be invited and brought together as one. The law itself states that parts of the law could never be eliminated while other parts kept—nothing could be removed or added. The entire package would either need to remain in place … or all of it would have to be brought to an end.
- The New Covenant was not made with you or me, but rather God established it with Himself—between Father and Son—because He could swear by no one greater. Therefore, it can’t fail because Jesus is the guarantee of this better covenant. He is now the mediator of a New Covenant which has brought the day of salvation, and it has been established upon better promises. We now live in that day. The Old was weak and useless, and has become obsolete.
- Under the Old, Jewish people would unsuccessfully seek to establish their own righteousness by giving it their best effort to keep the law of works which came through Moses. The only one to succeed was Jesus. Now under the New, the righteousness of God is gifted to us by faith, apart from the works of the law.
- No law within the Law is able to impart life. The commandments written in stone brought bondage and are referred to by the Apostle Paul as the ministry of death and condemnation. That’s why all of it came to an end and was replaced by the permanent and more glorious ministry of the Spirit. His life abiding within will allow us to bear His fruit, free from law.
- Since God declared the New Covenant would not be like the Old, there cannot be two very different covenants in place at the same time. “He takes away the first in order to establish the second” (covenant).
- The Old brought a reminder of sins, resulting in condemnation and a sin consciousness. Many sacrifices brought only a temporary covering of sin. Under the New, one sacrifice has removed and taken away sin once and for all, where God remembers sins no more, and is not counting our trespasses against us.
Good News: In Christ, you are now declared righteous, holy, redeemed, justified, forgiven & sanctified!
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24).
“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).
“Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39)
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’ ” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
“…But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).