TODAY'S DEVOTIONAL

THE OLD & NEW COVENANT

Tuesday, 3 April, 2018

Hebrews 8 : 1-13

"But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." Hebrews 8:6

The writer of Hebrews was used by God to bring out clarity between the two covenantal relationships with God and man, namely the Old and the New Covenant.

The Old Covenant:

God called out Abraham and gave him and his offspring the promise of a covenantal relationship with God. Genesis 17:10 “This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;” Later on according to the promise, God made them into a nation. On their journey into the promised land God gave them the Old Testament covenant inclusive of laws, ceremonies and sacrifices. The whole nation was built upon this covenantal relationship between them and God. Exodus 24:7-8 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and ….. “All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.” And Moses took the blood, sprinkled .., “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.”

This covenant was not based on faith but based on works. Galatians 3:12 .. “THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” So it was inevitable for the nation Israel to walk circumspectly in all that is written in the Law. But through their long history, it was proved that sinful men were unable to obtain righteousness by observing the Law. This was because of his or her sinful nature and hence came under the curse. Gal 3:10 … “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM.” This inevitably led to the need of a savior to redeem us from the curse of the Law. Hence God sent His son to redeem us from the curse of the law. Galatians 4:4-5: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” This, God accomplished fulfilling the promise given to Abraham-Genesis 22:18: “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Through His Son God gave the new covenant.

The New Covenant:

The new covenantal relationship was promised much earlier than the coming of Jesus Christ. Prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel were used by God to prophesy this well in advance. (Ref Jer.31:31-36 & Ezek.36:25-27) As the culmination of all promises made in the past have become true in the Lord Jesus, God’s answer to man’s sin as per the very first promise given to Adam and Eve was then fulfilled. (Genesis 3:15)

The New Covenant was based on better promises. In the old promise, people were unable to keep the law because of their sinful nature. But here in the New Covenant, that old sinful nature is crucified with Christ by faith in Jesus and a new creation has come into being who is fully equipped through grace (God’s enabling power) to obey everything God has said in His word. Through this New Covenant we have all entered into a direct relationship with the Heavenly Father as His sons. Glory to God!

Prayer: "Dear Father, help me to remember my inability to keep Your law so that I can fully depend upon Your enabling grace. In Jesus name, Amen."

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