The New Covenant was originally given to Israel and includes a promise of fruitfulness, blessing, and a peaceful existence in the Promised Land. In Ezekiel 36:28–30 God says, “Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God . . . I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.” Deuteronomy 30:1–5 contains similar promises related to Israel under the New Covenant.
After the resurrection of the Messiah, Gentiles were brought into the blessing of the New Covenant, too. The fulfillment of the New Covenant will be seen in two places: on earth, during the Millennial Kingdom; and in heaven, for all eternity.
But now in the Messiah Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Jesus. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near
ESV (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ephesians 2:13–17
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While the new covenant surpasses the Mosaic, it does so by restoring and transforming the Davidic, for Jesus is also the Son of David who rules eternally from the heavenly Zion. Similar echoes are heard throughout the New Testament, where Jesus manifests His rule over Israel and all nations. James sees the church’s growth among Jews and Gentiles as a fulfillment of Amos’ promise that God would restore the fallen “tent” (i.e. kingdom) of David. The Apocalypse points to the consummation of salvation history with the “unveiling” of the bridal church as the “new Jerusalem” (Rev 21–22).
What is a covenant? A covenant (διαθήκη diathēkē) is an agreement or contract between two parties. In the scriptures, it is between God and His people or certain specific individuals. The fulfilment of God’s purposes of salvation expressed in the covenants (διαθήκη diathēkē) of the scriptures, mediated by Jesus the Messiah and sealed in his blood.
It is a covenant of grace, the benefits of which include forgiveness, a renewed relationship with God and, through the Holy Spirit, an inward transformation that enables obedience to its demands and so ensures that it will not again be broken.
- Hebrews 8:11 — 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Master,’ For all will know Me, From the least to the greatest of them.
- Jeremiah 31:34 — 34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Master,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yahweh [the Lord], “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
- 2 Corinthians 3:15–16 — 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.
Thanks, Michael. There are many pseudo-Christians who refer to the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, yet attempt to merit salvation through obedience to the Law – impossible!
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Frank Hubeny said:
Good point about the new covenant that contains “an inward transformation that enables obedience to its demands and so ensures that it will not again be broken.”
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