A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 21: THE BETTER COVENANT
Hebrews 8:6 - 12
No one can read and study the Epistle to the Hebrews without being struck and arrested by the presentation of the better covenant. Our Great High Priest is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). In no point is the new covenant lower than the old covenant, it is better in every detail. It was effected with better sacrifices (Hebrews 9:23) by Him who is so much better than angels (Hebrews 1:4). Thus our Saviour was made a Surety of a better testament (Hebrews 7:22), the Mediator of a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6). Praying for cleansing from our sins through His blood, we discover that the blood of Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant speaketh better things than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:24). Forgiven and reconciled with God, we are drawn into a better hope (Hebrews 7:19) given better promises (Hebrews 8:6) provided some better thing (Hebrews 11:40). The dead in Christ wait to obtain a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35) and we all desire a better country (Hebrews 11:16) where we shall have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (Hebrews 10:34). This is the essence of Gods promise to His people: I will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 36:11).
PARTAKERS OF THE NEW COVENANT
Hebrews 8:8, 10; Galatians 6:16; Romans 2:28, 29; 9:6-8; Galtains 3:6-9, 29; Ephesians 2:11-19; Acts 2:37-39.
The new covenant refers to the Gospel dispensation brought in by Christ and it is better than the old covenant. The time of this new covenant is indicated by the words, but now in Hebrews 8:6. But NOW hath He obtained a more excellent ministry. . . He is the Mediator of a better covenant. A close parallel is found in Romans 3:21, “but now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, which is defined in Romans 3:26 as to declare at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus”.
The text says, I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Hebrews 8:8, 10). Is the new covenant limited to the children of Israel? It is for the whole of Gods people, referred to as the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16). Writing to christians at Corinth, having quoted from Leviticus 26:12, directed at Israel, Paul told the believers, having therefore these promises, dearly beloved. . . (2 Corinthians 6:18-7:1). In the same way Hebrews 13:5 is given as a promise to christians though the Lord originally made the promise to Joshua. The very first inspired message preached after the new covenant had been established included Gentiles as beneficiaries of the promises: For the promise is unto you and to your children, (Israelites) and to all that are afar off, (Gentiles) even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:39).
PROMISES IN THE NEW COVENANT
Hebrews 8:6, 10-12; 10:14-17; 11:13, 39, 40; Acts 2:16-18, 39; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; John 7:37-39; 14:12-17; 1 Corinthians 2;9, 10; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22.
We must always remind ourselves that the new covenant was established upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). We have promise of the life that now is as well as of that which is to come (1Timothy 4:8). So, in the new covenant we have the promise of physical and spiritual blessing. The better promises of the better covenant are given in detail in the Scriptures. Every part of our lives is adequately and abundantly provided for in the promises. These exceeding great and precious promises give unto us ALL THINGS that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3, 4). Reading, studying, understanding, meditating on and appropriating the promises will accomplish much in our lives. If our faith will lay hold on these promises the LORD will command the blessing, even life for evermore (Psalm 133:3).
PRIVILEGE OF THE NEW CREATURE
Hebrews 8:10-12; Deuteronomy 30:6; Psalms 37:30, 31; 144:15; Ezekiel 11:19, 20; 1 Peter 2:9; John 6:45; Hebrews 10:19, 20.
If you are a new creature in Christ, you ought to claim and possess the provisions of the new covenant. All of us with open face can now behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Old Covenant provided grace, in the New Covenant we have abundance of grace (Romans 5:17). The access of the Old Testament believers to God was restricted and limited, we have freedom to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). If we can only believe, ALL THINGS are (now) possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).
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