The Meaning of the New Covenant

I. The word "covenant" means "to cut an agreement."

A. Historical example = An Indian and a white man become brothers by cutting their wrests and mixing the blood to become blood brothers.  There are types like this in most every society.

B. In the Bible.

1. Another word for covenant is "testament."
2. There is the Old and New Covenant.
II. The Old Covenant.
A. It was somewhat progressive in nature.
1. It was first seen when God killed and animal and made coats for Adam and Eve to cover themselves.  It involved the shedding of the blood for a covering of their sins.  "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them"  (Genesis 3:21).
2. Thereafter, man was to offer a blood sacrifice to God.  Genesis 4:3-5.
3. God made a covenant with Noah.  "But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee"  (Genesis 6:18).   Also see: Genesis 9:9-12.
4. God then made a covenant with Abram and his seed.   Genesis 15:1-18, Genesis 17:1-21.
a. There was the shedding of blood.
b. There were promises.
(1). God would be his shield.
(2). God would be his reward.
(3). By Abraham's faith, he would be counted as righteous.
(4). He would become fruitful.
(5). He would have great possessions.
(6). He would receive the promised land.
(7). He would have authority to rule.
c. Sign of the covenant was circumcision.
"And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you"  (Genesis 17:11).
5. God reestablished the covenant with Moses and the children of Israel.  (Exodus 19:5).
a. Circumcision was re- instituted.  (Exodus 12:48).
b. God delivered the people through the passover.  (Exodus 12:1-13).
c.  The law (the Ten Commandments plus the others (613 commandments) was given by God and was called "the book of the covenant".  (Exodus 24:7-8).
d.  Tabernacle worship was established.  (Exodus 25-40).
e. A new sign was given.  The "sabbath" is sign of the covenant.  (Exodus 31:16-17).
f. The blessings and curses are listed.  (Deuteronomy 28:1-68), (Leviticus 26:1-46).
6. David related to the Covenant of God.
a.  David and Goliath.  (I Samuel 17).
c. The Covenant was expanded in II Samuel 7:12-17.
B. Summary:
God made the first covenant with Adam and Eve and it was expanded through Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David.  The law became the central part of the covenant and was the basis for the blessings and curses.

The covenant laws were for the good of the people. "And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day"  (Deuteronomy 6:24).   However the people were unable to keep all the law (the 613 commandments); therefore the people fell under the curses with the law.

III. The New Covenant.
A. Picture of a covenant.
1. There is a story told about David Livingston, a medical missionary to South Africa who came across a strong native tribe who would not let him pass. His guide suggested that he enter into a covenant with the chief of the tribe to save his life.  The chief chose a stand in, and Livingston also chose a stand in for himself.  The representatives each cut their wrist and caught some of the blood in a goblet, mixed it and took a drink of it.  There was a big celebration.  Then the chief noticed that Livingston had a milk goat which he wanted.  Livingston had stomach trouble and drank the goat milk for his ailment.  Livingston didn't want to give up the goat, but his guide explained that when he entered into the covenant with the chief, what had been his, now also belonged to the chief.  Thus the chief in return gave Livingston his staff for the goat.  Livingston wondered what he would use the decorative staff for but soon learned that the staff that he now had was representative of the chief.  Furthermore, if any tribe was to attack Livingston, then the chief would come to his rescue.

When we enter into a covenant relationship with God, what we have now belongs to God, but what God has also belongs to us.  Furthermore, as we submit ourselves unto God, God comes to our rescue if the enemy attacks us.  He does the fighting for us.

2. David and Jonathan entered into a covenant.  (I Samuel 18:1-4).

a. It was based upon love.
b. There was an exchange of gifts.
(1). Robe = Authority.
(2). Garments = Righteousness.
(3). Sword = Word.
(4). Bow = Strength.
(5). Girdle = Truth.
3. Marriage Covenant.   (Jeremiah 31:29-34, Ephesians 5:22-33).
a. Red wine
b. Exchange vows.
(1). Husband = love, provide for, and protect.
(2). Wife = love, honor, and obey.
c. Joint checking account.  (Romans 8:17).
4. Will at the death of the testator.   (Hebrew 9:15-16.

5. Children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:29).

B. The establishment of the New Covenant.
1. "And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many"  (Mark 14:24).

2. Jesus was the mediator of the new covenant by the shedding of his blood.  "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel"  (Hebrews 12:24).

3. The Holy Spirit is the sign of the New Covenant.

a. Circumcision was a sign and seal of the Old Covenant.  (Roman 4:11).
b. "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God"  (Romans 2:29).   "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13).  "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"  (II Corinthians 3:6).
4. Water Baptism is a picture of the New Covenant.  (Romans 6:3-14).
5. We are to observe the Lord's Supper in remembrance of the New Covenant.
C. Some advantages of the New Covenant.  (Ezekiel 36:23-28, Hebrews 7:6-13).
1. The new spiritual birth.  (John 3:1-8).

2. Spiritual cleansing (not just a covering = atonement).

3. Our sins are forgiven by God.

4. God puts His laws in our hearts.

5. One sacrifice by Jesus is forever.  (Hebrews 10:12).

6. He enables us to keep His laws by the Spirit.   (I Corinthians 10:13).

D. Salvation plus:
1. "...things that accompany salvation ...."  (Hebrews 6:9).

2. One who is instructed in the kingdom is like a farmer who can get both new grain and old grain out of his barns.  (Matthew 13:52).

3. We have access to all the promises of God.  (II Corinthians 1:20).

A. The great exchange.

A. Prosperity
1. He became poor that we might become rich.  (II Corinthians 8:9)
    (Foxes have holes, but .... Matthew 8:20), (departed his garments... Matthew 27:35).
2. His promises.
a. (Matthew 6:28-33).
b. (Philippians 4:19)
3. Requirement.  (Luke 6:38).
B. Emotional healing.
1. He was hurt. (Isaiah 53:2-3).
a. Mocked.  (Matthew 27:40-44).
b. Falsely accused. (Mark 14:57-58).
c. Denied by Peter.  (Matthew 26:69-75).
d. Betrayed by Judas. (Matthew 26:48).
2. He was sent to heal the broken hearted.  (Luke 4:18-19).

3. One requirement.  (Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 18:21-35).

C. Physical healing.
1. The curse.
a. "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses"  (Matthew 8:17).
b. He was righteous, but became sin for us.  (II Corinthians 5:21).
c. He became a curse for us.
(1). (Deuteronomy 28:60-61) = every disease.
(2). (Galatians 3:10-14) = that we might receive the promises.
d. Every disease attacked him.  (Isaiah 52:14).
e. He had a rapid death.
(1). No broken legs = (John 19:33).
(2). pierced = (John 19:34).
2. The promise.
"By whose stripes ye were healed."   (Isaiah 53:4-5, I Peter 2:24).
3. A Requirement (James 5:13-16).   Involves a submission to authority.
D. Authority Restored.
1. It came to Jesus.  (Hebrews 2:6-10).
2. It was given to the church.  (Ephesians 1:20-23).
3. Jesus delegated the authority.  (Matthew 28:18-29).
4. Signs were to follow.  (Mark 16:17-20).
5. Believers were to do the works that Jesus did and even greater works. (John 14:12-14).
6. Some examples:
a. (Acts 3:1-8).
b. (Acts 5:15-16).
c. (Acts 8:6-8).
d. (Acts 14:3).
e. (Acts 20:9-12).
f. (Acts 28:1-4).
g. Personal ....
E. Other promises.
1. A sound mind.
2. Success in marriage.
3. Fruitfulness - children.
4. Victory in warfare.
5. Strength to endure.
6. Long life.
7. Freedom for debt.
F. God's will.
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth"  (III John 1:2).  The basis for prosperity is that our soul prospers.  This involves obeying the Spirit by grace through faith.

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