The New Covenant

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This is an unconditional covenant that God has declared He will make with the houses of Judah and Israel: He will put His laws into their minds and write them upon their hearts; He will be their God, and will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and remember their sins no more (Jer. 31:31-3431Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31‑34)). The foundation for this was laid in the cross. This is obscured in the AV by the word (διαθήκη) not being uniformly translated. Sometimes it is rendered “testament” and sometimes “covenant.” At the institution of the Lord’s supper the Lord spoke of His blood as “the blood of the new covenant” (Matt. 26:2828For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:28); 1 Cor. 11:2525After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:25)); and “He is the mediator of the new covenant” (Heb. 9:1515And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15); Heb. 12:2424And 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)). From which we gather that though the making of this covenant with Israel is still future, the principle of it, namely, that of sovereign grace, is that on which God is now acting as setting forth the terms on which He is with His people, the Lord Jesus being the Mediator, through whom all the blessing is secured. See inter alia Romans 5:1-101Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:1‑10), and 2 Corinthians 3 where Paul speaks of himself and those with him as “able ministers of the new covenant,” not of the letter which killeth, but of the spirit which giveth life (2 Cor. 3:66Who 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. (2 Corinthians 3:6)). The word διαθήκη is better always translated “covenant,” except in Hebrews 9:16-1716For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Hebrews 9:16‑17), where the “will or testament” of a man is referred to.

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