Study 10 Objective: What is the New Covenant and why is it of vital importance to the believer?
The writer of the book of Hebrews uses this Greek distinction. Both the Mosaic and New covenants are like wills. The Mosaic Covenant is the first will which is put to one side when the second is written. “He takes
away the first that He may establish the second” (10:9). “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second” (8:7). The new covenant is “not according to the covenant I
made with their fathers” (8:9).
Thus Christ is Mediator of “a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (8:6). When one writes a new will, all previous wills are of no effect and their terms, no matter how glorious, are neither binding on nor are they of benefit to the heirs. “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (8:13). Thus “the forms of the old cannot be required as a condition for participation in the new” (Anderson 2007:33).
Of course, where there is a will or “a testament, there must of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead” (9:16-17). It is to this end that Christ died and we receive
sanctification through the Spirit. “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (10:10).
The provision of the sacrificial system in the Mosaic covenant is of no effect because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (10:3), and, anyway, the first will was taken away that
the second make be put into effect (10:9).
Whoever wrote Hebrews was very concerned that his or her readers understood the seriousness of New Covenant teaching.
Remember how it used to be in the Old Covenant when it came to those who rejected Moses? “Anyone who has rejected.
Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimonies of two or three witnesses” (10:28). “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (10:29)
What does it mean when it says that Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant (Hebrews 12:24)?
How does a believer trample the Son of God underfoot?
The New Covenant is in force because Jesus, the testator, has died. This is of vital importance for the believer to understand because the reconciliation we have received is only possible through “the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20), the blood of the New Covenant, Jesus, our Lord.
Anderson, Ray S. An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches. 2007.
UK: Bible Reading Fellowship.
Golding, Peter. Covenant Theology: the key of theology in reformed thought and tradition. 2004. UK: Mentor imprint, Christian Focus Publications.