In our young adult Bible study we've been going through the book of Hebrews. I've enjoyed this book immensely and I want to continue to share some truths we've discovered in this awesome book of the Bible. The last chapter we studied was Hebrews 8.
Here is one of my favorite parts of Hebrews chapter 8 and it's actually a selection from Jeremiah:
"The time is coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."
Hebrews 8:8-12 (italics added)
I love this passage of scripture because it so clearly explains the major difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. In the old covenant "We will" was the premise. Blessings were bestowed on us because of our ability to keep our end of the bargin.
In the new covenant "He will" is the premise. Blessings are bestowed on us because of God' ability to keep His end of the bargin. The new covenant is completely hinged to God's ability to keep His word.
I don't know about you, but I like the new covenant infinitely more than the old covenant, because I have way more faith in God than I do in myself.
Let's look at a few key phrases in Hebrews 8.
"I will put my law in their minds and write them on their hearts." We've been given the Holy Spirit to do this for us. We have the ruling reigning God in us teaching us His law. This is the reason we can believe that we are being purified.
"I will be their God and they will be my people." That should remind you of Hosea. In Hosea, the nation of Israel is pictured as a whore who can't won't stay faithful to her husband. Because of this God demonstrates what He'll do on the cross with Jesus in this; Hosea purchases his prostitute wife and declares that she will be faithful to him. That is what God has done for us. We will be His people and He will be our God. (Take time to read Hosea chapters 1-3 to understand this story better)
"... they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." Look at your church; all sorts of people, from the least to the greatest have been given the ability to know the almighty God on a personal level. Amazing!
"For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." This would remind a Jewish reader of Leviticus 16 where the practice of the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement is described. Our sins where placed on Jesus and taken away as far as the East if from the West. God remembers our sin no more and we are forgiven because the onus of this process was a "He will" and not a "We will".
"We will" is gone and "He will" is here. It is not "He will because we will", it is "We will because He will." The new covenant is amazing because the onus is on God to keep it and you'd better believe that He will not fail, because He cannot fail. So, trust in God to be your salvation and forgiveness. Christianity is not about what we do for God; it is about what God does for us. This is what makes the new covenant 1,000,000,000 times better than the old covenant.
Trust that God will keep His covenant for you today.