What is a new covenant. We read from Hebrews 8 and 10 to see what this covenant means. What are the terms? What is God saying?
Hebrews 8:10-12 But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already.
And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
Hebrews 10:15-17 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day,says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he says,
“I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”
My notes: God said twice in Hebrews on the establishment of the new covenant.
1. Definition of covenant: contract, agreement, undertaking, commitment, guarantee, warrant, pledge, promise, bond, indenture; pact, deal, settlement, arrangement, understanding. It is a formal legal contract between two parties that is written. In the case of God being a party, it cannot be broken.
2. God initiates this special covenant with His people-both the people of Israel (through Moses) and His other people, the Christian believers whose covenant with God has been established by the blood of Jesus. (Matthew 26:28)
3. God puts the covenant in the form of words/laws in the hearts and minds of His people.
4. The terms of the covenant: With the words of God in the hearts and minds of God’s people, they will know and honor Him. They will know He is their God. They will pledge their allegiance to Him alone. God on hIs part will honor His word that He will forgive their sins/lawless deeds.
5. God’s definition of sins: lawless deeds.
6. Why does God want to write His laws in our hearts and minds? Why laws? Because sins are committed when we are lawless in God’s eyes.
7. God’s laws had never passed away. Before Jesus, they were written on stone tablets by the fingers of God (the Holy Spirit) in cold hard letters. After Jesus, they are written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
8. How do we receive His words? When we read His words and believe(the Bible) His words become spirit and life and transform us inside out. Jesus said that His words are spirit and life (John 6:63).
9. Do the words automatically produce results in our lives? Jesus has answered this by giving us the parable of the four kinds of conditions (soil) of man’s hearts when God’s words (the seed) are given to them. Not all men receive and produce the desired good results.
10. The hearts with good conditions obey God’s words and produce a hundred-fold harvests. The hearts with other conditions continue to disobey God and remain lawless in God’s eyes, like the Israelites in the ancient days who perished in the wilderness.
My notes on the three bad conditions of the man’s heart: (Luke 8:4-15)
1. Totally unresponsive to God and His words. The words fall by the wayside and not onto the man’s heart.
2. His response is superficial. When he feels good he likes to listen and even follow. When his mood changes he forgets God and turns away from the words.
3. He listens to the words and is willing to go along with God’s advice. But he is doubtful and wavers. His priority is always anywhere else, like doing his own things-cares, riches and pleasures of this life-but God.
How to ensure the heart is right? Jesus has given this answer:
You need to work on the foundation. Listen to Jesus’ teaching and then follow it. (Luke 6:46-49)