Sermons

Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "Jesus Is Better- The Better Covenant".

Series: Jesus Is Better- The Better Covenant [#2]

THE NEW COVENANT IN ACTION

Hebrews 8:7-13

Introduction:

Karen and I enjoy watching the Olympics together. This is our 2nd Olympics together and this 1 has a lot of meaning for us. Through Tharon, we know many of the athletes competing. We know their stories, their struggles, and their accomplishments. As I scream at the TV encouraging the swimmers to go faster, I realize that in 1 month I’ll be there in person cheering for Tharon.

I must admit, that this is an overwhelming time in my life. Kaitlyn is headed to Kansas City on Friday. Tharon will be swimming in Rio in a month. Steven and Melanie will be having our 1st grandchild in a few months. Tyler and Rose will be getting married at the end of the year and both graduating from college in May.

While I don’t like change, all of these new things happening in our life is exciting. Although it has been 2000 years, God did something new and exciting through Jesus. Through Jesus, we have a New Covenant. A covenant that is better than the old one.

Hebrews 8:7-8 (NIV)

“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: "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.”

The New Covenant…

1. Unites and reconciles people.

1,000 years before this letter was written, the nation of Israel was divided into 2 Kingdoms. 10 tribes made up the Kingdom of Israel and 2 tribes made up the Kingdom of Judah. In the new covenant, God makes the covenant both with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. The basis for that covenant is their relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as there will never be peace in the world any other way, the New Covenant is a covenant that brings people together at the foot of the cross. It is the covenant that beings reconciliation. It makes men right with God and right with one another. It is a covenant that heals divisions. There is only 1 division that the Gospel brings- That is a natural division where some say “yes” and others “no”. It is the division between godly and ungodly. There is never a division within the household of faith, as far as God is concerned. Whenever there are divisions in the church, it’s because God’s power isn’t in the lives of His people as He ought to be. Our Lord never divides His people. He brings hearts together. He does this through the New Covenant. This covenant removes barriers. It puts love in place of bitterness and resentment.

Hebrews 8:9-10b (NIV)

“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.”

The New Covenant…

2. Is spiritual in nature.

The Old Covenant was material. It was physical and it didn’t deal with the inside of man. Man could come and offer his sacrifice under ritual of the Old Testament and still be ungodly. If he went through the rituals, he was justified according to the Law; because he followed the patterns as it was set up. God wanted us to know that the New Covenant is a spiritual covenant. It is a law written on the hearts of men.

Hebrews 8:10c (NIV)

“I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

The New Covenant…

3. Is personal.

The Jewish Levitical system was impersonal. God seemed to be distant, removed, and impersonal. Even in the Temple, there were curtains and veils. Only 1 man could go in there once a year. Under the New Covenant, God gives Himself to us and we give ourselves to God.

Hebrews 8:11-13 (NIV)

“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." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

The New Covenant…

4. Places all people before God on the same basis.

In this New Covenant, everyone is the same. Every person who comes to God comes by repentance. The Old Covenant had certain groups that were considered more important than others. In Christ, we are all important.

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