Summary: God’s New Promise
The Superiority of the New Covenant
May 22, 2005
Center Point Baptist Church
Present the following illustration on promises kept:
Several years ago, I made a promise to my eldest son – that I would build him a fort to play in, and it would be done before I had to make a 6-month military deployment. Time was getting short, and with less than a week to go before I left, I completed the fort.
It was terrible…the nails were to long, there were gaps, and the whole thing may have even been dangerous – but it still stands today!
The thing I won’t forget is how my son kept going on and on about how I had promised to make it for him – and I had. I don’t know today what was appreciated more – the fort, or the fact that I built it like I said I would.
*God’s promises are even better – we never have to worry about whether or not He’ll come through!
Read Hebrews 8:7-13.
1.) The Old Covenant
What is “the old covenant?”
(It was made with the fathers of the Jewish nation at Mount Sinai – with Moses as its mediator.)
• God took the people out of slavery and cared for them with a great and uncommon love.
*It was not a faultless covenant, nor was it a perfect covenant –
• The fault laid with the people – with the Jewish nation.
• Even in the wake of their deliverance, they dealt ungratefully with God.
• They fell under God’s displeasure, due to their disobedience:
turning away from the Lord
disobedience of the Lord
turning toward foreign gods
*We read in verse 13 that the old covenant, therefore, is obsolete.
Does that mean that the Old Testament and its statutes no longer apply? – No!
Galatians 3:21 – Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.
2.) The Substance of the New Covenant
*The new covenant is a better covenant.
Hebrews 8:6 – …the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.
*It is superior:
2 Corinthians 3:6-12 – He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
*It supplies a better promise:
Titus 1:2 – …a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…
*This covenant was the “new covenant,” promised by God, and prophesied of:
Jeremiah 31:31-32 – 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 broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
What did it cost God to make this covenant with the people – and with us?
(The very life of His precious Son, Jesus Christ)
Matthew 20:28 – …the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
3.) The Freedom & Promise of the Covenant
*It has been well said that this new covenant frees us from the law – but does that mean we may live our lives in any way we wish?
• continuing in greed and self-centeredness, as the world does
• continuing in strife and contentiousness, as the world does
• continuing in bitterness and dissension, as the world does
• continuing in the setting forward of “self” instead of the magnification of God
*No – because we die to self and live for Christ!
• The only way you can find true freedom is to give up self and turn to Christ.