A Third Great Covenant: The New Covenant

Ok, here we go!  Pull up your chair and let’s finish off this exciting section looking at 3 great Bible covenants.

First we studied the Abrahamic Covenant, the covenant of DECISION (here and here).  God decided Israel would be the vehicle of world redemption and that all nations of the earth would be blessed through them.  However, the world has never realized its need of redemption, so God gave the Mosaic Covenant, the covenant of INSTRUCTION, to Moses.  We all need instruction about what sin is, so God gave the law as a tutor to lead us to Christ.  We can’t fulfill the law, therefore, we need a Savior.

In Galatians 3, Paul clearly showed us the interrelation between the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants.  But those two together point us toward a third!  Let’s go back to Galatians 3 to discover where it points us.

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
~Galatians 3:10-13

Under the law we are cursed, but our Lord Jesus took that curse for us!  Indeed, the righteous live by faith, and Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law!  Praise God!

Verse 14 is the icing on the cake: …so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.  Jesus died on a cross to fulfill God’s promise in the Abrahamic Covenant!  Consider 2 Corinthians 5:21:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB)

Jesus’ death on the cross for us initiated a New Covenant which was prophesied by Jeremiah:

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke.
~Jeremiah 31:31-32

God used Moses to lead the people out of Egypt…the same Moses to whom He gave the Mosaic Covenant!  Jeremiah is referencing the Mosaic Covenant when he says, “…not like the covenant that I made with their fathers…”  Jeremiah knew that God would initiate a New Covenant, and He did so at His crucifixion when He died for our sins.

The Abrahamic Covenant and God’s DECISION to save the world wasn’t enough.  The Mosaic Covenant and its INSTRUCTION were not enough to save us.  It took the New Covenant, the covenant of ABILITY, to bring us into salvation!  All three must be in place.  Had God not decided, we would be lost.  If instruction about sin had not been given, we would be lost.  If Jesus did not die for our sins, we would be lost.

But together, all three bring us salvation!  The Mosaic and New Covenants enable the Abrahamic Covenant to become reality!  Romans 15:8-9 states it this way:

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.

Jesus came as a servant to the Jewish people, and He fulfilled the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant.  By His mercy, Gentiles have been allowed in!

So, let’s summarize the confluence of these three great covenants:

  • The Mosaic Covenant reveals our sin and the need of salvation
  • Our only hope is through the New Covenant…Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to atone for our sins
  • The New Covenant removes sin and guilt
  • Because we are Abraham’s offspring, we are welcomed into the Abrahamic Covenant
  • The Mosaic Covenant reveals our need for the New Covenant, which places us into the Abrahamic Covenant!

As astounding as these covenants are, they all lead us toward a fourth great covenant yet to be fulfilled!  Stick with us because in a few days we’ll unveil the fourth great covenant!

Aren’t you glad we have a covenant-keeping God!

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