The New Covenant is the wondrous and glorious fulfillment of the long-awaited promise of God. Before we study it in detail, let us first summarize the prior seven covenants we have studied.
- Edenic Covenant – made with Adam before the entrance of sin; reveals God’s purpose for man’s creation.
- Adamic Covenant – made with Adam after the fall of man for the redemption of the race of Adam.
- Noahic Covenant – made with Noah and with mankind as a whole, and with all creatures; re-establishes God’s original purpose as revealed in the Edenic Covenant.
NOTE: The following four covenants were made primarily with the chosen nation of Israel. Yet each of these covenants contains a Messianic element that pertains to all people.
- Abrahamic Covenant – involved Abraham, his natural seed, the national seed of Israel, the Messianic Seed Jesus Christ, and through Him, the spiritual seed of all those who believe on Christ for salvation.
- Mosaic Covenant – the giving of the Law, designed to be a tutor or schoolmaster to prepare Israel to receive the Messiah (Gal 3:24).
- Palestinian Covenant – renewed the Abrahamic Covenant of a promised land to a new generation, and reaffirmed the conditions upon which they were to enter and maintain it.
- Davidic Covenant – made with David after the death of Saul and the establishment of David’s kingdom. It involved David and his natural and spiritual seed; it prophetically pointed to the Messiah, and His throne and Kingdom being established forever.
THE NEW COVENANT
The New Covenant is called “new” in contrast to the “old covenant” with Moses (Jer 31:32; Heb 8:6-13). The new replaces the old because the old Mosaic Covenant was limited. It could only point to the things that the New Covenant actually fulfilled: The child of God could live a victorious life consistent with the righteous commands and character of God.
The New Covenant fulfilled (consummated, completed) all previous covenant revelations. But it also established something infinitely greater. Thus, it exceeded all previous covenants.
All that was promised by God – all that had been revealed in the previous covenants by prophetic foretype – was now completed and embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ.
There was much that the prior covenants could not do, or were inadequate to perform. The prior covenants could not:
- Change man’s heart and nature.
- Open a way of salvation as a free gift to all people.
- Give every recipient of God’s salvation the power, ability and gifting that would enable them to lovingly obey God, be transformed from within and live victoriously.
All that could not be accomplished by the prior covenants is now fully realized in the New Covenant. It is all available through Jesus Christ and the person of the Holy Spirit now living within every believer!
COVENANT OF GRACE
The New Covenant is often referred to as the Covenant of Grace, or the “better” covenant (Heb 8:6; Heb 7:22). This is because the New Covenant is unconditional in its nature.
It is called the Covenant of Grace because the terms of the covenant are a free gift of God. The provisions of this New Covenant are undeserved and unearned. What mankind deserves and has earned is death (Rom 3:26; 6:23); but through faith in Jesus Christ we can now have life (2Cor 3:6).