A New Covenant

A New CovenantText: Jeremiah 31:31-34

The Lord, through Jeremiah, spoke of something coming that was new – a new covenant. This was a prophecy that pointed toward something that was coming in the future. The Hebrew writer quoted this to explain that this came through Christ (Hebrews 8:8-12). Let us consider what this passage has to say about the new covenant.

“Days Are Coming” (v. 31)

  • Recurring theme in the book of Jeremiah – clearly indicates divine prophecy
  • When these things would be fulfilled, it would not be by accident – by divine foreknowledge/foreordination; this was the proof of a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

“A New Covenant” (v. 31)

  • The Jews, as a whole, had wandered from God’s law (v. 32) – God was not intending to restore the covenant under the Law of Moses; this is why the Judaizers were condemned (Acts 15:1-2, 9-11; Galatians 5:3-4)
  • The old law was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14) – the new law would be for both Jews and Gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-3; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 2:13-16)

Not Like When He “Took Them by the Hand” (v. 32)

  • God delivered Israel from Egypt because of the covenant made to Abraham (Exodus 2:23-25) – the people often complained about their deliverance (Exodus 14:11-12; 16:2-3; 17:2-3)
  • God will not take us by the hand and deliver us in the same way today – He drug them along in order to carry out His scheme of redemption (Genesis 12:3); today, we must come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30); willingly, not under compulsion

“I Will Put My Law Within Them” (v. 33)

  • More than just a law to which we are accountable – it must be a part of us
  • We must know it (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:18)
  • We must meditate upon it (Psalm 119:97)
  • We must speak of it (Matthew 15:18; Acts 4:20)
  • We must practice it (Proverbs 23:7; James 1:22)

“I Will Be Their God” (v. 33)

  • We must each have a direct, personal relationship with God – not in the denominational, emotion-driven sense; we are each directly accountable before God (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • God is concerned about each one of us (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16)

“They Will All Know Me” (v. 34)

  • The prophecy says that they would not teach their neighbors to know the Lord – yet this does not mean that evangelism is unnecessary (Mark 16:15; 1 Peter 3:15); so what does it mean?
  • One will have to know God before entering a covenant relationship with Him – under the old law, one entered into the covenant by physical birth and would be taught later; under the new law, one enters by spiritual birth (John 3:3, 5) after being taught (Mark 16:16)
  • Implies an “age of accountability” – one must be able to be taught and believe before being a candidate for baptism

“I Will Forgive Their Iniquity” (v. 34)

  • Forgiveness is found in Christ (Ephesians 1:7)
  • Who will be forgiven? – those who enter the covenant of Christ and submit to Him
  • We enter the covenant through baptism (Galatians 3:27, 29)
  • We must continue to walk with Him to receive forgiveness (1 John 1:7)

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