Sermon #35 Hebrews Notes
Title: The New Covenant
Text: Hebrews 8:7-13
Subject: The Everlasting Covenant of Grace
Date: Tuesday Evening –
Tape # W-13b
The title of my message tonight is The New Covenant. Our text will be Hebrews 8:7-13. It is very difficult for us to realize how important the Book of Hebrews is in the written Revelation of God in Holy Scripture. Here the Holy Spirit shows us how that all things relating to the carnal, ceremonial, outward, legal aspects of Jewish worship were both fulfilled and forever abolished by the gospel, by the
· coming of Christ,
the accomplishment of redemption by his death at
· his enthronement and exaltation as God’s King upon his holy hill of Zion,
· and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon the nations of the world.
Proposition: That is what the eighth chapter of Hebrews is about. In these 13 verses the Holy Spirit declares that God has abolished the old covenant by fulfilling its types and shadows, by bringing in the new.
As I said, our text will be Hebrews 8:7-13 tonight. But I think it would be wise for us to read the entire chapter. S, let’s begin at Hebrews 8:1.
Hebrews 8:1 through Hebrews 8:6 1Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum (that is to say – “this is the main point.”): We have such an high priest (a High Priest who is actually able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him), who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens (Christ is a Priest who is able to save because he is a Priest upon the very Throne of God, seated there in heaven because he has finished his work.); 2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. (All those carnal, earthly priests of the Old Testament, and all those ceremonies of legal worship were ordained for and served only one purpose. – They pointed to Christ! They had no other function! )
Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (The Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator of a better covenant, established upon better promises.)
That better covenant, established upon better promises is our subject tonight. It is called the new covenant in our text. In verses 7-13, we are told what that new covenant is and why it was necessary.
Hebrews 8:7 through Hebrews 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
I. First, in verse 7, we see that the old covenant had to be replaced by a new covenant because the old covenant was faulty.
Hebrews 8:7 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
That first covenant was the
covenant of the Levitical priesthood. It was a covenant made with physical
A. It was a typical covenant, only typical (Heb. ,18).
Hebrews 11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Hebrews 18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
The people with whom the old covenant of
the law was made were typical of the true Israel of God, the
2. The blessings promised in it were shadows, types and pictures, of good things to come.
3. The sacrifices of it were pictures of Christ and his one great sacrifice for sin.
4. The priests, the mediators, of that covenant were typical of Christ, our great High Priest.
B. That old covenant was faulty, deficient, non-saving, non-effectual.
It weak and faulty simply because it was only typical. Its priests were all sinful men. Its sacrifices only animals. Its offerings could never put away sin. If this covenant, its priests and sacrifices, laws and ceremonies, commandments and ordinances, could have redeemed and saved, there would have been no reason for Christ to come (Heb. 10:1-4, 9).
Hebrews 10:1 through Hebrews 10:4 1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Hebrews 10:9 9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
II. Second, look at verse 8. -- the new covenant of this Gospel age is the covenant of grace promised back in Jeremiah 31.
Hebrews 8:8 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Finding fault with the people, the priests, the sacrifices, and the ceremonies of the old covenant of the law, the Lord God said, “Behold, the days come, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” This is a direct quotation from that passage we read earlier tonight in Jeremiah 31:31-34. Let’s look at Jeremiah’s prophecy again.
Jeremiah 31:31 through Jeremiah 31:34 31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
This same passage is referred to again in Hebrews 10:15-17.
Hebrews 10:15 through Hebrews 10:22 15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
This covenant is not called “a new covenant” because it is newly made, or of a new origin. We know that because this covenant is elsewhere called “the everlasting covenant.” It is a covenant made with Christ our covenant Surety before the foundation of the world (Heb. 13:20; Rev. 13:8).
Hebrews 13:20 20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
Revelation 13:8 8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
· It is called a new covenant because it is newly revealed in this Gospel age. -- That which is revealed second was made first.
· It is called a new covenant because it is always new, and fresh. -- It will never grow old, or give place to another.
· It is called a new covenant because it gives us a new record, a new heart, a new nature and a new spirit!
III. Third, in verses 9-12, the Holy Spirit declares that this new, everlasting covenant is a covenant of pure, free, immutable grace in Christ.
This is the covenant which gave David hope and confidence on his death bed.
2 Samuel 23:5 5Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
This new, everlasting covenant is immutable and sure, its blessings are all infallibly secured to God’s elect, because this is a one-way covenant. It was made between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In that sense it is a bilateral covenant. But, in so far as we are concerned, it is a unilateral covenant. Its blessings are secured by the will of God alone. Look at it again.
Hebrews 8:9 through Hebrews 8:12 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
This is what the Lord God declared he would do for all his people in this Gospel day by his free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ. Hear it and rejoice!
A. “I will put my laws in their minds and write them in their hearts.”
1. God’s laws here cannot possibly have reference merely to the moral law. We know that because God’s moral law is inscribed upon every man’s conscience by nature in creation (Rom. 2:14-15; 1:18-20).
Romans 2:14 through Romans 2:15 14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
Romans 1:18 through Romans 1:20 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
2. The laws of God here refer to the commandments of Gospel, all the commands of Christ with respect to repentance, faith and godliness.
1 John 3:23 through 1 John 3:24 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
3. Indeed, the whole Word of God is included. Saving grace gives the believer a genuine love for the whole of God’s Revelation and causes us to cherish it.
These things are written not on tablets of stone, but on every believer’s heart and mind. Believers think on the things of God, meditates upon them, loves his Word and his way, and walks in the light of his revealed will. “I love thy law, O Lord!” His commandments are not grievous, but precious, to the renewed heart (Matt. 11:28-30; 1 John 5:1-4).
Matthew 11:28 through Matthew 11:30 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
1 John 5:1 through 1 John 5:4 1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
B. “I will be to them their God and they shall be my people.”
He who is our God is the God of all creation, all men, angels, and devils. But this is a promise of special grace, special grace, indeed!
Here God almighty promises that he is the God of his covenant people, just as he is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus (John 17:21; 1 John 1:3). We are his people in the sense that all mankind are his people. We are the sons of God, whom he loved in a distinctly and chose in Christ -- The family of God (Rom. 8:14-17).
Romans 8:14 through Romans 8:17 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
1 John 3:1 through 1 John 3:3 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Look at the next line…
C. They “all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
Hebrews 1:1 we can get some light on this.
Hebrews 1:1 1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.
In the Old Testament, God spoke to his people through the prophets and the priests. If a man wanted to know what the Lord had to say, he inquired of the prophet. If he wanted to offer a sacrifice, he went to the priest. That is not the case in this gospel age. Every believer has an unction from the Holy One (1 John 2:20). We all have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).
1 Corinthians 2:14 through 1 Corinthians 2:16 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 John 2:20 20But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
· Every believer is a son.
· Every believer is a student of the Word.
· Every believer is taught of God.
· Every believer is a priest to offer sacrifices of prayer and praise.
· Every believer has the Spirit of God dwelling in him.
While we have pastors and teachers today, that we may grow in grace through the ministry of the Word, all believers know the Lord, pray to the Lord and walk with the Lord. In Christ, we are kings and priests unto God (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22).
D. “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness.”
This refers to our sin. All unrighteousness is sin. The phrase tells us that God will forgive our sins (1 John 1:8-10). God will pardon freely those to whom he is reconciled in Christ. This forgiveness of sin more than an act of mercy. It is an act of justice. Christ has paid for our sins (1 John 2:1,2).
1 John 1:8 through 1 John 2:2 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 2 1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
E. “Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.”
What a blessed promise of grace this is! It means our all sins and of all kinds: -- original and actual, before conversion and after conversion. God remembers them no more. They are cast into the depths of the sea. They are cast behind his back. They cannot be found -- ever!
IV. One last thing. Look at verse 13, and learn this. – The old, carnal, legal covenant is gone forever!
Hebrews 8:13 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
The establishing of the new covenant, was the abolishment of the Levitical covenant. It served its day and purpose; but it is now taken away, never to be used again. As a garment rots and vanishes away, so that old garment of law and works has been put away forever (Gal. 5:1-6).
Galatians 5:1 through Galatians 5:6 1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.