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The New Covenant


JEREMIAH 31:27-40
Lesson #31

  • Memory Verse: Heb 8:6
  • In this part of Jeremiah chapter 31 we have a very important scripture that directly relates to us today. It is the New Covenant that we live under in this Age of Grace.
  • Read Jer 31:27-30 The Guilty and the Innocent Suffered
    • In this passage, God says that He took them out of the Promised Land, but that He will return them to the land. He will plant them there again.
    • All the people of Israel, the guilty and the innocent, have suffered the Babylonian captivity because their governmental and religious leaders did not obey God and live responsibly before God as God’s people.
      • Israel’s national sin was idolatry. Therefore they all suffered the consequence. The father’s ate sour grapes and the children reaped the consequences. (29) The innocent suffered equally with the guilty.
      • God says that the day is coming when each individual will bear his own guilt and consequence for personal sin. (30) What does God mean by this?
        • The Covenant of Law that God made with Moses was a national covenant made with the nation of Israel as a whole. While the individual will answer to God in a final judgment for his personal sins, the nation of Israel had a responsibility to be God’s model of a nation for the rest of the world.
        • Now God is going to make a New Covenant where individuals will be more responsible for their own decisions and for their own consequences of sin in this life. We are going to see how this will happen under the New Covenant.
  • Read Jer 31:31-40 The New Covenant
    • Because Israel broke all the previous covenants, especially the covenant with Moses, God will make a New Covenant.
    • Notice that this covenant was given to Jeremiah as a prophecy yet to be fulfilled.
      • Remember that in Jeremiah’s lifetime the Israelites were living under the Covenant of Law given to Moses.
      • The whole book of Jeremiah expresses God’s saddened heart that the Israelites continued to break the Covenant of Law and failed to be God’s people in thought and in action.
        • We have discussed in our study how the Covenant with Moses was a conditional covenant where God said if you will obey me, I will bless you. If you disobey me, I will curse you. (Deu 28)
        • Because the Israelites could not keep their part of the conditional covenant, God did not give up on them. He says He will make a New Covenant. That is the covenant we find here in Jer 31.
    • When will this covenant be fulfilled?
      • In this New Testament Age of Grace, we are the living fulfillment of this prophecy of a New Covenant.
      • This is the covenant we live under today.
        • Because of that, it is important that we understand very well what God had in mind with this covenant.
        • It is also important that we understand our responsibility to God under this covenant.
      • However, there is a part of this covenant not yet fulfilled even though we live under it today.
        • Notice that this covenant is made initially with Israel. (31)
        • The Jews today do not want any part of this covenant with God.
          • However, there will come the day when they, too, will want to become part of this covenant.
          • That day will be the event of the second coming of Christ when the Jews will come to the knowledge and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their savior.
          • Then this covenant will be totally fulfilled as they will be God’s people and He will be their God in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ for 1000 years.
    • What is a covenant?
      • The Greek word for covenant is “diatheki”. It means = to bind together.
      • A covenant is a legal agreement binding two unequal persons. An inferior may accept or reject the agreement but may not change it.
        • Of course man is the inferior partner in this agreement with God.
        • Man can accept or reject the agreement, but he cannot change the agreement in any way.
    • Read Heb 8:7-13
      • This passage tells us that our New Covenant is better than the old covenant with Moses.
        • To understand how our New Covenant is better, we need to discuss a little about the old covenant of the Law of Moses and see its failures.
        • The old covenant was for the Israelites who were spiritual babies.
          • The old covenant was a covenant of Law to tell them what was right and wrong in the same way that you tell a small child, “Do not touch the hot stove.”
          • The old covenant was to be a “tutor” or “school master” to teach them God’s standards. (Gal 3:24) Therefore, the New Covenant is for a people to be treated by God as adult sons.
      • What were the failures of the old covenant with Moses?
        • The old covenant with Moses had no inherent faults because it was made by God.
        • The failure was in man who could not keep it and never recognized or admitted that failure in himself. (The rich young ruler that came to Jesus for salvation and went away sad is the example. Luk 18:18-24)
        • The old covenant with Moses did not have the power to keep the people faithful to the covenant.
        • The old covenant with Moses did not have the power to take away sin. The animal sacrifices only covered sin until Christ came to take it away.
        • Therefore, the old covenant with Moses could not save anyone.
          • All the Old Testament saints came to God by faith in the coming Messiah.
          • Just as today we come to God by faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who already came.
    • The Characteristics of the New Covenant (operational during the Age of Grace). Jer 31:31-34
      (Heb 8:7-13)

      • This is an unconditional covenant which means that God will fulfill His part even if man fails his part.
      • The sign of the covenant is the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
      • Read Heb 13:20
      • The duration of the covenant is for all of eternity.
God’s Promises Man’s Responsibilities
God’s law in the mind:
Man’s conscience will be more active because of the Holy Spirit that will dwell inside of the believer.
No conditions except faith is required.
God’s law in the heart:
Man will experience a new birth when the Holy Spirit comes to live in the believer’s spirit. In other words, God brings man’s spirit to life.
A relationship based on personal revelation:
God makes the Holy Spirit active in the believer’s life and enables spiritual growth. He reveals the reality of Jesus Christ to the believer.
All shall know me:
The way to God is open to the believer through Jesus Christ without a human priest mediating the way.
God will extend mercy for our failures. For this reason this era is called the Age of Grace.
Cleansing from sin:
A total removal of sin and not just a covering over by the blood of animals, and not just a remission from punishment.
      • A contrast between the old covenant with Moses and the New Covenant: Both are blood covenants.
The Old Covenant with Moses The New Covenant
Outward formal works Inward and spiritual
Needed a human priest as the intermediary Jesus Christ is the intermediary
A covenant of Law A covenant of grace
Judgment under the Law Grace and forgiveness
Obedience came from fear Obedience comes from a willing heart based on love
God said “if you will…then I will…” God says “I will…”
      • According to the book of Hebrews, the New Covenant is established on better promises. What are the better promises?
Promises to Abraham Promises to Moses Better Promises to Us
Blessings to all nations with salvation by faith to the circumcised who kept the command of blood sacrifice which covered sin.
Salvation through faith in the blood sacrifice of animals done by the priest to cover sin.
Salvation through faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ that washes away all sin.
A healing of Sarah’s womb so as to produce a son and a nation.
All those who looked at the serpent on the pole were healed.(Num 21:4-9 Joh 3:14)
Not just healing when one looks at the actual cross of Christ, but by faith looking at Jesus in prayer. (Jam 5:13-15)
All the land from the Euphrates river to the Nile river.
The Promised Land flowing with milk and honey.
Not just material blessing upon having entered a physical piece of land and staying within it, but the full blessings of God when we receive them by faith. (Heb 4:1-11)
      • According to Heb 8:13, the New Covenant replaces the old covenant of Law that God made with Moses. Therefore, in this Age of Grace we are no longer under the obligation to keep the Law of Moses, for it has been replaced with the New Covenant mediated internally in the believer’s heart by Christ, our High Priest and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 32

  • Application of Jer 31:27-40
    • As you have listened to conditions of the New Covenant we live under today, what new powerful advantages does this covenant give you that you can benefit from today?
  • Preparation for Jer 32
    • Read Jer 32:1-44
      • Why do you think God told Jeremiah to buy a piece of land in Israel just weeks before the total destruction of Jerusalem?
      • How did Jeremiah know that the purchase of this land was God’s perfect will for him?
      • What is the “everlasting covenant” in verse 40?
  • Memory Verse: Jer 32:27
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About Joyce

I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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