Why Every Person Needs to Live Under the New Covenant
I. Introduction (Heb 8:6-10; 10:9)
A. Jesus came to swap-out the Old Covenant requirements (OT Laws) with something better, called the New Covenant (the Cross). It was what had to be done – It was God’s will
1. A covenant is the basis for a relationship – an agreement between two people that allows them to work together.
a. There is no way to be married without a covenant, an agreement, a binding between to the two people clearly defining what is expected - marriage vows, marriage covenant – most people don’t want it any more and so most relationships are a disaster!
b. There is no way for people to work a job without some form of agreement between them and the boss about pay, and hours and expectations – otherwise it is exploitation and abuse!
c. Friendship doesn’t have formal signed agreements between the two people, but they are unwritten: Don’t stab me in the back, no blabbing what I tell you in confidence, don’t make fun of me, don’t take advantage of me, be there for me when I am down, etc. That’s an obvious agreement between all friends
d. There is no way for people to have a relationship with God without an agreement, a covenant between them concerning what was expected by both parties
2. The Old Covenant (what we call the Old Testament) was what God expected of us, and what we could expect of God, and it was GOOD.
3. But the New Covenant (the New Testament) is something far better (Heb 8:6)!
B. I want to show you WHY it is better, and how everyone ought to get into the New Covenant relationship with God, because I find people still trying to keep the Old Covenant (the requirement of the Ten Commandments, and the sacrifices, and the priests and the altars – all are Old Covenant relics)!
II. Background – Let me list some of the contrasts between the old Covenant and the New Covenant. There are lots of Scriptures, but I will just list the points.
A. Again, What is a Covenant? It is the agreement between two parties – the basis for a relationship between them
B. Let’s compare the Old Covenant of the Old Testament with the New Covenant
C. Obviously ONE is better than the other, but few experience the benefits of it
III. Message - The Better Covenant (Hebrews 10:9-25)
A. The New Covenant is Built Upon a Perfect Offering (Heb 10:9-14). Mark these in your Bible!
1. One Offering for sin – So Perfect that it only needed one Sacrifice - only ONE! The sacrifice of the life of Jesus in the place of the sinner
a. Only His life was perfect, without spot or blemish – not mine!
b. Only His will was perfectly submitted to the Father – not mine!
c. Only His way of redemption was perfect, able to save lowest sinner – no religion, belief system, or best efforts was anywhere near as good
d. No one’s best could measure up and compete with Christ’s!!!
1) He yielded to the hands of wicked sinners
2) He stayed quiet through all their false accusations
3) He carried not only the cross, but all my sins, and all my sorrows up that hill to Mt Calvary
4) He cared about the thief next to Him even though being tortured with every breath
5) He asked God to forgive when He should have demanded revenge!
e. Now THAT is a perfect offering for sin!
1) No lamb, no bull, no turtledove, no goat, no calf, no oxen, no other sacrifice could compete
2) And, by-the-way, no money, no good deed, no personal sacrifice, no prayer, no religious duty could compete either!
3) No church or temple, or religion can compete (Heb 10:11) – all are wasted efforts today! They can NEVER take away sins!!!
2. Paid Once - One time payment made – a Full payment needs to be paid only Once! It was paid in full 2,000 years ago (Cf 9:24-28)
a. It was only one payment because it was in full – not a partial payment
b. Why would anyone think more needed to be paid? Somebody hasn’t read their Bible if they believe they have to be paying for their sins! That’s what guilt does – it makes us think we have to keep paying
c. This is where salvation and religion are light-years apart – the payment of Jesus Christ was all sufficient – was more than enough for all the sins of the whole world (Heb 2:9)!
3. There are therefore NO MORE SACRIFICES for sins to be made (10:26, 18). Jesus ended the power of the law (Rom 10:4)
a. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished!” Not just His life, but the payment plan was finished! He closed the payment book on my sins!
b. It is the worst form of blasphemy to claim to continue a sacrifice that is over and done with! Yet millions of people are participating still in an Old Covenant way of constant sacrifices and good works, and empty rituals never realizing it all is COMPLETELY FINISHED!
4. Simply… Our relationship with God Almighty is made possible because of the one, perfect sacrifice Jesus made on the cross! Who could DARE think that any of us could do any better?!
5. Thank God that Jesus’ offering of Himself on the cross was Perfect!
B. The New Covenant Offers Perfect Forgiveness - Salvation (Heb 2:3a; 10:14-18) “So great salvation!”
1. The sacrifice of the life of Christ was all for a purpose – to purchase our salvation from hell, our redemption from our sin debt, our forgiveness for sins for all who would simply believe! The works were done already by Jesus! All anyone has to do is just believe on Jesus Christ – faith alone!
2. Notice what salvation does:
a. It perfects – makes us what we cannot otherwise be. The world puts all their efforts into education, and careers, and support groups – they may help, but they cannot perfect!!!
b. It purifies – (sanctifies) makes us holy, pure, and acceptable in the sight of God
1) Think about it! To be made clean, and right with God!
2) No religion can do this. No hypnosis. No drug can do this
3) The blessed truth is, anybody can be changed – made new - by getting born again! Changed for the better!
c. It permeates (Heb 10:15,16). Salvation is not a fact to be memorized – it is a Person taking your place
1) It permeates the heart – we need salvation here the most
2) It permeates the mind – real stability, sanity
3) From the heart and mind flows all the actions of life!
4) If your heart and your mind are the same as they have always been, then you have never been saved!!!
d. It liberates – Christ has made us FREE (Gal 5:1)!!!
1) The debts on our account are remitted – paid off – God buried them in the deepest sea, and He can’t find them any more! Removed them as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103)
2) The memory of our deeds are removed – can’t remember them
3) That’s what a full pardon means! Stricken off the record book
4) You can now be free to live life differently than before because you have been released from the past, and from the power of sin
3. That’s why we can be sure that all things will work together – because the God who worked out the plan for our salvation, is also working out each and every day for our benefit! God is good at what he does, Amen!
4. That’s why we have such a good relationship with our Saviour! Which is my last point.
C. The New Covenant Opens Up a Perfect Relationship (Heb 10:19-25). We need to take full advantage of it – make the most of this relationship – that is what made Paul so great (Philp 3:10)! Provides 3 things: Direct Access, Dependability, and Real Devotion – not this fake “playing church” rubbish!
1. It Provides Direct Access (10:19-22) – we can and must draw near, gather close, hang around God’s throne – think about it!
a. Like a priest yourself – no longer in need of “middle men” (priests), or ceremonies and sacrifices and steps – if you are born again, you have already taken the only step needed!
b. You are able to approach right up to the throne of God Almighty – for the simplest need, or even for the greatest of needs
c. You can come because of the blood of Christ – because of the payment He made! It is called the New and Living way! Much better than the old way of the Old Testament!
2. Provides Dependability (10: 23)
a. Since Jesus is faithful
b. And since He has made the covenant agreement to begin with
c. And since He has CHANGED us through it
d. Let’s STAY changed – hold fast, cling to, stay on track – maintain the terms of surrender that we gave on the day we got saved!!!
e. You don’t HAVE to sin anymore – you are free from its dominion
f. Make Jesus your Lord, not sin anymore!
3. Provides Devotion (10:24,25)
a. Devotion to care for one another
b. Devotion to provoke one another to live godly – by example, and testimony, as well as with preaching – all of you!
c. Devotion to assembling together – not letting ANYTHING get more important than being with Bible-believing Christians on Sundays
d. All because the day is approaching when Jesus returns!
IV. Conclusion What is your relationship to God based upon? Can’t be better than this! Perfect relationship because so great salvation, based upon so great a sacrifice
A. Jesus came to swap-out the Old Covenant requirements (OT Laws) with something better, something called the New Covenant (the Cross).
B. It is far, far better than trying to keep the commandments, or trying to be sincere, or trying to become worthy of heaven! It just can’t be done!
C. Don’t count on your baptism, your church, your own goodness to get you by
D. A relationship with God Almighty is made possible because of the one, perfect sacrifice Jesus made on the cross!
E. Jesus is the only way to be forgiven, and the only Person to follow – to be like
1. Starts with repentance – hating who you are and what you have done, no matter how good it might have been
2. Then accepting the payment that Jesus made as all you will ever need to please God (Rom 5:8; 6:23; 10:13)
3. Then living according to HIS rules, living life HIS way – the Christian way, not the Baptist way, or the Catholic way, but Christ’s way!
F. That’s why Jesus could offer such freedom, such change, such life!
G. But you have got to act upon it – can’t just expect
Bible Baptist Church
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland