Day by Day by Grace

Day by Day by Grace
by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
Monday, January 21st

The New Covenant Inaugurated for the Church

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises . . . And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us . . . This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts . . . Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us. (Hebrews 8:6; 10:15-16,19-20)

This new covenant of grace that is promised to Israel eventually has already been inaugurated for the church now. The book of Hebrews documents this fact repeatedly. "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." Here in chapter 8, verse 6, the new covenant is referred to as "a better covenant." Then, the instituting of this new covenant is described in the past tense, "was established." It is already put into operation for the church.

In Hebrews 10:16, the promise of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31 is quoted. "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts." In the previous verse, we are told that this quote from Jeremiah includes a message from the Holy Spirit to us, the church of Jesus Christ. "And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us."

Furthermore, in Hebrews 10:19-20, the new covenant is applied to the access of the "brethren" (the church, God's children) to their holy God and Father. "Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us." Through His death on the cross, Jesus consecrated (that is, inaugurated, instituted, established, put into operation) the new covenant for us today!

Of course, this all fits perfectly with the application of the new covenant to the church celebrating the Lord's Supper. "In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood' " (1 Corinthians 11:25).

Dear Lord of Glory, I rejoice with great gladness that Your new covenant of grace is the wondrous manner in which I am invited to relate to You. In this rich covenant I have found forgiveness of all my sins. Praise be to Your name! In this bountiful arrangement I can grow in intimacy with You. Blessed be Your name! In this generous provision I anticipate being changed and enabled by You from deep within my heart. Glory be to Your name forevermore! Amen.

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