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                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

              The Promises Of God's New Covenant (8:7-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. Up to this point, the focus of "The Epistle To The Hebrews" has 
   been on Christ...
   a. His superiority to prophets, angels, Moses
   b. The superiority of His priesthood to the Levitical priesthood

2. With the transition in He 8:1-6, the focus shifts to the New 
   Covenant...
   a. A new covenant in which Jesus has already been described as:
      1) The "surety" (guarantor) - He 7:22
      2) The "Mediator" (one who intervenes) - He 8:6
   b. In both passages, this covenant was described as a "better" 
      covenant

3. Better than what?  Better in what way?  In Hebrews 8, we learn the 
   answer...
   a. Better than the "first covenant" - cf. He 8:7
   b. Better because of the "promises" contained in it - cf. He 8:6

[In this study, "The Promises Of God's New Covenant", we shall examine
our text (He 8:7-13) to ascertain how the New Covenant is better, 
especially with regard to its promises.

Let's begin by noticing...]

I. GOD'S PROMISE OF A NEW COVENANT (7-9,13)

   A. THE FIRST COVENANT WAS NOT FAULTLESS... (7)
      1. Otherwise, there would have been no need for a second covenant
      2. We have already seen concerning the first covenant that...
         a. The Levitical priesthood could not bring perfection - He 7:
            11
         b. The Law made nothing perfect, and was therefore annulled 
            due to its weakness and unprofitableness - He 7:18-19
      3. This inadequacy has special reference to the sacrifices of the
         first covenant...
         a. They could not make those who approach perfect - He 10:1-3
         b. The blood of animals offered by the priests could not take
            away sins - He 10:4,11

   B. THE PEOPLE OF THE FIRST COVENANT WERE ALSO AT FAULT... (8-9)
      1. God found fault because they did not continue in His covenant 
         - cf. Jer 11:7-10
      2. For this reason He disregarded them, allowing them to be taken
         away by their enemies - cf. Jer 11:11-14
      -- Even so, He did not leave them without some hope, for through
         the prophet Jeremiah He made a promise...

   C. GOD PROMISED A NEW COVENANT... (8-9)
      1. Promised in Jer 31:31-34
      2. In which God would make a "new covenant" with Israel and Judah
      2. A covenant different than the one made at Mt. Sinai (how, we
         shall see in a moment)

   D. THE NEW COVENANT HAS MADE THE FIRST "OBSOLETE"... (13)
      1. By even calling the promised covenant "new", God made the
         first covenant obsolete
         a. The old covenant actually continued on for about 500 years
            after Jeremiah
         b. But with the promise of the new, attention would be taken
            away from the old covenant and directed toward the new one
            that was coming!
      2. Its obsolescence was especially seen in the days of the Hebrew
         writer...
         a. It was "becoming obsolete and growing old"
            1) The death of Jesus rendered the sacrifices of the first
               covenant unnecessary
            2) Before long, the temple itself would be destroyed, and
               along with it, the last vestiges of the Levitical 
               priesthood
         b. Truly, it was "ready to vanish away"

[So God promised a "new covenant" to replace the "old covenant"; and 
Jesus is the "Mediator" of this covenant, which is "a better covenant".
Better in what way?

Better because it "was established on better promises".  Let's now 
consider some of...]

II. GOD'S PROMISES INVOLVING THE NEW COVENANT (10-12)

   A. IT WILL BE INWARD AND SPIRITUAL... (10)
      1. "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their 
         hearts"
      2. The first covenant had its laws written on tablets of stone; 
         the new covenant is one that requires God's laws be written in
         our hearts
      3. It is not enough to have God's Word in our hands, on our 
         coffee tables, etc.
         a. We must plant God's Word into our hearts - cf. Ja 1:21
         b. For only then can we truly be born again by the 
            incorruptible seed, the word of God - 1 Pe 1:22-23
      -- Are you living up to intent of the New Covenant, or are you
         little different than those under the first covenant, who had
         the Word, but not on their hearts?

   B. IT WILL PROVIDE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD... (10)
      1. "I will be their God, and they shall be My people"
      2. The actual terms of this promise is really nothing new - cf. 
         Exo 6:7; Lev 26:12
      3. But in each successive "age", its promise is filled with fresh
         meaning; for example...
         a. In "this age", we enjoy a closer relationship with God 
            - cf. 2 Co 6:16-18; 1 Pe 2:9-10
         b. But even more so, in the "age to come", which is in 
            eternity - cf. Re 21:1-7
      -- Are you utilizing the blessings whereby you can have a closer
         relationship with God?

   C. IT WILL BE WITH PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE LORD... (11)
      1. "None of them shall teach...saying, 'Know the Lord', for all
         shall know Me..."
      2. The New Covenant will be with people who have already come to
         know the Lord
         a. Unlike the first covenant, in which people entered it at 
            birth; as they grew up, they needed to be taught about the 
            Lord
         b. In the new covenant, one must come to know the Lord before
            they can enter the covenant
      3. So it is that one must believe in Jesus before they can enter
         into a covenant relationship with their Lord through baptism 
         - cf. Ac 8:36-38
      -- Does not this feature of the New Covenant preclude the 
         practice of infant baptism?

   D. IT WILL PROVIDE TRUE FORGIVENESS FOR SIN... (12)
      1. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their
         sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more"
      2. Here is the ultimate basis of the blessing previously 
         described; by virtue of the forgiveness of sins can we truly 
         be God's people, and He our God!
      3. Thus the New Covenant provides what the first covenant could 
         not:  true forgiveness of sins! - cf. He 10:1-4,11

CONCLUSION

1. Such are "The Promises Of God's New Covenant"...
   a. As foretold through the prophet Jeremiah
   b. Now fulfilled through the coming of Jesus and His death on the 
      cross
   -- By virtue of "better promises", Christ is truly the Mediator of a
      "better covenant"!

3. But there is more to be said about why the New Covenant is a better
   covenant...
   a. It also has a better sanctuary
   b. It also has a better sacrifice
   -- But consideration of these things will be saved for later

At this point it might be appropriate to ask:

   Have you truly entered into a covenant relationship with the Lord?

The entrance terms of this New Covenant are simple:  They involve faith
in Christ and a confession of that faith (Ro 10:9,10), along with 
repentance of sins and baptism into Christ (Ac 2:36-39). 

The promised blessings of the New Covenant await any and all who are 
willing to so respond to the gospel of Christ!
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