The term “NEW COVENANT” in Scripture generally refers to the eternal spiritual Kingdom of God and its rules and conditions as promised by God. It began in its infancy in AD 30 with Christ’s first coming. It was fully established forever at Christ’s second coming Parousia ending in AD 70. It is based upon the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. It is a promise from God that He will put His laws in the minds and hearts of His people.
Every one of His people (each and every Christian, whether Jew or Gentile – who are the true Jews by faith in Christ) under the NEW COVENANT knows the Lord. This is from the least to the greatest of them in His spiritual Kingdom. God shows His mercy towards their transgressions. He will remember their sins no more. This is not because they are in heaven, but because they are living on earth under His NEW COVENANT in the earthly seen realm (church) of His eternal spiritual Kingdom in which righteousness is established by God’s grace and mercy.
“6But now He (Christ) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a BETTER COVENANT, which was established on BETTER PROMISES (Grace and faith, not animal sacrifices and ceremonies), 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8Because finding fault with them (physical nation of Israel), He says: ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will MAKE A NEW COVENANT with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL and with the house of Judah— 9NOT according to the (Mosaic) 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; (but) because they did not continue in My (Mosaic) covenant, and I disregarded them, ’ says the Lord.” (Heb. 8:6-9; Jer. 31:31-32).
The NEW COVENANT is a BETTER COVENANT for God’s people, who are known as “spiritual Israel, or true Israel” (born-again believing Jews and believing Gentiles). Under this NEW COVENANT, which was fully established in AD 70, the Law of Moses was fulfilled by Christ and passed away. The Law has changed to His NEW COVENANT kingdom Law and is sometimes called the Law of Christ. The Priesthood was changed from Levitical to the entire Body of Christ. There is a clean break from the Old Covenant to the NEW COVENANT because all has been fulfilled by Christ (Matt. 5:18). The Old is truly abolished and the NEW is fully established in AD 70.
“10For this is the (NEW) covenant that I will make with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL (spiritual believing Jews and believing Gentiles, all called Christians) after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws IN THEIR MIND and write them ON THEIR HEARTS; and I will be their God, and they shall be MY PEOPLE. 11None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for ALL SHALL KNOW ME, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12For I will be MERCIFUL to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.’ 1 3 In that He says, ‘A NEW covenant,’ He has made THE FIRST OBSOLETE. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is READY TO VANISH AWAY (in AD 70).” (Heb. 8:10-13; Jer. 31:33-34).
This is a NEW COVENANT that God makes with the house of Israel. Under the NEW COVENANT the term “house of Israel” does not mean the physical nation of Israel. Instead it refers to His “TRUE JEWS” (Christians) as the result of the fulfillment of the Jewish religious system by Christ. These are His special people, the people of God, a spiritual house, and a holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9).
This was accomplished in Christ, by Christ, and for Christ. The NEW COVENANT therefore is promised to Christ and thus to those, who are in Christ by faith. These are His “TRUE JEWS,” born-again Christians (the Body of Christ) (Gal. 3:28-29).
“4Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but CHOSEN BY GOD and precious, 5you (Christians) also, as living stones, are being built up a SPIRITUAL HOUSE, a HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.” (1 Pet 2:4-5).
“9But you (Christians) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, A HOLY NATION, His own SPECIAL PEOPLE, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light ;10who once were not a people but ARE NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD, who had not obtained mercy but NOW HAVE OBTAINED MERCY.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10).
All Christians under the NEW COVENANT have come to Mount Zion by faith and to the City of the Living God, the heavenly New Jerusalem. (Positionally and covenantally now while alive on earth; but FULLY when they die in the afterlife). They are in Christ by faith and make up the Church. They have been made perfect in Christ, who is the Mediator of the NEW COVENANT for all born-again believers (Heb. 12:22-24; Rev. 21:27).
All Christians under the NEW COVENANT have their sins forgiven and atoned-for by Christ. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of His sacrifice for us and His establishment of the NEW COVENANT. We owe our salvation and eternal life to Jesus Christ and we shall never forget that! (Matt. 26:27-28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25).
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 7 Lesson 3b”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 9 Rev. Chapter 21”]