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the new covenant


Jeremiah 31:31-34 The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the LORD. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbours, or say to one another, Know the LORD, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

God makes covenants

God is not like the gods of other ancient nations
Pagan gods were seen to hide their wills from humankind, operating in the shadows, playing with people's lives in mysterious and unpredictable ways, you never knew where you stood. They were feared and would not be seen to love mortal humans.

God's means of engagement with us has always been fundamentally the same
God in his love has always desired to enter into relationship with his created beings. He has done this through forming covenant relationships.

God makes covenants

The idea of a committed relationship between two persons is woven into the fabric of creation
Marriage is not a human or simply a social construction but an intentional creation of God It expresses commitment, love, knowledge, faithfulness, over the long term. It provides one of the key experiences through which God reveals desire to relate to us.

Throughout history God has sought relationship

The term covenant appears more than 330 times across both Old and New Testaments (Ie. covenants)

Features of a covenant
Promise given: Commitment to bless, to do good, to love, to watch over, to protect. A ceremony marks the beginning of the covenant in early times, a sacrifice. A sign was given to recall, renew or remember the covenant commitment The covenant was a basis for knowing the other, growing in love, it carried clear expectations and could be broken.

God's covenants
Gods covenant relationships
The covenant with Noah (Gen 9:9-17)
Promise never to flood again, sacrifice offered, rainbow sign.

The covenant with Abraham (Gen 12, 15, 17)

Promise of family which will bless all nations, the cutting of the covenant (sacrifices), sign of circumcision.

The covenant with Israel at Mt Sinai (Ex 20, Deut)

Promise of being a holy nation, God's treasured possession, God reveals himself, altar at the foot of the mountain (Ex 24), expectations (10 Commandments), Sign of the Sabbath (Ex 31).

2 aspects of covenant
God desires to be known and to love He reveals himself
(Heb. Yada, He reveals his name, character, personhood)

He enters into covenant love and faithfulness

Chesed - Loving kindness, everlasting love, mercy, enduring

love, covenant faithfulness. A theme of the Psalms in worship and praise.

NB The charge God brings in Hosea: Hosea 4:1 The LORD has a charge to bring against you who
live in the land: There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgement (knowledge) of God in the land. Cf Jer 9:24

The New Covenant

Made with house of Israel and Judah (all who seek God by faith) Cf: Eph 2, Heb 7-10, Esp 8. I will put my law in their hearts and minds. This is the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit within us...whose purpose is to help us know God. People will know God in a new way This will be based on the forgiveness of sin which God will undertake to provide. This is complete in and through Jesus Christ. (Heb 10)

The New Covenant

Promise: That human beings might experience the grace and love of God forever becoming his loved children and members of his family, knowing him as Father! Basis: The once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ by which our sin is forgiven. Expectation / Commitment: That we extend this grace to all, sharing the good news with others, living as God's children in responsiveness and obedience to him. Sign / Remembrance / Renewal of the New Covenant 1 Cor 11:25 This is the new covenant in my blood Remembering the new covenant in worship, renewing commitment to God each Sunday.

Benediction (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Old Covenant is revealed in the New, and the New Covenant is veiled in the Old. Saint Augustine