Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - November 21
  • Psalm 95:6-7
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
  • I Exalt Thee
  • Doxology
  • The Vine and The Branches
      • Jeremiah 31:27CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:38CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:31CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:32CSB

      • Hebrews 8:7–8CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:31CSB

      • Galatians 3:28–29CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:33–34CSB

      • Hebrews 10:15–16CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:33CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:34CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:34CSB

      • Hebrews 10:11–12CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:33–34CSB

      • Jeremiah 31:35–37CSB

      • Hebrews 6:17–18CSB

  • One Day!
  • Numbers 6:24-26
  • [Jer 31:27-40]
    Sometimes people are sceptical of new things. Some think new cars are too complicated and they prefer the old ones. Some think the “new math” is too confusing or the new way of banking online isn’t better than the old way.
    But what about the new covenant? Is it a better covenant? Is it improved? Or is it just the old covenant with a new name. That’s what we want to find out.
    But before we answer those questions let’s try to look at the big picture.
    1. The time of the covenant (v.31)
    Jeremiah 31:27 (CSB)
    “Look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration...
    Beginning with verse 27 and continuing on to verse 40, this section is divided up into three parts and each part begins with the words “Look, the days are coming!” So we are meant to read these verses while thinking of the future. We’re encouraged to not just look backward to the Jews but forward to Christ.
    So, for example, in the first section which includes verses 27-30 we’re told that Israel and Judah are going to be reunited and restored and that even their crops and livestock will be restored.
    And then in verse 28 we we’re told that even though God is responsible for the past disaster he much prefers to build rather than destroy.
    And then in verse 29-30 we’re told that everyone will no longer blame their ancestors for their present situation but will take personal responsibility. Verse 29 essentially says “never again” will anyone say it’s my ancestors fault for the mess I’m in. Obviously, that time hasn’t fully come yet.
    Now, skip over the middle section for a minute to the final section, which includes verses 38-40.
    Jeremiah 31:38 (CSB)
    “Look, the days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration...
    The focus here is on the New Jerusalem. All the places mentioned in these verses, like the tower of Hananel, the Corner Gate, the Hill of Gareb, etc. are all places in and around Jerusalem and God promises that these places are going to be holy and they will never be uprooted or demolished again.
    Well, that hasn’t been completely fulfilled yet either. After this was written Jerusalem has been ransacked and destroyed but there is coming a time when God will dwell with his people in perfect holiness, in the permanent absence of sin for all eternity in a perfect city that will never be demolished.
    So that’s the context of the New Covenant. Those are the bookends so to speak. At the time Jeremiah wrote the words, “Look the days are coming” he was referring to a time that would begin with Jesus Christ, be fulfilment in him, but not completely consummated until his final return with all of the saints and the holy city.
    OK so we’ve looked briefly at the time of the covenant. That’s point one but we have 6 more points that deal with the middle section and verses 31-37.
    2. The Maker of the covenant (v.31)
    Jeremiah 31:31 CSB
    “Look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
    It’s important to note that the Lord says he makes the New Covenant. Mankind didn’t think up the idea of a covenant, God did. This may seem like an obvious point but it’s where we often goes astray. We usually want to have a relationship with God but on our terms— but that’s not the way it works. The terms of the new covenant are initiated and kept by God himself.
    That’s point 2. God is the maker of the covenant.
    3. The name of the covenant (v.31)
    In order to better understand what’s new about the covenant we need to understand the old covenant.
    First, what does the word “covenant” mean? It can be defined differently depending on who you talk to but I prefer “a binding relationship of eternal consequence in which God promises to bless and his people promise to obey.”
    With this definition in mind, there have been many old covenants…there was the covenant with Adam (Gen 2:16-17), with Noah (Genesis 9:8-17), with Abraham (Gen 17:4, 7), with Moses (Exodus 20:1-2), and with David. God made promises and there was always the expectation of obedience. Even with Abraham faith and obedience went hand in hand. He left his country by faith. He was willing to sacrifice his son, by faith. But it is primarily the covenant with Moses that Jeremiah is referring to in verse 32 so it’s the one we will focus on.
    Jeremiah says the new covenant...
    Jeremiah 31:32 CSB
    This one will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt—my covenant that they broke even though I am their master”—the Lord’s declaration.
    Under the old covenant with Moses God promised to save his people out of slavery. And once they were saved God’s people were supposed to keep the 10 commandments. The fact that God saved them before giving them the 10 commandments is significant. God did his part before the people did theirs but they couldn’t obey even though they promised to again and again.
    Before Moses could get back down the mountain with the 10 commandments the people broke their promises. They made a golden calf and were worshiping it. And then the covenant was literally broken. In anger Moses threw the tablets on the ground and they broke in pieces. Later God mercifully renewed the old covenant again but every time God’s people kept breaking it.
    The problem wasn’t with the covenant itself but with the people. That’s what it says in Heb 8:7-8...
    Hebrews 8:7–8 (CSB)
    For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one. But finding fault with his people, he says: See, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant...
    Hebrews 8:13 goes on to tell us that the the old covenant is obsolete. It is not abolished because Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that he didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill.” So the old covenant is no longer needed because it has been fulfilled by Christ in the New Covenant.
    The laws are not done away with, they are fulfilled in Christ. The problem isn’t with the law but with people who keep breaking the laws.
    More on this in a bit but first...
    4. The parties of the new covenant (v.31)
    Jeremiah 31:31 CSB
    “Look, the days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
    From this it’s pretty clear that the parties of the new covenant are the house of Israel and the house of Judah. But remember the New Covenant has a greater fulfilment that takes place in Jesus Christ.
    Paul in Rom 9:4-5 acknowledges that, “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.”
    But he also says in Galatians 3:28 that there is a singular new covenant people of God which includes the people of Israel but it is not limited to them.
    Galatians 3:28–29 CSB
    There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.
    So the parties of the covenant include all who are one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ you are a part of the covenant promises no matter what your ethnic background is.
    As it says in Romans 11, we have been “grafted in.” This is cause for celebration but not for arrogance because Paul goes on to say “if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either” (Romans 11:21). The Israelites were broken off because of unbelief. We were grafted in by faith but we must keep believing in Christ otherwise we will also be cut off.
    Now, let’s talk about the nature of the New Covenant some more.
    We’ve talked about the time, the maker, the name, and the parties of the new covenant. Let’s talk about the...
    5. The nature of the new covenant (vv 33–34)
    Jeremiah 31:33–34 (CSB)
    “Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—the Lord’s declaration. “I will put my teaching within them and write it on their hearts...
    There are 5 things I want say about the nature of new covenant.
    1. The new covenant is an internal, not an external covenant. When God says he “will put his teaching with them” he means that the new covenant won’t be dependent on external law. His law will be a fundamental internal part of us.
    2. Under the New Covenant the law written on the heart. The fundamental problem with humanity is that we have a heart problem. We have hearts that are not inclined to obey God.
    God solves the problem of sinful hearts by giving his people new hearts and minds. Rather than the law being imposed upon people who don’t want to keep it, which is what an external law does, under the new covenant people’s disposition toward the law is changed. Those that are under the new covenant want to obey God.
    And the heart is changed by the Holy Spirit.
    Hebrews 10:15–16 CSB
    The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, the Lord says, I will put my laws on their hearts and write them on their minds,
    Another way to describe this is under the new covenant obedience is a fruit not a condition. Bearing the good fruit of obedience to the law is the natural result for those who belong to the new covenant because the law is written on our hearts.
    3. Under the new covenant God’s people have intimate knowledge of and fellowship with God. The end of verse 33 says...
    Jeremiah 31:33–34 (CSB)
    ...I will be their God, and they will be my people...
    When God makes a covenant with his people he makes a promise to give them himself. He gives us his friendship and fellowship. In other words he gives us intimacy as Christ literally dwells within us.
    4. No longer will people say “know the Lord.”
    Jeremiah 31:34 (CSB)
    No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them”—this is the Lord’s declaration.
    When the final fulfillment of the New Covenant occurs there will no longer be a need for evangelism. We won’t need to share the gospel with anyone because everyone will know it. In a limited way this prophecy is already being fulfilled in the church but obviously this isn’t finished yet and it’s still a part of the new covenant that we are looking forward to.
    5. There will be forgiveness of sins
    Jeremiah 31:34 (CSB)
    “For I will forgive their iniquity and never again remember their sin.
    The New Covenant, as contrasted with the Old, deals with sin through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Old Covenant relied on sacrifices but the New Covenant relies on Jesus which is much better.
    Hebrews 10:11–12 (CSB)
    Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man [Jesus], after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
    The Old Covenant dealt with sin on a temporary basis. After sacrificing an animal you were “clean” until the next time you sinned which wasn’t very long. But with the New Covenant sins are permanently forgiven. It’s as if we never sinned at all.
    OK so that’s the nature of the new covenant.
    Jeremiah 31:33–34 (CSB)
    “I will put my teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “For I will forgive their iniquity and never again remember their sin.
    Now, point 6...
    6. The duration of the covenant (vv.35–37)
    The unchanging purpose of God is reflected in the fixed order of nature. How long will the New Covenant last? That question is answered in verses 35-37...
    Jeremiah 31:35–37 CSB
    “This is what the Lord says: The one who gives the sun for light by day, the fixed order of moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea and makes its waves roar— the Lord of Armies is his name: If this fixed order departs from before me— this is the Lord’s declaration— only then will Israel’s descendants cease to be a nation before me forever. “This is what the Lord says: Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below explored, will I reject all of Israel’s descendants because of all they have done— this is the Lord’s declaration.
    We could say the new covenant is going to last “until hell freezes over” or “until pigs fly” or it’s going to last “until you can squeeze water from a stone.” The likelihood of God’s covenant ending for his people is about as likely as gravity ending. It’s not going to happen.
    Why? Because of...
    7. The Guarantor of the covenant
    A guarantor is someone who guarantees something. Throughout verses 31–40 God says “this is the Lord’s declaration” nine times to show that he is the one who guarantees the success of the New Covenant.
    Jump over to Hebrews...
    Hebrews 6:17–18 CSB
    Because God wanted to show his unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
    One of the main differences between the New Covenant and the old is that the New Covenant is not a contract where we do our part and God does his. The Guarantor of the New Covenant is God, himself. It it were left up to us we would just break the covenant again and again and the “contract” would be null and void. That’s what happened in the past.
    The only way for the new covenant to be eternal is for Jesus Christ to keep it on our behalf. And in that sense, the New Covenant is not an agreement between us and God but one between the Father and the Son on our behalf.
    Jesus Christ keeps the covenant for his people and those who are in Christ receive the benefits. What is left for us to do? Only believe. Trust in Christ and his keeping of the New Covenant.

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