ESV - 31 Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
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I had not received any answers to an inquiry a couple weeks after posting. As I was studying a devotional this morning, this came to me through Him and I believe, answered, the question. "Under the New Covenant, the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant are valid, and Abraham is our spiritual father, as it were. He is the model of the family, with whom God first made the covenant, and he obeyed God's voice (Genesis 26:5). He kept the commandments and the laws, and Abraham's children are going to do the same thing! Otherwise, they will not really be his children. Paul is not doing away with the law! He is simply saying that the law cannot justify us. We see here, by God's own witness, that Abraham lived up to the terms of the covenant. Because he did, it was passed on to Isaac for him to do as his father had done. The problem of transgressions in the Old Covenant was not resolved until the promised Seed, Christ, came. He lived perfectly, qualifying to be the payment for sin, and at the same time, He confirmed the promises that were made unto Abraham—and they were made absolutely and eternally binding. God then proposed the New Covenant that He had previously shown in prophecy (Jeremiah 31). God has presented it to all of mankind—not just to Abraham's physical descendants. It is not circumcision that makes one a part of this covenant. Rather, it is circumcision of the heart! The sign is repentance and faith in the sacrifice of the promised Seed, Jesus Christ. The receipt of the Holy Spirit is the seal; it authenticates what has occurred. It completes the making of the New Covenant with the individuals whom God calls. Nowhere does God say that the laws that define sin are done away. On the contrary, the One who made the New Covenant possible said that not one jot or tittle would pass from the law until all was fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). God's moral and spiritual laws have been from eternity, and an agreement between Him and mere man is not going to do away with them. God Himself would have to pass from existence for that to occur. In addition, the loving intent of those laws as they apply to human relationships is still valid." — John W. Ritenbaugh
The new covenant is one of Grace, rather than justification under the old Law, because all have sinned, Jews living under the Law and Gentiles without the Law. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference*, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:21-24 NIV * For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him... - Romans 10:12 NIV
The previous answer was fantastic. I only want to offer these supportive and additional insights into the concept of New Covenant: ““Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…” “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts…” Mouse over this link and read the entire passage of Jer. 31:31-34 afresh. Jeremiah and the book of Hebrew quoting Jeremiah (Heb. 8:8; Heb. 8:13; Heb. 12:24) are the only places in the Bible that mention “New Covenant.” Also, it is said to be made only with Isra'el and Judah (later in Jer. 31:33, only Isra'el). This tells me that the Church must exist as a part of Remnant Isra'el in order for her to participate in the New Covenant. There are not TWO new covenants, one with Isra'el and one with the Church, right? Moreover, Jeremiah says that the Torah (the Law of Moshe) is the written essence of this single New Covenant that the people of Isra'el took on as a never-ending agreement with God, and is that which will be written on New Covenant hearts. Yeshua (Jesus) said, "Not one stroke of the Torah will pass away until all is fulfilled" (Mat. 5:18), so this “new covenant” must be an internalization of the very same Torah, and built upon the previous covenantal promises. Unless we have gotten to the point yet of needing no one to teach us, the Torah is still in effect. All Scripture must be interpreted to agree with it (Isaiah 8:20). God does not change his mind. The nature of human sin demands the remedy called “new covenant.” The problem lies with unsaved mankind characterizing [concepts of] the Torah (viz, for unsaved Jews: ethnicity; for unsaved Church attendees: obedience or Church membership) as a means of justification in opposition to genuine submission to the Spirit of God. Pride and sin harden the heart, blind the eyes, and eventually make God’s gracious promises seem useless to unbelievers on a genuine spiritual level, leading to what Paul describes as “old covenant” in 2 Cor. 3:14. In this scenario, the covenant-member candidate may look spiritual but is actually fooled into thinking that mere mechanical allegiance to the Torah or superficial membership in a Church or Isra'el will provide a remedy for the sins piling up in his spiritless life. Mankind is in desperate need of the New Covenant whether he knows it nor not! Conclusions: The word "new" in the covenant spoken about in Jeremiah is actually the Hebrew word "chadashah," which can at times refer not to something brand new in creation but rather something that has undergone a reformation in character and purpose, or a simple refreshment on a different scale. On one level Jeremiah is describing a “renewal” of some existing item. On the other hand, when it comes to the regeneration of the soul of a man, viz, “old covenant” man vs. “new covenant” man, the change is quite radical: all things do indeed “become new.” Behaviorally speaking, the change can at times seem to occur over the course of time, but forensically speaking, the change is as different as life and death! The New Covenant to be ratified on a national level with Isra'el will envision the former promises made with Abraham, Moses, and David. It is not necessary to overturn a previous covenant in order for a later one to find fulfillment. To be sure, Galatians teaches explicitly that a later covenant cannot nullify a previous one (see Gal. 3:17). As a feature of the living Word of God, the new covenant is not time-bound. Rather, the new covenant springs to life whenever the veil is lifted and eyes are opened to God’s Grace, specifically as has been historically demonstrated by the coming of his Son. It is better in many, many ways since Yeshua himself in fact inaugurated it before the foundations of the world were even laid.
God offered His chosen people (Israel) a new covenant (Hebrews 8:8, Jer. 31:31) because they were unable to keep the old covenant law for justification (Gal. 3:10-11). We (Gentiles) who are outside of God's chosen people (Matthew 10:5-6, Matthew 15:24), live under God's grace and have no part in God's covenant program with Israel, old or new, (Eph. 3:1-2). We today are justified by faith alone in Christ (Gal. 2:16). 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
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