Jesus is the New Covenant

Happy New Year to all! Here is a little challenge to start 2022. Try to refute the logic:

  1. God works through His covenants.
  2. Neither the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Priestly, or Davidic covenants contain any word or provision for the salvation of sinners.
  3. According to the Servant Songs in Isaiah 42:6 and 49:8 the Servant (Messiah) will be made “as a covenant” to redeem both Israel and the nations.
  4. Jeremiah 31:31-34 promises a “New covenant” which will replace the Mosaic covenant and provide forgiveness and salvation for the people of Israel.
  5. In Malachi 3:1f. “the Messenger of the covenant” will one day come suddenly to His temple and “purify the sons of Levi.”
  6. At the institution of the Lord’s Supper Jesus said of the cup “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Lk. 22:20). It is not possible to get a closer relation to the New covenant than that!
  7. Paul identified both Jesus and “the apostles and [NT] prophets” as the foundations of “the household of God” – the Church (Eph. 2:19-20). The Apostles were present at the institution of the New covenant in Luke 22.
  8. In the words of the instigation of the Lord’s Supper that are recited regularly every time it is celebrated it plainly states “In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor. 11:25). These words are applied directly to a Gentile Church.
  9. In 2 Corinthians 3, after telling the Gentile believers that he had ministered Christ to them (2 Cor. 3:3) he proceeded to describe his calling as being a ministry “of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:6). Paul ministered as “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).
  10. The author of Hebrews calls Jesus our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14-15); “the Mediator of the new covenant” (Heb. 9:15; 12:24). Hebrews 12:24 makes direct mention to the blood (cf. 1 Cor. 11:25). Unless one is going to say that Hebrews contains no doctrine for the Church one must conclude that the only covenant that can qualify Him as our High Priest is the New covenant.
  11. The NASB translation of Hebrews 9:16-17 the word diatheke is translated “covenant” in line with every other usage of the term in the Book. This both fits the context better and makes Jesus the sacrificial offering (the “Lamb of God” – Jn. 1:29) whose blood is New covenant blood.
  12. Since there is no provision for salvation in the other Divine covenants and the Servant/Messiah is to be made as a covenant the question must be asked “What covenant will He be?” The only covenant that brings salvation from sin is the New covenant. Jesus’ own blood is the blood of that New covenant and He both mediates it and is the “Messenger” of it (if not, which covenant is He the Messenger of?). But He is also the covenant “animal” (Lamb) which ratifies the New covenant.
  13. Since the Church was not revealed in the OT one would not expect Jeremiah to speak of it, but true progressive revelation does teach it.
  14. One great day God the Father will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” (Eph. 1:10). Peter declares that God wants to be glorified “in all things” through Christ (1 Pet. 4:11).
  15. Ergo, there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, the New covenant incarnate! All sinners will be saved on the basis of the New covenant in Christ. That obviously means that the Church is a full party to the New covenant along with Israel. Now that’s proper Christological interpretation!

5 thoughts on “Jesus is the New Covenant”

  1. Hi Dr. Henebury, cross-commenting from Facebook. I’m preaching Genesis 15:1-6 this Sunday. How would you reconcile and explain points 2. and 15. with the statement of Genesis 15:6? In other words, how do you explain the salvation of OT saints within the points laid out?

    If we say “…there is no provision for salvation in the other Divine covenants and the Servant/Messiah is to be made as a covenant the question must be asked “What covenant will He be?” The only covenant that brings salvation from sin is the New covenant”, it makes it sound as if salvation only comes through covenant.

    To explain passages like Genesis 15:6 could we say that salvation comes by faith in the promise of God? With progressive revelation that promise is focused and defined with greater specificity as it works its way through the biblical covenants until we come to the NC? And that in the New Covenant that promise is bound up in the person/mediator/messenger of the covenant, Jesus Christ?

    Does that make sense?

    1. Michael,

      Yes, it is simply a case of any sinner’s salvation rests upon the atonement in Christ. Abraham was justified by believing God, but the basis of his redemption was Christ’s death (cf. Rom. 3:25).

  2. Great summary of your argument 👍
    I was expecting the last point to say, that the church is not just a co-benefactor of the new covenant (which supposedly was only promised to Israel in the OT) but a true participant just like Israel.
    I don’t think any true Christian will see the need to challenge the conclusion in point 15. Or maybe I’m missing something here… 😕

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