Better Promises

Better Promises (Hebrews 8:6) I. The new covenant is here declared to be superior to the old covenant by virtue of its establishment upon better promises. HEB 8:6. II. Some promises of God are conditioned upon the performance of the people to whom He makes them. If the condition be not met, God may break His promise. A. The old covenant was based on this type of promise: one which required the faith and obedience of its heirs. A promised land was theirs IF they fulfilled a condition of continual faith. HEB 3:18-19. 1. God promised to bring the captive Israelites into a Canaan land IF they would hearken unto Him. EXO 3:16-17; 23:20-22. a. Israel promised to hearken to the covenant. EXO 24:3,7. b. Israel hearkened not. NUM 14:22. c. God thus broke His promise. NUM 14:23, 34 c/w HEB 8:9. 2. God promised that Israel would be His peculiar treasure, kingdom of priests and an holy nation IF they would obey His voice. EXO 19:5-6. a. Israel outran God's longsuffering. ROM 11:1-2, 15. b. God thus transferred the kingdom and priesthood from Israel to the church. MAT 21:42-43 c/w 1PE 2:9. 3. That first covenant was weak due to the unbelief and disobedience of the people. ROM 10:16-21 c/w HEB 8:7-8. B. Incorporated into that covenant were ordinances of divine service. Though outwardly pleasing to God, such could not deal with the problem of sin. HEB 9:1; 10:1-4. 1. The entire creation was under the bondage of corruption. ROM 8:21-22. 2. The sinners who brought the sacrifices, the priests who offered the sacrifices, and the sacrifices were all tainted with corruption. C. That covenant's inability to adequately deal with the problem of sin was also owing to the conditional nature of its promise: a “do and live” proposition. ROM 10:5. D. That covenant based upon conditional promises was inadequate because of: 1. stringent requirements. GAL 3:10; 5:3. 2. the weakness of the flesh. ROM 8:3, 7-8. E. Righteousness could therefore not come by this kind of covenant. ROM 3:20; GAL 2:21; 3:21. F. That covenant was to last only until the Seed of better promise. GAL 3:19. III. Other promises which God makes are unconditional. They are confirmed by the faith of none but Himself. The lack of man's faith or cooperation does not thwart God's purposes in promises such as these. Examples: A. The establishment of Messiah and His kingdom. PSA 2:1-7; ACT 13:32-33. B. The durability of the earth. GEN 8:22 c/w 2PE 3:7. C. The second coming of Christ. 2PE 3:3-4, 9. D. Everlasting life. TIT 1:1-2 c/w 2TI 1:9. IV. The new covenant is indeed established on better promises. A. Its promises are of an eternal heavenly country. HEB 11:16; 1PE 1:2-4. B. They are unconditional in nature, for the new covenant is “...NOT according to the (old) covenant...” (HEB 8:9). Better Promises 9-16-18 Page 1 of 2 C. God ALONE would write His laws upon men's hearts to make them His people. HEB 8:8-13. D. Sin would definitely be remitted. HEB 10:17-18. E. It is a GREAT error to make the new covenant established upon conditional promises since that was the OLD covenant! GAL 2:21. V. God ALONE would be the confirmer of the eternal promises of the new covenant, performing on men's behalf the works that none of them could do. ISA 53:4-12. A. Righteousness comes through the obedience of one: Christ! ROM 5:17-19; HEB 1:3. B. A promise of eternal life based on God's faithfulness was established for certain before the world began. TIT 1:1-2 c/w 2TI 1:9; EPH 1:3-6. C. Christ came to save His people which the Father had committed to His trust. MAT 1:21; JOH 17:1-4. D. The Word became flesh in order to represent those elect before the law. HEB 2:14; GAL 4:4-5. E. Christ assumed the sin of the elect and bore the curse of the law for them. GAL 3:13; 2CO 5:21. F. This substitutionary work brings the elect into favor with God. 1PE 3:18; HEB 2:10. G. God's wrath against the sin of the elect is satisfied by Christ. ROM 8:3-4; 1JO 4:10. H. Having destroyed sin and its consequences through His death, Christ's righteousness is then applied to the account of the elect. HEB 9:12, 15; ROM 4:25. I. The blood of Jesus Christ shed for His people 1. justifies them (absolves, acquits them). ROM 5:9. 2. reconciles them (brings them into friendly relations). COL 1:20. 3. redeems them (buys them back from bondage). EPH 1:7. J. Having met all the requirements of the law faithfully on behalf of the elect, it can be truly be said that they are justified by “the faith of Christ.” 1. The elect's personal faith is not a determinant of their eternal inheritance. GAL 2:16, 20 c/w 2TI 2:13. 2. This contrasts Israel’s earthly inheritance based upon conditional promises hinged ON their faith. VI. Given the nature of the better covenant established on better promises, it is assured that none of the elect shall be lost. JOH 6:37-39; 10:27-29. VII. God's faithfulness in better promises should inspire our own faithfulness. HEB 10:23. Better Promises 9-16-18 Page 2 of 2
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