Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guarantee of the New Covenant

Jesus the Guarantee of the New Covenant

By Abraham Israel

The Bible says “…Jesus has become the surety [guarantee] of a better covenant.” (Heb 7:22). The Greek word ‘diatheke’ is used for the English word ‘covenant’ in the New Testament.

This ‘diatheke’ means ‘one sided covenant’. While one person gives, the other has nothing to give. Here in the New Testament God reached out to man and God in Christ fulfilled all that is needed to fulfill the covenant. Christ gave to us all that He had, while we give to Him nothing but our debt. This has tremendous significance in the New Testament. Jesus Christ became the mediator between God and man and he fulfilled all the requirement of the law. He is the only sinless person who ever lived a perfect life with out sin in Him. As God He could not die, so He became the son of man to take upon Himself all the sin of the world, to go through all the punishment through death on the cross in the kingdom of darkness.

Finally because He paid it all for us, He had become the advocate for us right now. We can go to Him confidently and He will speak on behalf of us to the Father. We have a requirement to do in this covenant, that is to confess to Him our wrong doings with regret or sorrow [giving our debts], if we do not do this, we cannot receive His goodness or grace in our life.

Jesus is right now interceding to the Father God sitting at His right Hand, this is His profession now. He is not only interceding for the sinners [for sinner’s salvation] (1 Tim 2:1, 3-4; John 17:20), but the Bible says in Rom 8:31-33, “He is interceding” for “God’s elect”. Just after these verses or in the succeeding verses, the Bible speaks about enemy’s condemnation, trials, perils, tribulations, etc… The reason the word of God expresses it is because Satan will try to accuse and condemn them and will try to make them depressed all the time.

Jesus understands that the new believer will still be activated by the old impulses to sin, so when the time of temptation comes, the new believer may easily fall in to temptation by not being able to resist it. For this reason God in Christ became a man and went through all the temptations in his body, so that He could be sympathetic and compassionate towards his fellow brothers and sisters with a kindred spirit. When they are tempted, He helps them by interceding for them.

A new believer may think that he has backslidden because he is sinning and may not have understood that because of the weaknesses of the flesh that He is doing it. He may even consider himself not to be a true son. So come to Jesus with Boldness to receive His goodness. When Satan accuses you, say to him right in his face ‘I am who Jesus says I am, I live by His word and He is my master, you have no authority over me. From Him I receive strength to live this life and He has redeemed me by His Blood.’

So Jesus is our intercessor and Jesus is our advocate. Who can condemn us and take us away from His Love? It is He who justifies us. So only Jesus said to the believers like us, “And I give to you eternal life, and you shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch you out of My hand….no on is able to snatch you out of my Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” (John 10:28-30).The new covenant is a better covenant because we have Jesus as our surety. Heb 7:22 clearly speaks about this. Jesus is the one who paid the price for us to be redeemed. Jesus is the guarantor of this covenant which He initiated with God through His very own Blood for us. It is a better covenant because we cannot fulfill anything in this new covenant, but only we have to give our huge debt and weakness to Him in order to receive His grace and goodness from Him. In the new covenant we don’t have to bother about the covenant getting broken by our disobedience.

Jesus is our everything! Praise the Lord! No one is able to condemn us in the new covenant and the devil is already defeated and the war has been won by Him. We by faith take whatever is of Him and we stand based on it as our own. Praise the Lord!

Let us see what the meaning of guarantee and guarantor is.

guarantee verb [T]
If something is guaranteed to happen or have a particular result, it is certain that it will happen or have that result, If you guarantee someone's debt, you formally promise to accept the responsibility for that debt if the person fails to pay it.

noun [C]
1 FORMAL a person who makes certain that something happens or that something is protected, 2 LEGAL someone who formally accepts responsibility for you or for something that belongs to you: You must have a guarantor in order to get a visa to enter the country.

diatheke primarily signifies "a disposition of property by will or otherwise." In its use in the Sept., it is the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning a "covenant" or agreement (from a verb signifying "to cut or divide," in allusion to a sacrificial custom in connection with "covenant-making," e.g., Gen_15:10, "divided" Jer_34:18,19). In contradistinction to the English word "covenant" (lit., "a coming together"), which signifies a mutual undertaking between two parties or more, each binding himself to fulfill obligations, it does not in itself contain the idea of joint obligation, it mostly signifies an obligation undertaken by a single person. For instance, in Gal_3:17 it is used as an alternative to a "promise" (Gal_3:16-18). God enjoined upon Abraham the rite of circumcision, but His promise to Abraham, here called a "covenant," was not conditional upon the observance of circumcision, though a penalty attached to its nonobservance.

"The NT uses of the word may be analyzed as follows: (a) a promise or undertaking, human or Divine, Gal_3:15; (b) a promise or undertaking on the part of God, Luke_1:72; Acts_3:25; Rom_9:4; Rom_11:27; Gal_3:17; Eph_2:12; Heb_7:22; Heb_8:6,8,10; Heb_10:16; (c) an agreement, a mutual undertaking, between God and Israel, see Deut_29; Deut_30 (described as a 'commandment,' Heb_7:18, cp. Heb_7:22); Heb_8:9; Heb_9:20; (d) by metonymy, the token of the covenant, or promise, made to Abraham, Acts_7:8; (e) by metonymy, the record of the covenant, 2_Cor_3:14; Heb_9:4; cp. Rev_11:19; (f) the basis, established by the death of Christ, on which the salvation of men is secured, Matt_26:28; Mark_14:24; Luke_22:20; 1_Cor_11:25; 2_Cor_3:6; Heb_10:29; Heb_12:24; Heb_13:20.
"This covenant is called the 'new,'
, the 'second,' Heb_8:7, the 'better,' Heb_7:22. In Heb_9:16,17, the translation is much disputed. There does not seem to be any sufficient reason for departing in these verses from the word used everywhere else. The English word 'Testament' is taken from the titles prefixed to the Latin Versions." [ From Notes on Galations by Hogg and Vine, p.144.] See TESTAMENT.

Covenant - a contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word berith is always thus translated. Berith is derived from a root which means "to cut," and hence a covenant is a "cutting," with reference to the cutting or dividing of animals into two parts, and the contracting parties passing between them, in making a covenant
(Gen_15; Jer_34:18,19).

The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is diatheke, which is, however, rendered "testament" generally in the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the word berith of the Old Testament, "covenant."

This word is used of a covenant or compact between man and man (Gen_21:32), or between tribes or nations (1_Sam_11:1; Josh_9:6,15). In entering into a convenant, Jehovah was solemnly called on to witness the transaction (Gen_31:50), and hence it was called a "covenant of the Lord" (1_Sam_20:8). The marriage compact is called "the covenant of God" (Prov_2:17), because the marriage was made in God's name. Wicked men are spoken of as acting as if they had made a "covenant with death" not to destroy them, or with hell not to devour them (Isaiah_28:15,18).

The word is used with reference to God's revelation of himself in the way of promise or of favour to men. Thus God's promise to Noah after the Flood is called a covenant (Gen_9; Jer_33:20, "my covenant"). We have an account of God's covernant with Abraham (Gen_17, comp. Lev_26:42), of the covenant of the priesthood (Num_25:12,13; Deut_33:9; Neh_13:29), and of the covenant of Sinai (Ex_34:27,28; Lev_26:15), which was afterwards renewed at different times in the history of Israel (Deut_29; Josh_1:24; 2_Chron_15; 2_Chron_23; 2_Chron_29; 2_Chron_34; Ezra_10; Neh_9). In conformity with human custom, God's covenant is said to be confirmed with an oath (Deut_4:31; Psalm_89:3), and to be accompanied by a sign (Gen_9; Gen_17). Hence the covenant is called God's "counsel," "oath," "promise" (Psalm_89:3,4; Psalm_105:8-11; Heb_6:13-20; Luke_1:68-75). God's covenant consists wholly in the bestowal of blessing (Isaiah_59:21; Jer_31:33,34).

The term covenant is also used to designate the regular succession of day and night (Jer_33:20), the Sabbath (Ex_31:16), circumcision (Gen_17:9,10), and in general any ordinance of God (Jer_34:13,14).

A "covenant of salt" signifies an everlasting covenant, in the sealing or ratifying of which salt, as an emblem of perpetuity, is used (Num_18:19; Lev_2:13; 2_Chron_13:5).

COVENANT OF WORKS, the constitution under which Adam was placed at his creation. In this covenant,
The contracting parties were (a) God the moral Governor, and (b) Adam, a free moral agent, and representative of all his natural posterity
The promise was
"life" (Matt_19:16,17; Gal_3:12)
The condition was perfect obedience to the law, the test in this case being abstaining from eating the fruit of the "tree of knowledge," etc.
The penalty was death
This covenant is also called a covenant of nature, as made with man in his natural or unfallen state; a covenant of life, because
was the promise attached to obedience; and a legal covenant, because it demanded perfect obedience to the law.
The "tree of life" was the outward sign and seal of that life which was promised in the covenant, and hence it is usually called the seal of that covenant.

This covenant is abrogated under the gospel, inasmuch as Christ has fulfilled all its conditions in behalf of his people, and now offers salvation on the condition of faith. It is still in force, however, as it rests on the immutable justice of God, and is binding on all who have not fled to Christ and accepted his righteousness.

CONVENANT OF GRACE, the eternal plan of redemption entered into by the three persons of the Godhead, and carried out by them in its several parts. In it the Father represented the Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty, and the Son his people as their surety (John_17:4,6,9; Isaiah_42:6; Psalm_89:3).

The conditions of this covenant were, On the part of the Father (a) all needful preparation to the Son for the accomplishment of his work (Heb_10:5; Isaiah_42:1-7); (b) support in the work (Luke_22:43); and (c) a glorious reward in the exaltation of Christ when his work was done (Php_2:6-11), his investiture with universal dominion (John_5:22; Psalm_110:1), his having the administration of the covenant committed into his hands (Matt_28:18; John_1:12; John_17:2; Acts_2:33), and in the final salvation of all his people (Isaiah_35:10; Isaiah_53:10,11; Jer_31:33; Titus_1:2).

On the part of the Son the conditions were (a) his becoming incarnate (Gal_4:4,5); and (b) as the second Adam his representing all his people, assuming their place and undertaking all their obligations under the violated covenant of works; (c) obeying the law (Psalm_40:8; Isaiah_42:21; John_9:4,5), and (d) suffering its penalty (Isaiah_53; 2_Cor_5:21; Gal_3:13), in their stead.

Christ, the mediator of, fulfils all its conditions in behalf of his people, and dispenses to them all its blessings. InHeb_8:6 ; Heb_9:15; Heb_12:24, this title is given to Christ. (See DISPENSATION.)


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