We may be tempted to think that the new covenant has “better promises” in the sense that it has greater rewards than the old covenant had (a heavenly homeland, eternal life, etc.). The truth is that God offered the same rewards to Old Testament believers as He has offered us (read Hebrews 11:10, Hebrews 11:13-16). In Hebrews 8:6, the “better promises” is talking about different kinds of promises.
The covenant between God and Israel was a formal exchange of promises between God and Israel. God took the initiative and delivered Israel from Egypt and promised to lead them into the Promised Land.
Compare Exodus 24:1-8 and Hebrews 10:5-10. What are the similarities and differences between these two promises?
The covenant between God and Israel was ratified with blood. This blood was sprinkled both over and beneath the altar. The people of Israel promised to obey all that the Lord had spoken.
“The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been, — just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents, — perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.” — Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 62.
God satisfies the absolute demands of the new covenant for us because He gave His own Son to come and live a perfect life so that the promises of the covenant might be fulfilled in Him, and then offered to us, by faith in Jesus. Jesus’ obedience guarantees the covenant promises (Hebrews 7:22). It requires that God gives Him the blessings of the covenant, which are then given to us. Indeed, those who are “in Christ” will enjoy those promises with Him. Secondly, God gives us His Holy Spirit to empower us to fulfill His law.
|Christ has satisfied the demands of the covenant; therefore, the fulfillment of God’s promises to us is not in doubt. How does this help you understand the meaning of 2 Corinthians 1:20-22? What wonderful hope is found here for us?|