Q&A: Benefits of the New Covenant

Benefits of the New Covenant

What benefits does Christ provide for us in the new covenant?

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Answer

The benefits that we get from the new covenant from Jesus I think start to be enumerated right in the original passage of the new covenant, or at least where that term is used in the Old Testament, and that's Jeremiah chapter 31. In verse 33 and 34 there is an enumeration or a listing of the benefits that come in the new covenant that would be coming in the age to come. And it starts out with the law written in your hearts. And then you have, if you bring in other passages, about the law is going to be written by the Spirit that God is going to put within the individual in their hearts. Then it moves into questions of knowledge of God. And then it will move into also questions of the access that we have to God. And I think in the Prophets it also moves into things that are going to happen socially through a restored nation and it's going to affect all nations and finally the world. And so, we bring these to Christ. Christ is the one who poured out the Spirit at his ascension. That's what Pentecost was about. That is what makes and activates the new covenant age finally for all people who will be found in it by faith. And so, what he does in regeneration, what he does on the heart, what he makes us with a new love, all of the language of the New Testament, that's new covenant promise that Jesus has already initiated. The knowledge of God: a powerful demonstration of this is when the temple veil rent at the crucifixion that showed that the system that was mediating access to God by a cast, by a a priestly cast, by calendar, by clean and uncleanness, definitions of the old covenant, those are done now. And access is now in a new open way. God welcomes us without a priesthood, without coming on a particular day. And so, this kind of knowledge of God is and the most profound benefit—I would go back to that passage in Jeremiah —is in verse 34 where he says, "Because I will forgive your sins." There is the foundation of the new covenant, and there is where we see the interface of the crucifixion, the cross of Christ, to the new covenant reality and the life. The sin problem God solved and so all of the other benefits could be poured out.

Answer by Dr. Mark Saucy

Dr. Mark Saucy is a professor of theology at the Talbot School of Theology.