New Covenant Ways – BT4
The NT cites the OT that the New Covenant is absolutely not like the old covenant
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Hebrews 8:11 cites Jeremiah 31:34 because it radically distinguishes the New (a) Covenant, which is most of the New Testament (NT), from the old covenant, which isn’t just the 5 books of Moses or Law but the basis of 97.4% of the Old Testament (OT) – see Logos Word of God – BT5a, for the definitions of the Hebrew chadash and Greek kainos mean “fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.” In Jeremiah 31:31-32 God drives this home: “I will make a New (a) Covenant . . . absolutely in fact not like the covenant that I had made . . . My [previous] covenant they (b) broke.” <Notes> a) chadash, kainos, b) the Jews the Lord led out of Egypt.
One radical difference is that the “Law” (a) of God will no longer be commandments written on stone or paper for God’s people to learn from human teachers, read, study, debate, or memorize in order to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord. This time, according to verses 33-34, God says: “I will put My ‘Law’ within them – I will write it on their hearts, . . . and/coupled absolutely in fact and in possibility (b) no longer/again shall each person teach his neighbor (c) and each person [teach] his brother (d) (e) to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord,’ for My people shall all eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (f) Me – from the least of them to the greatest.” You can’t use any stronger language to say that the New Covenant Ways are completely-different-in-kind! One is attempted knowledge of God through reading and teaching, and the other is through prophetic vision! One relies on flawed men all the way down a chain and the other relies only on God. One shows partiality to the “wise and understanding ones” and the other shows no partiality, even saying that God reverses the order on who gets “the secrets of the kingdom un-hidden to them – the little children” (g). It’s very upsetting to hear Christians and churches say the NT is a continuation of the OT, just better. That’s just crazy! <Notes> a) Torah, Nomos basically means instruction, b) ou me: the strongest absolute negative possible, like bolding, capping, and underlining – see Teach One Another, c) fellow Jews, d) family members, e) the two cover all people, so 1 John 2:27 says “you have need of absolutely in fact need of NO man teach you, f) eido is prophetic vision, g) Matthews 11:25, 13:11; Luke 8:10, 10:21.
Here’s another radical difference between the old and the NEW – the old was taught from the top-down through a hierarchy of authoritative teachers, from Moses all the way down to the children and slaves. Jesus destroys this hierarchy, bypassing ALL the middlemen! In fact the NT explains that the kingdom of God comes to the so-called “the least or last” first, and the so-called “greatest or first” last (a) – see Least Among You. <Notes> a) Matthew 20:8, 16; Mark 9:35, 10:31; Luke 13:30.
As Christian musicians, shouldn’t we know the radical difference between the New Covenant and old one, and not mix them when God warns us not to? Why are we mixing a religion of indirect knowledge that relies on flawed men with a direct relationship knowledge of God that is without a single flaw? Why are we mixing a religion of works based on earning God’s favor through our obedience to ANY of 613 commandments, even on the 2 greatest OT commandments of “Loving God and neighbor” that sum up the Law, with a relationship based on the unearned, unmerited, unconditional-loving-favor of grace? The former puts our trusting-relying-faith in our own “might and power” per Zechariah 4:6 and the latter put it in Jesus Christ “by My Spirit, says Yahweh of hosts.” God’s instruction is either on paper in a bible or it’s in human hearts by His Spirit – it’s one covenant or the other! It’s either gnosis head-knowledge or eido prophetic knowledge. Oil and water will never mix!
Lord, give us the courage to not just know the radical difference between covenants but then to never try to live with 1 foot in each, because You ended one to begin the other. Forgive us for not having the trusting-relying-faith to leave a religion of works completely behind to totally surrender to Jesus Christ and the grace of his perfect, complete work – His act of obedience is enough for us!