Lesson 15 – A Better Covenant

Lesson 15 – A Better Covenant2016-11-27T17:37:02+00:00

Sabbath, April 12, 2008

INTRODUCTION

“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27, 28.

1. How important is it that we have a high priest in the heavenly sanctuary?
Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.

“This is the only sanctuary that ever existed on the earth, of which the Bible gives any information. This was declared by Paul to be the sanctuary of the first covenant. But has the new covenant no sanctuary?
“Turning again to the book of Hebrews, the seekers for truth found that the existence of a second, or new-covenant sanctuary, was implied in the words of Paul already quoted: ‘Then verily the first covenant had also ordi­nances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.’ And the use of the word ‘also’ intimates that Paul has before made mention of this sanctuary. Turning back to the beginning of the previous chapter, they read: ‘Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.’ Hebrews 8:1, 2.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 412, 413.

2. What kind of sanctuary exists in heaven?
Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

“The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church. . . . The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the ‘true tabernacle,’ whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform.
“This tabernacle is Christ’s body, and from north, south, east, and west He gathers those who shall help to compose it. . . . A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christ as their personal Saviour. . . . Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the high priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour. ”—Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 931.

3. In the Old Testament times, the high priest had to offer gifts and sacrifices in the earthly sanctuary. What does our High Priest have to offer in the heavenly sanctuary?
Hebrews 8:3
For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

“Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momen­tarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a media­tor is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner.” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 1077.

4. Would Christ have been a priest here on earth?
Hebrews 8:4
For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.

5. According to what pattern did Moses make the sanctuary?
Hebrews 8:5
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

“In the building of the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God, Moses was directed to make all things according to the pattern of things in the heavens. God called him into the mount, and revealed to him the heavenly things, and in their similitude the tabernacle, with all that pertained to it, was fash­ioned.” – Education, p. 35.

6. What ministry was given to Christ in the heavenly sanctuary?
Hebrews 8:6
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

“God’s people are justified through the administration of the ‘better covenant,’ through Christ’s righteousness. A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfillment of certain condi­tions. Thus the human agent enters into agreement with God to comply with the conditions specified in His Word. His conduct shows whether or not he respects these conditions.

“Man gains everything by obeying the covenant-keeping God. God’s attributes are imparted to man, enabling him to exercise mercy and compassion. God’s covenant assures us of His unchangeable character. Why, then, are those who claim to believe in God changeable, fickle, untrustworthy? Why do they not do service heartily, as under obligation to please and glorify God? It is not enough for us to have a general idea of God’s requirements. We must know for ourselves what His requirements and our obligations are. The terms of God’s covenant are, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.’ These are the conditions of life. ‘This do,’ Christ said, ‘and thou shalt live.’” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 932.

7. Why was it necessary to make a new covenant?
Hebrews 8:7-9
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

“The blessings of the new covenant are grounded purely on mercy in forgiving unrighteousness and sins. The Lord specifies, I will do thus and thus unto all who turn to Me, forsaking the evil and choosing the good. ‘I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ All who humble their hearts, confessing their sins, will find mercy and grace and assurance. Has God, in showing mercy to the sinner, ceased to be just? Has He dishonored His holy law, and will He henceforth pass over the violation of it? God is true. He changes not. The conditions of salvation are ever the same. Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God’s law. . . .

“Under the new covenant, the conditions by which eternal life may be gained are the same as under the old – perfect obedience. Under the old cov­enant, there were many offenses of a daring, presumptuous character, for which there was no atonement specified by law. In the new and better covenant, Christ has fulfilled the law for the transgressors of law, if they receive Him by faith as a personal Saviour. ‘As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.’ Mercy and forgiveness are the reward of all who come to Christ trusting in His merits to take away their sins. In the better covenant we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ (Letter 276, 1904).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 931.

8. What kind of new covenant will God make with His people?
Hebrews 8:10-13
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

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