A COVENANT FOR ALL PEOPLES
PART 7 - ONLY TWO COVENANTS: LAW AND GRACE
“FOR if the First Covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a Second.” (Heb.8:7)
“Then has He (Jesus) said, lo, I am come to do Your will. He (Jesus) takes away the First, that He (Jesus) may establish the Second.” (Heb.10:9)
“Israel's minds were hardened, for until this very day, at the reading of the Old Covenant, the same veil remains, it not being revealed unto them, that it (the Old Covenant; the law) is done away in Christ.” (2Cor.3:14)
aaron—It is important to fully understand the clear thrust of this statement from Second Corinthians. God intentionally hardened Israel’s minds so that the Gospel dispensation could promulgate out to all peoples, tribes, tongues, and Nations. They were no longer to have the lead role in God's reconciliation. As a matter of fact, by looking at Israel's present stubbornness to the gracious dispensation of the Abrahamic Covenant, one can easily see that they would never have allowed the Gospel to progress as God intended. (1Pe.1:10—12, Mat.13:10—17...)
“(In finding fault with the First Covenant), He said: Behold, the day is coming says the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the Covenant I made with their fathers in the day that I took them out of the land of Egypt. For they continued not in My Covenant.” (Heb.8:8 and 9/ Jer.31:31 and 32)
aaron—We can clearly see the two Covenants within the two major divisions of the Christian Bible: The Old Covenant was principally the covenant of the law that was given to God's first peoples in their exodus out of Egypt, and the New Covenant is indeed the manifestation and explanation of the Covenant of Grace—the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. Note that Covenant and Testament are the same Greek words.
We can also see how important the proper identification of God’s peoples is to any correct interpretation of this passage. We must understand precisely who "the house of Israel" and "the house of Judah" are! I find the views on these interpretations by the Messianic followers of Yahshua to be very interesting, as they are generally given from more of a Jewish perspective.
Question 2. What did Abraham really represent?
Answer 2. God established Abraham as the father of all the nations. Abraham was to be the prime example of God's gracious relationship with mankind.
a. Abraham was called a friend of God.
b. Then God's relationship with Abraham was one of many steps that He has taken throughout the ages to more clearly manifest Himself to His creation.
Question 3. What did the term JEW represent?
Answer 3. JEW was the designation that God gave to one group of the visible peoples He has established. The term "Jew" is also one designation for His invisible priesthood, who are being secretly elected into God’s hidden Kingdom throughout all time and eternity.
Question 3a. Does the term JEW have any application in the New Testament Church?
Answer 3a. Yes! JEW continues to be the individual and collective designation for God's invisible priestly line. For anyone to become a part of God's Kingdom and royal priesthood, they must become a Jew! (Rom.2:28—29) Amen.