“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.” (Hebrews 8:10–12, KJV 1900)
And it even gets better. There are few times in life that we can make this statement. I remember watching some game shows on the TV while growing up. The host of the show would give away prizes or gifts to unsuspecting people. Sometimes, they would give a prize and when they opened it, the host would keep on adding items. It seemed like things just got better and better.
When we look at the New Covenant, it just gets better and better. In a previous post, we saw that the Old Covenant had some flaws and that the New Covenant is better. Remember that the weakness of the covenant was not with God, but the flaw was in the hearts of the people of Israel who were faithless and unable to keep their part. In Jeremiah’s prophecy, we see the unique blessings of this covenant that overcome the weakness of the Old Covenant (Heb 8:10-12).
First, we see that the Lord would make His laws an integral internal part of their lives. In the Old Covenant, the requirements of the law were recorded in an external document. The law placed an external constraint on the people. In the New Covenant, the Lord would place the law in the people’s hearts and minds so that there would be an inward compulsion and ability to observe it. This change would come by the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, giving the believer a new nature (v10a).
Second, there would be a new relationship between God and the people. The New Covenant would bring a closeness of the believer to God that did not happen under the Old Covenant. The reason is that God would place His Spirit within the believer. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit was not something afforded in the Old Covenant. Thus, they would not just know about the Lord, but they would know the Lord. It would be a close intimate relationship (v10b).
Third, there would be an eternal extension of mercy regarding sin for every true believer. Under the New covenant, God said He would never again remember their sins against them. Under the old dispensation, sins were only covered by the inferior sacrifices of animals. Jesus offered a better sacrifice of Himself once and for all. His shed blood cleanses the believer from sin, never to be remembered.
For all who have faith, we are new creatures in Christ. We have a new nature that desires God and His righteousness. We have a close intimate relationship with God in Christ. And our sin debt has been paid completely, never to be held against us.