Hebrews 8 and the difference between the OT and NT.

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by Krak3n, May 26, 2018.

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  1. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    I've noticed in some other discussions dealing with the relationship between the Covenants, specifically regarding the validity of baptizing households, that often the question arises as to how the saints in the Old Covenant were dealt with by God.

    Let me be as transparent as possible. I was raised generic Baptist and have been trying, yes actively seeking, to become a Presbyterian. Perhaps I still have an immature view of Covenant Theology that hinders me from getting behind either approach, that of the Baptist or Presbyterian.

    Here's my question: If we say that the saints in the Old Covenant also had the Spirit, or the law on both their hearts and minds, then how is the New Covenant any different than the old?

    Why does the author of Hebrews make the case that God found fault with the people of the Old Covenant, and so He decides to make a New Covenant where He will put His law on their minds and hearts, if that was the way the Old Covenant had worked as well? (What good would a New Covenant be if all that changed was from a "snip" to a "splash"?)

    I can see why the Baptists want to make a distinction, only Baptizing those who profess faith, but there really is the problem of it being based only on a profession and the infamous "regeneration goggles". I can also see the pull of Presbyterians and the idea that both professors and the elect are a part of the New Covenant, especially in light of the warnings against apostasy in the book of Hebrews.

    I've many other questions, but if someone could help me out here I'd really appreciate it.

    TL;DR: How does the New Covenant accomplish Hebrews 8:10?

    Also, don't hijack this thread David. ;)
     
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    There is unity in the Old and New covenants. The promise, condition, and object were the same. This is why Scripture can declare we are partakers of the blessings of Abraham (Gal 3:8,9,14). It is in the realizations of these things that distinguishes the old from the new.

    For example:
    https://www.puritanboard.com/thread...e-covenant-of-grace.93187/page-3#post-1137758

    Two very cogent treatments:
    https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/horton-the-mosaic-covenant-and-the-wcf.21024/page-3#post-267308

    https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/reformed-faith-and-supersessionism.90821/#post-1114285
     
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  3. Harley

    Harley Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think a few facts would help in discerning the meaning of the passage:

    - The covenant is made “with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” It is something God would do to a body already set in place.
    - The covenant which was superseded was the Mosaic only. It was the covenant made upon the exodus. Thus, the passage shows that the covenant with Abraham was not set aside. If it were, Hebrews doesn’t make much sense.
    - There were salvific promises made in the Abrahamic Covenant, so salvation and fellowship with God are not new to the New Covenant. So, it can’t be that the prior covenant were merely shadows, or pertained only to worldly blessings, while the New alone promises and administrates spiritual blessings. The AC does both.

    “New” doesn’t have to mean “absolutely new, entirely unprecedented, never heard of before, nothing in it was ever given prior.” I might build a new house, but the idea of a house isn’t new.

    In regard to the Mosaic, it’s very much different. Instead of the Law being on stone, it goes in the heart. Instead of remaining in letter form, it’s made effectual by the Spirit. The real, experienced knowledge of God is far more common, much more substantial, and so much deeper. Fewer outward ordinances are needed because Christ the reality is here. Not only that, but Gentiles now have a greater part, and the ability to partake the sacraments is expanded. Also, by the Spirit, many things which remained dark in the OT are enlightened by the Spirit.

    In other words, the New is the deliverance of the promises made in the Abrahamic.
     
  4. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    One has to see this through the lens of the Covenant of Grace. The Mosaic was a gracious covenant. One gospel.

    Timing is everything. The passage in Jer 31 dates back to Gen 3; It is a now and not yet prophesy or retroactive as well as future, i.e. we still need teachers; In glory, we will no longer need teachers.

    Lastly, I am of the mindset that when the author of hebrews speaks of the OC in the way he does, he is referring to those holding onto a law based effort and not to those who are firmly planted in justification by faith alone, not to miss mentioning the civil and ceremonial aspects that have passed away.
     
  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    The NC would be the new relationship between God and His Covenant people, new in the sense that it would be unconditional, would have all under it saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and all under it would have access to all spiritual blessings, such as direct access to God, being priests unto God etc.
     
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