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the new covenant

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."  (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)

In the third chapter of his second letter to the Corinthian church the Apostle Paul gives at least eight differences between God's old covenant with Israel and his new covenant with all believers.

1)  The Law in the OT was written on stone tablets; in the NT it is written upon the heart (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). 

2)  The old covenant would result in death -- due to human inability to keep it -- whereas the new covenant gives life. 

3)  The new covenant has a greater glory than the old (see also Hebrews 1).

4)  The old covenant was temporary and would give way to the new (see again Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36).  The glory of Moses would fade, but the glory of the Lord Jesus -- and the glory he gives us -- is eternal. 

5)  The result of the old covenant would be condemnation -- again due to human sin and inability -- but the new covenant would bring a righteousness outside of ourselves that would be given to us.

6)  The mediator of the old covenant was Moses -- who was faithful yet fallible, and fading -- and the mediator of the new covenant is the Lord Jesus, the Son of God.  (Hebrews!)

7)  The blindness that people experience under the old covenant is removed when people turn to the Lord of the new covenant.

8)  The hardened hearts of the old covenant (and of the old creation) give way to the freedom we have under the Lord who gives us his Spirit and who transforms us into his own glorious image.  

In our new covenant relationship with the Lord we not only begin to see the glory of God, but by the Spirit his glory changes us into the image of Jesus Christ.   

Here's a traditional poem that summarizes these differences...

Run, John, and work, the law commands,
yet finds me neither feet nor hands,

But sweeter news the gospel brings,
it bids me fly and lends me wings!

—Cited by Charles H. Spurgeon, The Salt-Cellars: Being a Collection of Proverbs, Together with Homely Notes Thereon.  


Great post. We know a persons heart by fruits and words, I think.

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