There is a great need today for the church to upgrade to the New Covenant. Much of what is done and said today comes from Old Testament scriptures. Its time to return to a Christ-centric gospel and leave behind the old for what Hebrews calls a better covenant based on better promises. Jose Bosque, Editor
The Greek language is richer and more nuanced than English in many ways. Often a lot of richness is packed into small prepositions and how they are used. Such is the case with the Greek preposition: en, usually translated at its simplest level with the English word, “in.” However, depending on the particulars of its usage, it can mean so many more things than merely “in.”
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they . . . – Hebrews 1:1-4, KJV.
What KJV translates as: hath in these last days spoke unto us by His Son, is the Greek word, en. That is not incorrect. The problem is, there is actually no adequate way in English to fully do justice to what is meant. Depending on some grammatical particulars that little word encan mean: in, within a place, near by, by, by means of, in contact with, in union with, in the presence of, and so forth. In Hebrews 1:3 it means very literally God has spoken from within a place and that place is His Son. That makes no sense in literal English, but the author of Hebrews was trying to capture something profound.
Upgrade to the New Covenant!
The glorious news of the new covenant, of the glorious Savior is this: The Son of God is the Message. The Son of God is the Medium. The Son of God is the Method. The Son of God is the “place” from which God has finally spoken, once and for all. The Son of God is the perpetual frequency of divine thought and communication.
Literally, it means that God has spoken in these last days, in a sonly way, in, through, and by His Son. It is really impossible to concisely translate into English. The frequency of all divine interaction with humanity is no longer law and obedience to precept. It is no longer letter and rule. It is no longer code and conformity. God’s frequency has changed. The only frequency of divine thought is that of Sonliness. If we want to know what God thinks about something, we find it in the Son. If we think we are “hearing something from the Spirit,” we must hold whatever we think we are hearing against the template of the Son IN RESURRECTION, NOT old testament proof texts! The Son is the new, and final measure of all things.
Be warned of 21st Century Judaizers
There is great pressure these days in social media and elsewhere coming from something called Jewish Restorationism, or “recovery of Jewish roots.” It is held that various selective (inconsistently selective, I might add) aspects of Torah and Torah observance are binding upon all believers in the present day. The difference between the two covenants is downplayed, ignored, or rejected outright. Some teach that the new covenant isn’t really new at all, but merely renewal of the old covenant with Israel with more favorable terms. The old covenant, and all its precepts are viewed as eternal, and eternally binding. Should someone disagree with these propositions that person will be accused of being a “replacement theologian.” I cannot unpack in detail here the fallacy of these beliefs and the undermining of the gospel they represent. I have done so elsewhere in my books and writings.
However, It would seem clear that based on a letter written to disillusioned Jews (the book of Hebrews), that a significant change has occurred. A comparison of what was, against what is, based on the resurrection, is being made. Our Father has replaced an old way of communicating with a new one. Jesus is presented in clear contrast to what preceded Him. I would suggest an upgrade to new covenant thinking, beliefs, and practices is in order.
God’s way of doing things since the resurrection of Jesus, and the outpouring of the Spirit has forever changed. The rest of the book of Hebrews is devoted to trying to explain to disillusioned but nominally believing Jews of that the era (who were expecting literal fulfillment of the prophecies they were hanging their hopes on, and were considering reverting back to Judaism) that their covenant is over, there is nothing to go back to, and the era of a better covenant, based on better promises has begun.
Read Hebrews. Read Galatians, and don’t be duped by Jewish Restorationist nonsense. That is not “recovery” of lost truth, but rather regression to a modern form of Galatianism which Paul identified in the strongest possible language: a false gospel of which it, and the messengers of it, should be accursed. Don’t get angry with me for saying it. It’s not original with me.
Jesus is, was, and forever will be, the message, the medium, and the method of the new covenant–a qualitatively new covenant based on better promises and secured with a more precious sacrifice.
By Steve Crosby
Copyright 2014, Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references. For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Would you like to partner with us in distributing our materials and perhaps generate some income for yourself? Please go to www.stevecrosby.com for details of our Affiliate program. This ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those believe in the message of a radical grace in a new covenant understanding. If this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? Thank you and God bless you.
I couldn’t agree more about the threat of modern Judaizers. I also have been accused of believing in replacement theology. Among other Scriptures Heb. 8 is so clear about the new covenant as making the old obsolete. I am convinced the Jewish Roots people, while meaning well, have been side-tracked and deceived by the evil one. I am struggling to relate to a brother who left the institutional church a year after I did (here in South Africa) – he has now embraced the Jewish Roots position and is absolutely dogmatic about it. Sad! They become isolated and insulated.
I strongly concur with you that we do need to live and function within the new covenant, a covenant that is plainly portrayed in Heb. 8:7-13. That passage starts out with,
“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said…”
It ends with
” …By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
The only thing between those two statements is a direct, word for word, quote from the prophet Jeremiah in Jer. 31 of a new and better covenant that is yet to come at his writing.
We don’t need to recover anything. If I had a rental contract on my house which required me to pay $1,000 per month and keep the yard and property in good condition, then the owner offered me a new contract in which we can live rent free as long as we mow the lawn, would I want to insist on going back to the old contract? No, I’d rejoice because the owner found fault with the old contract, declared it obsolete and invalidated it and offers me new and better contract. I’d be a fool to try to go back to the old contract. That’s why Paul starts what we now think of as the 3rd chapter of Galatians with this statement,
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”
Here’s what I do think the Hebrews of the Old Testament have to offer us. They had a more whole way of looking at life. Words and life were looked at as a whole. So a statement like “Jesus died for my sins,” unaccompanied by a changed life would be viewed as a false statement, not because it is theologically untrue, but it is untrue to the person saying it. Because we are a Western Culture, strongly influenced by Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy when we say something is “true” we mean, it is a correct statement, However, if we thought like Hebrews we would looked for a changed life, not merely a set of “correct” doctrines.
However that is a worldview issue, not a covenential issue. Let’s live in the new and better covenant and because of that covenant, let’s live in the Spirit so our lives are new and transformed.
I really like this Ross Thanks for sharing!
Words and life were looked at as a whole. So a statement like “Jesus died for my sins,” unaccompanied by a changed life would be viewed as a false statement, not because it is theologically untrue, but it is untrue to the person saying it.
[…] see also https://godsleader.com/upgrade-to-the-new-covenant/ […]
[…] Jon Zens The Law of Christ in the New Covenant […]