Everyone who chooses to believe in Christ enters into the New Covenant. The New Covenant is a testament of promise between the believer and the Father. It is a basis on which our relationship is built, similar to a marriage.
However, many Christians struggle to understand what it means to live out this Covenant. Some seem to struggle to access the reality of the “better Covenant” and “better promises” mentioned in Hebrews 8:6.
There is only one way to live out the New Covenant and that is to walk in the Spirit, as the apostle Paul calls it. The Old Covenant had the law, and to live under that Covenant was to walk out the law through obedience to it. In the New Covenant, we have the Spirit of God in us, and to walk out this Covenant is to live in relationship to the Person of Holy Spirit, so He can assist us in bearing much fruit.
What is the New Covenant?
As I mentioned before, the New Covenant is a testament of promise between us and the Father. It is the foundation on which our relationship is built.
The word “covenant” means an agreement, contract, or promise between multiple individuals or groups of people (Merriam-Webster). When Christ died and rose again for our sins He established the New Covenant. When we repent and put our faith in Him, we enter into that Covenant.
When we choose to turn away from our sins, He rescues us from the acts of sin and the effects of sin and gives us a brand new life (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are free to enter into a relationship with Him and receive the benefits of that relationship. Some of those benefits are:
- We receive a new nature (John 3:3)
- We receive Holy Spirit
- Enter into a new family (the Body of Christ)
- Authority over the power of the enemy (Luke 10:17-20)
- Receive all the benefits of obeying the Law found in Deuteronomy 28:1-14
- We receive power of attorney in the name of Jesus (John 14:12-14)
- We have access to the Father through the Blood of Christ
- And of course, one day we will go to Heaven
There are many more benefits found in the Bible, but I’m sure you get the point. In short, this is the agreement, or covenant, that we are entering into: we give all of ourselves to Him and He gives all of Himself to us.
How to Live Out the New Covenant
Now that we know what the New Covenant is we can dive deeper into how we live this new life in Christ.
In the first century church, Christianity was commonly referred to as “the Way” (Acts 24:14). It was titled this not only because of the fact that faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven but mainly because Jesus is the way back to the Father. After all, that was what Jesus was saying in John chapter 14.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
This is what the apostles preached in the book of Acts. They preached reconciliation back to the Father. It’s important to mention that the Gospel is not about going to heaven someday, but about heaven coming back inside of you and me.
I mention all of this to say that this “way” was all about the relationship between God and man, and Jesus is the way to restore and build that relationship.
So, simply stated, we live out this new life in Christ by simply walking in the Spirit. This is found all throughout the New Testament. Galatians 5:16-18 & 22-25 says,
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Our Lord Jesus said it another way:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
So, how do we abide in Him? How do we walk in the Spirit?
Simple. We live in close fellowship with Him and stay continually filled with His Word.
God is a Person, just like you and me. Engage with Him as you would anyone else. Get alone, fix your eyes on Him, and begin to talk to Him. Ask Him to talk with you, and before you know it you’re communing with Almighty God. Believe me, there is nothing better than experiencing this.
This is what the New Covenant is all about and there is no other way to live it. Everything is found in this place of relationship because everything is found in Him. Read carefully what the apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 1:2-3.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1:2-3)
That verse reveals that everything that we need to succeed in life and live in godliness is found in only one place: knowing Him.
Old Covenant Versus New Covenant
The best chapter in the entire Bible that clearly explains the differences between the Old and New Covenant is 2 Corinthians chapter 3. It reveals the following:
- One is a Covenant of the letter, the other is a Covenant of the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
- The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)
- The New exceeds the Old in glory. (2 Corinthians 3:7-8)
- Old is a ministry of Condemnation, while the New is a ministry of Righteousness. (2 Corinthians 3:9)
- The Old is passing away, but the New will remain. (2 Corinthians 3:11)
- The New offers liberty through the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
- The Spirit Himself is transforming us into the image of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
It is a powerful revelation to see that the New Covenant is a covenant of the Spirit. It far outweighs the Old because the New is God Himself! You can’t get much better than that.
I do want to say that even though this chapter reveals that the New is so much greater than the Old, it is important to mention that the Old Covenant had its purpose.
The Bible says it was meant to tutor us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). In other words, it was meant to reveal to us that we cannot accomplish righteousness on our own, and therefore, must cry out for God’s mercy. It was never meant to be the way of righteousness, it was only meant to point to the Way.