Hebrews 8 offers us a great starting point for either sharing what we believe, or even for renewing our knowledge of the very basics of our faith. And the author does so by showing that it is born out of Israel’s history with YHWH, as he quotes from the OT book of Jeremiah.
So what is the new covenant basically?
- It is grounded in Judaism. Consequently, any adequate understanding of Christianity must grasp its Jewish roots and the implication of the roots for Christian belief.
- It is about the internalization of religion, not merely the external practice of religion. God’s laws are written on the minds and hearts of true Christians. As such, transformation and intrinsic motivation form powerful, foundational elements of Christian life and living.
- The new covenant is about relationship with God, not merely service for God.
- The forgiveness of sins forms the basis for this new covenant relationship.
Biblical Christianity, as described here in Hebrews 8, must be understood minimally as involving the forgiveness of sins, a transformation of the inner life in accordance with the laws of God set upon the universe (new human operating system), and an intimate relationship with the living God.
This passage, with its quotation of Jeremiah 31:31-34, forms an excellent 50,000 foot view that God desires a committed relationship with us, that He has cleared everything out of the way that could possibly get in the way of that relationship, and that that relationship forms the foundation and essence for a superior way of living.
Without that specific energy source, the Christian life as we read it cannot truly be lived out. Trying to do so, without that covenant relationship, is the old way, which is obsolete. It’s kinda like trying to speak to someone who doesn’t know your language, and you just raise your voice thinking they will somehow understand you if you keep using English, but you do so VERY LOUDLY AND SLOWLY. Have you ever witnessed this? It’s quite embarrassing.
Keep trying to be a Christian without the intimate relationship with Jesus. It’s off-the-charts frustrating.