By Michael Zaucha
In any and all comparisons between the old and new covenant, the new is better. First and foremost, the new is better because it is built upon the better, the far more superior, the once for all sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The new is better because at its foundation is the only sacrifice – for the remission of sins – that God has or ever will accept.
And now, because of the better sacrifice, the rock solid foundation of Christ Himself and what He accomplished, all who have received Christ (Jn. 1:12), all who have put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14), all who have been baptized into Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:27), they all have access to the better things of the new covenant (Heb.6:9)
The Better Things. The things of the new covenant are better because the old could offer only things that pertain to this world and this age. And as such, they all have termination dates and will be burnt up at the appearing of the Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Christ, we have a better hope (Heb. 7:19), a hope of fulfillment that extends beyond when time shall be no longer (Rev. 10:6). And we have better promises (Heb. 8:6) – and this is the promise which He promised us, even eternal life (I Jn. 2:25). The old could never provide such a glorious promise. And we have a better country, that is an heavenly (Heb. 11:16), and in the better country, we have a better and an enduring substance (Heb. 10:34) – substance that can neither fade away or be taken away (Mt. 6:20). The most precious substance is God Himself who Himself is our exceeding great reward (Gen 15:1). And because of Christ, we know that awaits us is the obtainment of a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35) – a resurrection of life and of being with the Lord for ever, as opposed to a resurrection of damnation (Dan. 12:2; Jn. 5:29) - being “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power” (II Th. 1:9). All man shall partake of either one or the other of these resurrections. By the grace of God, our objective is to attain unto the better resurrection.
The Necessity of Preaching These Things. While it is true that all these better things come to us because of Jesus’ one sacrifice to God, His one acceptable offering, it is equally true that these better things need to be preached to God’s people more than once, even again and again. It is absolutely vital for us to put each other in remembrance of these better things, even though ye know them and are established in them (II Pet. 1:12).
Nothing in the words spoken by Jesus Himself or in the Apostle’s doctrine would lead anyone to assume that the wonderful works of God through Christ Jesus, and the provisions and benefits that are in Him is to be a onetime announcement to the people of God – only used to bring people into the kingdom. It is vital to proclaim these better things in order to keep them all in as well.
Therefore, it is through the proclamation of the accomplished work of Christ, and the declaration of the better things - because of what Jesus accomplished – that not only creates in God’s people a desire for them, it also intensifies the anticipation for the fullness to be realized, and strengthens them to forsake all else “for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).
The Testimony of Jesus. In the days of His flesh, Jesus began to teach His people in this vital truth. Jesus said: “abide in Me” (Jn. 15:4). Abide is a most wonderful exhortation to the people of God for it means to remain, to stay, to continue and to be stedfast where God has put you. And the gospel reveals that place to abide is where God put you: “of Him (God) are ye in Christ Jesus” (I Cor. 1:30). So the exhortation of the Lord God Himself is to stay and remain in Christ Jesus.
And there are better things to know concerning this exhortation, for with it comes the enablement to perform it. The old covenant made no provision to enable God’s people to fulfill its commands and exhortations – for it was weak through the flesh (Rom. 8:3), but the new does. And that provision is Christ Himself. Jesus continues to open this up with His word: “Abide in Me, and I in you.” The exhortation to abide in Christ is accomplished by Christ abiding in you. Jesus is saying that if you abide in Me, I’ll abide in you.
And with Jesus abiding in you – staying in you, remaining in you, continuing in you, those better promises are yours. “For all the promises in Him are ye, and in Him, amen” (II Cor. 1:20) – even the bearing of much fruit unto God.
Jesus said: “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (Jn. 15:5) to the glory of God. And this is good fruit that comes forth from our being joined to Christ for it came forth from the good tree which is Jesus Himself, and a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit (Mt. 7:18).
Good Fruit is to be Partaken. Now in Christ, we are partakers of God’s promise - specifically of heirship, being heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Eph. 3:6; Rom. 8:17). However, this does not come naturally or in our own strength. You must be qualified and enabled for this high position, and the gospel declares, in Christ, you have been.
The gospel declares: “we are made meet”- by God both qualified for and enabled to be – “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). This is an eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15) and will not be given to just any man – only His Beloved Son, and those who are made acceptable in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6); those of whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren (Heb. 2:11). To all these, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give the kingdom (Lk. 12:32).
We are partakers of the heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1), so don’t invest a lot of your time in calls to remain in the low places. Set you affections on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:2). Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God (Col. 3:1). The saint’s calling is a high calling which not only originates in heaven, but also pertains to heaven in its fullness. Ours is a calling unto full partakement of all the promises of God in Christ Jesus with its apex of fulfillment in our being made one with the Godhead just as Jesus interceded for us (Jn. 17:20-23).
We are made partakers of Christ (Heb. 3:14), and of the Holy Ghost (Heb. 6:4), and of His (God’s) holiness (Heb. 12:20) is the gospel proclamation. To the believer in Christ Jesus, this very declaration is a strengthener and an enabler for us to continue to fight the good fight of faith and to lay hold of eternal life – that better promise. Each of us enduring to the end is vital for only those that hold the beginning of their confidence stedfast to the end shall partake in full (Heb. 3:14).
Conclusion. The provisions of the new and better covenant – full of better things - have been given to us by God to affect these very things in us. And in our partakement, we do give glory to God and acknowledge that this is the Lord’s doing: to the Only Wise God be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.