The New Covenant is “Abraham plus”

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 

15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. – Galatians 3:5-9, 15-18, 23-29

The Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ

 

We have all heard the request often made in prayer asking God for “traveling mercies.” If course, it refers to safety during travels. My wife and I have developed an updated version. I guess you could consider it version 2.0. We call it “traveling mercies plus.” If we are going somewhere there is a busy parking lot and getting a decent parking place may be difficult, we jokingly ask for “traveling mercies plus” meaning safety – plus a good parking place.

The New Covenant can be said to be the Abrahamic covenant plus.

The Scriptures for today make it plain that we are justified, made right with God, on the same basis as Abraham, faith alone. As people who believe the gospel, we are called “sons of Abraham.” We then are recipients of the promise to Abraham, of righteousness by faith alone. We will also gain “the land” that was promised to Abraham. Only when we inherit the land, it will be on the New Earth.

The problem Paul was dealing with in Galatians was some of the folks were being encouraged to go back to the law. Paul was pointing out to them that the law was a temporary administration that acted as a guardian or schoolmaster to keep control on our sinful desires until Christ came and we could become sons of God through faith.

“Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness?” Abraham received a miracle in the birth of Isaac after Sarah had been barren for decades and Abraham was about 100 years old. There was no way one could reasonably believe they would have a child at this point in their lives. But they did. It was by faith.

The “plus” in the Abrahamic covenant plus is the relationship with the Holy Spirit given to all believers.

In the New Covenant in Christ we have everything that was promised to Abraham and then some – a lot more “then some.” One important point I hope I am communicating is that we, twenty-first century Christians, are participating in the Abrahamic covenant. It isn’t just some historical thing to read about in Genesis. It is a covenant that is still alive, and we are partakers of it by faith. See your roots way back on the dusty roads Abraham walked. Our “righteousness” is grounded in that covenant of promise received by faith alone. I hope this will help make the Old Testament more exciting reading for you.

Related Posts:

Covenant: The architecture of Scripture

The mother of all covenants

The first covenant in time – a covenant of works

The mother of all promises

Everybody needs a rainbow

Episode #1 The Abrahamic covenant: the promise given

Episode #2 The Abrahamic covenant: the promise confirmed

Episode #3 The Abrahamic covenant: the promise signified

The Mosaic covenant that leads to Christ

The forever covenant that created a king

Jeremiah’s take on the New Covenant

The greater glory of the New Covenant

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If you would like to do more indepth reading on the concept of covenant in Scripture, I recommend this book, Sacred Bond. Click on the book and you will be taken to Amazon where you can purchase a copy.