The new covenant is much different than the old covenant. The old covenant was an exterior covenant, a list of rules and regulations. The new covenant is an interior covenant. Hebrews 8.10-11 describes the new covenant with these words:
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Under the old covenant, the laws of God were owned and managed by the religious leaders. The few scrolls that existed were hidden away from the common folk and only the skilled and learned could even dream of handling them. As a result, an entire class of people rose up within the Jewish community to teach the common folk how to follow the covenant. It was not enough to know the 613 laws of the Old Testament. One also needed to know the application of those laws, which could number into the thousands. Who could keep up with all of that? That was the role of the religious leaders, and it was their role to teach their fellow Jews the covenant.
But something would change dramatically in the new covenant. The ways of the Lord would be implanted directly into the minds and hearts of those under the new covenant. And “knowing God” would not be limited to the religious elite but every person, whether significant in the community or not, could develop a personal relationship with their Sovereign Creator.
Here’s the question to wrestle with today. If the Lord Himself has written His laws on my mind and heart, if He has stamped my way of thinking and the seat of my emotions and desires with His fingerprints, then why do I still sin? I don’t think the problem with the old covenant was lack of knowledge of the rules/regulations but the lack of the ability to follow them. Remember, the fault was with the people not the law. If the good news of the new covenant is that the Spirit of God works His ways into my heart and mind, then why is that in-working only partial and not full? How do I explain that one?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.