Author: Ron Graham
Who was the New Covenant For?
—A covenant for the whole world
We are thinking about the statement, "Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, because he is the mediator of a better covenant, which is based on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6-8). In this lesson we consider the question: Who was the New Covenant for?
The New Covenant was Mediated to All Who Should Be Saved
Christ has authority over all humankind to mediate his new covenant that can give life to all human beings. He does this by virtue of his blood sacrifice for all humankind, and by preaching the gospel throughout the world.
Jesus wants all to be saved, so he mediates the new covenant to all and for all. He prevents no one from obeying his covenant. Every human being comes under Christ's new covenant, because there is life for all who obey and punishment for all who disobey. The covenant is for all people, and nobody can opt out of it.
1 The Great Commission
- The "new covenant" and the "gospel" are the same. Paul uses these terms interchangeably for his message and teaching (2Corinthians 3:6,1:8, 2Corinthians 4:3)
- The gospel (new covenant) is preached in "all the world" to "all creation" —all human beings (Mark 16:15-16, cf Matthew 28:18-20).
- Christ gave his commission and covenant by his "authority over all mankind" so that all might have eternal life (John 17:1-3).
- The penalty for disobedience implies that all who are taught it are required to obey it and none is prevented (2Thessalonians 1:8, Hebrews 12:24-25).
2 God's Desire
- God “desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:4).
- God made Jesus “the one mediator between God and humanity” whom he wants to save —all human beings (1Timothy 2:5).
- Jesus gave himself as “a ransom for many” —as many as he wants to save, and that is all human beings (Matthew 20:28, 1Timothy 2:6).
3 Christ’s Sacrifice
- The blood of Christ is "the blood of the new covenant" (Matthew 26:28.1:8, cf Hebrews 13:20).
- Christ shed his blood "not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1John 2:1-2). Therefore the new covenant is for the whole world.