Our text today, Hebrews 8, contrasts two covenants. Both of them are initiated by God. The reason they are relevant for thinking about a church covenant among believers is that both of them are designed to bring a people into special relationship with God and with each other: the first was the covenant with Israel that God made when he took them out of Egypt; and the other covenant—the new covenant—is the one God made with the church when Jesus died for the church and rose from the dead. The first covenant created the nation of Israel and the new covenant created the church, the true spiritual Israel, and will eventually gather in the converted nation of Israel as well (Romans 11:26–27).


The Main Difference Between the Two


The main difference between the “old covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:14) with Israel and the new covenant is that in the new covenant God not only sets the obligations of faith and obedience, he also pledges to create the faith and obedience.