Malachi and the New Covenant
Below are some thoughts and questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
- The New Covenant Predicted
Read Jeremiah 31:27-34. What was the Lord doing in Jeremiah 31:28 (before) and what did He promise to do in the future?
In Jeremiah 31:32, the Lord referred to the covenant that He “made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt.” The Lord was speaking of the Old – or Mosaic - Covenant that He had made with Israel and expressed in His holy laws (e.g., the Ten Commandments). What was wrong with this covenant?
Consider Jeremiah 31:33-34 and also Ezekiel 36:24-27. What will be the difference the New Covenant makes in the lives of the people in this New Covenant?
Consider the end of Jeremiah 31:34. What will be the basis of this New Covenant?
- The New Covenant Realized
Read Galatians 3:10-14. (Along with your version, I am including the NLT version here as I believe it makes the ideas a little clearer without compromising the main point: “But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.’ So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’ This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, ‘It is through obeying the law that a person has life.’ But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.”)
Why does Paul say that people who rely on obeying the law for their acceptance before God are “cursed”? Why does God’s justice require that Jesus become a curse for us?
What happens to those who rely on what Jesus has done for them instead of themselves (Galatians 3:14) and how does this fulfill the promise of the New Covenant above?
- Your Life and the New Covenant
What should the New Covenant and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ mean for us regarding our spiritual victories or failures and our potential? How does it both comfort us and challenge us?
How would you say the realities of the New Covenant currently shape or do not shape the way you view your spiritual victories, failures, and potential?
Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to help you see and believe what He says about us, and Himself, because of the New Covenant. Ask Him to glorify Himself in and through you by making the blessings of the New Covenant more real in your life.