See English Version at the bottom

“新约”,故名思义为”新的约定”。既然有新的,那肯定就有旧的; 旧的是新的铺陈;旧的有所不能,才有更新的必要。了解“什么是旧约”是明白新约的基础。

“那前约若没有瑕疵,就无处寻求后约了。”— 希伯来8:7

新旧对比,哪些没变?

首先是约定双方当事人,仍然是神和以色列人。

其次是约定内容,以色列人若遵行神的律法,神就保佑他们;以色列人违犯神的律法,神就惩罚他们。

最后是神给的应许没变,神应许以色列人的祖先,以色列会成为万国所仰望的国家,万民都要通过以色列得到的神的福佑。

这三点中的第二点是旧约需要更新的原因。以色列人的历史证明了他们不能遵行神的律法。神说不要敬拜偶像和假神,以色列人敬拜自己打造的金牛和外邦人的神巴力;神说不要犯奸淫,以色列大卫王抢了别人的妻子并谋杀了丈夫;神说不能做假见证陷害他人,以色列人却陷害了神拣选的先知和使徒,包括神应许给他们的王耶稣。

如果要靠以色列人乖乖行律法,使神的应许变成真的,那一天没希望到来。但神是信实的,祂不会让自已的应许落空,祂不会食言。

所以,新约产生了。

“主说,看啊,日子将到,我要与以色列家和犹大家另立新约。”— 耶利米31:31

新旧对比,哪些更新了?

首先,新的心。过去以色列人靠熟读来记得神的律法,靠兄弟、邻里教导来认识神(希伯来8:11)。新约中,神将把律法刻在他们的心上,这颗新的心会使他们自小就认识神(希伯来8:10)。新的心会帮助他们遵行律法,得到神的福佑(以西结11:19-20)

“那些日子以后,我与以色列家所立的约是这样:我要将我的律法放在他们思想里,写在他们心里……他们不用各人教导他的邻居,和他的弟兄,说,你该认识主。因为他们从最小的到最大的,都必认识我。”— 希伯来 8:10-11

“我要给他们合一的心,也要将一个新灵放在你们里面,又从他们肉体中除掉石心,给他们一颗肉心,使他们顺从我的律例,谨守遵行我的典章。”— 以西结 11:19-20

其次,新的灵(以西结36:26-27)。过去,只有神拣选的以色列先知会被圣灵充满。同时,当先知冒犯神时,神会让圣灵离开先知,例如扫罗王的遭遇(撒母耳上10:9-10,16:14)。新约下,得救的以色列人都会得到圣灵;例如使徒行传里,和彼得一起传道、听道的人都得到了圣灵(使徒2:1-4, 6:2-3, 5, 10:44)。新约下,因为以色列人的罪被新的祭司赎了,圣灵不会再离开以色列人(希伯来8:12)

“我也要给你们一个新心,将新灵放在你们里面……我必将我的灵放在你们里面,使你们顺从我的律例,谨守遵行我的典章。”— 以西结36:26-27

最后,新的大祭司也是永恒的大祭司(希伯来7:16-17, 23-25),他的一次性献祭有永久的果效(希伯来7:27)。律法规定,以色列触犯神的律法时,需要通过他们的祭司献上动物的血来弥补,叫作赎罪祭(利未4章)。但以色列人的罪不止,赎罪祭就不止。可动物的血哪能抵销人的罪(希伯来10:4)。耶稣是以色列永恒的大祭司,他将自己作为赎罪祭献上(希伯来10:12),血偿了以色列人的所有罪(希伯来9:12-14, 25-26)。从此,以色列人再也不用献赎罪祭了(希伯来10:10)

“确实有很多祭司,他们因为死的原因,不能继续。但这人是永远常存的,他祭司的职分就不能更换。”— 希伯来7:23-24

“但这人献了一次永远的赎罪祭,就在神的右手边坐下了。”— 希伯来10:12

新约弥补了旧约的不可实现部分,使得以色列人可以得到他们祖先的应许。在启示录里,我们读到新的耶路撒冷从天上降到地上(启示录21:2),万邦万民都要去以色列求神的智慧(启示录21:24)。神和以色列人的约定,实现了。

旧的有所不能,才有更新的必要。The old one had flaws, so there is a need for a new one.

The new covenant implies that there was an old one. The old one is the foundation for the new one. The old one had faults, so there is a need for a new one. Understanding the old covenant is necessary for learning the new one.

“For if that first cove­nant had been fault­less, then should no place have been sought for the se­cond.” — Heb 8:7

New Covenant VS. Old Covenant: What Remains?

First, the two parties associated with the covenant remain the same. The new covenant is still between God and Israel.

Secondly, the agreement doesn’t change. If Israel obeys God’s law, God will bless them; if they break the law, God will punish them.

Last, the promises don’t change. God promised the fathers of Israel that they will be a nation among other nations. All nations will have to get blessings from God through them.

The agreement part is the cause for a new covenant. The history of Israel has proved that they can’t obey God’s law. God told them not to worship idols, but Israel worshiped a golden cow and gentiles’ gods. God told them not to commit adultery, but even their king took the other one’s wife. God told them not to bear false witness, but they falsely accused God’s chosen prophets, apostles, and the Messiah and killed them.

To make God’s promises come true, Israel has to obey the law and there is no hope for this to happen. However, God is faithful. He will not swallow his words. He will make the promises true.

Therefore, a new covenant is needed.

“Be­hold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new cove­nant with the house of Is­rael, and with the house of Ju­dah.” — Jer 31:31

New Covenant VS. Old Covenant: What Is Updated?

First, a new heart. Israel used to learn God and his law by teaching from brothers and neighbors (Heb 8:11). Under the new covenant, God will write his law into their heart. The new heart will help all of Israel, from the least to the greatest, to know God. The new heart will also help them to keep God’s law(Eze 11:19-20).

“For this is the cove­nant that I will make with the house of Is­rael af­ter those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws in­to their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a peo­ple: And they shall not teach ev­ery man his neigh­bour, and ev­ery man his brother, say­ing, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the great­est.” — Heb 8:10-11

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spir­it within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my sta­tutes, and keep mine or­d­i­nances, and do them…” — Eze 11:19-20

Secondly, a new spirit(Eze 36:26-27). It used to be that only God’s chosen prophets would have the holy spirit in them. Meanwhile, if the prophet sinned against God, the holy spirit would leave the prophet. King Saul was an example (Sam10:9-10, 16-14). Under the new covenant, the remnants of Israel will have the Holy Spirit in them. For example, Peter and other disciples in Acts 2 and Acts 6 all had the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 6:2-3, 5). Because the sin is redeemed by their new priest, the holy spirit will not leave Israel anymore (Heb8:12).

“A new heart al­so will I give you, and a new spir­it will I put within you…And I will put my spir­it within you, and cause you to walk in my sta­tutes, and ye shall keep my judg­ments, and do them.” — Eze 36:26-27

Last, the new priest has an eternal position(Heb 7:16, 23-25), and his sacrifice has an eternal effect(Heb 7:27). Israel had to sacrifice animal blood when they broke God’s law according to the rules of the sin offering(Lev 4). Israel couldn’t stop sinning, and their sin offering never ended. However, animals’ blood can’t pay for men’s sin(Heb 10:4). Jesus is the eternal priest. He sacrificed himself as the sin offering(Heb 10:12). His blood paid for Israel’s sin(Heb 9:12-14, 25-26). Therefore, there is no need for Israel to sacrifice sin offerings(Heb10:10).

“And they tru­ly were many pri­ests, be­cause they were not suf­fered to cont­in­ue by rea­son of death: But this man, be­cause he cont­in­ueth ev­er, hath an unchange­able pri­est­hood.” — Heb 7:23-24

“But this man, af­ter he had of­fered one sac­ri­fice for sins for ev­er, sat down on the right hand of God…” — Heb 10:12

The new covenant makes up for the fault of the old one so that Israel can see their fathers’ promises come true. In Revelation, we can read that the new Jerusalem will come to the new earth from heaven(Rev 21:2), and all nations will go to Israel for God’s wisdom(Rev 21:24). The covenant between God and Israel will be fulfilled.

新约是什么?What Is The New Covenant?”的一个响应

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