In this post, we’re going to cover some key points of the new covenant ministry.
• Promised in the Old Testament
Jer 31:31-34 [NIV]
“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it 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,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Ezek 37:26-27 [NIV]
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
• Fulfilled by Jesus
These prophecies were fulfilled when Jesus Christ, of line of David in the flesh, chose to die on the cross as the Son of God and Man, nullifying the Law of sin and death, and establishing the covenant of eternal life. The moment He died on the cross, He exclaimed, “It is finished.”
• Entrusted to the disciples
- Before, Jesus went to the cross, He had Passover dinner with the disciples. This was a symbolic act through which He instructed them to partake of His Body and His Blood, thus setting them apart as ministers of this New Covenant. (1 Cor 11:23-26)
- After He resurrected, He came to His disciples and taught them for 40 days, then instructed them to preach the gospel and disciple all nations. But before that, He told them to tarry in Jerusalem till they received power from on High. (Matt. 28:16-20, Luk. 24:45-53)
- Then, on the day of Pentecost, his disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit and began to preach and share the Gospel with power. (Acts. 2-3)
• Passed on to us
This Gospel was passed on to us as disciples of Jesus Christ. When Jesus prayed for the disciples before His Father ahead of time of His death, He included us in His prayer. Some call this is the High Priest Prayer:
John 17:20-22 [NIV]
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.
This oneness that Jesus prayed included us as His Body, with himself being the head. But this work is not done by man of his own strength and power, but as vessels that God raises up and empowers.
• Through the Holy Spirit
This is the model of the ministry of the New Covenant: that through discipleship we can learn of His ways and receive the Power of the Holy Spirit. After being firmly established in Him, we then can do the Father’s business as well.
This ministry is fundamentally different from the one under the Old Covenant. It is a ministry of God’s eternal life and glory in the Spirit. It can’t be accomplished, or even comprehended by man’s flesh. (2 Cor. 3)
• Priestly and Kingly office and duty as the content
As we mentioned before, Kingly office and duty is the content of discipline and discipleship in the Kingdom of God, whose King is our Lord Jesus Christ. Priestly office and duty is the content of discipline and discipleship in the family of God under the headship of Jesus Christ, who is acting as the High Priest under the Eternal Covenant in the Heavenly Tabernacle.
These are two inseparable realities that we will enter into after we are born again.
This is post is _Part 2_ in the series Ministry Under the New Covenant. To continue with this series, click on Pt 3. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series.
Photo credit: Cocoa Frosted Flakes