THE NEW COVENANT SUPERIOR TO THE OLD
The fourth main section of Hebrews, from 8:1 to 10:39, tells us that the new covenant enacted by Christ is much better than the old. The new covenant is superior to the old covenant because the old covenant was only a shadow, a type, while the new covenant is the reality, the fulfillment of the type. Christ offered Himself as the real sacrifice for sin and shed His blood to wash away our sins, and by the shedding of His blood He enacted this covenant for us.
With any covenant or agreement there are certain contents. The new covenant, the new testament, contains all that Christ has done. Hebrews 8:10-12 shows us the content of the new covenant. These verses say, “For this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me. And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them. For I will be propitious to their unrighteousnesses, and their sins I shall by no means remember anymore.”
The Forgiveness of Sins
There are four main items of the contents of the new covenant. One primary item is the forgiveness of sins (v. 12). Because of this covenant we have the right to claim the forgiveness of sins from God. With this covenant in hand we can boldly go to God and say, “You have to grant me the forgiveness of sins, because this is an item of the covenant made by my Redeemer with His shed blood.” If we know the content of the covenant, there is no need to beg God to forgive us. We can say to God, “Whether or not You are willing to forgive me, You must grant me forgiveness.” This can be illustrated by the title deed to a house. If someone buys a house and holds the deed, he can tell the former owner to give it to him, whether or not that person is willing, because the possession of the house is one of the items of the contents of their agreement. A primary item of the new covenant enacted by the shedding of Christ’s blood is the forgiveness of sins.
Imparting His Laws into Our Mind and Inscribing Them on Our Heart
Another item of the covenant is that something of life is imparted into us (v. 10a). For the Lord to impart His laws into our mind is altogether a matter of life, the divine life, with all of its riches, including the law of life, the fellowship of life, and the sense of life. We must know the riches of the contents of the covenant, the “title deed.” We have this wonderful title deed, but we may not know what its contents are. How poor this is! The new covenant includes the forgiveness of sins and the imparting of the divine life into us with the divine law of life, the divine fellowship of life, and the divine sense of life. This is the imparting of God Himself into us.
Having God as Our God and Being His People
Another item of the covenant is that He is our God and we are His people (v. 10b). We have the right to claim God to be our God because this is an item of the deed, the covenant. If we buy some property and hold the title deed to it, we own everything on the property. Then we may come and claim all the items according to the deed. The covenant is a title deed signed and sealed by the blood of Christ.
The next item of this covenant is that we know God (v. 11). We should not cry to God for the ability to know Him. Rather, we should go to God to claim the ability to know Him, because to know God is not merely a promise of God but an item of the agreement, the signed title deed.
(General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 3: Hebrews through Jude, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)