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WHEN was the NEW COVENANT inaugurated and with WHOM?

In Exodus, chapters 19-20 we read that God Almighty inaugurated a covenant with Moses, which we know as the OLD COVENANT. This took place on top of Mount Sinai. WHEN was the NEW COVENANT inaugurated and with WHOM?
Once again, thanks for all the answers and some questions. It is a great blessing to me personally to know that you have spent time in the Word of God and have discussed the questions throughout the week with fellow believers. Remember, you can go to our website www.vcfj.org to listen to some of the answers that were discussed before the sermon.
Here is a summary of the answers given: one person answered: “The NEW COVENANT was inaugurated (instituted) when Jesus was “with” the disciples in the upper room at the last supper (Matthew 26, Luke 22) but the covenant was made “with” the house of Israel and with the House of Juda (Jeremiah 31:31)”
Another person answered: “When was the New Covenant and with whom? God makes the new covenant with believers only. Hebrews 8:6-13; the house of Israel and the house of Judah consists of Christian believers, true Israel. True Israel -those who know the Lord (1 Peter 2:9-10). This New Covenant began at the shedding of the blood of the lamb of God as it began with the old covenant in Exodus 1-11.”
Let me give you one more answer from someone else: “The New Covenant is through Jesus – it is perfected by just believing in Him, the grace of God! It is not made by “the blood of bulls and goats” (Hebrews 10:4) which is not really adequate to take away sins, but made by his own blood, “the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19).
The New Covenant is base on spiritual Promises and ETERNAL LIF (John 3:16). For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but haver everlasting life.”
The question laid before us is a little bit more complicated than the answers given. It really depends on which theological school of thought you have embraced. Let me give just two of those “school of thoughts” that are prominent in the churches in America. The first one would be REFORMED THEOLOGY.
You probably are familiar with names like John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John McArthur, Alistair Begg and many more I could mention. They all adhere to the Reformed Theology which considers both covenants, the New and the Old as a single covenant of grace. In his book titled: Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof, writes a summary of Reformed Theology regarding the covenants:
“The covenant of grace, as it is revealed in the New Testament, is essentially the same as that which governed the relation of Old Testament believers to God. […] If it is sometimes spoken of as a new covenant, this is sufficiently explained by the fact that its administration differs in several particulars from that of the Old Testament. (Systematic Theology, 2.3.5.C)”
In other words, Reformed Theology believes that the New Covenant and the Old Covenant are in essence the same that was given to Abraham and Moses. The difference is that the “New Covenant” started with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Let’s move on from Reformed Theology to another “school of thoughts” regarding this subject; Dispensational Theology. Here, I also could mention Christian household names such as David Jeremiah, Chuck Swindoll, Erwin Lutzer, David Wilkerson, Jim Cymbala, and many more. They all teach that the old covenant was a conditional agreement that God made the with Israelites. The Old Covenant was in effect during the DISPENSATION OF THE LAW.
Under this Old Covenant the Israelites were required to obey God and keep the Law. In the New Covenant God becomes the source of salvation not our obedience to the law. Hebrews 10:4 is probably one of the most obvious verses to show the great difference between the Old and the New Covenant.
“…It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4) When Jesus died on the cross and shed His precious blood for us, he did what the blood of bulls and goats could not do. Now, sacrifice for sin is no longer a necessity. There is even more good news for those who are under the New Covenant. Under the Old, only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place where God’s presence dwelt. Under the New Covenant, “having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith Hebrews 10:19-22.
The New Covenant is a much better Covenant than the Old one was. Personally, I do not believe that the New Covenant is just an extension of the Old. I base my belief on a solid Biblical Foundation found in 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 which says: “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be MINSTERS OF A NEW COVENANT, NOT OF THE LETTER BUT OF THE SPIRIT. For the letter kills, BUT THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE. This New Covenant was made possible AT CALVARY where Jesus’s blood sealed this covenant of Grace for you and me.