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What’s so NEWabout the New Testament?

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“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a NEW covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah… He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
     Hebrews 8:8, 13

Stores often display products labeled “NEW and Improved,” yet we find the newness is sometimes more hype than reality. Some may wonder, then, how much is really “new” about the New Testament portion of the Christian Bible. Here is a partial list of what is new and improved.


The old covenant could not bring righteousness the new can. The old covenant was mediated by Moses, written on stone tablets and was conditional. The new covenant was mediated by Jesus, unconditional and is written on living human hearts.[1]


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation."[2]


"Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." "Put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him." Through Christ, Christians can attain righteousness where it was impossible before.[3]


God paid the penalty for our sins. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."[10] When Christ atoned for our sins through his death, the Old Testament system of animal sacrifice for sins was done away with. The believer's sins are now covered by blood that brings forgiveness once and for all.


New Testament believers are not under the Old Testament Law (Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:24-25; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 11, 13). "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law" (Hebrews 7:12).


Under the new covenant, Jesus Christ became the believer's new and better High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-10:39).


In the New Testament, Jesus raised the level of our responsibility to love. Whereas the Old Testament said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus now told us to love each other as he loved us.[4]


Jews and Gentiles came together as one through Jesus. "…So as to create in Himself one new man from the two… He… has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation …No longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. …For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. …the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord"[5]


"Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new." God will create a new universe and Earth.[6]


"Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."[7]


In Heaven, the redeemed will sing a new song about their redemption. "They sang as it were a new song before the throne."[8]


The Old Testament was written over thousands of years. Its main focus is on the Jews (providing Jewish history and prophecies starting with Abraham in Genesis and ending with the prophecies of Malachi). The New Testament focuses primarily on Jesus Christ and the Church—and was written in less than 100 years.


For the first time in human history, God lived in a human body and dwelled among us his creations—enduring a cursed and fallen Earth, living shoulder-to-shoulder with sinful humanity.[9]


In the New Testament, God's Holy Spirit first comes to dwell within those who are saved.[11]


  1. Luke 22:20; Exodus 19; John 1:17; Galatians 3:19; Deuteronomy 28; Hebrews 8:8; Exodus 32:15; Hebrews 9:15; John 1:17; Hebrews 8:9-11, 12:24; Matt. 26:28

  2. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15

  3. Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10

  4. John 13:34; 1 John 2:7-8; 1 John 5

  5. Ephesians 2:11-22

  6. 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1,5

  7. Rev. 21:2

  8. Rev. 5:9, 14:3

  9. John 1

  10. John 3:16

  11. John 14:26; Acts 2

Author: Paul S. Taylor of Films for Christ.

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