Hebrews 8:6-10
Heb 8:6 (KJB)
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Better - Superior, more powerful
We saw in Hebrews 8:2 that Christ was the minister of the sanctuary, that is, the true sanctuary which is in Heaven. He is able to have this more excellent ministry because of his unending life. The priests of earth had their ministries interrupted because of death but Christ’s ministry is continuous, that is, without end. Christ also became the mediator of a better covenant and that is because He is both man and God and is able to mediate between the two parties. The better covenant was also established upon better promises. In the old covenant, the promise was that if Israel obeyed God. Then they would prosper but if they did not, they would not prosper but face judgment. The new covenant that Christ became the mediator of was that of grace and those under grace would never lose their favor with God since it was an eternal covenant in contrast to the temporary nature of the first covenant, which was of Sinai. The goal of the first covenant was to show the people they could not keep the law and that they needed a Savior. The goal of the second covenant is eternal life for all those Christ came to save.
Heb 8:7 (KJB)
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
If the first covenant, that of Sinai, was adequate to save those who were able to keep it, then there would have been no need for a second covenant, which was grace. The explanation would follow in the next few verses as the first and second covenant are being compared.
Heb 8:8 (KJB)
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
(Jer 31:31 KJV) 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:
Now let us focus on the language of Hebrews 8:8, specifically the first five words, “For finding fault with them.”
Finding Fault - (memfomenos) memphomenos - This word carries with it the meaning of “blame, find fault, or chide.”
Them - (autois) autois - This word is a personal pronoun and carries with it the meaning of “he, she, it, self, same.” This word is in the feminine gender. God speaks of Covenants in the feminine gender and what else does He speak about in the feminine gender? Women and especially a wife.
(Jer 3:14 KJV) Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
Jeremiah 3:14 is the only place in Scripture where God speaks of being married to Israel. Israel had become so corrupt that God eventually divorced Israel.
(Jer 3:8 KJV) And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
The reason that God gave Israel a bill of divorce was because they had become corrupt by committing adultery with the surrounding nations and adopting their false religions and sinful ways. This adultery with the nations was a violation of the Covenant of Sinai. The first covenant showed that the nation of Israel was unable to keep the covenant because of sinful tendencies which dwells in every human being. This is why God found fault with Israel and really the entire human race.
In Hebrews 8:8 God then continues on and states that He is going to make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. By the time Jeremiah had announced the new Covenant, Israel, the northern Kingdom was already in captivity for about 130 years.
The first covenant was not without fault. (Heb 8:7 KJV) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. The first covenant was the covenant of Sinai which was given to Moses. It contained the Law of God. Now there was nothing faulty about the Law of God being given in a covenant because the first covenant was given not for the purpose of salvation. It was given to show the utter futility of man trying to obey God unto salvation. It was obvious that Judah and Israel could not keep the Law of God and therefore breaking the covenant of law. Herein lies the fault, that this covenant was perfect because it revealed to man what God intended it to but the fault had lied with man and his sinful nature in that he was totally unable to keep every facet of the law.
(James 2:10 KJV) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
James states that a person can keep every point of law but if there is just one infraction of the law, then all the rest of the obedience is nullified. That is the fault that if just one facet of the law is broken, it sends a person to Hell as if they broke the entire law of God. This is why God had to enact the second covenant which was the covenant of Grace. If He did not bring in this second covenant, then the Elect of God which He named from the foundation of the world would have been unable to keep the law in its entirety and thus obtain salvation.
God seeing the need for a second covenant for the purpose of His Elect, gave the covenant of Grace whereby the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all the law of God and by doing that, those who are the Elect of God are in Christ. It is as if the Elect had never sinned because the second covenant removed all the sins and iniquities of the Elect.
(Heb 8:12 KJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
This is why God calls it a better covenant. (Heb 8:6 KJV) But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. The Lord Jesus was that mediator of the new or better covenant. That better covenant is the covenant of grace which takes a sinner to be a Saint and that Saint is readied for Heaven the moment they have received salvation.
This better covenant has been what God was using for both the Old and New Testaments to bring His Elect into the Kingdom. People like Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah and many others became saved by means of Grace because none of the Old Testament Saints were able to keep the law to its fullest because they were fallible people too. Revelation 13: 8 and 17:8 speaks of those that God named whom He was going to save before the foundation of the world and we also read that Christ was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Those Old Testament Saints were saved by means of Christ being slain in principle because He had no yet come into the world to finalize the covenant on Calvary.
This final or second covenant has been the means by which God has been saving His Elect and the same method will continue to be used until the last day. The second covenant, which was ratified by the Lord Jesus Christ, is sufficient to save all the Elect, no matter where in the world they are living.
Heb 8:9 (KJB)
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Here the Lord is stating that the second covenant will not have the same essence or characteristics of the first covenant. Israel was unable to continue in the first covenant because of the fact that they were constantly breaking the covenant by their sinning. At the outset they had promised to do all things in the covenant to be obedient but it was only matter of days that they were breaking it. The result of breaking the Sinai covenant was that both Israel and Judah finally went into captivity as a punishment for disobeying God.
Heb 8:10 (KJB)
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:
Now God begins to start giving the particulars of the new covenant. The first covenant had the laws of God written on tablets of stone but here He is stating that His laws will be written in the mind and on the hearts. This means that the second covenant is going to be internal in contrast to the first covenant being outward. Basically what is being spoken of is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel. (Ezek 36:26-27 KJV) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. {27} 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. God will replace the heart of stone with one of flesh, that is, He will now place His spirit within His people making them children of God. This of course speaks of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which a person receives upon becoming saved.