Top 12 Verses on the New Covenant

I have this strange idea that we should preach nothing but the gospel. Two reasons why: (1) Jesus told us to and (2) it’s the only thing we’re really good at. Any club or religion can teach you about good works and charity and seven steps to financial freedom, but the church has a monopoly on grace. You will never hear about the good news of grace except from someone who knows Jesus.

The gospel of grace is such a matchless message that any time we preach something different, we are giving less than our best. “But Paul,” you may say. “There are so many needs.” Then preach the gospel! Need healing? Then let me tell you the good news of Christ. Are you facing financial difficulties? Here’s the gospel. Are you worried, frustrated, confused and lost? Then I have good news for you!

Good news agents

Paul said he was shameless about the gospel because it was the only message empowered by God to save those who believe it. We need to have the same attitude as Paul. We need to realize that we are called to be good news agents and nothing less. So let’s clear the shelves of old covenant clutter – all that stuff that says we have to jump through hoops to be accepted/blessed/holy/etc. – and make room for the new and better message of grace: Jesus has done it all!

To help you proclaim the gospel, I want to highlight the top 12 new covenant claims made in the Bible. You can use these claims in your advertising. Two-thousand years of market research has proven that they work. How did I choose these particular scriptures? Well, to be honest, some of them are simply my personal favorites. Others are those that have drawn a positive response from readers over at GraceQuotes.com. I’m not claiming that this list of verses is in any way definitive so feel free to add to it in the comments underneath.

The Top New Covenant Scriptures (in reverse order)

(12) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Rom 1:16, NIV)

Salvation in the old covenant hinged on your perfect law-keeping performance; in the new, salvation is a work of God. This is why it’s called good news – it’s an announcement of a finished work. It is the declaration that God’s saving power is available to all who would receive it. And what power! It can literally turn a sinner into a saint, or a dead man into a living one…

(11) I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (Joh 5:24, NIV)

Prior to the cross we were subject to the law of sin and death but now there’s a new law in town! The law of the Spirit of life means we can live free from sin and all its fatal effects. Jesus didn’t merely save us from our sins; He gave us new life. How do we enjoy this new life? By trusting in the one called Mr. Grace…

(10) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (Joh 1:14, KJV)

If Jesus only brought truth, we would all be dead meat, but since He came full of “grace and truth” we have abounding life! Truth without grace (e.g., old covenant law) is a hammer; but truth with grace is good news for the poor and needy.

(9) I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! (Jer 31:3, MSG)

Most people are surprised to find this scripture in the Bible, but that’s what everlasting love is. It is love that never quits. As Paul said, “Love is patient, love endures.” That means God will never give up on you! He loved you into existence, He loved you when you were a sinner, and He will always love you. You cannot exaggerate the love of God. What does this have to do with the new covenant? Everything! The new covenant expresses the loving-kindness of our Father. Since God never changes, this explains why the new covenant is sometimes called “the eternal covenant” (Heb 13:20).

(8) “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Is 54:10, NIV)

See? I told you it was an eternal covenant. Unlike the old covenant which stands on the brittle promises of men, the new covenant is underwritten by the unshakeable oath of God. You can take His words to the bank! And that probably explains why Isaiah 54:10 is the most popular prophecy on GraceQuotes.com.

(7) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21, NIV)

You’ve got to love the math of the new covenant: How many sins did Jesus commit before He was made sin? None. And how many righteous acts did we do before we were made righteous? None. God did it all! We are merely the grateful beneficiaries of His mighty work.

(6) If God is for us, who can be against us? Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things? Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! (Rom 8:31-33, GNB)

In the old covenant, the law stood against us but in the new, God is for us. God is for us! God is for us!

(5) How great is God’s love for all who worship him? Greater than the distance between heaven and earth! How far has the LORD taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west! (Psalm 103:11-12, CEV)

Preachers who are confused about what happened on the cross will look at this list and say, “You are not emphasizing sin enough!” That’s because it’s hard to talk about something that Jesus has done away with. Jesus is here; our sins are there. They have been removed as far as the east is from the west. This is what it means to be completely forgiven! In the old you examined yourself for sin, but in the new you examine the Lamb without blemish. You want to fix sin? Then preach grace. Grace is the cure for sin.

(4) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20, NIV)

That’s the key to Christian living right there. It’s not about sweating for Jesus or improving the flesh, but resting in His finished work. Reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ and live!

(3) Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. (Eph 1:3, GWT)

I have listed the top 12 blessings of the new covenant elsewhere. Rather than repeat them here, I’ll just echo Paul who says that we have been blessed with everything! If God has already given us His Son, what will He withhold from us? Nothing! (I love answering rhetorical questions raised by the gospel.)

(2) Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Mt 11:28-30, MSG)

I’d rather be married to Mr. Grace than that old perfectionist Mr. Law. Incidentally, this paraphrase of Jesus’ words is one of the most popular scriptures on GraceQuotes.com. Nice work Eugene Peterson!

(1) The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luk 4:18-19, NIV)

And that year of favor will prove to be the longest year in history! It’s 2000 years long and counting. It will never end!

What did I miss?

There are so many great scriptures that are not on this list. (If you’re wondering what happened to John 3:16, check out this post.) If you think there is a scripture that definitely should be included in the Top 12, let us know in the comments below.
___
Related posts:
- 10 myths about the Holy Spirit
- The gospel in one word, two words…
- 12 famous examples of walking in the spirit in the Bible

Comments

  1. Great list of scripture! I was not familiar with the Jer one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Paul you did it again! another awsome post. I have a prison ministry in California and I print/Copy many of your great posts and give them out like Candy to the brothers in Prison & man are the Religious traditions being broken and the breathren are gettin Free!! …..Thanks Again!

    • That’s wonderful! Isn’t it ironic how some men have to go to prison to be set free – but that’s exactly who the good news is for: the poor, the needy, and the PRISONER (Luk 4:18). Keep passing out that candy Big Al!

  3. That Matthew 11v28-30 passage is a blinder!!! What a relief to trust Christ….and learn to live in the “unforced rhythms of grace”…

  4. Paul, thanks again for yet another great article! Man, I wish you would write a book! (hint, hint)
    I don’t post often, but I do read ALL of your articles and I suspect there are many others who do the same. You are a great encouragment to me and have confirmed so many things for me regarding the truth of God’s incredible grace and unconditional love. Bless you brother and don’t ever quit preaching the good news!!!

    • Thanks for the encouragement Mike. As it happens, I’m working on two books – a short one and a long one. The short one is on the gospel and hopefully I’ll have some news about that in a couple of months. (But don’t hold me to it!)

  5. opheliathomas777 says:

    Praise God!! Hallelujah, How awesome is our God? AWESOME! Who He sets free is free indeed, and how FREE I feel when under His grace… Praise the Lord .. Paul you are definitely anointed and and passionate about our Lord and it shines through your teachings,, God bless you.

  6. My favorite is this: Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

    These were my favorite Scriptures before I understood the New Covenant… They are still my favorite, because they tell us who the covenant is between and who is actually doing the work in this covenant… I like to say it’s the Gospel in two verses…

  7. Can I share verses? :) I like 2Cor3:7-18 (i like MSG version). THe glory of the new Covenant. :) I love these words in MSG “And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.”(vv16-17)

    Hallelujah for the NEW COVENANT! :) Praise GOD for Grace!

  8. Sonny Boy says:

    I like to refer to my favorite verses as God’s Amazing Grace Sandwich! They are Ephesians 1:6-7 (NKJV), “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace ”

    Sandwiched between TWO mouthwatering slices of His amazing grace we’ll find an overwhelming abundance of Acceptance in the Lord, heaped upon that is the finest cut of Redemption the world has ever tasted, all covered and slathered with the tangy and irresistible forgiveness of sins…”

    Did I hear someone say, “Come to Poppa?” M-m-m-m! Are ya gettin’ hungry yet?

  9. 1 John 4:17
     Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world! This is one of my favorites. Thank You Jesus for taking our place in judgement so we can be whole, perfect and complete in You!

  10. How sad it is that “the gospel” (better known as the glad tidings, or the good news) seems to relegated to those four accounts called “The Gospels”. Actually the first good news was Gen. !:1; Then there were that “very good news” spoken to Eve, in Gen. 3. All through the “old testament” there was repeated “good news.” No matter – the idea that only Jesus spoke the words of God’s good news for His creation (all of it, PTL) seems to be set in concrete; how thankful I am that Paul expounded even further (since he has been taught by the ascended Christ),the “good, glad, merry news that makes a man leap for joy” (which is how those believers in England when they first heard it).

  11. My favorite verse for the new covenant…

    John 14:20 “At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you”

    It encapsulates who we really are, co-heirs to the kingdom of God. We have all power, authority, grace, blessings, love, righteousness, peace etc because we are in Christ!

  12. Hebrews 8:12 – “For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.”

  13. Paul I think this is an excellent topic, and I too, believe that the Gospel of Christ should only be preached and that the religious zealots, need not be so hell-bent on preaching the condemnation of the Law. My only issue is: some versions of the bible do not do such a good job in stating the explicitly what the bible is trying to convey about the gospel. Like when reading the 1st of the 12 verses you’ve listed, it says and I quote “I am not ashamed of the gospel” But does not say the Gospel of Christ! I know that this seems like a very small matter, but to some it can mean a lot. Its the difference between someone interpreting the gospel to mean what they’ve predisposed it to mean and Explicitly knowing that Paul was talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ, as is stated in the KJV. However, your post are incredible and I too will direct as many people as I can to this site! God bless you and the work you are doing in and for the kingdom!

  14. Dare abidoye says:

    Jeremiah 31:33-34

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