To what purpose and to whom does the New Covenant apply?
The New Covenant was instituted to supersede the Law Covenant (Heb. 8: 7, 8), for the purpose of accomplishing what the Law could not do on account of weakness of the flesh. (Rom. 8: 1-4.) Bearing in
mind that the purpose of the Law Covenant was to develop the kings and priests to give the blessing to all nations (Ex. 19: 5, 6), it should be expected that the first task of the New Covenant would be to develop the members to be joined with Jesus as the “Seed.” In harmony with this it is written,
“And for this cause He is the Mediator of the New Covenant, that . . . . they which are called (Rom. 9: 24) might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Heb. 9: 15; 1 Peter 1: 4.)
This is the force of the “allegory” of Gal. 4: 22-31. The Galatian brethren had become confused, and were drifting towards the bondage of the Law. The Apostle’s letter to them contrasts the Law with the
Spirit (Gal. 2: 1-5), as also in his epistle, to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 3: 3, 8, 9), and now, by the figure of Sarah and Hagar, he would teach them the same thing; viz., that they were not under the ministration of the Law, which bound, but of the Spirit, which liberates. (Gal. 5: 1.)
In a word, they and all who looked upon themselves as Christ’s and therefore Abraham’s “Seed,” were not children of the Law Covenant, but of the New Covenant; they were not of Hagar, but of Sarah.
Remembering that the Abrahamic Covenant promised a “Seed” and a blessing through that “Seed,” but
provided no means for the fulfilment of its promise; and remembering that the Law Covenant endeavoured to bring forth the Seed, but was not able to do more than bear children to ”bondage,” we see how Hagar and Sarah beautifully represent the Law and New Covenants.
The literal Hagar could not be the mother of him in whom Abraham’s Seed was to be called, but Sarah was. So the Law Covenant could not bring forth the true “Seed,” but the New Covenant can, and it is
The ministration of the Spirit is not confided to the Gospel Age, for the day is coming when the Spirit shall be poured upon all flesh — in the Kingdom Age — as foretold by Joel. (2: 28, 29.).) The New Covenant is thus seen to extend through the two ages of God’s plan following its ratification by the blood of Jesus. “After those days” in which the Law Covenant had been found unsatisfactory (Heb. 8: 10, 7, 8), a New Covenant is instituted, and the Holy Spirit thus testifies to us. (Heb. 10: 14-23.) Again, when the Lord will deal with Israel to take away their sins, after the period of blindness in part that happened unto them until the fulness from among the Gentiles be come in, He will do so, on the terms of the only Covenant that really can take away sin. (Rom. 11 : 25-27).