Jesus explains how this cup represents the new covenant he is going to ratify by the shedding of his blood. Therefore, the cup becomes the sign of that covenant. Every Lord’s Day at my church we gather and take of the Lord’s Supper. We rejoice that we are heirs of the new and better covenant that was ratified by His blood.
So how does one know they’re in the New Covenant? A key for Paul was a believers union in Christ, by faith. In Galatians 3:7 Paul says,
“Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.”
We become heirs to the spiritual promise of the Abrahamic covenant only by being united to Christ. How are we united to Christ? By being given to Christ by the Father (John 6:37), by being drawn by the Father (John 6:44), by coming to Christ (John 6:37), and the Son will raise “all” of them on the last day (John 6:39).
Paul also says,
“Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
It’s clear here that you must have the Holy Spirit in order to be united to Christ. If you don’t, then you’re not His. If you’re not His, then you’re still in Adam. There is no in-between.
We know that Jesus brought the New Covenant:
“In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:25
We know that Christ is the mediator of that New Covenant:
“But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”
We know that Paul was a minister of the New Covenant:
“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 ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
And as I mentioned earlier, every member of the New Covenant partakes of the bread and the wine as heirs of that New Covenant and all of it’s blessings. This includes being filled with the Holy Spirit, given the gift of faith, forgiven of your sins, being united in Christ, and promised a resurrected body upon Christs’ return, and spending an eternity with Him. This is truly a wonderful thing as we are given this by grace alone, and for His glory alone.
Let’s dig a little deeper…
Every member of the New Covenant is a new creation:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
They have been spiritually reborn, and this is done by the anti-type (circumcision of the heart) of the type (circumcision of the flesh).
A new heart was promised as a blessing of the New Covenant:
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
That is to say, spiritual blessings are not conveyed by physical generation but by spiritual regeneration. It doesn’t matter who your parents are, it doesn’t matter where you live, how much your grandma spoke about Jesus, or what color your skin is. God has many spiritual children, but not a single grandchild.
Are you one in Christ? If you are, then you have repented of your sins and believe that Christ is God and that He resurrected from the dead for the sins of His people. You then receive the New Covenant ordinance of baptism which the 1689 London Baptist Confession describes beautifully:
“Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ. To those baptized it is a sign of their fellowship with him in his death and resurrection, of their being grafted into him, of remission of sins, and of submitting themselves to God through Jesus Christ to live and walk in newness of life.”
1689 LBC 29.1
Baptism serves as an outward sign of the inward grace of regeneration and union with Christ. It is meaningless if there is no inward grace to reflect. In other words, Baptism is a response to the inward change of the heart that has already taken place.
In conclusion, what have we leaned from my evening rant?
1) Christ brought the New Covenant
2) Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant
3) To be a member of the New Covenant you just be united in Christ
4) To be united in Christ you must be given to the Son by the Father, drawn to Christ by the Father, and filled with the promised gift of the Holy Spirit spoken of here:
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’ And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
The Holy Spirit (regeneration) is the seal of the New Covenant; not baptism.
5) You then recieve the New Covenant ordinance of baptism after repenting of your sins and believing in Christ. Baptism is a response to what has already taken place in the believer. That being a new heart.
6) Every Lord’s Day as you gather with the bride of Christ you partake of the Lord’s Supper and rejoice that we are heirs of the new and better covenant that was ratified by His blood.