25 Differences Between the Old and New Covenant

new covenant

Growing up in a Methodist church, I never even heard the words Old Covenant or New Covenant.

I don’t know if that’s because I wasn’t paying attention, or because it was never taught.

But unfortunately, I was completely ignorant of the majority of Bible truths for much of my life.

I knew a few verses here and there. I knew what “rules” I was supposed to follow.

But I was never taught the really good news about the New Covenant.

Because of this, my life wasn’t any more victorious than most of the world.

I had no clue that because of the change of covenants, God relates to us ENTIRELY different than he related to people in the old testament.

The reality of the glorious new covenant is something every born again Christian needs to understand.

The death and resurrection of Jesus changed EVERYTHING and ushered in a new covenant established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). 

Here are some of the differences between the old and new covenants and how God now relates to us.

25 Differences Between the Old and New Covenants:

1. Old Covenant- God’s promises are based on my performance.

    New Covenant- God’s promises are based on Jesus’ performance. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

2. Old Covenant- I ask God for healing.

    New Covenant- I have healing. (1 Peter 2:24)

3. Old Covenant- I must make sacrifices for my sin.

    New Covenant- Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 10:12)

4. Old Covenant- I seek after God.

    New Covenant-  God seeks and finds me. (Luke 19:10)

5. Old Covenant- The Holy Spirit comes and goes.

    New Covenant- The Holy Spirit is with me forever. (John 14:16)

6. Old Covenant- I seek the anointing.

    New Covenant- I have the anointing of Jesus. (1 John 2:27)

7. Old Covenant- I need forgiveness.

    New Covenant- I am already forgiven. (Colossians 3:13)

8. Old Covenant- I cry out for the outpouring of the Spirit.

    New Covenant- The Spirit has been poured out. Acts 2:4

9. Old Covenant- I earn my healing.

    New Covenant- Jesus paid for my healing. (1 Peter 2:24)

10. Old Covenant- I beg God for His blessings.

      New Covenant- His blessings have already been given to me. (Ephesians 1:3)

11. Old Covenant- When I do something bad, God is angry.

      New Covenant- God will never be angry with me again. (Isaiah 54:9)

12. Old Covenant- God’s thoughts are far above me.

      New Covenant- I have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

13. Old Covenant- I am seeking God’s presence.

      New Covenant- I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

14. Old Covenant- I am always seeking the favor of God.

      New Covenant- I have God’s favor and it does not leave me.

15. Old Covenant- I must obey God’s law.

      New Covenant- I have been set free from the law. (Romans 10:4)

16. Old Covenant- I am fighting for victory.

      New Covenant- I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:35)

17. Old Covenant- I suffer because of generational curses.

      New Covenant- I have been redeemed from all curses. (Galatians 3:14-15)

18. Old Covenant- I look for an open heaven.

      New Covenant- I am God’s open heaven. (Mark 16:17-18)

19. Old Covenant- I must seek a prophet to hear from God.

      New Covenant- I can hear God speaking to me. (John 10:27)

20. Old Covenant- God will punish me for sin.

      New Covenant- Jesus has borne the punishment for all my sin. (1 John 2:2)

21. Old Covenant- I am separated from God.

      New Covenant- I am one spirit with the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

22. Old Covenant- God may reject me.

      New Covenant- I am forever accepted. (Ephesians 1:6)

23. Old Covenant- My righteousness is as filthy rags.

      New Covenant- My righteousness is from the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

24. Old Covenant- I am seeking God’s glory.

      New Covenant- God’s glory is within me. (Colossians 1:27)

25. Old Covenant- The old covenant is obsolete.

      New Covenant- The new covenant is eternal. (Hebrews 13:20)

Bible Verses About the New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31-34

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Hebrews 9:15

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Luke 22:20

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Hebrews 8:13

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:6

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.

Hebrews 8:7-8

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

2 Corinthians 3:6

Who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Jeremiah 31:33

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

1 Corinthians 11:25

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.”

Mark 14:24

And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

Romans 7:6

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Hebrews 13:20

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,

Hebrews 8:8

For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Hebrews 8:10

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Romans 6:14

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Matthew 26:28

For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 9:11-15

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Romans 11:27

“and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Jeremiah 31:1-40

“At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. …

Hebrews 12:24

And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 8:1-4

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Hebrews 13:20-21

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 7:22

This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

Hebrews 8:1-13

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” …

Hebrews 8:8-12

For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 1:1-14

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? …

Hebrews 9:12

He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Ezekiel 36:26-27

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. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Hebrews 2:10

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Galatians 3:16

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

Matthew 5:17

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 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, …

Romans 3:20

For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Hebrews 10:16

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

Hebrews 10:4

For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Ezekiel 11:19-20

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Hebrews 8:12

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 8:6-13

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. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ephesians 2:12

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Hebrews 10:8-10

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 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.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Hebrews 6:1-20

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, …

2 Corinthians 3:3

And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Acts 3:25

You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

Luke 24:44

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Hebrews 9:22

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 7:18-19

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

Hebrews 8:7

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

Hebrews 2:14

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

Ephesians 1:13-14

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Acts 2:38

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.

Hebrews 8:7-13

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. …

Hebrews 7:11-12

Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.

Colossians 2:16-17

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Jeremiah 31:34

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Joel 2:28

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.

Deuteronomy 30:6

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Matthew 26:26-28

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

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