Our U.S. Constitution, one of the great documents of history, begins with the beloved words, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…” This is the way our country was formed. “We the people” decided to make ourselves something other than British. That is not the way that the Biblical covenants or God’s special people are formed. We, the church, did not make ourselves to be God’s people.
God made us be his people. God initiated and designed the covenant his people would have. Our Constitution makes the people sovereign over the government and hence the nation. God’s New Covenant makes him sovereign over all things for all his people. “God’s Word first creates the reality of which it speaks and then regulates it, as the Spirit brings about the proper effect and response within creation. As a nation first arises out of an event of liberation from enemies and then is organized officially by a written constitution, God’s sacramental Word of judgment and grace creates the new exodus people and then constitutes them as God’s own nation by the canon of Holy Scripture” (Horton The Chrisitan Faith, 154).
Jeremiah 31 records God’s promise to establish his new covenant and the new covenant people. Hebrews 8 tells us that Christ has established that new covenant (the New Testament) and his new covenant people (the church). Understanding the nature of covenants and the new covenant of Christ is essential for understanding our role as God’s people. Just as the covenant mediated by Moses at Sinai solidified Israel as God’s special people, the better covenant mediated by Jesus in Heaven makes us be God’s people (Gal. 3:19-20; Heb. 3:1-6). Just as God outlined how the Israelites were to behave and worship in the Mosaic Covenant, God has outlined how Christians are to behave and worship in the Christian Covenant–the New Testament.