Choose to read one or both of the following: (1) Matt. 21:33-44; "The Lord's Vineyard" in Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 284-306; (2)Ps. 105, 106; "The Law and the Covenants" in Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 363-373.
"The church is very precious in God's sight. He values it, not for its external advantages, but for the sincere piety which distinguishes it from the world. He estimates it according to the growth of the members in the knowledge of Christ, according to their progress in spiritual experience.
"Christ hungers to receive from His vineyard the fruit of holiness and unselfishness. He looks for the principles of love and goodness . . . It is the atmosphere of grace which surrounds the soul of the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savor of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 298
SUMMARY: God gave His covenant of deliverance from sin through the atonement of Christ to Adam and Eve the day they sinned. He renewed His promise in the Abrahamic covenant. The "old" covenant at Sinai was so named, not because of its age, but because the Hebrews misunderstood it to mean "Obey in your own strength and live," rather than "Obey by the grace that God provides." As a nation, Israel was blind to the beauty and intent of the everlasting covenant--a living union with God. God's true Israel, therefore, are the men, women, and children in whose hearts dwell the new covenant and its Giver (Heb. 8:10-12; Eph. 3:14-21).