Law and Grace

    the "old" and the "new"

                 covenants

 

                 In Hebrews 8

          we see two covenants.

 

   One is the "old" - the Mosaic.

   One is the "new" - confirmed

               in Jesus Christ.

   

        Galatians 3 & 4 contrast   

        the above as "the law",

        i.e. the law of Moses…

        & "the gospel..preached

        unto Abraham".

        The two covenants are

        contrasted in Gal. 3v16-17:

 

"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed by God in Christ (i.e. to be fulfilled in Christ), the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect".

 

The Abrahamic covenant was first in point of time, and "the law (i.e. of Moses)..was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made" - Gal. 3v19. (The Abrahamic covenant was later "confirmed" in Christ - Rom. 15v8..thus it is called the "new covenant", whereas the Mosaic is the "old").

 

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin" - Rom. 3v20. "Moreover, the law entered, that the offence might abound" - Rom. 5v20. The law of  Moses CONDEMNED THE SINNER. But the new covenant in Christ, confirmed by His sacrifice, CONDEMNED   SIN   ITSELF -

                  Romans 8v3.

 

This allows "forgiveness of sins" & "justifie(s) from all things, from which (Israel) could not be justified by the law of Moses" - Acts 13v38,39. This is "a better covenant, which was established upon BETTER PROMISES" - Hebrews 8v6. "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith" (i.e. in the promises to Abraham). "And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them" - Galatians 3v12.

 

"Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to THEM THAT BELIEVE. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith that should afterwards be revealed" - Galatians 3v21-23.

'Concluded' and 'shut up' are the same Greek word - link to 'leprous'.

 

There was a personal and a national benefit in keeping the law of Moses.

For example, read Deuteronomy 32v44-47; 28v1-14. However it was not intended, and nor was it able, to confer eternal life. This was the purpose of the Abrahamic covenant confirmed in Christ. The mortal Levitical priesthood has now been replaced by the immortal priesthood of Jesus Christ, "an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" -

         Hebrews 6v13 to 7v28.

 

In Galatians 3 & 4, the Apostle Paul draws a series of contrasts between the law of Moses, and the Abrahamic covenant confirmed in Jesus Christ. These are instructive, and demonstrate clearly that the law could never accomplish, and nor was it designed to achieve, any lasting redemption. Let us carefully consider these contrasts in the light of scriptural teaching.

 

                Law of Moses

deeds which cannot save - ch.3v12

a child, or servant - ch.4v1

under authority - ch.4v2

in bondage - ch.4v3

born after the flesh - ch.4v29

Jerusalem under law - ch.4v25

 

         Abrahamic Covenant

faith which can save - ch.3v11

a son - ch.4v7

an heir of God - ch.4v7

free - ch.4v31

born after the spirit - ch.4v29

Jerusalem of faith - ch.4v26

 

It will be of benefit for the reader to look at the pages concerning God's promises, which explain this vital subject - link is below.

At the conclusion of these 3 pages, there are, as here, links to 'sacrifice' & 'baptism', which also are essential doctrines we must comprehend.

 

On page 2 of this section, we present a numbered comparison of the law of Moses, as identified by its ritual seventh day, and the Abrahamic covenant, as identified by its ritual eighth day. It is very enlightening when we examine this subject in a methodical way, casting aside any pre-conceived ideas, and being prepared to learn from God's holy word.

 

It is significant that the New Testament uses several examples drawn from the growth of the student.  See Galatians 4v2 - "tutors and governors", 1st Peter 2v21 -"example", signifying "an outline drawing, or copy book letter, to be copied by students". Each school has its motto etc. Identification for the law (the lower school) was the 7th day. Identification for the Abrahamic covenant (the higher school) was the 8th day.

 

Galatians 3v24-26 sums it up:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But that after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus".

 

          mobile site map

          home page-index

          promises

          covenant

 page 2 - sabbath & law vs

          circumcision & grace