Galatians; The Two Covenants

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Please notice in the inspired quotes below that the new covenant came before the old covenant. In Genesis 3 God offered His grace, but man chose to establish his own righteousness. When Paul refers to the old covenant, he calls it old because it is useless, not because it came first. The new covenant was God’s original covenant of trusting in His grace and power instead of our own promises and strength. Please notice too, that niether covenant does away with the ten commandments. Reconciliation to the law is the goal in both covenants. In the new covenant we trust Jesus to reconcile us by His grace and power, while in the old and useless covenant we try to reconcile ourselves by our own strength and effort.

 

                    God’s Plan to Ransom Man

     And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Genesis 17:7.   As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, so there are two covenants. The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall, there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. To all men this covenant offered pardon, and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation.  This same covenant was renewed to Abraham in the promise, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 22:18. This promise pointed to Christ. So Abraham understood it, and he trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted unto him for righteousness. The covenant with Abraham also maintained the authority of God’s law. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” The testimony of God concerning His faithful servant was, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 17:1; 26:5. . . .    The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the “second,” or “new,” covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant.    The covenant of grace is not a new truth, for it existed in the mind of God from all eternity. This is why it is called the everlasting covenant.   There is hope for us only as we come under the Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of grace by faith in Christ Jesus. The gospel preached to Abraham, through which he had hope, was the same gospel that is preached to us today. . . . Abraham looked unto Jesus, who is also the author and the finisher of our faith.                                                                           

                       Man’s Inability to Save Himself

 

     Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16.        Another compact–called in Scripture the “old” covenant–was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. . . .         God . . . gave them [Israel] His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then . . . ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant, and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. . . .        The terms of the “old covenant” were, Obey and live: “If a man do, he shall even live in them;” but “cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.” Ezekiel 20:11; Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 27:26. The “new covenant” was established upon “better promises”–the promise of forgiveness of sins, and of the grace of God to renew the heart, and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law. The only means of salvation is provided under the Abrahamic covenant. -The Faith I Live By, pages 77-78 by Ellen G. White.

Galatians; The Road to Faith

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Galatians mentions the law often. Sometimes it can be confusing as to which laws apply. Here is a study that I hope helps.

The Two Laws

HOW WERE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WRITTEN?

And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God

Exodus 31:18


Comment:

WHERE WERE THESE COMMANDMENTS PLACED?

And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.

Exodus 25:16

NOTE: The top of this “ark” where the commandments were placed was

the called the “mercy seat” and represented the throne of God. Above the

mercy seat was the visible presence of God (Exodus 25:22; Leviticus 16:2;

Hebrews 9:5), thus revealing that the law of God is the very foundation of

His government.

WHAT ELSE WAS IN THIS ARK?

There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.

2 Chronicles 5:10


HOW LONG IS GOD’S LAW TO ENDURE?

The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.

They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.

 Psalm 111:7-8


WHO WROTE THE CEREMONIAL LAW?

And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished.

Deuteronomy 31:24

WHERE WAS THIS LAW PLACED?

That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

Deuteronomy 31:25, 26


HOW LONG WAS THIS LAW TO STAND?

Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances,

imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Hebrews 9:10

WHAT DID THE LAW THAT WAS ABOLISHED CONTAIN?

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Ephesians 2:15

WHAT WAS BLOTTED OUT AT THE CROSS?

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Colossians 2:14

TO WHAT DID THESE ORDINANCES POINT FORWARD?

For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself

Hebrews 7:26-27

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

 Hebrews 9:11-12


Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Colossians 2:17

WHAT PRACTICE WAS TO CEASE WHEN JESUS DIED?

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,…

Daniel 9:27 

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE TEMPLE WHEN JESUS DIED?

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold,

the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom ; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Matthew 27:50, 51

HOW DID JESUS SAY WE ARE TO CONTINUE IN HIS LOVE?

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

 John 15:9-10

WHAT DOES GOD SAY OF THOSE WHO DO NOT KEEP THEM?

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:3-4

 WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL LIARS?

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

WHERE WILL THE COMMANDMENT KEEPERS BE?

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life

, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Revelation 21:4

The Two Laws Contrasted

THE MORAL LAW

Spoken by God

Deuteronomy 4:12, 13

Written on tables of stone

Exodus 31:18

Written with God’s finger

Exodus 31:18

Placed inside the ark

Exodus 40:20

A perfect law of liberty

James 1:25

Consists of moral standards

Exodus 20:3-17

The basis of God’s government

John 15:10

Brings a knowledge of sin

Romans 3:20

Will stand forever

Psalms 111:7, 8

 

 

THE CEREMONIAL LAW

Spoken by Moses

Leviticus 1:1-3

Written in a book

Deuteronomy 31:24

Handwritten by Moses

Deuteronomy 31:24

Placed beside the ark

Deuteronomy 31:26

A witness against the people

Deuteronomy 31:24

Consisted of ordinances

Hebrews 9:10

A shadow of Christ’s ministry

Colossians 2:14-17

Pointed to the Remedy for sin

Hebrews 9:11-13

Temporary, until Jesus’ death

Ephesians 2:15