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                                             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  contrasts the

   above as "the law",     i.e. the law of Moses...and

   "the gospel..preached unto Abraham".  The two

   covenants are contrasted in Galatians 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 before 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 (of Moses).. was added  because of transgressions,    till the seed

     should come to whom the promise was made"-  Galatians 3v19. (The Ab-

     rahamic covenant  was later "confirmed" in Christ  -  Romans 15v8..thus

     it is called the "new covenant",whereas the Mosaic is the"old")."There-

     fore  by the deeds of the law  there shall  no flesh be justified in his sight:

     for  by the law  is the knowledge of sin"-  Romans 3v20.     "Moreover the

     law entered,  that  the  offence might abound"- Romans 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  PRO-

     MISES"- 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 pro-

     mises to Abraham). "And the law is  not of faith: but,The man that doeth

     them shall live in them"- Galatians 3v11,12.  "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 which

     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                               Abrahamic Covenant

     deeds which cannot save, ch.3v12      faith which can save, ch.3v11

     a child or servant, ch.4v1                    a son, ch.4v7                            

     under authority, ch.4v2                        an heir of God, ch.4v7             

     in bondage, ch.4v3                                 free, ch.4v31                            

     born after the flesh, ch.4v29                born after the spirit, ch.4v29

     Jerusalem under law, ch.4v25                                   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 Abraham-

      ic 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 govern-

      ors", 1st Peter 2v21-  "example",    signifying  'an outline drawing, or copy

      book letter,to be copied by students'.Each school has its motto etc. Iden-

      tiification  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 after that faith is come, we

      are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God

      by faith in Christ Jesus".  

                                  next page   go to promises  

                                go to covenant     

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