Grace and Truth (Part 7): Comparing Old and New Covenants

by Rick

Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus.  Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Let’s look at them again.

(John 1:14 NIV)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John 1:17 NIV)

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Yesterday I highlighted the “Purpose of the Law” and we looked at the fact that it had an expiration date.  To me, the Bible is explicitly clear that the Law was introduced to show people their sins, and in turn, their need for a Savior.  The Bible is also clear that the Old Covenant was never intended to be an enduring one. The Old Covenant expired once the New Covenant was introduced.  

Yesterday we looked at Galatians 3:15-20.  Let’s continue on in this chapter and see what else Paul teaches us about this.

(Galatians 3:21,22 NLT)  

Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises?  Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it.  But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Paul asks, “Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises?”  In other words, is there a conflict between the Old and New Covenants?  Paul answers himself, “Absolutely not!”  It’s not that there is a conflict, it’s just that there is a difference.  The Old Covenant served its purpose for it’s time.  As a matter of fact, many New Covenant truths can be seen in the types and shadows of the Old Covenant.  In many ways, the New Covenant is concealed in the Old, and the shadows of the Old get revealed in the New.  Furthermore, if we did not have the Law to violate, we would not acknowledge the error of our ways, nor call out to Jesus as our Savior from sin.        

Paul continues, “If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it.”  Once again, Paul is driving home the major difference.  The Old Covenant could not make us right, but the New Covenant surely does.  And finally, Paul goes on to say, “But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.”

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  The main purpose of the Law was to show people their sins, and in turn, their need for a Savior. 

2.  The Old Covenant was never intended to be an enduring covenant.  It expired once the New Covenant was introduced. 

3.  Many of the New Covenant truths can be found in the types and shadows of the Old Covenant.  The New Covenant is concealed in the Old. 

4.  Just like the New Covenant is concealed in the Old, the Old Covenant is revealed in the New.  You get the full picture of what God always intended when you see Jesus and the Covenant of Grace He died to usher us into.  

5.  You need to understand both Covenants.  If you did not have The Law to violate, you would not acknowledge the error of your ways, nor would you call out to Jesus as your Savior from sin.  If we never had rules to break and I came to you and said, “You need to be saved.”  You would ask, “Saved from what?”  God introduced rules to show us how flawed we are.  Without the rules to break, we could not sin. If God had never told Adam NOT to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then Adam could eat of that tree freely without sinning, because he would not have been breaking any rule.  But once the rule was in place, eating of it was a violation of God’s will. So in short, the rules were not introduced to show us we are right. The rules were introduced to show us we are wrong and we need a Savior. Without the rules to break we would not call out to Jesus to save us from our sin.  Paul said it this way, “The Law gives sin its power.” (1 Cor 15:56).            

6.  Paul calls the 10 Commandments, written on stone tablets, the ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7).  Under the Old Covenant you are a prisoner to sin, with no way out. The New Covenant gives you access to freedom from sin, by exercising faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.  The Law made you acknowledge the fact that you were a sinner and the New Covenant gave you a way out. The way out is found in a person. His name is Jesus!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your amazing Grace.  I now understand the purpose of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was designed to show me the error of my ways; how I was a sinner in need of a Savior.  The Law served its purpose in my life. I acknowledged my sin and my need for a Savior. I called out to Jesus as both my Savior and Lord. I have given my life to Jesus and I was Born-Again.  Now, as a Born-Again, Spirit-filled, and faith-focused believer, I am no longer under the Law, but under Grace. I embrace Your Grace and I resist every attempt of the enemy to get me over into condemnation.  If I sin I am quick to fess up, give it up, get up and move on! I quickly receive forgiveness, I forgive myself, and I press forward down the path to my purpose. Sin has no power over me. Jesus delivered me from sin and death and I refuse to live under the condemnation of the Old Covenant.  Instead, I live under the freedom of the New Covenant. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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