Posted by: forfreedomalone | 18/06/2016

Eternal Covenant

There is some confusion between “the law” and “covenant” in the minds of some.
They think that because “covenant” means “the old covenant” (according to them) this has to mean the same thing as “the law”.
After all, the “old covenant” means the Mosaic Covenant, so there really is no confusion at all.
We are no longer under law, so we can’t be under the “old covenant” and, therefore, are under the “new covenant”.
 
This thinking shows a deep lack of understanding of both “covenant” and “law”.
 
To begin backwards, “the law” is a term you will not find in the Old Testament, where we are told “the law” resides. The term, translated from the Hebrew word Torah, as “law”, should actually read “instruction”.
The instruction of the Torah is in three parts.
The Commandments (Ex 20)
The Judgements (Ex 21 -23) and
The Ordinances (Ex 25-41)
The whole book of Leviticus also covers the Ordinances.
 
The Ordinances were all the instructions regarding the sacrifices, the role of the priests and the role of the high priest.
 
Torah was given at the time when the Mosaic covenant was cut, as part of the terms, but it is not, in and of itself, the covenant.
 
Covenant began with Noah, was added to with Abram, added to again with Moses and completed with Jesus.
It is one long and compete covenant.
 
Covenant cannot be errased or rewritten and it cannot be annuled. It is, unlike a testament, in effect until the death of both parties. So long as one lives, covenant continues.
 
Under the terms of Torah, God said he would do certain things, so long as the Israelites did other things. They failed. So the covenant was broken.
This clause was conditional, unlike the previous two, and the following, “repairded” one, which were unconditional.
 
God said in Jeremiah 31:31 that he would repair this broken covenant, but somehow, somewhere along the line, the word which should read “repair” or “renew” was translated as “new”.
The fact that this “new” covenant was to be with “the House of Israel and the House of Judah” has not detered folks one whit from their belief that we (the church) are under a “new” covenant, which differs from the “old”.
 
How was God going to “repair” this covenant?
Well, first he had to isolate the bit which was broken and that was the Ordinances.
For the Israelites breaking one of the Judgements or Commandments requied them to offer the proper sacrifice to cover them from their sin.
So long as the sacrifices were correct they were still in covenant, but when they could not offer the correct one, or the one they did offer was not pure enough, they were in trouble.
 
God “repaired” this by offering the perfect sacrifice in his son.
Jesus was every sacrifice that was every required. He was utterly perfect and, in becoming the Yom Kippur sacrifice, his perfect blood was placed on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies in heaven, where it will never cease to be our perfect propitiaion.
He then became our High Priest, perfect in every way, sanctified and holy, our eternal representative before God.
 
The breach in the covenant was “repaired”.
The burden of the sacrifices and death which was a daily reminder of their sinful state was lifted from us who believe. We are no longer under the burden of “the law”. But, actually, it is not “law” from which we were rescued, but the Ordinances.
It is the Ordinances to which the book of Hebrews is refering when it talks about “law”.
It was the Ordinances which had to be observed and utterly correct in order to keep the people on the right side of God.
It was not recommended that they break the Judgements or Commandments, but if they did, they had the Ordinances to cover them. Breaking the Ordinances left them wide open to the curses.
 
The progress of covenant from the introduction with Noah to Jesus is the progress of the covenant types from blood to marrriage. Each step is refelected in the Jewish marriage ceremony and will also be reflected in the Marriage of the Lamb.
It is also fulfilled in the “holy convocations” of God; sometimes, erroniously, refered to as The Feasts of God (or Israel).
 
Each step is reflected in the Lord’s Supper.
The strong bond of continuity from Noah to Jesus has been unbroken. The covenant was broken, but repaired.
So long as God lives the first words he spoke by way of cutting covenant cannot pass away. He does not change, he is not a liar, he will never go back on what he has promised.
 
Through servanthood, friendship, sonship to marriage he has kept his covenant with mankind.
Through his instructions he has shown us how he loves.
Through his Son and Holy Spirit he has made it possible for us to live in the “repaired” covenant.
 
To consider that there is an “old covenant” which is no longer valid and that there is a nice, shiny “new” one for us, is to completely lose sight of the amazing plan of salvation which God, himself, was revealing from ages past.
To imagine that God’s instructions were all done away with, leaves us with no basis for love; for in them he revealse what he calls love.
 
From the first he had a plan and he was bringing it to fruition, step by step, line upon line, precept upon precept.
We have done him a grave mis-service by imagining that he swept aside what he had been carefully building in order to begin again for our benefit.
He had our benefit in mind all along, but he had no need to rethink the process. He knew what he was doing from the moment he began.
 
This is one of the most minunderstood subjects in Christianity today. To even suggest that there is an unbroken, crimson thread running from the covenant with Noah to the Marriage of the Lamb will bring wrath upon your head. The sad thing is, the study of this amazing subject only strengthes faith and love towards God, not destroys it.
Understanding the magnitude of his eternal plan expands the heart, not constricts it and seeing his astonishing covenant as one complete whole will cause a freedom to rise up which will never be known so long as we believe in an “old” and “new” covenant concept.
 
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