The Old Covenant of the Law, and the New Covenant of Grace

Covenants

Under the old covenant of the law . . .

  • Everything’s based on you and what you do.
  • You get what your actions deserve.
  • Your standing with God is determined by your own merit.
  • Mistakes and failures are met with condemnation and punishment.
  • God’s blessing on your life is contingent upon your obedience.

Under the new covenant of grace . . .

  • Everything’s based on Christ, and what He’s done for you.
  • You are freely given what you could never deserve.
  • Your standing with God is determined by Christ’s merit accredited to you.
  • Mistakes and failures are met with God’s abounding forgiveness and mercy.
  • God’s blessing on your life is permanent, apart from any good or bad that you do.

Which covenant are you living under – the new covenant of grace that Christ came to establish, or are you still trying to live under the law? Receive God’s amazing grace today, and place your focus on your Savior’s finished work at the cross!

Who’s Your Mother?

Who's Your Mother?Yesterday was Mother’s Day – a day devoted to thanking our moms for all that they do for us, and letting them know how much we love them. In light of celebrating our mothers, here’s a question to consider: Who’s your mother?

In other words, God is your Heavenly Father, but are you His child through grace, or His child through the law? Upon which do you rely for salvation – your own good works, or what Christ has done? Do you feel that you must earn relationship with God, or have you come to the realization that it is a gift freely given to all who believe?

Galatians 4:21-31 addresses this issue. These verses explain that Abraham had children by two different women – Hagar, who was a slave, and Sarah, who was free, and was his true wife. It also explains that these two women represent two covenants (or ways of mankind relating to God). Those two covenants are the old covenant of the law, and the new covenant of grace.

Hagar, who is representative of the law, which was given at Mount Sinai, bears children who are to be slaves. In other words, when we base our relationship with God on our good works, and our attempts to keep all of the commandments recorded in His Word, we will end up feeling as if we were His slaves, instead of His children. We will always feel that He is demanding more of us than we are capable of, and will never be able to cease from our efforts long enough to simply enjoy His presence.

Sarah, who is representative of the new covenant of God’s grace, bears children born as a result of a divine promise, not by the keeping of the law. When we rely on God’s grace for our salvation, and relationship with Him, it becomes no longer about what we have done, but rather what Christ has done for us. Because it’s not about us and our performance, we can rest, knowing that we are God’s children, whom He dearly loves.

Galatians 4:31 states that we are children not of the slave woman (Hagar, who represents the old covenant of the law), but of the free woman (Sarah, who represents the new covenant of grace). God desires for us to rely not on the law for our right standing before Him, but rather on His grace. He wants us to feel not as if we are slaves to His demands, but rather children whom He cares for deeply. Therefore, I ask you – In your relationship with God, do you focus on your performance, or on His amazing grace? Are you living under the old covenant of the law, or the new covenant of grace? Who’s YOUR mother?

Rest In His Finished Work

Rest In His Finished WorkJohn 19 is all about Jesus’ death. He gave His life for us at the cross, that we might be reconciled to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), and given eternal life (John 3:16).

In John 16:30, before He dismissed His spirit, Jesus utter the words “It is finished.”

 

 

The price was paid.

God’s anger against sin had been satisfied in full.

Our sins had been dealt with, and forgiveness provided for us.

The way was made open for us to become God’s children.

Eternal life was made ours, if we would believe in Him.

Jesus’ death put an end once and for all to mankind’s need to struggle and strive to gain acceptance before God. He bore in full the penalty for all of our wrongdoings, and God’s fiery judgement and wrath against them, and declared that it is finished. From that point on, salvation has been freely offered to us, belonging to all who will receive it.

When Jesus said that it was finished, He meant it. There’s nothing left for us to do, no price left for us to pay. Instead of living under the old covenant of the law, we now live under the new covenant of God’s amazing grace. Let’s rest in His finished work!

Grace and Truth Came Through Christ

Grace and Truth Came Through ChristThe law was given through Moses. Through Jesus Christ came grace and truth (John 1:17). What was the purpose of the law? It was given so that mankind would realize their need for a Savior. Through it, we become conscious of our sin (Romans 3:20).
We see it’s perfects standards, and recognize how far we fall short. We come to the understanding that we can’t save ourselves, and therefore must rely on Christ for our salvation. The law wasn’t given as a way for man to become right with God. Rather, it shows them their need for the One who has paid the price for them to be made righteous.

No one is justified in God’s sight by the works of the law (Romans 3:20). It is through faith in Jesus that we are made righteous (Romans 3:22). He became sin for us, that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of His finished work at the cross, a new covenant has been established, under which God remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). It is by grace that we have been saved (Ephesians 2:5). God’s unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor is on each of our lives in Christ!

Jesus paid the price for all of the wrong things we have ever done, or ever could do. Our relationship with God, and all of His blessings, are offered as free gifts of His amazing grace. What a wonderful new covenant we are under, because of Christ’s finished work at the cross!

The New Covenant

The New CovenantHebrews 8:8 speaks of a new covenant that God would make with His people. It was to be established on better promises than the one which had come before
(Hebrews 8:6). It is under this new covenant that we now live.

Under the old covenant God made with man, it was all about their own efforts to try to deserve His goodness. There was an extensive set of rules they were to follow. Obedience resulted in blessings (Deuteronomy 28:1). Failure resulted in curses (Deuteronomy 28:15). To keep every rule perfectly was humanly impossible. If this was the case, then why did God give such numerous regulations to begin with? The purpose of the commandments He then gave was to show mankind just how sinful they were on their own, and how futile were their attempts at deserving relationship with Him. The law was their tutor, to lead them to Christ (Galatians 3:24).

Under the new covenant in which we now operate, things are entirely different. Though we can’t save ourselves, there is One who has redeemed us. He paid the price for our sins. He took them upon Himself, that we might be made right with God. Our part is to simply receive God’s undeserved favor as a free gift. Under this new covenant of grace, God has forgiven all of our sins (Psalm 103:3). In fact, Hebrews 8:12 states that He remembers them no more.

In spite of this, some of us still try to live under the principles of the law. We think that to maintain right standing with God, we must act a certain way. We feel that in order to enjoy unbroken fellowship with Him, we must behave correctly. Galatians 5:4 sheds an entirely different light on the subject. It states that if we pursue justification by the law, we have been alienated from Christ. He is made of no effect to us, and we have fallen from grace. In other words, if we are striving to save ourselves, why do we need Christ as our Savior? If we are trying to be made right with God through our own actions, why do we need God’s grace?

Under the law, it’s all about your performance. Under God’s grace, it’s all about the performance of another, accredited to your account. Which one are you operating in? Let’s choose to receive the grace of God, offered to us in the new covenant!