GROWING IN THE GRACE OF THE LORD

(A study for new converts)

"THE TWO COVENANTS"

LESSON 1

INTRODUCTION:
  A. PURPOSE: To study the relationship of the two covenants God made with his people in two separate periods of time. Note the purpose of the first, or old covenant, and the passing of it. Then, observe the establishing of the second, or new covenant.
  B. DEFINE: Covenant — an agreement by two or more parties binding them to do or not to do certain acts. Benefits are promised if the covenant is kept as stipulated.
  C. FACTS: The old covenant was an agreement between God and a nation. The new covenant is an agreement between God and all men.
    1. A covenant may be conditional, as between God and Israel. (See Exodus 19:5-6)
    2. A covenant may be unconditional, as between God and Abraham. (See Genesis 15:12-15)
 
DISCUSSION:
 
I. THE OLD COVENANT
  A. Made between God and Israel (Exodus 19:1-5; 24:1-8) when Israel was brought out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai.
  B. Was a National Law, given to Israel (Exodus 20:1-2; 31:12-17; 34:27-28).
  C. Given to last for a specific time, "till the seed comes" (Galatians 3:19). That "seed" was Christ (Galatians 3:16).
  D. It (the old law) was spoken of by New Testament writers who called it "the law."
    1. Compare Romans 1:17 and Habakkuk 2:4; also Matthew 22:35-39, Deuteronomy 6:5, and Leviticus 19:18.
    2. John 10:34 refers to Psalms 82:6 where rulers of Israel are called gods.
    3. Paul, in I Corinthians 4:21, quotes Isaiah 28:11-12.
 
II. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
  A. Those who meet on Saturday and "keep the Sabbath" today make false claims that need to be noted.
    1. They divide "the law" into two parts: a) Moral and b) Ceremonial.
    2. The moral, they say, was given by God and was not removed.
    3. The ceremonial, they say, was given by Moses and was taken away.
    4. These are false assumptions.
  B. The problem with these beliefs is that the Bible writers never made such divisions.
    1. Moses spake forth God's law (Nehemiah 10:29; 8:14).
    2. God gave the "law of Moses" (Nehemiah 8:1; Ezra 7:6).
    3. The law, the law of Moses and the law of God, was from the same source.
    4. They are interchangeable (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
  C. God speaks of the "ten commandments" as "the covenant" (Exodus 34:27-28; Deuteronomy 4:13, 9:9-11; I Kings 8:9, 21). Therefore, if the covenant has been fulfilled and taken away, the ten commandments have gone, too.
  D. ILLUSTRATION: The colonies that formed the U.S. were under England and her laws. After independence was won and the constitution was written, the colonies were no longer under the laws of England. This is true even if many of the laws of England are to be found in the U.S. constitution.
 
III. THE PASSING OF THE OLD COVENANT
  A. Jeremiah 31:31-34 foretold the coming of a new covenant. It was to be such that "all in it would know Him," and "sins would be remembered no more."
  B. Hebrews 8:6-13 shows the coming teachings of Christ to be "new" and the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31-34.
  C. Exactly WHO took away the law, the first covenant?
    1. Matthew 5:17 — Jesus said He fulfilled the first covenant. See John 19:28ff.
    2. Ephesians 2:14-16 — Paul said Jesus did this when He died.
    3. Hebrews 7:12; 9:15-17 — The second covenant, the new one, could not come into force until the death of Him who made it. Therefore, the death of Jesus both removed the first and established the second.
    4. Hebrews 10:9 (READ) — We cannot live under two covenants!
    5. II Corinthians 3:6-17 — The law written on stones was "done away."
 
IV. THE NEW COVENANT - THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
  A. God has given Jesus all authority (Matthew 17:5).
  B. Jesus affirms He was given all authority (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2).
  C. Paul taught that Jesus was given the authority (I Corinthians 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:20, 22; Colossians 1:18).
  D. Jesus was the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham (Galatians 3:6-29). Under it, all who obey become new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17).
 
V. THE SCOPE OF THE NEW COVENANT — THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
  A. Matthew 28:19 "GO TEACH ALL NATIONS..."
  B. Mark 16:15 "GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE..."
  C. Luke 24:46-49 "...THAT REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS MIGHT BE PREACHED AMONG ALL NATIONS BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM."
 
VI. CONCLUSION
  A. In the New Covenant, not the Old, the sinner can come to God. Why? The blood of Christ.
  B. Galatians 5:4 — "WHOSOVER OF YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE."
  C. In the New Covenant the terms of pardon for sins is found. Not in the Old Covenant.
  D. In the New Covenant conditions of fellowship are given (I John 1:3-4).
  E. In the New Covenant are the promises of God to us and instructions on how to live eternally!
 
 
QUESTIONS FROM LESSON ONE
 
    1. What is a covenant?
    2. The Old Covenant was between God and whom?
    3. The New Covenant was intended for whom?
    4. Who is the seed spoken of in Galatians 3:19?
    5. Hebrews 8:6-13 is a fulfillment of what Old Testament passage?
    6. Why is the New Covenant known as the gospel of Christ?
    7. Why is it important to understand that the New Covenant is for "all nations?"
    8. What took place that removed the first covenant?
    9. Why is it not possible to live under both laws?
    10. When were sins removed? Did the Old Covenant remove them?