The Law of
1. WHAT two covenants are contrasted in the Bible?
"In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first
old. Now that which decayeth and "waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
2. By what other terms are these covenants designated?
"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place
have been sought for the second." Verse 7.
3. In connection with what historical event was the old covenant made?
"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
because they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not,
saith the Lord." Verse 9. See Ex. 19:3-8.
4. When God was about to proclaim His law to Israel, of what did He tell
Moses to remind them?
"Tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the
Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto
Myself." Ex. 19:3,4.
5. What proposition did He submit to them?
"Now therefore, if ye will obey M y voice indeed, and keep My
covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people:
for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of
priests, and an holy nation." Verses 5,6.
6. What response did the people make to this proposition?
"And all the
people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will
do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord." Verse 8.
7. In this covenant with Israel, what obligation was imposed upon
"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and
keep My covenant."
Verse 5, first part.
8. What was the Lord's covenant which they were to keep as their part
of this covenant?
"And He declared unto you His covenant, which He
commanded you to
perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of
stone." Deut. 4:13.
NOTE.-The ten commandments were the "covenant" to which the Lord
referred, when, in proposing to make a covenant with Israel, He said,
"If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant," etc. Ex. 19:5.
The ten commandments were termed God's covenant before the covenant was
made with Israel: hence they cannot be the old covenant itself. They
were not an agreement made, but something which God commanded them to
perform, and promised blessings upon condition they were kept. Thus the
ten commandments-God's covenant became the basis of the covenant here
made with Israel. The old covenant was made concerning the ten
commandments; or, as stated in Ex. 24:8, "concerning all these words." A
covenant means a solemn pledge or promise based on conditions.
9. After the law had been proclaimed from Sinai, what did the people
"And all the people answered with one voice, and said,
All the words which the Lord hath said will we do." Ex. 24:3.
10. That there might be no misunderstanding, what did Moses do?
"And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, . . . and he took the book of
the covenant, and read in the audience of the people." Verses 4-7.
11. What did the people once again promise to do?
"And they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be
obedient." Verse 7.
12. How was this covenant then confirmed and
"And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which
offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto the
Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half
of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the
people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be
obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and
said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with
you concerning all these words." Verses 5-8.
13. How does Paul describe this dedication of the covenant?
Moses had spoken every precept to all the people
according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with
water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and
all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God
hath enjoined unto you." Heb. 9:19,20.
NOTE.-We here have the complete account of the making of the
first or old, covenant. God promised to make them His peculiar people on
condition that they would keep His commandments. Three times
they promised to obey. The agreement was then ratified, or sealed, with
14. Within less than forty days after the making of this covenant,
while Moses tarried in the mount, what did the people say to Aaron?
"Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the
man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is
become of him." Ex. 32:1.
15. When Moses came down from Sinai, what did he see?
"And it came to
pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the
camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot,
and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the
mount." Verse 19.
NOTE.-The great object and secret of the old covenant is revealed
here. The people did not realize the weakness and sinfulness of their
own hearts, or their need of divine grace and help to keep the law; and
so, in their ignorance, they readily pledged obedience to it. But almost
immediately they began to commit idolatry, and thus to break the law of
God, or the very conditions laid down as their part of the covenant. In
themselves the conditions were good; but in their own strength the
people were unable to fulfil them. The great object of the old covenant
therefore was to teach the people their weakness, and their inability to
keep the law without the help of God. Like the law itself, over which
the old covenant was made, this covenant was designed to shut them up to
the provisions of the new or everlasting covenant, and lead them to
Christ. Gal. 3:23,24. And the lesson which Israel as a nation had to
learn in this, each individual now must learn before he can be saved.
There is no salvation for anyone while trusting in self. Unaided, no one
can keep the law. Only in Christ is there either remission of sins or power to
keep from sinning. The breaking of the tables of the law signified
that the terms of the covenant had been broken; the renewing of the
tables (Ex. 34:1,28), God's patience and long-suffering with His
16. Wherein does the new covenant differ from and excel the old?
"But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He
is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon
promises." Heb. 8:6.
17. What are the "better promises" upon which the
new covenant was
"This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;
After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law if their inward
parts, and write it in their hearts; . . . I will forgive their iniquity,
and I will remember their sin no more." Jer. 31:33,34. See Heb. 8:8-12.
NOTE.-These are simply the blessings of the gospel through Christ.
They are promised upon condition of repentance, confession, faith, and
acceptance of Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, which means salvation and obedience. In the old covenant there was no provision for
pardon and power to obey. It is true there was pardon during the time
the old covenant, but not by virtue of it. Pardon then, as now, was
through the provisions of the new covenant, the terms of which are older
than the old covenant.
18. In what statement was Christ promised as a Saviour and Deliverer of
the race as soon as sin entered?
"And the Lord God said unto the serpent, . . . I will
put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her
seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." Gen. 3:14,15.
of grace, with its provisions of pardon
peace, dates from the foundation of the world.
19. To whom was this
covenant-promise later renewed?
"And God said unto Abraham, . . . Sarah thy wife
shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac and I
will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with
his seed after him." " I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of
heaven, . . . and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed." Gel 17:15-19; 26:4.
20. Who was the seed here referred to?
"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." Gal. 3:16.
21. What shows that the new or second covenant and the Abrahamic
covenant are virtually the same?
"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according
to the promise." Verse 29.
NOTE.-No one should allow himself to be confused by the terms
first covenant and second covenant. While the covenant made at Sinai is
called the first covenant, it is by no means the first covenant that God
ever made with man. Long before this He made a covenant with Abraham;
He also made a covenant with Noah, and with Adam. Neither must it be
supposed that the first or old covenant existed for a time as the only
covenant with mankind, and that this must serve its purpose and pass
away before anyone could share in the promised blessings of the second
or new covenant. Had this been the case, then during that time there
would have been no pardon for anyone. What is called the new or second
covenant virtually existed before the covenant made at Sinai; for the
covenant with Abraham was confirmed in Christ (Gal. 3:17), and it is
only through Christ that there is any value to the new or second
covenant. There is no blessing that can be gained by virtue of the new
covenant that was not promised to Abraham. And we, with whom the new
covenant is made, can share the inheritance which it promises only by
being children of Abraham, and sharing in his blessing. Gal. 3:7,9.
And since no one can have anything except as a child of Abraham, it
follows that there is nothing in what is called the new or second
covenant that was not in the covenant made with Abraham. The second
covenant existed in every essential feature, except its ratification,
long before the first, even from the days of Adam. It is called second
because its ratification occurred after the covenant made and ratified
22. What is necessary where there is a covenant?
"For where a covenant is, there must also of necessity be
the death of
that which establishes it. For a covenant is made firm over the dead
victims; whereas it is of no force while that which establisheth it
liveth." Heb. 9:16,17, Boothroyd's translation.
23. With whose blood was the new covenant dedicated?
"And [He took] the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is
the new covenant in My blood, even that which is poured out for you." Luke 22:20, R. V.
24. What power is there in the blood of this covenant
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting
covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will." Heb. 13:20,21.
25. Through which covenant only is there remission of sins?
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal
Spirit offered Himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience
from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the
mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the
redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant,
they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal
inheritance." Heb. 9:14,15, R. V.
NOTE.-The fact that Christ, as mediator of the second covenant,
died for the remission of the transgressions that were under the first
covenant, shows that there was no forgiveness by virtue of the first
26. Under the old covenant, what did the people promise?
To keep the law
of God in their own strength.
NOTE.-Under this covenant the people promised to keep all the
commandments of God in order to be His peculiar people, and this without
help from anyone. This was virtually a promise to make themselves
righteous. But Christ says, "Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5.
And the prophet Isaiah says, " All our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags." Isa. 64:6. The only perfect righteousness is God's
righteousness, and this can be obtained only through faith in Christ.
Rom. 3:20-26. The only righteousness that will insure an entrance into
the kingdom of God is "the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Phil. 3:9. Of those who inherit the kingdom of God, the Lord says,
"Their righteousness is of Me" (Isa. 54:17); and the prophet Jeremiah
says of Christ, "This is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord
Our Righteousness." Jer. 23:6.
27. Under the new covenant, what does God promise to do?
"I will put My
law in their inward parts, and write it in
their hearts." Jer. 31:33.
NOTE.-The new covenant is an arrangement
for bringing man again
into harmony with the divine will, and placing him where he can keep
God's law. Its "better promises" bring forgiveness of sins, grace to
renew the heart, and power to obey the law of God. The dissolution of
the old covenant and the making of the new in no wise abrogated the law
28. Where was the law of God written under the
"And I made an ark of shittim-wood, and hewed two tables of stone.
. . . And He wrote on the tables. . . the ten commandments, which the Lord
spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of
the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me." Deut. 10:3,4.
29. Where is the law of God written under the
shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After
those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and
write it in their hearts." Jer. 31:33.
30. What reason is given for making the new covenant?
"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place
have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith,
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant."
NOTE.-The chief fault in connection with the old covenant lay with
people. They were not able, in themselves, to fulfil their part of it,
and it provided them no help for so doing. There was no Christ in it. It
was of works and not of grace. It was valuable only as a means
of impressing upon them their sinfulness and their need of divine aid.
31. What unites all believers under the new covenant?
remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are
called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the
flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being
aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the
covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but
now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the
blood of Christ." Eph. 2:11-13.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO
1. Both are called covenants.
2. Both were ratified with blood.
3. Both were made concerning the law of God.
4. Both were made with the
people of God.
5. Both were established upon promises.
DISSIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO COVENANTS
||Called the new covenant.
||Called the second
||An everlasting covenant.
with the blood of animals.
||Ratified with the blood
||Is a better covenant.
established upon the promises of the people.
||Is established upon the promises of God.
|Had no mediator.
||Has a mediator.
provision for the forgiveness of sins.
||Provides for the
forgiveness of sins.
the law was written on tables of stone.
||Under this, the law is
written in the heart.
||Is of grace.
Obey and live; disobey and die.
||Conditions: Repent and
be forgiven; believe and be saved.
If ye. If ye will. If ye will do.
will. I will do.
| If ye
will do all.
||I will do all.
|If ye will
do all, then-ye shall be
My people, and I will be your God.
|I will do all, and-will
be your God,
and ye shall be My people.
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