“In a Nutshell”
What are the two covenants?
The covenant of law and the covenant of grace.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1: 17
What is the new covenant?
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-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…. For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people…For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds, I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8: 8-12
What is the old covenant?
The old covenant is the 10 commandments, written and engraved on stones (2 Corinthians 3:7).
“For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar- for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children…” Galatians 4: 24- 25
Why was there a need for a new covenant?
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: ‘Behold, the day are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant…’” Hebrews 8: 7 & 8
No one could meet the requirements of the law. Everyone failed. If you break one, you break all. So one little lie makes you an adulterer. Yes, that’s awful. And under the old covenant, it’s your responsibility to love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Basically, it is stressful to keep the covenant. You’re set up to fail because of your inherent nature- sin.
Enter the new covenant.
Side by Side: The Old and the New
|Old Covenant||New Covenant|
|Old (duh)||New (yay)|
|Made up of Commands||Comprises of Promises|
|Written on stones||Written on hearts|
|Based on the blood of animals||Based on the blood of the Son of God|
|Based on the death of bulls and goats||Based on the death of Jesus Christ|
|Doesn’t forget sin: “…visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.”||Doesn’t remember sin: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”|
|Continuous sacrifice for sin||One sacrifice for sin forever|
|Could never take away sins||Perfected forever those who are being sanctified|
|You earn it||You receive it|
|You’re required to obey the 10 commandments||You’re led by the Spirit|
|Your righteousness is based on works- never breaking the law||Your righteousness is based on faith- believing in Jesus’ finished work on the cross|
|Temporary righteousness||Everlasting righteousness|
|You’re to love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength.||We love because He first loved us|
Why can’t you live under both covenants?
The covenant of grace and the covenant of law are mutually exclusive.
“If it by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” (Romans 11:6)
Both covenants cannot be real in your life at the same time. Jesus said that no one puts new wine in old wineskins, or you’ll lose both.
Are we then to become lawless?
It might sound incredible that the Bible is saying, in Christ, you’re not to live by obeying commandments.
So what are we to live by? We’re free from the law to live by the Spirit.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)Tweet
So the law isn’t bad; actually, it’s because of its complete perfection (Romans 7:12) that we’ll never be able to keep it.
So what’s the big deal anyway?
It’s a matter of inheritance.
Imagine finding out on your death bed that you were heir to a massive fortune, but you had no idea. And you lived poor all your life. Sad but even sadder is that this is a daily reality for many many Christians.
Christianity is not a mediocre, obscure, miserable way of life. No! It’s the abundant life.
Listen to this: For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13)
So if you’re Christ’s, do you want to live a sad, average life or do you want to step into a glorious inheritance that’s yours, here on earth? Not somewhere in heaven. That’s really what’s at stake.
Under grace, you’ll stop fighting for what you already have and thank God for what you have. Some prayers will become extinct in your life because there’s no curse on you, there’s no blame on you, there’s no sin on you. Your righteousness is not gotten from your obedience but a gift you receive based on Christ’s perfect obedience.
You have a destiny to fulfil with all of heaven’s resources at your disposal…if not, methinks God might as well have taken us to heaven immediately we were saved. But nah. Here you are, and here I am! Are you ready to live the abundant life in Christ or what?
Receive the gift of righteousness
“For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Romans 10:10) “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10: 13)
This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. John 3:16
Here is your pass to the abundant, high on grace life. Say this simple prayer:
Thank you, Father, for loving me and sending Jesus to take away my sins. Today, I receive the gift of righteousness. I know I am forgiven all my mistakes and there is no curse or guilt on me today because Jesus took it all at the cross. I choose Jesus. I choose to live under your amazing grace. Amen!