The END of the OLD Covenant
God's Law, Mosaic Law and the Law of Christ
God's Law and the Law of Moses are separate as proven by scripture. God wrote the 10 Commandments by His own finger! (Exodus 31:18; 32:16). The 10 Commandments on the two tablets of stone were placed in the Arch of the Covenant (Exodus 40:20). The Law of Moses, called the book of the law was placed in the side of the Arch of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:26). These also included the 10, but the 10 Commandments are what is called the Law of God. For a side-by side comparison of scripture regarding this separation of Law, click here.
The Law of Moses is what is known as the Jewish Mitzvot contained in the first five books of the Torah (the Bible), and the Old Covenant made through them was replaced by the New Covenant of grace through our Messiah and Savior, Jesus Christ. To read these 613 commandments and ordinances of the Mitzvot, click here.
There were additional laws instituted by the Jewish Rabbi's (called the Takanot), also. Basically, the Jewish nations, since the time of Moses, followed the Law of Moses (Torah) and Rabbinic laws (Takanot), which are still very much a part of the Messianic Jewish culture today. To understand more about the Jewish culture, read up on Judaism 101.
This is not to say that any laws given to the Jewish nations, inspired by God, were BAD. They are all GOOD! It's the Covenant of the Law that is abolished and replaced. If you're having a hard time with this, I invite you to read my hub specifically about the Law of Moses (Torah) and Rabbinic Law (Takanot) and how they relate to those who are now under the "Law of Christ": Torah: The Law of Moses
Comment: There are absolute truths that are found in the New Testament, which are confirmed in the Old Testament Torah. For example, homosexuality and sorcery are said to be an abomination to God in the NT and when we look at the supporting scriptures in the OT, we can see confirmation and even the consequences for practicing such things. People who do not have the blood of Jesus covering their sins are indeed still bound by the Old Covenant Law of sin and death. In fact, to incorporate the Old Covenant under the New is to nullify the New Covenant altogether! (Galatians 2:21) The New Covenant allows repentance and complete forgiveness, as Jesus already paid the "wages of sin" through His death on the cross.
Unfortunately, many of the congregations or churches today continue to keep practicing either the Jewish Mitzvot, the Takanot, religiously adding to the Law of God. I think somehow people still believe that by religiously practicing all these works, it will somehow make them more pleasing, or more righteous to God.
Matthew 5:20 states, "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
2 Corinthians 5:1 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Romans 7:4-6 “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
For more on the newness of the Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, which is MOST IMPORTANT to our Lord, I invite you to read my hub Will He Know You?
This hub will scripturally show that the purpose of the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, was fulfilled and because of the New Covenant, we must be saved by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.
Defintion of Covenant (Hebrew)
Hebrew word beriyth (ber-eeth’) (in the sense of cutting; a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh):-confederacy, [con-] feder [-ate], covenant, league. From the word barah (baw-raw’); a primitive roof: to select; also (as denom. from bar (bawr or bar) (in the sense of winnowing): grain of any kind (even while standing in the field); by extension the open country:-corn, wheat); and from the Hebrew word bara (baw-raw’); a primitive root; (absolute) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes):-choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
The Old Covenant of Sin and Death
When Jesus Christ began His ministry at the age of 30, the first accusation that came against Him was that of not following the Sabbath law, in that He healed people on that holy day. Well, we know Jesus never sinned, so He wasn’t in error, the Jews were. Still to this day, people who embrace the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant, are bound by it and its consequences. People who embrace grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the New Covenant, are not bound by the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses.
John 1:17 “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” This is a summary of the two covenants.
Galatians 3:10-12 “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law to perform them.’ Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ‘The righteous man shall live by faith.’ However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary…”
The Purpose of the Law
Romans 3:19-20 “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin."
Romans 7:5 "For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death."
Galatians 3:18-19 “For if the inheritance is based on Law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator [Moses], until the seed [Jesus] should come to whom the promise had been made.”
Galatians 3:25-28 “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the Law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”
Change in Priesthood
Hebrews 7:11-19 is the passage showing the change of Old Testament Priesthood from the Levites and that of Melchizedek to that of Jesus Christ, our Messiah.
"Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?
For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of Law also.
For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.
For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a Law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.
For it is witnessed of Him, 'Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Mechizadek.'
For, on the one hand, there is a settling of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God."
The End of the Old Covenant
The Old Testament prophesied of the New Covenant to come in Jeremiah 31:31-32 “Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Jesus’ tribe), not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.”
Romans 4:13-16 “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no Law, neither is there violation.”
WHAT ABOUT MATTHEW 5:17-18? Let's write these verses here, and understand that Jesus had not died on the cross yet when He spoke these words:
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished."
Hebrews 7:28 “Moses' Teachings designated mortals as chief priests even though they had weaknesses. But God's promise, which came after Moses' Teachings, designated the Son who forever accomplished everything that God required.”
Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 11:25, 27 "For I do not want you, brethren, to be uniformed of this mystery: And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins."
Galatians 3:19 "Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator [Moses], until the seed [Jesus] should come to whom the promise had been made.”
Ephesians 2:14-16 “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups [Jews and Gentiles] into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”
Colossians 2:14 "having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and He hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;"
Hebrews 8:6-7, 13 “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.” “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”
Hebrews 9:15, 18 “And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
Hebrews 12:24 “and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”
Persecution and Mission
Acts 18:12-13 “The Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, ‘This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the Law.’
Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
So why did the Apostle Paul not only shave his head, but also instruct Gentiles who were being persecuted by the Jews to observe some of their Law (Acts 15 and 21)? 1 Corinthians 9:20 states, “And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law.”
1 Cor 8:9-13 confirms this advice to the Gentiles in regard to our Jewish brethren:
"But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble."
I invite you to now read The JOY in the New Covenant!
More on the Law of Moses and the Law of God
- Torah: The Law of Moses
Luke 16:16 The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached. John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
- Stone From the Throne
Matthew 19:17-19 "... if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments. Then he said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS; HONOR