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Under grace, technically we are free to continue sinning; but if we have truly been born again, we will not want. The ushering in of the new covenant was prophesied in the Old Testament. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
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I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert Isaiah God is saying that when He brings in the new covenant, people will not know it. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? We must decide whether we will continue living under the old covenant. Under that agreement, anyone who cannot keep all of it is cursed. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland Isaiah , NLT.
God is telling the people that when He brings in the new covenant, some of them will not realize the old covenant has passed away. They will continue trying to live by it. 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 better promises. 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 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; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more Hebrews If it was okay to continue living under the law, Jesus would not have needed to mediate the new covenant.
The new covenant is unconditional. It is not between God and man like the old covenant was, but between God and Jesus. We are the beneficiaries of that covenant. See Note A, on the Second Blessing. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.
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The Two Covenants
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And what was that relation? God proposed to make a man in His own image and likeness. The chief glory of God is that He has life in Himself; that He is independent of all else, and owes what He is to Himself alone. If the image and likeness of God was not to be a mere name, and man was really to be like God in the power to make himself what he was to be, he must needs have the power of free will and self determination.
Man was to be a creature made by God, and yet he was to be, as far as a creature could be, like God, self-made. God was ever to take the initiative, and be to man the source of life.
Man was ever to be the recipient, and yet at the same time the disposer of the life God bestowed. When man had fallen through sin, and God entered into a covenant of salvation, these two sides of the relationship had still to be maintained intact. God was ever to be the first, and man the second. His absolute dependence upon God was not to be forced upon him; if it was really to be a thing of moral worth and true blessedness, it must be his deliberate and voluntary choice.
In the very nature of things there was no other way possible to God than this in dealing with a being whom He had endowed with the Godlike power of a will. The progress and transition from the one to the other is not merely chronological or historical; it is organic and spiritual. In greater or lesser degree it is seen in every member of the body, as well as in the body as a whole.
Under the Old Covenant there were men in whom, by anticipation, the powers of the coming redemption worked mightily. In the New Covenant there are men in whom the spirit of the Old still makes itself manifest.
Two Covenants - Christian Classics Ethereal Library
The New Testament proves, in some of its most important epistles, especially those to the Galatians, Romans, and Hebrews,- how possible it is within the New Covenant still to be held fast in the bondage of the Old. This is the teaching of the passage from which our text is taken.
In the home of Abraham, the father of the faithful, Ishmael and Isaac are both found, the one born of a slave, the other of a free woman; the one after the flesh and the will of man, the other through the promise and the power of God; the one only for a time, then to be cast out, the other to be heir of all. A picture held up to the Galatians of the life they were leading, as they trusted to the Flesh and its religion, making a fair show, and yet proved, by their being led captive to sin, to be, not of the free but of the bond woman.
Only through faith in the promise and the mighty quickening power of God could they, could any of them, be made truly and fully free, and stand in the freedom with which Christ has made us free. As we proceed to study the two covenants in thelight of this and other scriptures, we shall see how they are indeed the Divine revelation of two systems of religious worship, each with its spirit or lifeprinciple ruling every man who professes to be a Christian.
We shall see how the one great cause of the feebleness of so many Christians is just this, that the Old Covenant spirit of bondage still has the mastery. And we shall see that nothing but a spiritual insight, with a wholehearted acceptance, and a living experience, of all the New Covenant engages that God will work in us, can possibly fit for walking as God would have us do. This truth of there being two stages in our service of God, two degrees of nearness in our worship, is typified in many things in the Old Covenant worship; perhaps nowhere more clearly than in the difference between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the temple, with the veil separating them.
Into the former the priests might always enter to draw near to God. And yet they might not come too near; the veil kept them at a distance. To enter within that, was death. Not only among the Galatians, but everywhere throughout the Church, there are to be found two classes of Christians.