A Contrary Law
Let's begin with noting Jeremiah 31:31ff : " Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that 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 that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But 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 in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.¶ Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:"
This text points out some important facts. First He had a covenant/law with Israel and Judah. They commited to keeping the law faithfully, without any short-comings. He tied this covenant back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their fathers. It was a law written on stone tablets, with additional ordinances taught. This, if kept properly, would have been a perfect society. These people would "know" God like they do each other, a close relationship. 2nd, there would be a new covenant/law, that would be taught and written on men's hearts, becoming a part of their mental faculties, guiding them throughout their lives. The content of the new law was not to teach them who God is/was, but rather the life God wanted us to live. Unlike the first law, Moses' Law, there would be a provision where God would forgive their iniquity and He would forget about the sin they committed. Thirdly, He states that HE is/was the same God, that gave the ordinances for the universe; sun, moon, stars, seas, etc., and they respected and followed those ordinances, noting that man should do the same! So God enacted the laws governing nature, the Law of Moses, governing a nation of people only, and then Christ's law, governing all of mankind, fulfilling the promise given Abraham in Genesis 12:1-7.
But last week, we noted that this old covenant, perfect in nature, promoting a perfect society, had a flaw outside of itself. It became a law of death! Within that law, a transgressor of the law, was condemned, and the hope of escape depended on the Messiah, Christ coming with this new law. So rather than the Old Law being the end of ends as a law, it was a tutor, Galatians 3. It was a law to prepare us, guide us, until the Law of Christ, could come. Their hope rested in the laws partial pardon through the blood of animals. It taught them the importance of "Faith", although that law was not of faith, but more so of works. When Abraham obeyed that law of works, he did so because of his faith in God and His promises. Abraham's works being done as a result of his faith in God, attributed to him for righteousness. Thus, he was the "friend of God". So, that law became a curse to man for his transgression. One sin, kept him from having a close relationship with God, condemning him. Galatians here teaches us, that it takes the same type of faith Abraham had, to live under the Law of Christ, the law of faith! We learn the law of Christ and keep it, because we love Him and trust Him to keep His promises also. There are many passages tying our love to Christ to keeping His commandments, John 14:15, 23, 1 John 5:3. So, the purpose of the old law, was to bring us to the Law of Christ. So how was that to work under the old law?
I believe we find the answer to that in Hebrews 9. The text is a comparison between the old law and this new law of Christ. It discusses the tabernacles were different, the priests were different, and the sacrifices were different. Those of the old law, were figures or shadows, used to explain what would later be made perfect. It brought us "to Christ", the perfect. The writer gives parallels through the book, distinquishing how much better the new law was over the old law. But the two laws were basically the same; same God, same morals, but the outcome was different because of faith being applied to the work. In chapter 10, the writer specifically states the problem under the old law. The blood of animals was not sufficient to make the man perfect before God, after he sinned, vs. 1. So they were required to remember each sin they committed every year as they offered the animal blood sacrifice, vs. 3. If that blood could have done the job of forgiving the man of the sin, then there were be no more conscience of that sin, no guilt, and no need for sacrifice the next year, vs. 2. But it couldn't, vs. 4. Christ's blood would work, vs. 7-18. His was the blood of a perfect man without sin, being offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, those wicked men, who were condemned, burdened with their sin and guilt, yet wanting relief, forgiveness. Help and hope is now here. God is satisfied with the atonement paid. Those who seek atonement can now find it, and through the faith of Abraham, enjoy forgiveness through Christ's blood.
How? we will look at that next week. Don't forget our website: www.histruth.net . Thanks for studying with us. If you are unable to go to our website, let us know. We'd be happy to study with you and share God's saving gospel with you. You can also study with us at our services at the Macon Church of Christ, Hwy. 63S by Farmers Insurance. Have a good week.