Paul and The Law
The purpose of this book is to examine every use of the word 'law' by the Apostle Paul to answer the question, did Paul teach, 'the law is done away in Jesus'?
2 Peter 3:16 reads, As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
This verse tells us two things.
(1) Paul wrote some things that are hard to be understood, and
It is bad enough that Paul wrote some things that are hard to understand, and that we are reading them two thousand years later. Paul wrote in Greek and we read in English. It is hard enough to read books written in English only a few hundred years ago. To make matters worse we are told that unlearned and unstable men twist Paul's doctrine.
They have had two thousand years to twist. Now his writings are almost impossible to understand. So here we are trying to comprehend what has been twisted and distorted for ages. Apparently modern day books on Paul are the fruits of this distortion. I tried to find a good book at the local book store explaining Paul and the Law.
The more books I read on Paul the less I understood and the more confused I became. Fortunately, I have, for that reason, not read very many books that explain Paul's teaching. I just had to figure it out for myself and print my own book. This book explains Paul by answering the question, What would Paul say if here were alive today here in America and if he were to give the same sermon with modern examples and illustrations?
If I wrote a letter to you, I'm sure that you could understand what I had to say. You should not have to give my letter to a learned friend and have him explain it to you. When Paul wrote a letter to his friends the same should have been true. So I am not going to quote Paul then explain what he had to say. I will try to resay in modern plain English the same message Paul delivered so long ago. And it should not thereafter need explanation. When talking about the Law Paul was explaining the Old Testament. He used the words law, lawful, lawless, lawyer, commandments, and ordinances.
This book will limit itself to those portions of the Old Testament that were being explained and verses or chapters containing these words relating to 'The Law'. 'The Law' is more than just The Ten Commandments'.
|'The Law' meaning the legal system, courts, or police officers.|
|'The Law' meaning the writings of Moses.|
|'The Law' meaning the commandments, statutes and judgments.|
|'The Law' meaning the covenants or a covenant.|
|'The Law' meaning customs, rituals and ceremonies.|
When a friend asks you about charity toward the poor, you might reply, What does the Bible say? Your answer may come from only one or two verses, not the whole Bible. A question such as, "What sayeth the law," may be like, "What sayeth the Bible?"
The answer could be in one verse or one chapter. When Paul asks, "What sayeth the law?" Paul could be asking, "What sayeth that particular part of the law on this subject?" If Paul were talking about marriage, and asked, "What sayeth the Law?," he would not be expecting an answer from that part of the law dealing with National History or criminal conduct.
This is a commandment:
Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13
These are Statutes and Judgments:
Statute: He that smiteth a man, so that he die,
Judgment: shall be surely put to death. Exodus 21:12
Statute: But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile;
Judgment: thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. Exodus 21:14
Statute: And he that smiteth his father, or his mother,
Judgment: shall be surely put to death. Exodus 21:15
Likewise, this is a commandment:
Commandment: Thou shalt not speed.
Likewise, these are Statutes and Judgments:
Statute: The speed limit in a school zone is 20 M.P.H.
Judgment: Anyone exceeding the limit in a school zone shall be fined $10.00 for each mile over the limit.
Statute: The speed limit on an Interstate Highway is 55 M.P.H..
Judgment: Anyone exceeding the limit on an Interstate Highway shall be fined $5.00 for each mile over the limit.
Luke 1:55, As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
Luke 1:72-73, To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; (73) The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
Romans 15:8, Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
Thought provoking questions:
- What is a 'minister of the circumcision'?
- What are 'the promises made unto the fathers'?
- What is "The oath which he sware to our father Abraham?"
- Is 'his holy covenant"' the 'Old Covenant' that was done away or is it a different covenant?
- Did you know that in Romans 9, 10 and 11 Paul quotes the Old Testament 35 times? As a result 39% of Romans 9,10 and 11 is from the Old Testament!
The average person does not know that Paul's writings are explanations of the Old Testament. Paul's explanation is rarely understood for several reasons.
- The reader does not know that the Old Testament is being explained or does not recognize the Old Testament quotes.
- The reader has not, or does not study the verses in the Old Testament that are being explained. This is especially true of 'New Testament' Christians.
- The average person accepts the explanation given him by his church or pastor. If you can't trust your pastor, who can you trust? (And the Pastor received his understanding at a Bible College or seminary.)
Many Christians are familiar with Paul's words in Romans 10:13, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Very few know that this is a quote of Joel 2:32, And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
The average Christian has heard about The Old Covenant. Yet, all they 'know' about The Old Covenant is that it was 'done away'. So I ask, which 'Old Covenant' was 'done away'? There are many different covenants in the Old Testament. How many can you name?
Before we study Paul's writings on the law we need a firm foundation in the Old Testament promises and covenants that he explains.
This is a covenant made between God and Abraham after Abraham met certain conditions. Its benefits are passed on unconditionally to his seed. The benefits pass on as an inheritance. Circumcision was the seal of this covenant just as Baptism is the seal of the New Covenant.
Genesis 12:1-3, (1) Now the Lord had said unto Abram*, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
* Later God will change Abram's name to Abraham.) God gave Abram two commands.
- Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred
- (Go) unto a land that I will shew thee
God then made seven promises.
- And I will make of thee a great nation,
- and I will bless thee,
- and make thy name great;
- and thou shalt be a blessing:
- And I will bless them that bless thee,
- and curse him that curseth thee:
- and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed
Genesis 12:7, And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
Comment: After Abram obeyed and after he went to the appointed land God made another promise.
8. Unto thy seed will I give this land.
Genesis 13:14-17, (14) And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: (15) For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. (16) And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. (17) Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
Comment: The promise of land was extended unto Abraham's seed. Two more promises were given.
9. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
10. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Comment: These promises were made concerning Abram's children. But Abram was old and childless.
Genesis 15:1-6, (1) After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (2) And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? (3) And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. (4) And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. (5) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. (6) And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
|Question: Why was Abram righteous in God's eyes; because he lead a sinless life; or because he trusted God?||Answer: Because he trusted God.|
Genesis 15:18, In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
Question: What is a covenant?
Answer: From Black's Law Dictionary and Webster's 1828 Dictionary:
The Answer from Black's Law Dictionary:
"A covenant, in its most general signification, means any kind of promise or contract, whether it be in writing or by parol (spoken). In a more technical sense, a covenant is an agreement between two or more persons, entered into in writing and under seal, whereby either party stipulates for the truth of certain facts, or promises to perform or give something to the other, or to abstain from the performance of certain things.
The Answer from Webster's 1828 dictionary:
Covenant (noun) Literally a coming together; a meeting of the minds. A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons; to do or forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract.
Covenant (verb) To enter into a formal agreement; to stipulate; to bind one's self by contract.
Comment: Thus far, God has bound himself by contract to ten promises. These promises were about land, material blessings, and divine protection. 'Salvation' and 'going to heaven when you die' have not been mentioned.
Genesis 17:1-8, (1) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
(2) And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
(3) And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
(4) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
(5) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
(6) And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
(7) And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
(8) And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
In Genesis 17 we have these statements and promises;
- Thou shalt be a father of many nations.
- Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham.
- I will make thee exceeding fruitful.
- I will make nations of thee.
- Kings shall come out of thee.
- I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant
- I will be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
- I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession;
- I will be their God.
Genesis 17:9-14, (9) And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
(10) This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
(11) And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
(12) And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
(13) He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
(14) And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
Comment: As a ring is to the marriage covenant so is circumcision to this covenant. When God says Thou shalt keep my covenant and Every man child among you shall be circumcised, Concerning the word 'shall', there are two ways to look at this.
(1) It is a command to be obeyed or (2) It is something that God will cause to come to pass. With reference to Every man child among you shall be circumcised, is it not a fact that, with reference to the Christian White Race, even today, thousands of years later, it is very rare to find a manchild who has not been circumcised? Has God kept his word, Every man child among you shall be circumcised,? Or is this one of the very few commands that we have obeyed to any extent?
Genesis 17:15-22, (15) And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
(16) And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
(17) Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
(18) And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
(19) And God said, 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.
(20) And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
(21) But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
(22) And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
Comment: The descendants of Ishmael are the Arab nations. But the covenant was not to be with the Arabs. The covenant went with Isaac's descendants.
Genesis 18:17-19, (17) And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
(18) Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
(19) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
|Question: When it comes to Foreign Aid, Care packages and so forth, where do they come from, the Christians in America, the Jews in Palestine, or the Arabs with their oil?||Answer: All the nations of the earth shall be blessed is fulfilled more from America than from any other nation. Have you ever thought of America as an Abrahamic nation?|
Genesis 21:9-14, (9) And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
(10) Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
(11) And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
(12) And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
(13) And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
(14) And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
Comment: For in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Who is named after Isaac? How about the name Saxons meaning 'the sons of Isaac'. Have you ever thought of the English as being an Abrahamic nation? Could the kings of Europe have been included in the promise to Abraham?
- I will make nations of thee. (4 & 5 in the above list.)
- Kings shall come out of thee.
Genesis 22:1-19: (1) And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
(2) And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
(3) And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
(4) Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
(5) And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
(6) And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
(7) And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
(8) And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
(9) And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
(10) And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
(11) And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
(12) And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
(13) And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
(14) And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
(15) And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
(16) And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
(17) That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
(18) And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
(19) So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba."
Comment: "And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies." At one time all the major land and sea 'gates' were in the possession and control of the Christian nations. For Example, The Bearing Straights (Alaska) , The Kyber Pass (India) Gibraltar (Mediterranean Sea) Cape of Good Hope, Panama Canal, Suez Canal. The Azores. In every land, even in the lands of other races, every 'gate' was in hands of Christian nations.
Genesis 26:2-5, (2) And the Lord appeared unto him (Isaac), and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
(3) Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
(4) And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
(5) Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Comment: The Judeo-Christian clergy say, 'The Law is done away in Jesus'. This clergy tell us that no one can keep God's Law.
|Question: Did Abraham keep God's Law?||Answer: Yes.|
|Question: Did David keep God's Law?||Answer: 2 Kings 18:1-6, (1) Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. (2) Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. (3) And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. (4) He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. (5) He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. (6) For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.|
1 Kings 14:8, And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;
1 Kings 11:34, Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:
|Question: Does the church keep God's Law?||Answer: Revelation 12:17, And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.|
|Question: Do the saints keep God's Law?||Answer: Revelation, 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.|
|Question: Did the keeping of God's Law make" Abraham righteous?||Answer: No. Genesis 15:6, And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.|
|Question: If Abraham had not kept God's law, statutes and judgments, would God have blessed Abraham and his sons Isaac and Ishmael?||Answer: No. Verse 5 above, Abraham found grace because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.|
|Question: Why did God choose David?||Answer: 1 Kings 11:34, Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes:|
Genesis 26:24, And the Lord appeared unto him (Isaac) the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
And with Jacob;
Genesis 28:1-4, (1) And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
(2) Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
(3) And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
(4) And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
Comment: The promises made to Abraham have been passed on to Isaac and then to his son Jacob.
Genesis 28:13-15, (13) And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
(14) And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
(15) And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Genesis 32:27-28, (27) And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
(28) And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Comment: Jacob's name was changed to Israel.
Genesis 35:9-15, (9) And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.
(10) And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.
(11) And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
(12) And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
(13) And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.
(14) And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.
(15) And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
Comment: Here the promises are once again confirmed. Thus far, this particular covenant has had nothing to do with a promise of salvation or eternal life or 'going to heaven when you die'. I am not saying that these things are not in the Bible. I am saying that this is not the subject of this covenant. This covenant deals with land, children, kings, and other material, worldly possessions.
Genesis 48:3-4, And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
(4) And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
Summary: The Covenant between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was unconditional with reference to the recipient. It was a verbal agreement containing a number of promises that were to be inherited by their descendants. The Covenant with Abraham is just one of the Bible's Covenants. It is not to be confused with 'The Old Covenant'.
The Old Covenant is a conditional covenant between God and a people called Israel.
This was an agreement negotiated by Moses.
Exodus 19:2-9, (2) For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
(3) And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
(4) Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
(5) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
(6) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
(7) And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.
(8) 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.
(9) And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.
Comment: Compare verses 5, 8 and 9 as follows; Verse 5: A father asks the mother to say to his children, If you will do what I ask you to do, then I will give each of you a bicycle. The mother calls the children together and relates the message, verse 8: The children reply, O.K. tell dad it's a deal. The children ask, What do we have to do? Verse 9: Father says to mother, I'll let the children know what I want them to do when I get home.
When God spoke to Israel as mentioned in verse 9 he gave His Ten Commandments. This covenant is not The Ten Commandments but this covenant is about The Ten Commandments. This agreement is called 'The Old Covenant'. It was mediated by Moses.
A. The 'Old Covenant' is not The Ten Commandments.
B. Rather The 'Old Covenant' is an agreement about The Ten Commandments.
God's commandments were in the earth since before Adam. Paul will mention this fact when he explains these covenants. In Genesis 26:5 Abraham keeps God's commandments. This was 430 years before the events at Mt. Sinai. At that time God said of Abraham, Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Hundreds of years later, in Exodus 16:28 God complained to Moses, And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye (The people.) to keep my commandments and my laws? The Old Covenant agreement came in Exodus 19. Finally, a short time later, The Ten Commandments were given at Mt. Sinai and recorded in Exodus 20.
Since 'Sin is the transgression of the Law', if there was no law to transgress then Adam could not have sinned. If there was no law before it was 'given' at Sinai, then there would have been no law for Abraham to obey. Here we are getting ahead of our story because this is something that Paul will explain later in this book.
This is God's offer, His part of the agreement relayed by Moses to the elders of the people. If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: . . .: (6) And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
|Question: Did God say, "If you will keep my law perfectly then you will be saved?"||Answer: No. Salvation does not come from law keeping, but salvation does have something to do with law keeping. Paul will explain later.|
In verse 7 Moses called a meeting of Elders. The Elders accepted the offer on behalf of the people. And all the people (Elders) answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.
The old covenant was in three steps.
First: Moses negotiated the basic agreement between God and the people's elected representatives.
Second: The details of God's instruction and requirements were conveyed to the public. (Exodus 21-24)
Third: After presentation of the details, the covenant was ratified by the people at a public meeting.
Exodus 24:1-12, (1) And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.
(2) And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.
(3) And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.
(4) And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
(5) And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord.
(6) And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
(7) 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.
(8) 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.
(9) Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
(10) And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
(11) And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
(12) And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Comment: In verse eight we have Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. This is comparable with Jesus Christ's blood which is the blood of the New Covenant.
In verses 10 and 11 we have And they saw the God of Israel: . . . and did eat and drink. This is comparable with the New testament 'marriage feast of the Lamb'.
Thus far there has been no mention and no promise of eternal life being a benefit of this covenant. Clergy who tie 'personal salvation' to 'the Old Covenant', are speaking a truth while telling a lie.
(1) They imply that if you do keep the law you are doing it to get saved.
(2) They imply that 'law keepers' keep the law falsely believing that 'law keeping' will get a person saved.
(3) They imply that to keep the law (of Moses) is to show a lack of faith in Jesus Christ. They will give lip service to The Ten Commandments as "Jesus' law of love" and ignore 'all the judgments', of verse 3, And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. Thereby they make void the law. The judgments are punishments. A law without penalties is no law. The Judeo-Christian 'law of love' is like an automobile without an engine. It is useless when it comes to getting from here to there.
Also, It is error to believe that The Ten Commandments are 'the Law of Moses'. Clearly they were given by and are God's Laws. In the New Testament we have a book called The Revelation of St. John. But it is not St. John's revelation as the very first verse of Revelation reads, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is O.K. to say, 'the Law of Moses' as long as we clearly understand that this is God's Law.
Summary: The Old Covenant was a marriage contract between God and Israel. God promised to love, honor and cherish. Israel promised to love, honor and obey. It was a contract of protection and obedience. God protects and provides and the people obey.
The conditional part of 'The Old Covenant' had to do with the blessings and curses that attached to this agreement. The condition was, obey and receive blessings (God's grace) or disobey and receive God's curses. These blessings and curses are summarized in Deuteronomy 28. A popular song about America contains these words, "God shed his grace on thee." That is the same as singing, "God shed his blessings on thee."
The prayer before a meal is sometimes called 'the blessing' at other times it is called 'grace'. The point is, grace and blessings are one and the same. It is just as correct to say that the law covenant offers a choice between blessings and curses as it is to say the law covenant offers a choice between grace and curses. Some pastors claim that the offer is a choice between Law and Grace.
That is like comparing apples and oranges. It is more correct to say, choose between Law and Lawlessness, or choose between Grace and Curses. The choice is not between Law and Grace and not a choice between Lawlessness and Curses. Paul will make that clear when he explains the covenants. Law and Grace/Blessings go together just as Lawlessness and Curses go together.
You should study Deuteronomy 28. The first 15 verses apply to early America. It is the 'The Lord shall shed his grace on thee' part. The remainder of the chapter describes present day America where 'God sheds his curses on thee'. See for yourself. Read and think about the verses and their application in modern America. 'Does the shoe fit?'
In Hebrews 8 Paul is explaining a part of the Old Testament. Paul was explaining Jeremiah 31: 31-34. Here they are so that you can compare one with another.
|(8) 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: (9) 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. (10) 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:||34 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:
32 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:
33 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.
34 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.
Here are five parts of the New Covenant;
- The covenant is with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
- I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts:
- I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
- And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:
- I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Ezekiel 36:26-27, (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Two more parts of the New Covenant.
- A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
- I will cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
Question: Will the New Covenant make it possible to do something never before possible, to keep God's Laws, Statutes and Judgments? Or does verse 27 indicate that 'the law will be done away in Jesus'?
Ezekiel 36:26-27, (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.