Friday: Further Study – The Two Covenants

Read Ellen G. White, “The Law and the Covenants,” pp. 363-373, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

“But if the Abrahamic covenant contained the promise of redemption, why was another covenant formed at Sinai? In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. . . .

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“God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: ‘If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then . . . ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.’ Exodus 19:5-6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. . . . Yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 371, 372.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is your own walk with the Lord more of an “old covenant” or a “new covenant” type? How can you tell the difference?
  2. What are some of the issues in your local church that are causing tension within the body? How are they being resolved? Though you might find yourself being the victim of “persecution,” how can you make sure, too, that you aren’t the one doing the persecuting? Where’s the fine line there? (See also Matt. 18:15-17.)
  3. How many times have you made promises to the Lord that you would not do this or that, only to do this or that? How does this sad fact help you understand the meaning of grace?

Summary: The stories of Hagar, Ishmael, and the children of Israel at Sinai illustrate the foolishness of trying to rely upon our own efforts to accomplish what God has promised. This method of self-righteousness is referred to as the old covenant. The new covenant is the everlasting covenant of grace first established with Adam and Eve after sin, renewed with Abraham, and ultimately fulfilled in Christ.



Friday: Further Study – The Two Covenants — 1 Comment

  1. The new covenant does not provide exemption of the law. The new covenant reiterates the need of a Saviour. We need Christ in our hearts to keep Gods covenant wheither it be Adams, Abrahams, Sinani, or the new covenant. What is the new covenant. The new covenant is Christ came to show us throuh Him and only through Him that we can be victorious in keeping Gods covenant, the everlasting covenant. Christ came to put His signiture on Gods covenant. If you will, He came to confirm it. "And He shall confirm the covenant for many for one week. Daniel 7:27. Daniel is refering to Christ ministry, and death on the cross. Now what does Paul say:
    "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." Rom. 15:8. Thus Christ secured the benefits of the ancient covenant to "many," that is, to the believers in Israel. This covenant is called new because God’s everlasting covenant had been so completely lost sight of that it appeared to be an entirely new covenant. Are we new or old covenant keepers? NEW, in light of what the new covenant is.


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