Dave, I listened to the CD you sent me. Thank you. I agree with much that he had to say. I do have some differences. First, has to do with the interpretation of the word law in Jeremiah’s account of the New Covenant. According to the teacher in the CD, he sees the “torah”/ “law” written on the hearts of the house of Israel and Judah, and assumes this has to naturally be the Book of Moses– the Pentateuch, which may seem in order except when you consider a few things.
Jeremiah 31:31–34 (NASB95)
31 “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,
32 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.
33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
The account says not like the covenant which I made with their fathers, which is the Law of Moses. Now, the teacher of the CD indicated that the Holy Spirit was the difference between the two, which is the point that Ezekiel makes.
Ezekiel 11:19 (NASB95)
19 “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,
I say though that the writing of the Law of God on their hearts is not the Law of Moses. Otherwise, it would be the same covenant, only an administering of the Spirit that enables one to obey the Old Covenant. But I believe and Paul in Romans and Galatians puts it better than I that the Law is the Law of Christ and the Law of the Spirit. Jesus talks of the new wine needing to be put in new wine skins.
Matthew 9:17 (NASB95)
17 “Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The New Covenant can’t be mixed or patched with the old. I believed for years that somehow the old extended and grew into the new. I don’t believe that now.
I want to pause here and say, the whole Bible is the Word of God. All of the Word is therefore of the highest importance to me, and I revere all of the Word. Jesus’ essence is the Word and in the Revelation of Jesus to John His name is the Word.
The Old Covenant of the sacrifices and Aaron’s priestly system was replaced by Jesus as an eternal high priest after the order of Melchizedek. This was fleshed out in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 8:7–13 (NASB95)
A New Covenant
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
8 For finding fault with them, He says,
“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
He made the first obsolete. So why have an Old Covenant. It was to show us the absolute cleanness and holiness of God and our need for a Savior in Christ.
Galatians 3:24–25 (NASB95)
24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
If the law written on our hearts were the Law of Moses why would Paul make statements like…
Galatians 5:18 (NASB95)
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Romans 10:4 (NASB95)
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Romans 8:3–4 (NASB95)
3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
We are able to fulfill the Law of Moses only by the work of Christ. We believe in Christ who did fulfill the Law of Moses for us. Now we aren’t under the Law of Moses but we are led by the Spirit.
Romans 7:6 (NASB95)
6 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.
Did Jesus make comment about the end of the Law? I mentioned the new wineskins. The example of the new patch on the old garment gives illustration to the fact that the New Covenant is not a patch for the old; it is a new different covenant and law. Jesus also said,
Matthew 15:11 (NASB95)
11 “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”
This is new and different than the Law of Moses that as you know prohibits many kinds of food that is unclean.
How about Paul that defined many points of the New Covenant…
Romans 14:20 (NASB95)
20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.
The New Covenant is the same for Jew and Gentile, and the Law is one of obedience to the Spirit and Christ. The morals of God are the same because God is without changing, but the old need of sacrificing animals is not needed because Christ’s death on the cross stands eternal. If the law “thou shalt not kill” held then then it holds now. The same Spirit won’t lead one to murder. The Scripture is clear enough what applies and what doesn’t.
Galatians 3:2–3 (NASB95)
2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
If we try to pick some things back up, we are in danger of putting the yolk of all the law again on our shoulders, which Christ fulfilled and only He could. If we eat clean, what of cleanliness laws of women’s time of the month, or what if we find mold in our house. Where does it end? Christ fulfilled it, we couldn’t, we can’t, but thanks be to Jesus we can believe in Him and His righteousness and cleanness is imparted on and in us. We got to have faith.
Galatians 2:16 (NASB95)
16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
A scribe of God pulls out of his treasure of Scripture old and new, just like Jesus, just like Paul, but we are under a new different covenant than the Law of Moses. Thank you Jesus. Help me obey you and your Holy Spirit.
Love you and Sandy, Greyson