Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Covenant Confusion-Law and Grace


What is the purpose of book of the covenant that was placed alongsider the Ark? I understood it was an expansion of the Decalogue and that the Decalogues is a summary of the book of the covenant? SDAdventists are telling me that the Ten Commandments WAS NOT the old covenant, and, therefore, I must keep the 7th day sabbath law today.


The "Book of The Covenant" or "Book of Law" is the Ten Commandants and commands and rules they the Hebrews under Moses were to follow. The Decalogue is the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 24:1-8 ESV [English Standard Version]

The Covenant Confirmed
"1Then he said to Moses, "Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2Moses alone shall come near to the LORD, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him."
3Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do." 4And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. 6And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient." 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

The "Book of the Covenant" placed in the Ark of the Covenant is also known as the "Book of Law" is found in Deuteronomy 31:24-29. This describes exactly why it was placed in the Ark. As you will see below it was placed there "for a witness against you" (The Hebrews)", they were "rebellious and stubborn", while Moses was alive they were "rebellious against the LORD". "How much more after my (Moses) death" would they rebel. The corruption that would follow after Moses's death was anticipated by Moses. This book placement would witness and lead to the people to repentance. They would need to repent. Their sin would provoke the LORD to anger.

Deuteronomy 31:24-29
English Standard Version (ESV)
24When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, 26"Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death! 28Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands."

The Ten Commandments are the totality of the "Old Covenant".

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ is the "New Covenant" as described in Matthew 26:27-29 concerning the first Lord's Supper or communion.

Matthew 26:27-29
English Standard Version (ESV)
"27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom."

To the New Testament church in Corinth the Apostle Paul wrote-
2 Corinthians 3:7-18
English Standard Version (ESV)
"7Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
12Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. 14But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16But when one[a] turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

The Law in the Old Testament refereed in this is the Ten Commandments. There was religious and ceremonial law, civil law, and the enduring moral law. Acts 11 clearly shows the ceremonial and civil law are passed as the Apostle Peter is shown in Acts 11:7 that their is no distinction in Christ believing Jews and Gentiles in the "New Covenant".

Jesus Christ makes it clear the moral law or Ten Commandments still is in effect today to show the rebellion of unbelievers.
Matthew 5:18
English Standard Version (ESV)
"18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished."

The Apostle Paul clearly talks about the Law or Ten Commandments in the life of the unbeliever and when the unbeliever is saved.
Galatians 3:24-25
English Standard Version (ESV)
"24So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,"

The Apostle Paul reinforces a believers status now concerning law and grace.
Romans 6:14
English Standard Version (ESV)
"14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."
The gospel of John wraps up what was the "Old Covenant" and what is the "New Covenant".
John 1:17
English Standard Version (ESV)
"17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

You are to honor the "Law" or Ten Commandments. You will fail tough. It will not save you. It's intended purpose is to point you towards grace.
That's why we trust Jesus Christ who took the "curse" of the law on the cross for us lawbreakers.
The curse is our failure to fulfill the law. Jesus received our curse. Believer's receive the righteousness of Christ. We also receive eternal life with God as the resurrected Christ is our champion over death, hell and the grave.

Live in liberty brother. You are free from your friends misplaced 7th Day Adventist legalism.
Colossians 2:16
English Standard Version (ESV)

"16Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath."

Romans 14:5–6 (ESV)
"5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks ..."

Brother, I roll with the Apostles on my day of worship and go on Sundays. The Apostles and the prophets were the the foundations of the church as Christ was the architect.
As Ephesians 2:20 states.

Acts 20:7 (ESV)
"7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight."

Brother, I was in a Scripture frenzy in my answers. Because I want you to be on solid ground concerning your faith and practice. Do not let others cast doubt on biblical practices.

Yes the 10 Commandments [Decalogue]were the representation of the "Old Covenant".
Jesus Christ is the "New Covenant". The Apostles worshiped on the first day of the week which is Sunday.

The Bible is 66 books all about the Salvation Jesus Christ offers to our sinful world. Do not let people isolate verses and irritate you. There is transition of practices of worship from old to new and from Hebrews to Christians who are from all nations in the body of Christ.

Remember Hebrews 13:8
English Standard Version (ESV)
"8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."


  1. Transferred from Facebook:
    From Taylor Welborn: That may be the best explanation of what worship is all about. Sing songs that glorify God. Up beat, loud, slow, or whatever. Worship is to be lyrics driven. Awesome.

  2. Thanks Taylor. I appreciate your comments coming from a family of church musicians.