Books of the Book: Galatians

The Two Covenants

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mark Howard & Jim Howard


Series Code: GBOTB

Program Code: GBOTB00009A

00:23 Welcome to another episode of Books of the Book.
00:25 I'm Pastor Mark Howard, I'm the director of the
00:27 Emmanuel Institute of evangelism in Michigan
00:29 as well as the Pastor of the
00:32 Gobels Seventh-day Adventist church in Michigan
00:35 and my co-host Jim Howard, my younger brother.
00:38 Yes, I'm Jim Howard also at Pastor of the Michigan
00:41 conference of the Detroit Metropolitan and South Lyon's
00:44 Seventh-day Adventist churches.
00:46 Now we are so glad you are with us today in our
00:49 Bible study and we have been going through
00:51 the book of Galatians.
00:52 A powerful book in the New Testament where the apostle
00:55 Paul gives his clearest defense in the shortest space
00:58 of the Gospel message.
01:00 Somebody may contend the book of Romans but the book
01:03 of Galatians is a compacted Romans and it addresses so
01:06 many powerful gospel truths from different angles so
01:10 that we can really get a grasp on the essence of
01:14 justification by faith, of the obedience of faith.
01:18 Today of the covenants and this is a study we are going
01:22 to look at today on the two covenants.
01:23 We are just going to dive right in with the book of
01:28 Galatians 4 and if you are watching at home and you
01:31 have your Bibles with you we want to encourage you to
01:34 take your Bibles out and turn with us to the book of
01:37 Galatians in the New Testament.
01:38 You go to the Gospels and start out in Matthew, Mark,
01:41 Luke, John, Acts, Romans,
01:42 1 and 2 Corinthians and then Galatians.
01:45 We are in Galatians 4:21 and I'm going to read here,
01:51 "tell me, you who desired to be under the law, do you
01:58 "not hear the law? 22. For it is written that
02:01 "Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman,
02:04 "the other by a free woman. 23. But he who was of the
02:07 "bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of
02:11 "free woman through promise,24. which things are symbolic.
02:15 "For these are the two covenants the one from Mount Sinai
02:19 "which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar. "
02:21 I'm going to read on after a little bit but I'm going to
02:24 key in on this verse 21 where he talks about being under
02:27 the law Jim, and this is something I said in our last
02:30 episode that we were going to talk about
02:32 in a future episode.
02:33 There are people that get confused on this term under the
02:37 law and they assume initially that under the law means
02:41 - that you had to keep the law.
02:43 - Yes, That you have to keep the law so when Paul talks
02:46 about in a derogatory way about being under the law people
02:49 say he is against keeping the law.
02:51 In fact the most common text that is read that way is in
02:56 the book of Romans and we will go to Romans 6:14.
03:03 It says, "for sin shall not have dominion over you,
03:09 "for you are not under the law but under grace. "
03:15 So that's where people read in it that you are not under
03:18 law but you are under grace.
03:20 So they read into that to observe the law of God,
03:28 the Ten Commandments is contrary to grace.
03:30 If you're saved by grace then you don't need to keep
03:32 the law, right? - that's right but if you read what
03:35 he says here in this verse, notice what he says,
03:37 "sin shall not have dominion over you. "
03:39 Let's talk about sin first of all. 1 John 3:4 says,
03:42 "is transgression of the law. " Or lawlessness.
03:45 So right away, in fact the apostle Paul in Romans 7
03:48 says, "I would not have known sin except by the law. "
03:52 Romans 3:20, "by the law is the knowledge of sin. "
03:55 Romans 4:15, "where there is no law there is no
03:58 "transgression. " Or no sin.
04:00 So the whole idea is that sin is breaking the law.
04:02 We know we are sinning when we are breaking the law
04:05 of God, that's the indicator of what sin is.
04:08 Now he says sin, or law breaking shall not have
04:11 dominion over you. Now what does dominion mean?
04:14 - it means ruling over you. - rulership.
04:17 That is rulership, where a man who is under the
04:20 dominion of another we call a slave don't we?
04:22 And this would be a slave to sin because sin is
04:25 the owner, sin is the one who has dominion.
04:28 He says here that sin will not rule over you
04:31 because you are not under law but under grace.
04:35 If we just read it now as we define the terms,
04:37 lawbreaking won't rule your life anymore when
04:40 you are under grace. - that's right.
04:42 - That is what he is saying because grace brings
04:45 us into a position where because of the grace of Christ
04:48 we are brought into obedience to the will of God.
04:51 If you look at that next verse it makes a really plain.
04:54 Romans 7:15, "What then? Shall we say in because we
04:57 "are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!"
05:00 I love the King James on that.
05:01 God forbid that you would think something like that.
05:05 So the whole idea of being under law then is being in
05:08 a position of seeking justification by law.
05:12 That is why Paul says to these Galatians, you who seek
05:15 to be under the law, this is what the people in Galatians
05:18 were doing rather than receiving Christ, they chose
05:21 circumcision and thought it they observed this rite
05:24 it would enter them into that salvation experience.
05:27 He says listen don't you who desired to be under the law,
05:31 you guys were trying to be justified by your observance
05:34 of the law, don't you hear what the law says?
05:37 Don't you understand of the law is asking you to do far
05:39 more then you are capable of doing in your own strength?
05:42 That is the kind of point he makes.
05:44 Exactly right, if you look in that passage there is a
05:47 reference made that really highlights what our topic
05:51 is today, we are talking about the two covenants.
05:54 If you look at Galatians 4:23 it says, "but he who was
06:01 "up a bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he
06:05 "of the free woman through promise, which things are
06:09 "symbolic. For these are the two covenants:"
06:13 so he's about to do this illustration of the two
06:17 covenants, so before we can really understand this
06:20 illustration we need to get a little background
06:23 on the two covenants.
06:24 So let's look at those, we are going to start by going
06:27 back to the Old Testament and taking a look at what is
06:29 commonly referred to as the old covenant.
06:31 Now I would like to look at a verse that is commonly used
06:33 on this in Deuteronomy chapter 4 to start.
06:37 Deuteronomy 4:13 is speaking about the experience of the
06:42 Israelites and God meeting them on Mount Sinai and says,
06:48 "so He declare to you His covenant which He commanded
06:52 "you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them
06:56 "on two tablets of stone. "
06:58 Now a covenant is simply an agreement, it's a contractual
07:02 agreement you have with someone.
07:04 So the Ten Commandments were the terms but the covenant
07:09 had to requirement an agreement between these two parties.
07:12 So we see that played out when the Ten Commandments are
07:16 given in Exodus 20 so let's go to Exodus but we will
07:20 go just before that to Exodus 19.
07:27 Let's start in verse 3 and it says, "and Moses went up
07:32 "to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain,
07:35 "saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and
07:39 "tell the children of Israel: you have seen what I did to
07:42 the Egyptians, and how I bore you on Eagles wings and
07:45 "brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed
07:49 "obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a
07:52 "special treasure to Me above all people, for all of the
07:55 "earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests
07:58 "and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall
08:01 "speak to the children of Israel. 7. So Moses came and
08:04 "called for the elders of the people, and laid before
08:07 "them all these words which the Lord commanded him.
08:10 "Then all the people answered together and said, 'All that
08:14 "the Lord has spoken we will do. '"
08:16 Now in and of itself that wasn't a bad thing.
08:19 I would hope that all of us would respond to the Lord
08:21 when He asks us to do something we would say all that the
08:23 Lord has said we will do.
08:24 The problem comes in that after God appears on Sinai,
08:28 we see in Chapter 20:18 their reaction.
08:34 It says, "now all the people witnessed the thunderings,
08:37 "the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the
08:40 "mountain smoking, and when the people saw it,
08:42 "they trembled and stood afar off. 19. Then they said
08:46 "Moses, 'you speak with us, and we will hear; but let not
08:50 "'God speak with us, lest we die. ' 20. And Moses said
08:53 "to the people, 'do not fear: for God has come to test
08:56 "you, and that His fear may be before you, so that
08:59 "you may not sin. So the people stood afar off,
09:02 "but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. "
09:06 Now this is a powerful passage and it helps us to
09:09 understand that the children of Israel had made a
09:12 commitment, they had agreed to the terms of the covenant.
09:16 To obey all that God had said, the only problem was they
09:20 wanted to do it standing afar off.
09:23 They didn't want, as Moses did, to draw near to God.
09:26 Rather they thought you tell me what to do and I'll do it.
09:30 Because of that, what was that they didn't recognize?
09:33 They didn't recognize their need they didn't recognize they
09:37 were not capable of doing what God was asking without God.
09:40 - yeah they thought their need was a list, a list of
09:43 requirements, you tell us and I will do those
09:45 requirements, that will be salvation to me.
09:49 This is what we refer to as the old covenant.
09:52 Now we find the new covenant expressed in a couple
09:55 different places, but perhaps one of the best is in
09:57 Hebrews 8. - that's right we are going to go to
10:00 Hebrews 8 and incidentally it is interesting the term in
10:04 the authorized version, the King James version or the
10:07 New King James Version, the term new covenant only appears
10:11 twice in Scripture, like I said the authorized version
10:14 and I think I looked up the New International Version
10:17 and it was five times.
10:18 One of them was when Jesus gave the cup of the
10:21 New Testament with His blood, some versions say testament.
10:23 But the terms new covenant in the description of the
10:26 giving of the new covenant is found in two places.
10:30 One is in Hebrews 8 and the other is the place where Paul
10:36 is quoting from in Jeremiah 31.
10:40 So it is interesting that Paul, when he speaks of the new
10:43 covenant is simply quoting from the Old Testament.
10:46 So we find the new covenant in the Old Testament.
10:49 So in Hebrews 8:6 the Bible says of Jesus, "but now He
10:54 "has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He
10:58 "is also a Mediator of a better covenant, which was
11:02 "established on better promises. 7. For if that first
11:07 "covenant had been faultless, then no place would have
11:11 "been sought for a second. " That's common sensible,
11:14 if there were snow problem with the first one we wouldn't
11:16 had the second one, but there was a problem with that old
11:18 covenant, What was the problem? We want to find out.
11:21 8. "Because finding fault with - them," - the law?
11:25 - it's not what it says.
11:26 - it's not what it says it all is it?
11:28 "Because finding fault with them, He says; behold, the
11:30 "days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new
11:32 "covenant with, notice! The house of Israel"
11:36 "and with the house of Judah. "
11:38 A lot of Christians don't realize we do not find any
11:41 covenant in Scripture made with the Gentiles, it was always
11:45 made which Israel and we have talked about that.
11:47 In order to be a partaker of that covenant you had to
11:49 become part of the Seed of Abraham.
11:51 that's right a lot of people look at the Ten Commandments
11:53 and say, that was just for the Jews because it talks about
11:56 how He rescued them out of the house of bondage.
12:00 So they say that was just for the Jews.
12:01 If you look those same Christians believe that the new
12:04 covenant is their way of life.
12:07 It is also given to the Jews. - that's exactly right.
12:10 Incidentally if we continue on here he says,
12:13 "9. Not according to the covenant that I made with
12:16 "their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand
12:18 "to lead them out of the land of Egypt," that is what
12:21 we were just reading from. Notice! "Because they
12:23 "did not continue in My covenant," remember the fault
12:28 was in the people.
12:29 "And I disregarded them, says the Lord. "
12:31 Now notice verse 10, "for this is the covenant that I
12:33 "will make with the house of Israel after those days,
12:37 "says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and
12:40 "write them on their hearts; and I will be their God,
12:43 "and they shall be My people. "
12:44 So the whole idea is that God was going to make a
12:48 covenant with His people and He was going to now not
12:51 give them the law on tables of stone where they could
12:54 look at the list and say we'll do that list.
12:57 He said I'm going to make it internal, I will write
12:59 that law in your heart so it becomes a part of you.
13:02 This is the difference we find between the old covenant
13:05 and the new covenant.
13:06 One was written on tables of stone, the other is written
13:09 in the heart. One was external and one was internalized.
13:13 That's right, and in these two cases you have one where
13:16 the people are making special promises to God, and the
13:19 other where God is making special promises to His people.
13:22 This next part really strikes me to where it says,
13:24 "11. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none
13:27 "his brother... saying, 'Know the Lord', for all shall
13:31 "know Me. " The idea here is with the new covenant when
13:34 the Spirit enters the heart, no longer do you have to
13:38 urge people, you may have to tell someone come on wake
13:42 up its time for church, we have to go to church.
13:44 We have to go to Sabbath school.
13:46 You will not have to drag people into religious
13:48 experiences because the new covenant places the desire
13:51 and hunger for those spiritual experiences into the heart.
13:54 - that's right. Amen, we have more to say about the
13:56 book of Galatians, but before we do we are going to go
13:59 to a break right now.
14:00 We'll see you in just a few moments.


Revised 2014-12-17