Bible Handbook


The Two Covenants

Old Covenant. Made when Israel came from Egypt, Hebrews 8:9; Jeremiah 31:32. First promise to obey, Exodus 19:5-8. Second promise, Exodus 24:3. Third promise, Exodus 24:4-7. Covenant then ratified by blood, Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:17-21. This is called the first covenant, not because it was the first one made, but because it was the first one ratified by blood. Patriarchs and Prophets, 371. This covenant was broken. Jeremiah 31:32. They promised to obey in their own strength and failed. Only in Christ’s strength can any keep their covenant with God. Patriarchs and Prophets, 372. BHB 91.12

New Covenant. Law of God the basis, Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10. Forgiveness of sins in covenant, Jeremiah 31:34. Christ’s blood only cleanses from sin, 1 John 1:7. Christ, a lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8; therefore, the new covenant began in the beginning and extends until sin is destroyed forever, Patriarchs and Prophets, 370. Obedience to the law of God through the blood of Christ is the object of the everlasting, or new covenant, Hebrews 13:20, 21. First promise of a Saviour, Genesis 3:15. The Lord pledged the new, or everlasting covenant, to Noah and his posterity, Genesis 9:9-17. The rainbow given as a pledge of the covenant, Genesis 9:13-16. Covenant pledged to Abraham and his children, Genesis 17:2-7, 21; Patriarchs and Prophets, 371. Abraham’s seed, Galatians 3:16, 19. Covenant same as will, or last testament, Galatians 3:15, margin; Hebrews 9:16, 17. Death of testator seals the will, or testament, Hebrews 9:16. Christ’s death sealed or ratified the new covenant, John 19:28-30. BHB 91.13

Even a man’s will can not be broken after the death of the testator, Galatians 3:15. Nothing can be added to Christ’s covenant after His death; for that reason He instituted baptism and the Lord’s supper,-memorial of His death and resurrection, before the events had taken place, that the memorials might become a part of the new covenant, John 4:1; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 26:26-28. Christ renewed the Sabbath commandment before His death, Matthew 24:20. The strongest advocates for Sunday observance give nothing earlier than the first day of the week upon which Christ arose from the dead as evidence for Sunday observance; but it is on the wrong side of the cross to be included in the everlasting, or new covenant. Nothing can be added after Christ’s death. Illustration of living under the new covenant, Exodus 33:12-15. Moses depended on God continually. Christ exemplified it fully in His life, John 8:28, 5:30. The one who walks by faith, trusting in God for help continually, lives under the new covenant, Patriarchs and Prophets, 431. The individual who walks by sight, trusting in his own strength, lives under the old covenant. Under which covenant are you living? BHB 92.1