The Old Covenant Explained by Scripture: A Quick Reference Guide

The Covenant Summarily Defined: The Ten Commandments

  • Exodus 34:28 – “So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”
  • Deuteronomy 4:13- “And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.”
  • 2 Corinthians 3:7, 9. “Now 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, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.”

The Sign of the Covenant: The Sabbath

  • Exodus 31:12-17- “And the LORD said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations… the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel…”

The Conditional Nature of the Covenant

  • Exodus 19:5-6-“Now therefore, IF you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

The Terms & Punishments of the Covenant: Blessings for Perfect Obedience and Curses for Disobedience

  • Deuteronomy 27:26- “Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”
  • See Deut. 28.
  • Galatians 3:10 – “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’”

The Covenant Inaugurated

  • Exodus 24: 3-8. “Moses 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.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD … 6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7 Then 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.”
  • Galatians 3: 15-17a. “To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward…” [i.e. 430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant]
  • It is fundamentally significant to note that before Sinai, there was no Law/Works Covenant. Romans 5:12-14. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

The Covenant Terminated

  • Romans 10:4- “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
  • Galatians 3:19- “Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made…” [Context identifies Christ as this offspring, or seed]
  • Ephesians 2:14-15. “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances…”
  • Hebrews 8:13. “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
  • Hebrews 7:11-12. “Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.”

The Covenant as Shadow of Christ

  • Colossians 2:16-17. “Therefore 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. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”
Share
This entry was posted in STUDIES and tagged on by .

About Todd Braye

Todd Braye (B. Mus., M.Div) After graduating from the Canadian Theological Seminary, Todd served a church in eastern Ontario for six years before returning to Alberta to serve as the pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Blackie. Presently, he labors for Action International Ministries for "Pastoral Leadership Development."