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Is the Old Covenant the 10 Commandments?

“We are now under the new covenant, the old covenant is no longer binding. By this we mean, the commandments of God was done away with, and we are now under a new law.” Hearing this a million times does not make it any more right than saying my blue shirt is pink. It all boils down to what is the truth. But I do pray we can with one accord say, I believe in the Bible and the Bible only, for it has all the answers. Regardless of our biases, let us see what the Bible has to say about this important subject.

What is a covenant?
Covenant – an agreement, contract, commitment.

What is the old covenant (agreement)?

“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” Exodus 24:3, 7, 8
Answer: An agreement between God and the Israelites that they would obey what was read in the book of the covenant, and all the words of the LORD, and His judgments.

Note: There are two important aspects of this agreement. (1) The agreement was based on what was read in the book of the covenant and all the words the LORD had said. (2) It was ratified by the blood of an animal.

What are all the words the LORD has said?
Answer: All the words of the LORD, which refers to the words spoken from Sinai, from the ten commandments to the judgments and statutes, Exodus 20 -23:33. To clarify, Exodus 20:1 begins with, “And God spake all these words, saying”.

Note: However, the commandments were separate from the judgments and statutes, which are written in the book of the covenant. The agreement was that they would obey the 10 commandments and what was contained in the book of the covenant.

What is the new covenant?
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16

Answer: The same law that was engraved upon tables of stone will be written by the Holy Spirit upon the heart.

What would make a covenant valid?
“For where a testament[covenant] is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament [covenant] was dedicated without blood.” Hebrews 9:16-18

How was the new covenant ratified?
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20, 21

Answer: Through the blood of our Lord Jesus.

Why did we need a new covenant?
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. Hebrews 8:6, 7

Answer: A new covenant was established on better promises, and the old covenant had been faulty.

What was the fault of the old covenant?

“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” Hebrews 8:8, 9

Answer: “Them” (Israelites), they continued not in His covenant.

What were the promises of the first covenant?

“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Exodus 24:4, 7

Note: The fault as others have insinuated is not in the ten commandments. David declares, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” There cannot be a fault in something that is considered perfect. The fault was with the Israelites, for they had promised God they will obey Him and did not. This covenant was doomed to fail from the beginning because no man in and of himself can be obedient to the law. This is exactly what the Israelites sought to do, by declaring to God, “will we do, and be obedient.”

What were the better promises of the new covenant?

“As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” John 1:12

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” 1 John 2:25

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament (covenant), that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament (old covenant), they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15

Note: Clearly, we see why the new covenant was better; not that the commandments were done away with, but Christ would enable us to keep His law, and not we ourselves. The apostle Paul vividly presents the relation between faith and the law under the new covenant. He says, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,”—it could not justify man, because in his sinful nature he could not keep the law—“God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 5:1; 3:31

Answer: Christ Himself will write the law in our hearts that it may become a part of us, he will enable us to keep His law, and His sacrifice will atone for our sins with the promise of eternal life.

When was this promise made?
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” 2 Timothy 1:9

Answer: Before the world began.

Will the faithful under the old covenant be partakers of these better promises?
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13
The hope of a coming savior was given from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, “and I will put enmity between thee [serpent] and the woman [church], and between thy seed [Satan’s agencies] and her seed [Christ]; it shall bruise thy head [Satan], and thou shalt bruise his heel [Christ].”. The bruising of Christ’s heel represents his death on the cross, for it is a bruise which could easily be healed, but the bruising of the Devil’s head is fatal, he will finally be destroyed. This promise was passed down to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and much more. So the new covenant is really an old covenant or one that has been in existence. It was only ratified after the old, which is why it is called the new.

“The” covenant is not “a” covenant

Now that we have a better understanding of the old and new covenant, it is not to be mistaken with “the covenant”. “A covenant” is an agreement between two parties, while “the covenant” according to the bible are the ten commandments.

What is “the covenant”?

“So 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” (Deuteronomy 4:13).

Duet 9:15, Duet 4:9-13, Duet 9:11, Exodus 34:28, Duet 9:9.

Answer: The ten commandments

Note: The commandments are considered God’s covenant, not “a” covenant. This covenant, however, is not merely a mutual agreement, but a command. And the receiving party chooses to obey, and are benefited by its promises. Just as citizens are governed by the law of the state, so are we by God’s law. The state’s law Is not a purposeful inconvenient, but a command to ensure the safety of its citizens. And can be considered the covenant of the state.

When did God propose this covenant (ten commandments) to them?

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Exodus 19:5

This text has proven that not only the covenant (10 commandments) was known before the old covenant was made with Israel, but in addition, the ten commandments were known before it was written on two tablets of stone. God’s law is still binding today and is a central part of His new covenant, “…I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16 Will you today choose to not along profess the name of Christ but be obedient to his ten commandments found in Exodus 20? As you make your decision to obey, God is willing to bestow his promises to you!

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