A Transcript Of The Video Study

In our previous study, I attempted to explain how the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace differ from the Mosaic Covenant. In my closing statements, I provided an outline for the law which governs each covenant. Under the Covenant of Works, the Heart Law is a twofold law ordained by God for all unregenerate sinners—(1) to love God supremely, and (2) to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. Under the Covenant of Grace, the Gospel Law is ordained by God for all regenerate sinners, which is nothing other than the sinner’s spiritual union with Christ. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Law of Moses is a threefold law ordained by God for the Jewish people as a nation—(1) as the Jewish people were to be a holy nation, God gave them a Moral Law; (2) as the Jewish people were to be a righteous nation, God gave them a Civil Law; (3) as the Jewish people were to be a religious nation, God gave them a Ceremonial Law. These are the three branches of the Mosaic Law, and together they make up all that God required of the Jewish people as a nation. This covenant and its law remained in operation for around 1,500 years, from the time God organized the Jewish people into a nation under the leadership of Moses in 1491 BC, to the time the Jewish nation came to an end with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. During those centuries, God’s relationship with the Jewish nation was based upon the authority and governed by the parameters of the Mosaic Covenant and the Law of Moses. But as I have shown you, it is an entirely separate covenant from that of Works and Grace. Having said that, there are elements of the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace which are reflected in the Mosaic Covenant. For this study, I would like to highlight some of the more salient ways in which the Mosaic Covenant reflected the Covenants of Works and Grace.

Let’s begin with the Covenant of Works. You will notice, the first branch of the Mosaic Law is a reflection of the Heart Law. This first branch is sometimes called the Moral Law, and it was given in the form of ten commandments. These commandments are based upon, and are an application of, the Heart Law. The first four commandments are an application of the first part of the Heart Law—to love God supremely; the remaining six commandments are an application of the second part of the Heart Law—to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. Look at the first four commandments—the Jewish people as a nation were (1) to give allegiance to God alone; (2) to refrain from idolatry; (3) to sanctify the name of the Lord; and (4) to sanctify the sabbath day in honor of God. These four commandments are based on, and are an application of, the first part of the Heart Law—to love God supremely. Look now at the remaining six commandments. They are an application of the second part of the Heart Law—to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. The Jewish people as a nation were (1) to preserve the sanctity of the parental covenant; (2) to preserve the sanctity of human life; (3) to preserve the sanctity of the marriage covenant; (4) to refrain from stealing; (5) to refrain from lying; (6) to refrain from coveting. These six commandments are based on, and are an application of, the second part of the Heart Law—to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.

Now, as we considered in our previous study, these ten commandments were a special application of the Heart Law designed for the Jewish people as a nation. On the one hand, all of the Jewish people were already under the authority of the Covenant of Works and were subject to the law inscribed upon their hearts. It was under the Covenant of Works they would be held accountable to God in the world to come. However, in addition to the Covenant of Works, the Jewish people as a nation were brought under another covenant—the Mosaic Covenant—and as a nation, they were held accountable to God while living in this world not only under the authority of the Covenant of Works, but also under the authority of the Mosaic Covenant. And the point I am highlighting is this—the first branch of the Mosaic Law was a reflection of the Heart Law, which served the deeper purpose of putting the Jewish people in remembrance of their responsibility towards God under the authority of the Covenant of Works.

And so, when reading through the Bible, we must recognize that from a national standpoint the Jewish people were responsible to keep the Ten Commandments under the authority of the Mosaic Covenant, but from a spiritual standpoint they were responsible to keep the Heart Law under the authority of the Covenant of Works.

Let’s now look at the Covenant of Grace. Notice, the third branch of the Mosaic Law is a reflection of the Gospel Law. The third branch is sometimes called the Ceremonial Law, and it was given in the form of precepts and prohibitions designed to govern the religious affairs of the people. This entire branch of the Mosaic Law is a picture of the gospel of Christ. From the tabernacle and its furnishings, to the priesthood and the sacrifices, it all reflects, in one way or another, the glory of God in Christ. Every aspect of the Ceremonial Law is a picture, or illustration, of the Gospel Law. It was designed to illustrate the spiritual lessons of a regenerate sinner’s union with Christ. In a similar way that baptism is designed to illustrate one’s new life in Christ, and the Lord’s Table is designed to put the regenerate sinner in remembrance of the sacrificial and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, so the Ceremonial Law was designed to illustrate the Regenerate sinner’s union with Christ, and that, of course, is none other than the Gospel Law.

And so, when reading the Bible, we must recognize that from a national standpoint the Jewish people were responsible to keep the Ceremonial Law under the authority of the Mosaic Covenant, but from a spiritual standpoint, the Ceremonial Law pointed to the Gospel Law under the authority of the Covenant of Grace. Henceforth, while the Jewish people as a nation observed the precepts and prohibitions of the Ceremonial Law, yet that in itself did not constitute saving grace, nor was it in any way a covenant or law unto salvation. It was only a reflection of the gospel, which is contained under the terms and promises of the Covenant of Grace.

Which leads me underscore my last observation for this study—a reflection is only an image of the actual object. We must bear this in mind when looking at these three covenants. The Mosaic Covenant and its law was only an image, or reflection, of the two spiritual and perpetual covenants of Works and Grace. It was a national and temporary covenant, in operation so long as the Jewish people remained a nation. Once the nation of Israel ended, the Mosaic Covenant and its law was made null and void. On the other hand, the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace have always been in operation throughout the course of history—unregenerate sinners are under the authority of the Covenant of Works and therefore subject to the Heart Law, whereas regenerate sinners are under the authority of the Covenant of Grace and therefore subject to the Gospel Law. This was true for Adam and Eve and all those who lived until the birth of Abraham in 2000 BC. This was true for Abraham, along with the Jewish race and all Gentiles peoples of the world who lived from the days of Abraham to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. This has been true from the destruction of Jerusalem to our current day and will remain true until Christ returns.

Well, my friends, this is a summary of my thoughts on the question—How Does The Mosaic Covenant And Its Law Fit Into The Leading Message Of The Bible? I will leave the teaching here, looking forward to joining with you again for our next study.

Jared Smith



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