Nearly everyone has heard, at some point, the Mosaic Law with all its statutes and sacrifices being referred to as “the old covenant”, while the promise of Grace through Christ Jesus is referred to as “the new covenant”. This gives the impression that God started out with the Law, and when that didn’t work He needed to come up with a Plan B. It insinuates that the Law was God’s first, best choice.
Paul in his letter to the churches in Galatia, however, had a different take on the issue. He says in Galatians 3:17 that the Law came 430 years LATER, and it did not “set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise” (NIV). He goes on to explain that the promise to Abraham was that his Seed — the Man Christ Jesus — would be the hope of mankind.
Therefore, the promise of Christ is the older, original covenant of God; it is His first, best choice. The Law came later as an interim measure. Paul says that it “was added because of transgressions until the Seed to Whom the promise referred had come” (Galatians 3:19). The Law was an addition ‘because of transgressions’. It was an emergency measure, like spiritual first aid.
It was never intended to be permanent.
Anthony Vaughan #308-236
P.O. Box 56
Lebanon Ohio 45036