“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the Second. And finding fault with them, He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah), when I shall make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah . . .”
“Witten not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart . . . !” II Corinthians 3:3
“These are the two Covenants.” Galatians 4:24. The two women, Hagar and Sarah; for we read that Hagar is Mount Sinai, “which gendereth (produces, brings forth) to bondage.” That is, just as Hagar could not bring forth (beget) any other kind of children than slaves, so the law, even the law that God spoke from Sinai, can not beget free men. It can do nothing but hold them in bondage. “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” Romans 3:20.
The same is true of the Covenant from Sinai, for it consisted merely of the promise of the people to keep that law, and had, therefore, no more power to make them free than the law itself had. Nay, rather, it gendered to bondage, since their making it was simply a promise to make themselves righteous by their own works, and man in himself is “without strength.” ref: Romans 5:6.
Then did not God Himself lead them into bondage? Not by any means; since He did not induce them to make that covenant (promise, oath) at Sinai. Four hundred and thirty years before that time He had made a Covenant (Oath, Promise) with Abraham, which was sufficient for all purposes. That Covenant was confirmed (previously ratified) before in Christ (that Word which has been One with GOD since the beginning – John 1:1, Zechariah 6:12-13, Galatians 3:20), and, therefore, was a Covenant from above. See John 8:23.
It Promised righteousness as a free gift of God through faith, and it included all nations. All the miracles that God had wrought in delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage were but demonstrations of His power to deliver them and us from the bondage of sin. Yes, the deliverance from Egypt was itself a demonstration not only of God’s power, but also of His desire to lead them from the bondage of sin,- that bondage in which the Covenant from Sinai holds men, -because Hagar, who is the Covenant from Sinai, was an Egyptian.
The fact that the children of Israel, in their self-sufficiency rashly took the whole responsibility upon themselves, does not prove that God led them into making that Covenant, but the contrary. He was leading them out of bondage, not into it, and the apostle plainly tells us that Covenant from Sinai was nothing but bondage.
ref: Galatians 4:24, 3:10-14.
Note the statement which the apostle makes when speaking of the two women, Hagar and Sarah: “These are the two Covenants.” “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one (first) by a bondmaid (servant, slave), the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after (by) the flesh; but he of the free-woman was by Promise! Which things are an allegory . . .” Galatians 4:22-24
Note: Read again the 7th chapter of Romans. Here the LORD explains the very same Truth, only in the context of a woman and her first and second husband. For verily, in terms of a covenant, there is nothing so sacred as the Marriage Covenant in Jehovah’s (Yehuwah‘s) eyes. And are not we called the “Bride of Christ ?”
So then the two Covenants existed in every essential particular in the days of Abraham. Even so they do to-day; for the Scripture says now as well as then, “Cast out the bondwoman and her son.” We see then that the two Covenants are not matters of time, but of condition. Let no one flatter himself that he can not be under the old Covenant, because the time for that is passed. The time for that is passed only in the sense that “the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.” 1 Peter 4:3.
The difference between the two Covenants is just the difference between a freewoman and a slave. Hagar’s children, no matter how many she might have had, would have been slaves . . . .“Sold under sin” Romans 7:14.
While those of Sarah would necessarily be free. So the Covenant from Sinai holds all who adhere to it in bondage “under the law;” while the Covenant from above gives freedom . . . . “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed !” . . . ref: John 8:36. Not freedom from obedience to the law, but freedom from disobedience to it !
Note:Freedom from the curse of the law, which falls upon every soul who has not kept every letter. Freedom from the wages and penalty of sin.
“For as by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners, So by the obedience of One (Christ Jesus, Moshiac Yehushua) many shall be made righteous . . . . Moreover the law entered, so that the offence might abound (be made obviously evil). But where sin abounded, Grace (the Divine influence upon the heart) did much more abound ! . . . . That as sin hath reigned unto death, . . . even so might Grace Reign through righteous-ness (the Righteousness of Christ) unto Eternal Life by Jesus Christ (Yehushua ha Moshiac) our Lord (Adoni – Sovereign King) !” Romans 5:12, 19-21.
The freedom is not found away from the law, but in the law. Christ redeems from the curse (Deuteronomy 27 & 28), which is the transgression of the law. He redeems us from the curse, that the Blessing (gift of the Holy Spirit – Galatians 3:14) may come on us; and the Blessing is obedience to the law. “Blessed are the undefiled in the Way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” Ps. 119:1. This Blessedness is freedom. “I will walk at liberty; for I seek Thy precepts.” Verse 45. “Walk in the Spirit . . . the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life . . . and ye shall not fulfil the lusts (carnal desires) of the flesh !” Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:1,4 & John 6:63.
“For Christ (The Anointing) is the end (purpose) of the law for righteousness, to everyone that believeth !” Romans 10:4
“Wherefore thou art no more a servant (slave, bondsman, indebt), but a son; and if a son, then an heir of GOD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) through Christ (The Anointed One, the Anointing) !” Galatians 4:7
The difference between the two Covenants may be put briefly thus: In the Covenant from Sinai we ourselves have to do with the law alone, while in the Covenant from above, we have the law in Christ . . .“For the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . . For unto us was the Glad Tidings preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it !” ref: John 1:14 & Hebrews 4:2.
Read again Hebrews chapter 12, verses 18-29. In the first instance it is death to us, since the law is sharper than any two-edged sword, and we are not able to handle it without fatal results; but in the second instance we have the law “in the hand of a Mediator.” “by how much also He is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established upon better Promises,” (the Promises of the Eternal Father to His Beloved Son) !
“For all the Promises of GOD in Him, are both Yea, and in Him, Amen . . . For He is the Author and the Finisher of our Faith !” II Corinthians 1:20 & Hebrews 12:2.
In the one case it is what we can do; in the other case it is what the Spirit of God can do. Bear in mind that there is not the slightest question in the whole epistle to the Galatians as to whether or not the law should be kept. The only question is, How shall it be done? Is it to be our own doing, so that the reward shall not be of grace but of debt? or is it to be God working “in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure?” “this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory !” Philippians 2:13 & Colossians 1:27
Sarah answers to the Covenant which is from above, because she is free. But the freedom which that Covenant gives is the freedom of the Spirit, for Isaac was born of the Spirit. See Gal. 4:29. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Cor. 3:17.
Liberty (G1657, 1658) = Freedom, moral or ceremonially, as a citizen, not as a slave, freeborn, manumitted, exempt from obligation or liability.
“For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death . . . for the wages of sin (transgression of the law) is death, but the Gift of GOD is eternal life through Jesus Christ (Yehu-shua ha Moshiac) our Lord (Adoni – Sovereign King) !” Romans 8:2 & 6:23
“If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians. 5:18. But this does not mean that the Spirit gives one license to break the law; for “the law is spiritual.” Romans 7:14. There is no liberty in sin, and “sin is the faithless transgression of the law.” I John 3:4 & Romans 14:23.
So the liberty of the Covenant from above is that perfect liberty that belongs alone to those who are law-abiding. We become law-abiding only by having the law written in our hearts by the Spirit.
“And this shall be the Covenant (Oath, Promise) that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah), I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts . . . . And I will forgive (give-for) their iniquity, and I will remember (to mark, record, call to remembrance) their sin no more !” Jeremiah 31:33-34, Hebrews 8:6, 10-12, Hebrews 10:16-17.
“Then will I sprinkle clean Water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh . . .”
“And the Word was made flesh . . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith . . . For the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord (Adoni) is there is liberty . . . !” John 1:14, Ephesians 3:17 & II Corin-thians 3:17.
“. . . And I will put My Spirit within you . . . . Christ in you, the Hope of glory . . . . and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them !” Ezekiel 36:25-27, ref: John 4:7-14, John 7:37-39 John 15:3 & Ephesian 5:26.
“Written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart !” II Corinthians 3:3
“For this is the Covenant (Oath, Promise) that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD; I will put My Laws (instructions in righteousness) into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a GOD, and they shall be to Me a people . . . . For I will be merciful (full of mercy) to their un-righteousness, and their sins (side slip, and habitual sins) and their iniquities (mischief, perversities) will I remem-ber no more !” Hebrews 8:10-13 & Hebrews 10:14-20.
“By the which Will (predetermined decree, purpose, will and testament), we are sanctified through the offering (oblation, bloodless sacrifice) of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . . . !” Hebrews 10:10
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of GOD (Jehovah, Yehuwah), that ye present your bodies through faith, as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto GOD, which is your reasonable service !” Romans 12:1
“Stand fast therefore !” Stand where ? “In the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” And what freedom is that? – It is the freedom of Christ Himself, Whose delight was in the law of the LORD, because it was in His heart. ref: Galatians 5:1
“Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire . . . for I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them, Obey My Voice, and I will be your God (Elohim), and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded (instructed) you, that it may be well unto you . . . Jeremiah 7:22-23
Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; but Mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required . . . And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the Voice (Word) of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams ! . . .
I Samuel 15:22
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to do Thy Will, O GOD ! . . . I delight to do Thy Will, O My God: Yea, Thy law is within My heart . . . Psalm 40:6-8
Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law. Then said He (Christ Jesus), Lo, I come to do Thy Will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second . . . !” Hebrews 10:4-9
“Witten not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart . . . !” II Corinthians 3:3
We stand only by faith ! Let it not be imagined that there is any trace of bondage in this freedom. It is liberty of soul, liberty of thought, as well as liberty of action. It is not that we are simply given the ability to keep the law, but we are given the mind that finds delight in doing it. “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus !” Philippians 2:5
“And if Christ (The Anointed One, the Anointing) be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is Life because of righteousness !” “And this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTE-OUSNESS !” Romans 8:9-11 & Jeremiah 23:6
It is not that we comply with the law because we see no other way of escape from punishment; that would be galling bondage. It is from such bondage that God’s Covenant (Promise) releases us. No, the Promise of God, when accepted, puts the mind of the Spirit into us, so that we find the highest pleasure in obedience to all the precepts of God’s Word. “I delight to do Thy Will, yea, Thy law is within my heart !” Psalm 40:8. The soul is as free as a bird soaring above the mountain-tops. It is the glorious liberty of the children of God, who have the full range of “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of God’s universe.
“For what the law (written in stone or book) could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, GOD sending His Own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and (in exchange) for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law . . . which is holy, just and good . . . might be fulfilled (filled to it’s fullest) in us, who walk (live) not after (by) the flesh, but after (by) the Spirit.
. . . Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are yet in the flesh cannot please God . . . for what so ever is not of faith is sin . . . and faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD !”
Romans 8:3-8, 14:23, 10:17
“Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born (begotten) again . . . !”John 3:7
It is the liberty of those who do not have to be watched, but who can be trusted anywhere, since their every step is but the movement of God’s own holy law. Why be content with bondage, when such limitless freedom is yours? The prison doors are open; walk out into God’s freedom !
“Awake, awake! put in thy Strength O Zion . . . put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for your flesh, to fill full the lusts (carnal desires) thereof . . . put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the Holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee, the uncircumcised and the unclean !
Shake thyself from the dust; Arise, and sit down . . .with Christ in heavenly places . . . Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the LORD (Yehuwah), Ye have sold yourselves for nought; but ye shall be Redeemed without money . . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as a Lamb without spot or blemish !
Isaiah 52:1-3, Romans 13:14, Ephesians 2:6 & I Peter 1:19
E.J. Waggoner October 11, 1898 – with added Scripture references in italics.