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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON THIRTY-FIVE The Two Covenants

    1. The Scriptures recognize two covenants. Hebrews 8:13; Romans 9:4.TDOC 89.1

    2. One of these covenants is called the first, or old, covenant, and the other is called the second, or new, covenant. Hebrews 8:7, 13, 8.TDOC 89.2

    3. The old covenant, which was made at Sinai, was a mutual agreement between God and the people, according to which the fulfillment of God’s promises was conditioned upon the fulfillment by the people of their promise to keep his law, a promise which was made without a due sense of their inability to live a righteous life by their own unaided effort. Exodus 19:5, 6; Galatians 4:24; Jeremiah 31:32; Romans 10:2, 3; Matthew 7:17, 18; 12:33; 1 John 3:7.TDOC 89.3

    4. This covenant was ratified by the blood of animals, which could not take away sin or supply power for obedience. Exodus 24:7, 8; Hebrews 9:16-21; 10:4.TDOC 89.4

    5. The people quickly broke their covenant-promise, and would have perished if Moses had not interceded for them, pleading the covenant with Abraham in their behalf. Exodus 32:14; 7:14, 30-35; Hebrews 8:9.TDOC 89.5

    6. The foundation of the new covenant was laid in the beginning. Revelation 13:8; Matthew 25:34. See also propositions 1, 2, 3, 4, in the preceding lesson.TDOC 89.6

    7. The new covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and is therefore spoken of as the new, or second, covenant. Luke 22:20; Hebrews 9:15, 22.TDOC 89.7

    8. Through the promises of the new covenant are found forgiveness, cleansing from sin, and the power to do the will of God, or to keep his law. Hebrews 8:10-12; 1 John 1:7; Hebrews 13:20, 21.TDOC 90.1

    9. Jesus Christ is the surety of the better, or new, covenant. Hebrews 7:22.TDOC 90.2

    NOTES: In daily experience

    “The two covenants have a personal application in daily experience. He who depends for salvation upon works of righteousness which he has done, is living under the old covenant; but he who accepts righteousness as a gift to be received and revealed in the life by faith, is living under the new covenant.”TDOC 90.3

    The two covenants

    “Another compact-called in Scripture the old covenant-was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the second, or new, covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham, is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God, the two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:18.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371.TDOC 90.4

    The one true Priest

    Whatever blessing was enjoyed by the people of those times before the ratification of the new covenant, was due as it could only have been, due, to the unseen action of the one true and only Priest, whose priestly function, in the making of an effectual atonement, in the acceptable presentation of worship, in an all-prevailing intercession, it was the one glory, as it was the underlying purpose, of the Mosaic ritual to prefigure and to set forth.”TDOC 90.5

    The one Mediator

    As it cannot be doubted that whatever knowledge of spiritual truth came to the saints of the olden times came to them through the Son of God, the one revealer to man, in whatever condition, of the things of God; so neither can it be doubted that whatever spiritual grace, whether of forgiveness or of sanctification, was vouchsafed to them and the high level of possible spiritual attainment may be estimated by the examples of Elijah and Daniel and the Baptist, not to speak of Mary-was so vouchsafed through the secret action of the one Mediator through whom alone all good things are given by God to man.”TDOC 90.6

    God’s eternal covenant

    “From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but he foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was his love for the world, that he covenanted to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.” The Desire of Ages, 22TDOC 91.1

    The new covenant defined.TDOC 91.2

    “Though this covenant was made with Adam and renewed to Abraham, it could not be ratified until the death of Christ. It had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine Will, placing them where they could obey God’s law.”-Patriarchs and Prophets, 370, 371.TDOC 91.3

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