“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) to bondage.”
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, so that we might be justified (declared innocent, holy and righteous) by faith !” Galatians 3:24
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.”
“That which is born (begotten, produced) of the flesh is flesh; but that which is begotten of Spirit is spirit ! Marvel not that I say unto thee Nicodemus (a pharisee), Ye must be born again !”
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 yet “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 before in Christ, and, therefore, was a Covenant from above.
See John 8:23 and Zechariah 6:12-13.
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.”
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 Yehuwah’s (Jehovah’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“. . . . 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: Romans 7:14 & John 8:36.
Not freedom from obedience to the law, but freedom from disobedience to it.
“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 righteousness (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.
“For Christ (The Anointing) is the end (purpose) of the law for righteousness, to everyone that believeth !”
“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. 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.”
“For there is One Mediator between GOD (Yehuwah) and men, the Man Christ Jesus !” I Timothy 2:5
& ref: Galatians 3:20
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 !” 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.
“If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Gal. 5:18. But this does not mean that the Spirit gives one license to break the law; for “the law is spiritual.” Rom. 7:14. There is no liberty in sin, and “sin is the transgression of the law.”
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.
“But 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
“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 stoney heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
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 he 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 unrighteousness, and their sins (side slip, and habitual sins) and their iniquities (mischief, perversities) will I remember no more !”
Hebrews 8:10-13 & Hebrews 10:14-20.
“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: Psalm 40:8.
“For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.
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 !” Romans 8:9-11
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. 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, Ocaptive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the LORD (Yehuwah Elohim), 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
October 11, 1898
with added Scripture references in italics.
May Yehushua (Jesus) bless you each and every one abundantly today
and may we each hear His Voice speaking His Word within our hearts, our minds, and our ears !
your brother and sister,
Eric & Sarah Wilson – Isaiah Ministries