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The Tale Of God's Love: Old Covenant Vs New Covenant

By Essie Osborn
God has always shown love for mankind. From the very beginning, He desired to give only good things, but man chose to go his own way. People who see ‘Old Covenant vs New Covenant’ as a dramatic shift usually don’t give enough emphasis to God’s unconditional love. At first, God provided animal sacrifice as atonement for sin. Later, He provided His own son as the way to salvation.

The first binding agreement was between God and Abram, later renamed Abraham. In the first book of the bible, Genesis, the Lord calls Abram out of Haran and tells him to ‘go to the land I will show you.’ He promises to make Abram into a great nation, telling him he would have a great name and be a blessing to all peoples on earth. Abram heads to Canaan with these promises as his only security.

The actual covenant is made in Genesis chapter 15, when Abram falls into a dream and the Lord makes a prophetic statement about the future of Abram’s descendants. There is a symbolic ceremony with dead animals and a blazing torch, signifying God’s affirmation of His promises to give the land ‘from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates’ to the descendants of Abram.

The Lord renewed His covenant with Isaac, Abraham’s son by his wife Sarah, and later with Jacob. Many people consider the law of Moses part of this agreement. However, others consider the law as simply a set of rules, much like the regulations that govern our lives today. We can’t drive a car in any way we choose, for example, but must follow the rules of the road.

God did not give the law to make things harder for His chosen people. He gave them good rules; however, He knew that they would not be either able or willing to keep them perfectly. He therefore made a way for atonement through a sacrifice of animal blood. God has always wanted to give man all the good things He has for him, to show His unconditional love. However, the problem of sin must be dealt with in order to maintain justice.

The first agreement was eternally binding. However, the scriptures of the Old Testament are full of prophecies about the messiah which foreshadow the new agreement. This covenant is in the blood of Jesus, which was shed for all men and is sufficient sacrifice for sin. The new rules state that, to gain forgiveness of sin and eternal life in God’s kingdom, people need to believe that Jesus died for their sins, to ask for forgiveness, and to surrender dominion over their life to God.

The old and new covenants are different, but the intent of God does not change. He wants relationship with man, but He cannot exist with sin. God’s love is unconditional and everlasting, but He retains the right of judgement and the right to define the way to salvation. He requires men and women to accept responsibility for personal sin and accept the sacrifice that atones for it. This preserves justice, another attribute of God.

However, the state of a man or woman’s heart was always important. No sacrifice could replace a true surrender to the Lord, either at the beginning of time or today.

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