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The Everlasting Covenant

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    A Pertinent Question

    “Wherefore then the law?” A pertinent question, and one that is fairly answered. If the law made no change whatever in the terms of the covenant made with Abraham, what was the use of giving it? The answer is, “It was added 2Some have thought to build an argument on the word “added,” supposing that it indicates something entirely new added to the provisions which God had previously made. A reference to Deuteronomy 5:22 will show the sense in which it is used. After having rehearsed the ten commandments, Moses said: “Those words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and He added no more.” That is, He spoke so much, and He spoke no more. The same thing is shown even mere plainly in Hebrews 12:18, 19: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more.” (Compare Exodus 20:19.) because of transgression;” 3The Greek word rendered “spoken” in this instance is identical with that rendered “added” in Galatians 3:19, and the Septuagint rendering of Deuteronomy 22. So to the question, What was the use of the law, since it made no change in the covenant? the answer is, “It was spoken because of transgression.” it “entered that the offense might abound.” 1Romans 5:20 It was not “against the promises of God,” 2Galatians 3:21. but directly in harmony with them; for the promises of God are all through righteousness, and the law is the standard of righteousness. It was necessary for the offense to be made to abound, “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Conviction necessarily precedes conversion. The inheritance could be obtained only through righteousness, although it was wholly by promise; for righteousness is the “gift of grace.” But in order that men may appreciate the promises of God, they must be made to feel their need of them. The law, given in such as awful manner, was for the purpose of letting them know how impossible it was for them to get its righteousness by their own strength, and thus to let them know what God was anxious to supply them with.”EVCO 303.2

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