(Scripture underline and bold emphasis ours)
Hebrews 8:7 (NLT)
If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it.
So we see that God himself found fault with the old covenant and thus annulled it and introduced a new covenant to replace it! — Why?
In short, because the old covenant depended on the individual’s ability and effort to keep God’s laws in order for them to enjoy God’s blessing and favor in return. So as long as one kept God’s prescribed laws, he or she enjoyed the blessing and favor of God. If he or she did not, then they did not experience the blessing and favor of God but curses, the absence of blessing (Deuteronomy 28).
So the fault God found with the old covenant was the people’s inability to keep his laws (the perfect standard of a perfect God), and not the his commandments or law!
To better understand, we must also realize that there are two covenants mentioned, two, not one! God did not introduce a mixture or blend of the two as a new covenant, He replaced one with the other!
A biblical covenant can also be defined as a “method of relating” to God, predetermined by God. For example, the old covenant consists of rules and regulations (laws) and provided that these laws are kept, then the promises and blessings of this covenant are fulfilled in the life of the one who keeps and satisfies these laws.
The two covenants mentioned in Hebrews 8:7 are the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, that is, the way people were to relate to God before and after the cross. The apostle Paul helps us understand this better in:
Romans 6:14 (NLT)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
In essence, the apostle Paul is saying that the old covenant way of relating to God involves “living under the requirements of the law”, while the new covenant way of relating to God involves “living under the freedom of God’s grace”.
Under the old covenant people experience God’s blessing and favor in direct proportion to their satisfying and fulfilling of God’s requirements. Thus one earns and deserves the proportion of God’s blessing and favor they experience.
Under the new covenant people experience God’s blessing and favor by placing their trust and dependence on Jesus Christ and what he did to redeem humanity through the finished work of the cross. In other words, there is not a single thing one can do to earn or deserve God’s blessing and favor. It is extended to the individual without limit or reservation, not because of what he or she does or does not do, but because of what God did for us in and through Jesus Christ. — Look carefully at the following verses:
Galatians 5:4 (NLT)
For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from Gods grace.
Romans 3:20 (NLTse)
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Living under grace does not make us “lawless” or give us a “license to sin” (not that anyone ever needed one). Living under grace does not mean that one rejects or ignores God’s law (known as antinomianism). Living under grace simply means that one no longer operates under the system of having to continuously try to earn and deserve God’s blessing and favor, but under a system of confidence in God’s unconditional love, blessing and favor, and that outside of their merit, performance or lack thereof. Their qualification comes from Jesus since He was the only one perfect to do so.
You see, we are saved by grace and remain saved by grace, contrary to popular “mixed-covenant” teaching that says that we are saved by grace but blessed by our law-keeping. That would be like saying that we are saved outside of our merit but we remain blessed after salvation by our merit. That just makes no sense!
Beyond the cross, it was never God’s intention for anyone to live by a mixture or blend of law and grace, but simply by grace. God did not give us his law to show us how to live and his grace to empower us to fulfill it. Jesus fulfilled the law for us because, in our fallen and imperfect humanity, we could never do so.
Grace is for the undeserving, thus trying to earn or deserve God’s blessing and favor by our merit and performance nullifies God’s grace in our lives and places us back under the law. It also negates the work of the cross in our lives!
Not once does God’s Word instruct us to live under an operating system of mixed or blended covenants!
You are loved, blessed and favored by God, not because of what you do or don’t do, but because of what He did for you in and through His Son Jesus! Realizing and knowing that causes us to naturally live a life that is pleasing to God and one that reflects His nature and character!
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