This Post is Part of Series of Post called Dissecting the Anatomy of God.
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This all together is a confusing topic to tackle, and somewhat difficult to explain or gather because of the way people/believers interpret the law and the bible. So in talking about God’s law we will actually be talking more about his covenant.
What is a Covenant? It is promise or oath before and with God that sets forth his law and promise. Each Covenant is consider a law or a promise, and in each covenant God has a unique set of rules and laws. This question also borders along the topic of covenant theology.
In laymen terms, God’s Covenant is broken into two sections. The Old Covenant (Old Testament) and the New Covenant (New Testament). Sometimes also known as the Covenant of Works (O.T.) and the Covenant of Grace (N.T.). However biblically and theologically speaking there is more like 5 covenants. The Biblical story goes as such; that God sent his son Jesus into the world to die for all sins, such that he could establish a new covenant for all eternity, because all of the previous covenants before hand lacked the full capability to forgive sins, get man back into right fellowship with God and save man from damnation.
So the question is, if God’s convental law is perfect, why would he need more than one? If God’s law is Perfect, why made make 5 subsets of his law and call them covenants?
God’s Law and Covenants is still and forever Perfect, and all imperfections are a reflection of a sinful and fallible man who lacks the capacity to comprehend and follow them.
The natural question to this scripture is; If God’s Old Testament covenant law was so perfect, why the need for a new law and a new covenant? This in itself is a very reasonable position because the scripture itself says, “The Law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps. 19:7). Thus in inferring from scripture it is natural to assume that not only is God’s law perfect, but so is his covenants. (A covenant being his promise with given laws, ordinances, commandments, and promise.)
Why then if God’s law was Perfect, why would there be any need for a New Law or New Covenant?
“My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isiah 55:11)
In evaluating the answer of why a new covenant we learn that the simple answer is that the new covenant is set forth by God to serve a new purpose. Which is too bring Man closer to God. The reason for establishing a new covenant is for the benefit and mercy of mankind. So, Yes, The Law and the covenant of God is still perfect. It’s that sinful man and people are not. Biblically and theologically speaking the reasoning & answer is very simple.
- God is a perfect being who made the perfect law.
- Man is not perfect and deeply flawed and fallible.
- Thus in speaking the fault is not in the law, but the fallible and sinful man.
Psalm 18:30…As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him
The whole convental law is perfect, because all ordinances and commandments by God are Good. The flaw was in the people for the law cannot save because the heart of man is deceitfully wicked above all else and seeks only his own gain. All of the old testament helped us to recognize where we stand with God and what we needed to do to get right with God. And that is why it was perfect. “It is the whole law and covenant, this is considered perfect.” (Bible.Ca)
The Bible confirms over and over again that the law and his covenant are and is perfect. So according to Christianity there is no flaw in God’s law because it is and remains perfect. The only reason why there are multiple laws and covenants is because when the Priesthood changes, so does the law.
God’s perfect Law could not declare the sinner righteous; it could only condemn and execute him (Romans 3:20; 2 Corinthians 3:7-9). God gave His perfect Law to demonstrate to sinners that we cannot stand before Him on the basis of our own merit…on law ground. Law can only condemn the law breaker; it cannot save him. The sinner must not seek his salvation on the grounds of law keeping, for, even if he kept the entire law and committed just one infraction, the Law would justly demand his doom (James 2:10). No, the sinner can only approach God on the grounds of God’s Grace. “The Law is good, if a man use it lawfully” (1 Timothy 1:8). (Grace Believer)
James 1:25… But whosoever looks intently into the perfect law of liberty[freedom]…
|This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
|—Hebrews 8:10, NIV|
The New Testament Covenant of Grace is perfect in faith, because it accomplishes what the old covenant could not do; not just simply atone for sins, but universally atone for sins. The new covenant of grace fills in that it brings man and God together which the old covenant did not do. The law is perfect in matters of faith, grace, and salvation. It rids salvation of the works based atonement which was impossible for man to ultimately accomplish. It did away with the legalism to make way for Christ and the Holy Spirit.
For there is a Covenant of Works and a Covenant of Grace. For there is a Covenant that gives us law, and another that gives us liberty. That there is a written law and law of the heart. That the written law is one perfect part of a whole. That is completes the law of faith, liberty, and spirituality. In that the law of the heart, mind, and spirit is the New Covenant prepared to us by Holy Spirit, brought forth by Jesus the Christ. That liberty is in the grace and mercy of God, Not in the liberal freedom to obey or not obey the commandments. For the whole law is perfect. Let’s not forget that even though one aspect of the law is physical, it also carries with it a spiritual nature. And that Christ did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.
There is a law that liberates us and there is a law that binds us. Jesus has set us free from the law of sin death.”- Anonymous
No, God’s Law and Covenant is deeply fallacious and flawed. A Perfect Law/Covenant would never need improvement or changing of priesthood.
Hebrews 7:11… If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
If God’s Law is so perfect, why would there ever be a need to change or revise it? One could make the statement that God’s Law and covenant are relatively perfect; not absolutely perfect. Even in Hebrews 7:11 the bible implies that the old covenant lack the capacity for true perfection. Thus had it been absolutely perfect, we would not have a second or a third or a fourth covenant. Had the first covenant been absolutely perfect, there would be no need for a second covenant. However one could infer, that the law/covenant was not absolutely perfect because it never took into account the human (sin) factor. Yet, how could a perfect law not take into consideration the human sin factor? If it does not take that into account, could one say that it was a crappy law? and a crappy covenant? Would they be wrong in saying that? It doesn’t take too much common sense to take into consideration the behavioral psychological factor OR how it will impact and affect people’s behavior.
‘It was perfect, but man is not perfect, so the old law had to be done away with’…So that’s why we have the new law. But what assurance do we have that the new law won’t be done away with because even thought the law is perfect, man is still NOT perfect. What is the point of a perfect law if at any point it can made imperfect, inadequate or invalid by an imperfect mortal. Is it still perfect then? If no perfect law is useful, cause of an imperfect mortal, what’s the point of the law? What purpose does it serve? Why not scrap the whole thing all together?
The Law does not make man perfect
- Heb. 7:19 – “law made nothing perfect“
- Heb. 9:9 – “sacrifices cannot make worshiper perfect”
- Heb. 10:1 – “the law can never make perfect”
Well the apologist claims that the Old Covenant was perfect, but that it was man could not be made perfect, because no man could follow the whole law and covenant. The law could not atone for all sins eternally. The law could not make the sinful man right nor clean…Well, DUH. You don’t need a law degree to figure that out. No law ever, in the history of mankind, has fixed all problems or made man perfect. Only a fool would think that a law could make a man perfect.
So let me get this straight; It is a perfect law that made nothing perfect. So if a God-given law, never serves its purpose how can we still call it perfect? What is the purpose of a law/covenant if nobody can obey it? According to the apologetic answers, it was so that way we can know we are all sinners. Why not just tell us that from the beginning, instead of going through four old testament covenants, just so we can learn a very basic lesson. Does not seem very efficient to me?
The most fundamental theological problem to the apologetic answer of why God would create a perfect law that could not be absolutely fulfilled by a fallible man is the New Testament scriptures themselves:
Hebrews 7:19…The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
Hebrews 8:6-7… But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
Here is my problem, with overall christian apologetic response to this topic. THE RESPONSE ANSWER IS FUNCTIONALLY WEAK, AND DOES NOT LOGICALLY SOLIDIFY THE ANSWER. It seems like the apologetics answer dances around the answer, come close to answering, but never puts the nail on the coffin and closes the issue. Here some still unanswered questions:
- If the law was already perfect in OT, how can you improve upon something that is already perfect?
- Which Covenant is now absolutely perfect? All the Covenants or just the New Testament Covenant of Grace?
- So which law is perfect? Laws of Faith, Biblical Law, 10 Commandments, Old Testament Law, or New Testament Law?
- How can a law be weak and useless and perfect at the same-time?
- If there is a law that no man can follow, is it still perfect?
- If I give my two-year old a rule/law he can’t follow, is there something wrong with me or my son?
The scriptures themselves propose a difficulty in calling the old testament law inferior, weak and useless. Lacking in substance and quality. So how can I still call all of God’s Law and Covenant Perfect when the Bible doesn’t even do that consistently?