Mosaic Covenant

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Mosaic Covenant – The Content
The Mosaic Covenant was made between God and the nation of Israel and can be found in Exodus 19-24 and Deuteronomy 5:6-22. This covenant is often referred to as “The Law.” Others call it the Sinaic Covenant since it took place at Mt. Sinai.

The book of Exodus is the second of the books of the Bible that are referred to as the Pentateuch. This book tells of the release of the Israelites after a series of plagues that God brought upon Egypt and its Pharaoh who had held God’s people in slavery. Under God’s direction, Moses brought the Israelites out and led them through the parted Red Sea and the Sinai Desert where they were given the covenant.

A large part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (the reason for it being called The Law) and with it God promised:

  • To make the Hebrew people His special people among all nations if they keep God’s Commandments
  • To make the people of Israel a Holy nation and a kingdom of priest
  • To give them the Sabbath for a day of rest and told them it is to be kept Holy

Mosaic Covenant – The Law Exposes Sin
Under the Mosaic Covenant, the promise of righteousness in daily life could only be acquired by fulfilling the works of the Law. But since we are prisoners of sin, only in the Messiah could the covenant promise be fulfilled (Deuteronomy 6:25, Galatians 3:21).

When looking at the covenant, we see that it can be separated into these categories:

  • Spiritual commands (Exodus 20:2-8, Deuteronomy 5:6-12)
  • Moral and Social conduct (Exodus 20:12-17, Deuteronomy 5:16-21)
  • Ceremonial (regarding the Tabernacle - Exodus 25-27, Exodus 30)
  • Requirements for Priestly Garments (Exodus 28-29)
The commandments God gave the Israelites were without doubt violated. In fact, they cannot be kept by any human as we all are imperfect.
  • Everyone has sinned (Romans 3:23)
  • The penalty for our sin is death (Romans 6:23)
  • Jesus Christ died as payment for our sins (Romans 5:8)
  • To be forgiven for our sin, we must believe and confess that Jesus is Lord and acknowledge that salvation comes through Jesus Christ (Romans 10:8-10)
Romans 3:20 says, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Without the Law, we cannot be aware of what God declares iniquities. The Law was given as guidelines to live by and shows us where we go wrong. It is a template by which to pattern our lives.

Mosaic Covenant – Fulfillment
By failing to keep the Mosaic Covenant, the Israelites paved the way for God’s New Covenant which would bring about the only way for them (and us) to have reconciliation with God (Ezekiel 36:24-29). “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24).

Galatians 3:24-25 puts it this way “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”

The Mosaic Law pointed to the need for a Savior and by it Christ Himself said He did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it. It was never possible that obeying the Law or covenant would save us, but salvation has always been obtained by faith and that promise of salvation by faith (that God made to Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant), is still God’s promise to you and I (Galatians 3:16-18).

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