Author Alan Shlemon
Published on 06/26/2017

Understanding Biblical Law

Alan uses a helpful analogy to explain the difference between the Mosaic Law and the New Covenant.


So I was recently asked a question about the nature of the Mosaic Law and new law. You know, the Old Testament and the New Testament. And I’ve had a lot of people ask me because they feel confused about how to understand these two, and so I answered using an analogy, an illustration, to try to help explain how these two laws work together and why we don’t necessarily follow all the things as a part of the old law. 

So, when it comes to the Mosaic Law, the Mosaic Covenant, I like to think of this as sort of a contract or a covenant, okay. So we use the term “covenant,” that’s the biblical term, but it’s kind of like a contract, and so think of it this way. I say, look, when you buy a house, you make a contract with a bank, and that particular contract has certain terms and conditions, certain terms that you’re required to fulfill, and then of course the bank is also required to fulfill as well. And those terms might be, you know, like a 30-year mortgage. It might be at a 3% interest rate. It might be $2,000 a month, or something like this. And so, it could be the case that one day you have a really good friend that comes along and says, “You know what? You got this mortgage, but I’m willing to pay off your entire balance of that mortgage.” So they pay off the whatever, you know, three hundred, four hundred thousand dollars for that mortgage, and so now the terms of that contract are completely fulfilled and satisfied, and you are no longer obligated to the terms of that contract. 

Well then just imagine you go and you purchase another house with a different bank you get a new loan, and that bank has different terms and conditions for that particular mortgage. Maybe it’s a 15-year mortgage, maybe it’s a 5% interest rate, maybe the monthly payment is $2,500 a month. And so notice, you have different terms and different conditions with that new contract with a new bank. 

Well, it’s a similar thing that’s going on with the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant. You know, with the Mosaic Covenant there were certain terms and conditions that we as God’s people had to fulfill, and of course, God also had some things He was going to do as well as apart of those terms, but Jesus came along and said, “I will satisfy the terms of that contract,” and so that’s what He does. Notice, when He says the New Testament, He didn’t come to abolish the law, He came to fulfill the law. In other words, He didn’t come in to say, “Well, I’m going to make that entire contract disappear.” No, He satisfied the terms of that contract, and then He created a new contract which is a new way of God relating to us, and that’s what the New Covenant in His blood is all about. 

And so I found that helpful for me, and I find it’s helpful for other people as well to understand it this way. These covenants that we talk about in the Bible are like contracts–different ways that God is relating to us, and the old contract, the old law, has been satisfied through Christ, and now Christ has created, or God created, a new contract, a New  Covenant in His blood.