|A10 : by Tony Garland |
I appreciate your comments regarding the Mosaic covenant, although on first reading I suspect we have some differences on the issue. I am particularly concerned about Jewish/Messianic tendencies to move back in the direction of law keeping as a means of righteousness. The idea that the New Covenant is a "renewal" of the Mosaic is not something I can endorse with my present understanding of Scripture.
It seems clear to me that Paul specifically deals with the issue of the relation between the New Covenant and the Mosaic. He bases the New Covenant on the Abrahamic Covenant, not the Mosaic—since salvation came by faith hundreds of years before the Mosaic Covenant. The idea that the New Covenant is a renewal of the Mosaic Covenant seems to me to contradict the teaching of Paul in Galatians 3.
This is a very big area with lots of subtleties. My primary concern is that many, who rightly embrace the Jewish roots of the faith, go too far and begin to walk backwards in the direction of "keeping the Law." We would all do well to write Galations 5:1-4 in large letters on a note and stick it to our refrigerators!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised, that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.