Evening Devotional

A New Covenant

No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined.

[Luke 5:37]

There are a lot of people who try to match the New Testament with the Old Testament, but it doesn’t work. Like putting new wine into an old wineskin, the New Testament does not fit the Old Testament. It just expands it and breaks it.

Many people are confused about this. They ask, “Why do we obey certain parts of the Old Testament, but there are some parts that we don’t obey?” Other people say, “Christianity is just as bad as Islam because the Old Testament commands that you stone people to death. So what’s the difference between Christianity and Islam?” Have you ever had people ask you that?

Here’s the simple answer: The Old Testament is called “old” for a reason. It is not what we live under today. The Old Testament is finished. It is done away with. It points to Christ, but the old is gone.

There were three parts of the Mosaic Law. First, there was the moral law, which dealt with issues of morality–do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie. Second, there was the civil law, which dealt with how to punish those who in society break the civil law. Third, there was the ceremonial law, which had to do with the sacrificial system and the feasts. The Old Testament had all three of those parts to it.

Under the New Testament–the new agreement with God–the Old Testament has been done away with. What part of the Old Testament has been done away with? First, the ceremonial laws have been done away with. We no longer offer sacrifices, because there is no need to. Jesus is our sacrifice. We don’t keep the feasts, because they were just a shadow of the substance of Christ. Now that Christ has come, we no longer follow the shadow. Second, we don’t live under the civil law. America is not ancient Israel. We are not a theocracy. The civil law was for Israel at a particular time. We don’t stone adulterers or gay people. That’s all been done away with.

The only other portion of the God’s law is the moral law–do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie. The only parts of the moral law we keep today are the commands that are repeated in the New Testament. In the New Testament we are told not to kill, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to lie. All the commands that are repeated in the New Testament are commands we live under. But we don’t keep anything else in the Old Testament. We live under the new agreement. And under the new agreement there is absolutely no allowance for violence against anyone. There is no way to justify any violence under the teaching of Jesus Christ. That’s the difference between the Old and the New Testament.

~ Dr. Robert Jeffress ~

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