Transgressions Under the First Covenant

And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15, NKJV)

There is a prevailing understanding among many Bible students that, with Christ’s coming and ushering in the new covenant, the Law in the old covenant which God struck with ancient Israel is now all done away. After all, Hebrews 8:13 says that, when Christ ushered in the new covenant, “He has made the first [or the “old” covenant] obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

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Law Added to Law Transgressed

“What purpose does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; …”  (Galatians 3:19, New King James Version)

Some — if not most — people who read the above Bible passage assume that “the law” mentioned here is the law of God that defines what sin is and what righteousness is [see: Barking up the Wrong Tree].  They understand this verse to say that that law of God was added only because man had — beginning with Adam and Eve —  “transgressed.” That, before that, there had been no other law.  Now that Christ (“the Seed”) has come, that law, supposedly, is no longer necessary.

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