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He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Hvn 86.

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The Promises of Men

All the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. Ex. 19: 8.

Another compact [other than the Abrahamic covenant]-- called in Scripture the "old" covenant-- was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the "second", or "new" covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant.

Soon after the encampment at Sinai, Moses was called up into the mountain to meet with God. . . . Israel was now to be taken into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High-- to be incorporated as a church and a nation under the government of God. The message to Moses for the people was: ". . . if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me akingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex. 19: 4- 6).

Moses returned to the camp, and having summoned the elders of Israel, he repeated to them the divine message. Their answer was, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." Thus they entered into a solemn covenant with God, pledging themselves to accept Him as their Ruler, by which they became, in a special sense, the subjects of His authority.

In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. . . . Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God's law, and their need of a Saviour. . . . God brought them to Sinai; He manifested His glory; He gave them His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience. . . . The people did not realize . . . that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God's law. . . . Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, "All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient" (Ex. 24: 7).

From God's Amazing Grace - Page 133

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