Covenant Topical Study

<h2 class="heading-lg"><strong>What does the Bible say about covenant?</strong></h2><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 12:2-3</a>, God promises to make Abraminto a great nation</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 12:7</a>, God promises land to Abram</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 15:8</a>, God promises land to Abram</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 17:4-5</a>, God changes Abram&#39;s name to Abraham and promises that he will be the ancestor of a multitude of nations</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 17:7-10</a>, an everlasting covenant between God and Abraham, marked by circumcision</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Exodus 19:4-6</a>, if God&#39;s people obey and keep covenant, they shall continue to be God&#39;s treasured possession out of all people</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Exodus 20:1-3</a>, there shall be no other gods</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Jeremiah 31:33</a>, God&#39;s law is covenant</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 26:28</a>, Jesus declares &quot;This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 4:16</a>, the promise to Abraham depends on faith</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Galatians 3:16-18</a>, inheritence comes from a promise not the law</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Galatians 3:28</a>, all are one in Christ Jesus</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Hebrews 3:5-6</a>, Moses and Christ were faithful. We too can be faithful.</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Hebrews 8:6</a>, Jesus obtained a more excellent ministry than Moses and is a better mediator of the covenant, enacted through better promises</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Hebrews 8:7-13</a>, God&#39;s law is covenan</span></li></ul><h2 class="heading-lg"><strong>Sermon ideas about covenant</strong></h2><h3 class="heading-sm">Renewals of the Grand Covenant</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">There are several covenants or renewals of the grand covenant in Scripture. For example, in Genesis 9 God makes an unconditional covenant with Noah and &quot;every living creature&quot; on the earth. God promises never again to flood the earth and destroy its creatures. The reminder to God to keep this covenant is the rainbow in the heavens. In Exodus 19-24 God amplifies and specifies the conditions of the grand covenant: in particular, God gives the Ten Commandments and other laws that Israel is to obey to keep covenant. In Jeremiah 31 and, by implication, in Hebrews 8:8-13, which quotes Jeremiah 31, God promises in the future to write his law on people&#39;s hearts so that obedience to it will be natural.</span> </span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Covenants do not begin a relationship</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">They secure and administer an already existing relationship. Think of voluntary marriage, for example, which secures, legalizes, and regulates an already existing relationship. (The protest to a premature marriage proposal is &quot;But I hardly know you.&quot;) So in Scripture, God calls Abram in Genesis 12 and establishes a relationship with him across chapters 12-14. It&#39;s not until the end of chapter 15 that God establishes a covenant with Abraham, and not until chapter 17 that God more fully explains the blessings inherent in the covenant. Abraham is to be the ancestor of &quot;a multitude of nations&quot; which, in chapter 12, God had already promised to bless through Abraham. God is to give Abraham&#39;s successors &quot;all the land of Canaan.&quot; And God promises &quot;to be God to you and to your descendants after you.</span></span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Mediator</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">It appears from Romans 4:13 ff. and Galatians 3:6-8 and 16-18 that the covenant with Abraham is still in force (&quot;he&#39;s the father of all of us&quot;). (This claim and what follows from it are disputed.) In the New Testament, it&#39;s no longer Moses who is the mediator or representative personality of the covenant with Abraham. Now it&#39;s Jesus Christ. Paul writes that &quot;our ancestors were . . . baptized into Moses&quot; (1 Cor. 10:1-2), but now we are &quot;baptized into Christ&quot; (Rom. 6:3). The idea is that Moses and Christ are the &quot;representative personalities&quot; of the people of God. To be baptized into them is to be recognized ceremonially as belonging to the blessed community launched into history by their signature acts &mdash; for Moses, Passover and the exodus; for Christ, death and resurrection, with resurrection counting as the second exodus.</span> </span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Covenant of grace</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Hebrews 8 states that the covenant of grace with Christ as mediator is &quot;better&quot; than the covenant of grace with Moses as mediator. One reason is that the mediator this time is not a mere mortal but the eternal Son of God incarnate, &quot;the reflection of God&#39;s glory and the exact imprint of God&#39;s very being&quot; (Heb. 1:3). Heb. 3:5-6 puts the contrast like this: Moses was a servant. Christ is a Son. Further, instead of offering to God &quot;the blood of goats and calves,&quot; Jesus the High Priest offered to God &quot;his own blood&quot; (Heb. 9:12) and did it &quot;once for all&quot; (Heb. 7:27). Further, unlike Moses, Jesus the mediator is &quot;without sin&quot; (Heb. 4:15). When thinking of God&#39;s promise to bless all the nations through Israel, surely we may finally note that in &quot;the better covenant&quot; the great time of God&#39;s impartiality has arrived. All are welcome: &quot;There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus&quot; (Gal. 3:28). In keeping with this expansionist tendency, the sign of membership in the Moses edition of the covenant was circumcision of Jewish males (and their slaves); in the Christ edition, the sign and seal of membership is baptism, available to anybody who is in Christ.</span> </span></p><h3 class="heading-sm">Worship as covenant renewal</h3><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">In worship God says, &quot;I am your God,&quot; and we say, &quot;We are your people.&quot; The sacraments within worship are covenant binders. By them God deepens the faith that attaches us to Jesus Christ.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">The fact that God binds himself by promise to human beings reveals God&#39;s character. God is love.God&#39;s promise &quot;creates an island of certainty in a sea of uncertainty&quot;</span> <em><span class="body-copy-sm">(</span></em><span class="body-copy-sm">Lewis B. Smedes, <em>&quot;The Power of Promises,&quot;</em> in Thomas G. Long and Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., eds., {{A Chorus of Witnesses}}, Eerdmans 1994, p. 197)</span> <span class="body-copy">because God is love. In chapter 19 of C. S. Lewis&#39;s The Screwtape Letters, the devil Screwtape reveals his bafflement over how &quot;God really loves the human vermin and really desires their freedom and continued existence.&quot; How can this be? &quot;All His talk about love must be a disguise for something else &mdash; He must have some real motive for creating them and taking so much trouble about them. . .What does He stand to make out of them? That is the insoluble question.&quot;</span><span class="body-copy-sm">(<em>The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics, </em>HarperOne, 2002, p. 163)</span></span></p>