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There is an incredible thread that runs through the Bible from beginning to end, which is God’s binding agreement with His people. Since God always keep His promises, understanding our Covenant relationship with Him offers us freedom from worry and anxiety. On this program, we will look at this binding agreement or covenant that God has offered to everyone.
Music by: Sharon Hinton Smith
Guest: Cynda Reynolds
Cynda Reynolds has been a Precept Ministries Bible Teacher for over twenty years. She and her family recently moved from Kentucky to North Carolina, where she now shares her teaching ministry. Cynda has taught some studies on Covenants and from there discovered an extreme sense of security in our Faithful God. Below are some highlight notes from this broadcast.
What is a covenant relationship?
An agreement between two people or groups, particularly that between God and His people which promised His blessings in return for their obedience and devotion. Through His sacrificial death, Jesus became the mediator of an new Covenant, bringing salvation and eternal life to all who trust in Him.
Why? Understanding God's covenant with us will transform our lives. We will more fully understand what God has done for us, what He wants to do, and give us a confidence that all that He says will be done!
The three primary covenants overview:
- The Abrahamic Covenant - God made a covenant with Abraham promising him two main things: a seed (a child) and a land.
- The Old Covenant or the Law - Around 400 years later, God made a covenant of law with the nation of Israel. Moses was the mediator of that covenant. God spoke to Moses and then Moses spoke to the people. The Old Covenant, or the Law, centered around the tabernacle. The earthly tabernacle was built under Moses' direction after the pattern of God's heavenly tabernacle. For this reason, the tabernacle served as an integral part of the Old Covenant.
Basically, God gave man the 10 commandments. People promised to obey God.
The New Covenant or Grace - Through Jeremiah, the prophet, (Jeremiah 31:31-40) God promised the New Covenant. Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, a better covenant than the Law. When the New Covenant was inaugurated by Jesus Christ, the Old Covenant became obsolete.
God gave His Son, Jesus, as the ultimate, Holy sacrifice. People confess and turn from their sins and believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Possible Scripture to share: Galatians 3:15-22 NLT The Law and God's Promise
- Dear brothers and sisters, here's an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case.
- God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn't say "to his children," as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says "to his child" — and that, of course, means Christ.
- This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise.
- For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God's promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.
- Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.
- Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.
- Is there a conflict, then, between God's law and God's promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it.
- But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.
*verse 19 - If God were to give Jesus as a sacrifice for people's sins, yet people didn't acknowledge or understand their sins, then the sacrifice would be for nothing.
What is God's part of the new covenant?
He initiated the covenant between Himself and us. The Covenant assures us that God will not turn from us.
- God initiates
- God will write the covenant on men's hearts instead of a stone tablet.
- He will be their God and they will be His people
- Everyone, Jews and Gentiles, will be forgiven of their sins
- God will never reject His people
- God's people will live with Him forever!
What is our part of the covenant? To Believe
Andrew Murray's book, Covenants and Blessings, he says "Man could not save himself from the power of sin. If His redemption was to be effected, God had to do it all. If God was to do it in harmony with the law of man's nature, man must be brought to desire it, yield to it, and entrust himself to God. All God wanted man to do was believe in Him. What a man believes moves and rules his whole being. It enters into him and becomes part of his very life. Salvation could only be by faith. God restored the life man had lost. Man in faith yielded himself to God's work and will." "Nothing dishonored and grieved God so much as unbelief. Unbelief was the root of disobedience and every sin."
SEGMENT 4 - Security of Covenant
What is God's promise to us that offers security?
God is faithful even beyond our failures!
Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV - "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."
Isaiah 54:10 NLT - "For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the LORD, who has mercy on you."
Our Covenant God by Kay Arthur
Covenants and Blessings by Andrew Murray
Holiest of All by Andrew Murray
Sharon's Simple Timeline of Understanding Life:
- God created people
- People chose to sin
- Sin separated people from God, but God deeply loved people.
- So God made a covenant with people, which is the Old Covenant, the Law
- The Law showed people their sin and the great divide between Holy God and sinful people
- God made a New Covenant. Now that people understood their sins, God sent His Perfect Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice to pay the ultimate price for people's sins.
- God is now reconciled with people.
- People have a part in this New Covenant. God has done the work, but people have to believe and accept it. Only then will they be reconciled to God.
Here's an example:
You hire workers to build you a house. You watched it being build from foundation to final coat of paint. Now the house is just sitting there waiting for you. The builder has the keys and is standing in front of you on the front porch of the house waiting to give you the keys. Will you accept the keys and go into your new home?
In the same way, God has done all of the work. He is standing in front of you with the keys to life which is faith in Jesus. Will you accept Him as your Lord and Savior and walk into your new home?
Notes from A Wonderful Life with Sharon Hinton Smith show. © 2005 - 2013
You are invited to print and keep these notes for personal encouragement. www.sharonhintonsmith.com