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Hiro Arikawa. Yukio Mishima. Jojo Moyes. Games Riot. Madeline Miller. Janet Evanovich. Mitch Albom. Hanya Yanagihara. Bestselling Series. There is a loss of covenant consciousness among Christians. This is true even of Reformed and Presbyterian Christians among whom consciousness of the covenant once was lively. Rather, salvation is commonly thought of as their making a decision for Christ.
Our troubles are not unfortunate accidents. He used his prayers to reprimand us. You think this person will make you feel whole and valuable, so you leave everything else and make your dream a reality. It is not a personal matter that involves your own personal feelings and judgments. The covenant i s always with Christ and His chosen people in such a way that the covenant and its salvation run in the lines of believers and their children.
Where today do Christians practice the Christian life of holiness as a matter of keeping the covenant? Rather, they devote their life to Jesus, or imitate the life of Christ, or obey certain rules laid down in the Bible. The covenant is of the greatest importance according to Scripture. Since this history has Jesus Christ as its goal, Jesus Christ came into the world to fulfil the covenant and on behalf of the covenant.
The entire saving work of Jesus Christ is making the covenant—the new covenant—with the elect church and each member in particular. This is the teaching of Hebrews Therefore, Hebrews gives Jesus the title, the mediator of the covenant. Such is the importance of the covenant that it is salvation for a person. The various blessings Abraham received from God were covenant blessings, particularly, justification Gen.
Galatians ff. Indeed, the passage teaches that the covenant God made with Abraham is our salvation. The entire passage teaches us Gentile believers that our justification by faith, our receiving the Holy Spirit, and our inheriting eternal life are blessings that come to us in the covenant made with Abraham and his seed. It is necessary that we know this. It is necessary that we know that all the blessings we have from God are covenant blessings. What husband would be pleased that his wife received all his love, care, and gifts while remaining oblivious to the marriage in which and on account of which he lavished his love upon her?
This importance of the covenant lends urgency to our calling to keep the covenant.
No duty we may possibly have outstrips the duty to keep the covenant. Indeed, for the believer and the child of believers all duties, whether earthly or heavenly, are, in reality, the duty to keep the covenant. What is the covenant? What is this truth that looms so large in the Bible—announced in Paradise , established with Abraham, and perfected by Jesus Christ? The Nature of the Covenant. There is much ignorance and confusion among professing Christians concerning the covenant. Even though I do not intend to refute all kinds of erroneous teachings about the covenant, I warn that there are serious errors on the doctrine of the covenant, not only in the evangelical churches, but also in Presbyterian and Reformed churches.
In recent developments in North America in reputedly conservative Presbyterian and Reformed churches, it has become plain that these errors concerning the covenant fatally compromise the gospel of salvation by the grace of God in Jesus Christ alone. Particularly, the fundamental doctrine of justification by faith alone is corrupted and denied.
My purpose, however, is to teach the truth of the covenant positively, demonstrating from Scripture that it is the truth. The covenant of God with His people is a unique relationship of intimate fellowship in mutual love. That was the covenant announced to Adam and Eve in the garden immediately after the fall. That was the covenant established with Abraham. That was the covenant as administered to Israel , even though the covenant with Israel was burdened with the law. This is the nature of the perfect form of the covenant with believers and our children in the present, gospel age.
We must not think of the covenant as comparable to a bargain struck by two businessmen, dependent upon stipulated conditions, for the purpose of the advantage of them both. But we must think of the covenant of God with men and women as a delightful marriage, or as a warm friendship.
It should be evident at once that it makes a world of difference regarding our keeping of the covenant, whether we think of the covenant between God and ourselves as comparable to a cold, business-like, conditional bargain, or as comparable to a marriage, or a friendship. A wife and a friend behave differently than a businessman, especially with regard to the motives of the heart. Scripture on the Covenant. We must learn the nature of the covenant from Scripture.
We do not learn what the covenant is from extra-biblical sources, specifically, the treaties that heathen nations made with each other in ancient times. Scripture teaches the covenant, and Scripture reveals what the covenant is. At stake here are the truth that Scripture interprets Scripture, the truth of the sufficiency of Scripture, and the truth that every believer can understand Scripture in its fundamental doctrines.
Scripture describes the covenant as a loving relationship of close communion between God and us. Scripture teaches this clearly, so that there is no excuse for the errors, the confusion, and the ignorance concerning the covenant on the part of many Christians and churches. First, in virtually every passage where the covenant is on the foreground, especially, where there is a new, progressive development of the covenant, the same words occur.
They are found in Genesis , where God establishes the covenant with Abraham; in the preface to the ten commandments, by which God established the covenant with Israel as a nation, in Exodus ; in Jeremiah , where God promised the new covenant with Israel and Judah ; and in Revelation , where John saw the new creation and the glorified church in the day of Christ.
That the covenant is a relationship of fellowship is proved, secondly, in that the two earthly realities to which Scripture compares the covenant are both close, indeed, the closest, relation-ships of love. Third, Scripture finds the essence of the covenant, and the enjoyment of the life of the covenant, in the tabernacle and temple. The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt with His people and where they, therefore, could draw near to their God, to live with Him in His presence, glorify Him, and enjoy Him. In one word, the tabernacle, or temple, which was at the centre of Israel, was fellowship.
All of these descriptions of the church express close communion between God and His people. According to Revelation 21 , heaven will be this, that the tabernacle of God will be with men, that is, the fullest enjoyment of the covenant. God put enmity—hatred and hostility—between His chosen people and the devil, implying that He restores friendship between some of the fallen human race and Himself.
By the fall, all the human race became hostile to God and friendly to the old serpent. By the promise of the gospel of Genesis , God delivered some from their friendship with Satan and created friendship with Himself. Enmity between the seed of the woman and Satan means friendship between the seed of the woman and God. God and Abraham expressed and enjoyed their friendship.