Summary: God make Covenants with man, through Abraham in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament. But in order to be a part of that covenant there are stipulations that we all must meet. It begins with faith but there's more to it than faith alon
Are You Part of God’s Covenant
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Pastor James May
Our God is a covenant making God. His covenants are given through his great love for man that was created in God’s own image. From the very beginning we see that God is ever reaching out to draw rebellious people back to right relationship with him. It is never God’s will that anyone should perish. It is God’s perfect will that every man, woman and child, that would ever; and will ever; be conceived into this world should be saved.
With God’s love in mind, and his great desire to see all men saved, we can begin to understand God’s covenants and why they were made.
I want to look at the Covenants of God this morning; specifically God’s Covenant with Abraham and the New Testament Covenant that was given through the Jesus Christ and his blood that was shed for us.
The thing that we must always remember is that these covenants were initiated by God and not by man. Sinful man has no power to approach God and say, “Let’s Make a Deal”. We cannot approach God, nor have a part in any of God’s promises on our own terms. If we are to have a part in God’s Covenants then we must do it God’s Way because there is no other way.
Looking into the Old Testament Covenant, we can see where God began to deal with a man called Abraham who lived in the land of Ur of the Chaldees. The city of Ur was one of the most important and prosperous cities of its time. It was located about 10 miles west of the Euphrates River near the Persian Gulf, about 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. It had an advanced culture with a world of opportunities and wealth to be had for anyone willing to be a part of that society. According to the archaeological record, gold was plentiful because golden helmets, daggers and drinking cups have been found. There was a royal cemetery where kings were buried right along with all of their servants. Education was also important because lots of clay tablets, scrolls and writings have been found. Along with that was discovered all sorts of musical instruments, elaborate headdresses, a lot of jewelry and a 70 foot high ziggurat (much like those of the pyramids of the Inca’s in Mexico).
But God told Abram, whose name was later changed by God to Abraham, in Genesis 12:1 … Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Abraham wasn’t leaving behind some primitive, backward, poor country. He left the splendor, beauty and wealth of all that could have been his by inheritance as a son of this father and a citizen of Ur, to begin a journey into the unknown. He didn’t know whether he would become wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, or die poverty stricken and penniless in some foreign land where he would be forever forgotten and lie in an unmarked grave in some remote place.
I can believe that Abraham had second thoughts about answering the call of God upon his life. I can’t help but believe that he thought long and hard about what he was leaving behind that was a sure thing, to step out by faith and walk down uncertain paths, trusting in God’s covenant alone.
It is no wonder that God called Abraham such a man of great faith. It took faith to believe that the Lord God Jehovah was truly God above all of the idols of the Chaldees. It took faith to believe that Jehovah God would fulfill his promise to Abraham, especially when you think about the fact that not much of God’s Covenant ever came to pass in Abraham’s own life. He only lived to be 175 years old and had only two sons, Ishamael and Isaac, and only Isaac was part of God’s Covenant being fulfilled.
Abraham walked with God, failed God many times, lied, cheated and disobeyed God on a number of occasions, yet God’s Covenant of birthing with Abraham a great nation and giving him the land wherever he walked in obedience, was still fulfilled in the end.
Abraham was a man of faith like no other. He trusted God’s promises even though he never saw them come to pass. He believed God would hold up his end of the covenant if only Abraham would walk in obedience and faith.
I wonder how long we would have walked with God if we had been in Abraham’s shoes? In this modern day of people who are seeking more for the things of this world, than the things of God; a church that is focused on self gratification more than on the true worship of Jesus; a people who are more focused on the loaves and fishes that Jesus promised more than the Christ who will give eternal life. The New Testament Covenant is not found in the things of this world that God can and will provide for those who obey him. It is found in walking by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and trusting God to bring us into eternal life and a home in Heaven. God’s covenant with Abraham didn’t contain one word about all the wealth he would gain, or the power or prestige that Abraham might receive. It was all about building a great nation and a land that he could call home forever.