Summary: As followers of Christ we are to be a covenant confident church.

Title: Community-Covenant Church

Place: BLCC

Date: 2/5/17

Text: Genesis.12.2-3

CT: As followers of Christ we are to be a covenant confident church.

[Screen 1]

FAS: Have you ever taken out a mortgage? You meet with the loan officer and then you begin the long and arduous task of signing your name on a stack of papers that looks thicker than any history book you had in school. You finally sign the last page and the officer shakes your hand and says you can keep the pen.

You think thanks. After signing your life away this 20 cent pen will really make you feel better. You had just signed that you would keep your promise to pay back the mortgage over the next 30 years. Why did they have to have you sign so much? Couldn’t they take your word for it?

We like to have things in writing though, don’t we? We like a seal that binds someone. A promise is nice, but we still like that name on the dotted line. We like that assurance.

I was with a friend of mine three years ago. She was at the end of a long battle with cancer. She had just received some terrible news. It wouldn’t be long. I read some scriptures to my dear friend to attempt to bring some comfort.

As I started to leave she asked. “How do I know God will keep His word?”

I wish I could say I said something really profound that eased her doubt. But what I had was what someone had told me before. It had stuck. Don’t know how I remembered it but I said, “He guaranteed it…with a cross and a covenant.”

LS: God has guaranteed his covenant to us since the beginning.

[Screen 2]

The Old Testament is where we are going today. It is often seen as a place of rules and laws with very little grace. I have often myself thought as the Old Testament as not being as full of grace. That is until I looked a little deeper. I read what Dr. Motyer, a renowned OT scholar, said one time.

Dr. Motyer insisted that we were all one people of God. Old and new testament. Then he asked us to imagine how the Israelites under Moses would have given their "testimony" to someone who asked for it. They would have said something like this:

We were in a foreign land, in bondage, under the sentence of death. But our mediator—the one who stands between us and God—came to us with the promise of deliverance. We trusted in the promises of God, took shelter under the blood of the lamb, and he led us out. Now we are on the way to the Promised Land. We are not there yet, of course, but we have the law to guide us, and through blood sacrifice we also have his presence in our midst. So he will stay with us until we get to our true country, our everlasting home.

Then Dr. Motyer concluded: "Now think about it. A Christian today could say the same thing, almost word for word." (1) 1) Justin Taylor, "Alec Motyer (1924-2016)," The Gospel Coalition blog (8-26-16

I had always thought the Old Testament people were saved through obeying a host of detailed laws, but that today we were freely forgiven and accepted by faith. This little thought experiment showed me not only that the Israelites had been saved by grace and that God's salvation had been by costly atonement and grace all along, but also that the pursuit of holiness, pilgrimage (our journey to follow Jesus), obedience, and deep community should characterize us as followers of Jesus today as well.

God’s Promise-Covenant: conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture. That’s the biblical definition.

God made the first covenant with Abraham in an attempt to start the community God desired. [Screen 3]

Genesis 12. 2-3, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

God makes this promise to the people with conditions. They were to keep their part of the covenant as well. Both sides required faithfulness. God was faithful to Abraham and his descendants and Abraham and his descendants were faithful to God.

The fact that God even offered the covenant was an act of grace. [screen 4] We read in 1 Chronicles 16. 15, He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations.

Why would God offer this to his creation? ?

Remember? We are just the specks down here, but we are the specks God loves.

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