Summary: What does it look like to be in covenant with God?

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Covenant - Being a Part of God's Work


• [VIDEO] Pixar movie Up intro scene.

• Hits you right in the “feels.”

• Where did we learn to love, commit like that?

• Our first three weeks in Core 52 have been spent in Genesis 1-3. We see how God initiates, well, everything. He created it all and then gave it all to us to own and create for ourselves.

• Last week we saw the destruction wrought by temptation and rebellious choices.

• For the next 8 chapters of Genesis, humanity replays Adam and Eve’s sin to the point that God has to start the world over with Noah:

• Even this extreme act doesn’t wipe out the predisposition to sin, to buy into the devil’s lie that we can be like God.

• Tower of Babel in Gen. 11.

• But in chapter 12, God chooses a man to create a family and eventually a nation to work his will. That man was Abram.

• It is with Abram that God makes a covenant.

Genesis 15:6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

God Initiates Covenants

• The Bible tells us that God is a covenant making God.

• First element of the agreement with Abram:

Genesis 12:1–3 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

• What are we talking about when we say “covenant?”

Covenant - What Is It?

• More than a contract or a simple agreement.

o We enter into contracts all the time.

o The Bible describes “royal covenants.”

? Two parties - greater and lesser.

? Greater (God in this case) sets the terms of the covenant - rewards and punishments.

? Lesser can enter or decline the covenant.

? There’s a demonstration of what happens when the covenant is broken.

Genesis 15:9–10 The LORD told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half.

o The point to this bloody demonstration is to say “may it be to me if I break this covenant.”

• But look what happens when it’s time to make the agreement:

Genesis 15:17 After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses.

• This becomes very important in a moment…

• A third time God reinforces this covenant with Abraham.

Genesis 17:1–7 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” 3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, 4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! 5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! 7 “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

• God makes subsequent covenants with Abraham’s offspring:

o Moses - (Ten Commandments) covenant of land & kingdom

o David - King of Israel and into future.

• Finally the new covenant of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Matthew 26:26–28 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

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