Summary: A sermon baseed on the covenant of grace
Sermon#9 Does God Change
1. Has God changed? God says I am the lord thy God, and I do not change.
a. When we look in the text of the OT we see God as harsh and judgmental, where as in the NT he is more forgiving and compassionate. Has his nature changed?
b. It depends on what side of the cross we live.
c. Much of God’s wrath was directed toward the unbeliever.
2. Let’s examine Gods nature in one specific and important area, The Covenant of justification by faith, and see if he has in fact changed.
3. Genesis 15: 6-18 God’s covenant of grace and salvation with Abraham, and all of his heirs. Shown thru a theofiney. A physical manifestation of the presence of God.
a. v:6 Abraham put his faith in God, and God was pleased.
b. v:9- Cut the pieces in half, and walks thru them. This is how the old Jews used to make a contract. Unlike today there word was binding. No written contracts.
c. A covenant made with blood. The most binding method of its day. When the old Jews came to an agreement, they would go thru this ritual, and in essence were saying if they broke the terms of this agreement there fate would end up like these animals. Literally this pledge was their life against their word.
d. v:17 Figure 8. To and Fro. The symbol for infinity. God was trying to show that this covenant was forever, like Himself.
e. v:12 Note that God did not involve Abraham in this promise. Abraham was in a deep sleep, and did not walk thru the pieces. God made the covenant with himself. It was the highest authority that he could swear by.
f. The Jews were only the beneficiaries of this covenant. If God had made this agreement with mankind, we know it would be broken the first time we sin. Man was given the choice of walking within the terms of the covenant, or walking away from it. However even though we were given this choice, the contract still remained in effect.
g. v:17 The smoking oven and the torch.
a. A good news, bad news message from God.
b. The smoking over represents God’s wrath.
c. Whereas the fire represents God’s holy spirit.
d. God is showing his version of good news and bad news. His wrath and his loving-spirit at the same time.
e. God was saying to his followers be sinless, and be filled with my holy spirit, or my wrath will be upon you. The letter of the law can kill you.
f. Who among us can follow the letter of the law?
4. Fast-forward 4000 years so we can now look at the spirit of the law.
a. The letter of the law can kill you, but the spirit of the law can save you. Who is the spirit of the law? Jesus Christ.
b. The gift of grace and salvation now come thru the Son of God. And it is by our faith in Christ, that we are able to enter into this agreement
c. The covenant of Grace and salvation, and nature of God remains the same. The only difference is with the players. Instead of Abraham, God used his son Jesus Christ. And instead of an animal sacrifice, the blood of a God/Man is used.
5. This covenant of salvation (the cross), like with Abraham is still made between God and himself. And again, we as men are still the beneficiaries, but only thru our faith.
a. Romans 3:28. We are not a factor in this contract, since we sin.
6. The smoking pot and the flame while not depicted are also still part of this equation.
a. The pot is still the wrath of God, and all those who are unbelievers are subject to this wrath.
b. The flame is still his spirit, (Acts-Pentecost) and is the free gift God gives to his followers.
7. Has God changed? I think not. The covenant is still enforce. But something has changed, I submit this to you.
a. Our perception of God is the only thing that has changed
b. Example: I pay someone $7.00 an hour to work. He reports to my son for work, and does a good job. I raise him to $25.00 an hour, and make him a manager. Have I changed, or the employee’s perception of me?
8. Other than our perception, the only change is that God made his new covenant easy for us. God has added to this agreement, in that he has made it easier than we deserve. Like a phone call saying we have won a million dollars.
a. We try to make it hard, because we sift God’s blessings thru our own sense of self worth. We are now seen by God, thru the eyes of his perfect, forgiving son Jesus.