Summary: God reveals Himself in a progressive way through His everlasting covenant relationship.

Sermon: God’s Grace

Prepared by: Rev Charles King, D.Min.

Taken from a series about God’s Covenant relationship with mankind November 2005

Noah found grace in the eyes of God [1]

At creation God initiated a covenant with all mankind. It includes every human including those who do not believe in God. After the flood God tells Noah “I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature.[2]” God’s Covenant relationship defines for us “Who God is” and “What God expects of man”. This covenant relationship is dictated by God and not negotiated.

God refers to His covenant as an everlasting covenant when He tells Noah that He will always remember His promises that He has made after the flood. Through this everlasting covenant God reveals Himself and His redemptive plan in a gradual (progressive) way.

Seeing God through the lens of the everlasting covenant is another way of seeing Christ in all of Scripture. Jesus refers a number of times to the importance of Moses and the Prophets and how they speak of Him[3]. God’s mystery of Christ is progressively revealed through God’s Covenant relationship.

In Luke chapter twenty-four Jesus Himself states that the Jewish people should have known that the Messiah was to have been crucified because this mystery was revealed by Moses and the Prophets[4].

In the parable known as the rich man and Lazarus Jesus says if a person does not believe Moses and the Prophets they will not believe if someone were to rise from the dead[5]. Jesus is reminding us that He has revealed Himself and His Kingdom requirements through His covenant revelations.

The words covenant and testament have the same basic meaning. In general the whole Bible is considered God’s covenant. However, in this study we are focusing our view of God’s covenant relationship on what He refers to as an everlasting covenant.

God’s everlasting covenant defines how we are to live in fellowship with Him. God’s covenant revelation is to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path[6]. Jesus, the living Word, is the lamp and light unto the world. God’s covenant tells us how to walk in light, in fellowship.

God has an all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing, impartial, and unchanging nature. These attributes lay the foundation of His sovereignty and His approach in dealing with man. Adam broke God’s first covenant revelation. His act of disobedience is known as the fall. Then God revealed more of His plan through His second covenant revelation when He promised that a SEED of Eve would someday crush the head of Satan[7].

The gift of a coat of skins[8] by God to Adam and Eve represented the first known sacrifice. Sacrifice was required because of man’s sin. Quickly the Bible develops the requirement of a blood sacrifice as a substitute to pay the sin debt of life that is required for disobedience.

This concept is further revealed when Abel brings a blood sacrifice[9] that was accepted and Cain brings a non-blood sacrifice that was rejected. God tells Cain that he knew what was expected, a blood sacrifice[10].

The Bible states that blood must be shed (life is in the blood) in response to sin. God’s commandment was death would come if Adam disobeyed (eat of tree of knowledge)[11].

God had told Adam and Eve and still tells us today that the wages of sin is death[12]. This is nothing more than a different way of looking at God’s commandment to Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and if they did they would surely die[13]. Disobedience to God’s covenant brings death.

Adam and Eve found grace in the eyes of God in the Garden of Eden, which is demonstrated by the promised Seed and coats of skin. However, the term grace was not used. The first statement about grace is when the Bible says Noah had found grace in the eyes of God because of His righteousness (obedience)[14].

Let us look a little closer at (1) God’s Grace, (2) God’s Justice (Wrath), and (3) Our Choice (Worship or Not).

God’s Grace

Why did Noah find grace in God’s eyes? In the book of Hebrews the Bible says it was by his faith. The Bible says that when God warned Noah about the flood, Noah believed (trusted and obeyed) God and built an ark[15]. It was by faith Noah was declared righteous in God’s sight.

When God spoke Noah obeyed! This is a picture of faith. In the book of Hebrews God says we cannot please Him without faith. In order to come to God a person must believe that God is, and that God rewards those that diligently seek him[16].

The Bible consistently shows that true faith involves obedience, by faith Noah obeyed [17]. While Noah was building the ark, the Bible says he was preaching of the coming judgment, yet he did not have one convert. God was offering grace but man has to accept it. The Bible says that Noah condemned others by his obedience.

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