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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Biblical Covenants: What Are Covenants and What They Mean To The Believer?

Biblical covenants, what are they, why are they and what is a Biblical covenant?

First you should know that God's Word reveals that He is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping, and covenant-revealing God.

The Bible itself is a covenantal book, being divided into the Old Covenant (Testament) and the New Covenant Testament).

Within these two Covenants there are nine progressive covenants which I will explain later. These covenants comprise the purposes of God in both Creation and Redemption, and involve time and eternity.

1. What is a Divine Covenant?
It is a binding agreement and commitment that is initiated by God and is instituted between God and man.

2. What is the purpose of God's Divine Covenants?

To be the vechicles of expression of God's will and purpose for man. The Covenants are then the effective means by which God's will and purpose is fulfilled.

3. Our God is a Covenant God:

A Covenant-Making God (A great manifestation of His love, grace, and mercy for us)
A Covenant-Keeping God (A great manifestation of His faithfulness toward us)
A Covenant-Revealing God (A great manifestation of His revelation to us)
A Covenant-Enabling God (A great manifestation of His power invested in us.)

So now that you know what a covenant is, the purpose of a covenant, and that our God is a covenant God. Let's talk about what makes a covenant.

4. What Constitutes A Covenants?

A. The Words (Promises) (The Father's Word To Us)

1. The Promises- an expressed agreement; either verbally or written.

a. Promises of blessing
b. Promises of cursing
c. Natural, national, and temporal promises
d. Spiritual and eternal promises

2. The Terms- the conditions of fulfillment.
3. The Oath- a solemn affirmation made irrevocable; binding self to its fulfillment.
4. The Book of The Covenant- the written form and specific placement of the covenant.

B .The Blood (The Son's Work For Us) (The Sacrifice, Mediator and Ratifier)

1. The Sacrifice- The Blood and The Body
2. The Mediator- High Priest and The Priesthood
3. The Sanctuary- The Altar; The Tabernacle or Temple

C. The Seal (The Holy Spirit's Work In Us) ( The Executor and Fulfiller)

1. The Seal
2. The Sign
3. The Token

How long biblical covenants last?

5. The Duration Of A Covenant

1. Everlasting Covenants (Divine): They are in effect forever, however in the promises, sacrifices and seal were of temporal elements and could not last forever. (Example. Circumcision replaced at the cross with circumcision of your heart)

2. Temporal Covenants: Made to last for a certain time period. (Example. Mosaic covenant with ceremony of The Tabernacle; The Law was fulfilled with Christ, but the truth of the Covenant remains.)

3. Irrevocable Covenants: God obligates Himself to sustain; "I will......" (The Abrahamic, Genesis 22:17 and The Davidic;
2 Samuel 7:12-14)

4. Revocable Covenants: God obligates Himself to fulfill the promises of the covenant only upon mans's obedience to the conditions attached to it by God. (The Mosaic Covenant; Jer. 31:32 "which my covenant they brake" and Paul spoke of it being abolished 2 Cor. 3:13 and Heb. 8:13)

How Is A Covenant Set Up?

6. A Covenant Relationship Is Established By:

1. Calling: Initiated and formulated by God; then offered to man by invitation.
2. Entering: Man must enter in of his own will through faith and obedience.
3. Keeping: As does God, so must man keep it by faith and obedience.

Final words to take for thought: Each covenant begins a probation cycle:

1. Man's probation in relation to the terms of the covenant given.
2. Man's failure to keep the terms.
3. God's judgment on sin.
4. God's redemptive covenant givenCh

Thank you Jesus for His Grace and Mercy!

In a later post I will talk about The Nine Biblical Covenants and what they mean to us the believer.

Life More Abundantly

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