Eternal Covenant Chapter 5

Preaching the Word of God

God Calls … God’s Covenant … Chapter 5

By faith, Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land

Jesus says that His sheep know His voice and follow Him. In the example above, God uses Abraham to show us a picture of an obedient response to God’s call. God told Abram, to leave his country, his relatives, and his father’s house, and go to the land that He would show him and Abram obeyed.

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

We need to understand both Abram’s call and our call-in relationship to God’s Covenant. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts. The Holy Spirit becomes our instructor, teacher, and guide (circumcises our hearts). We must die to self (cut away the flesh) and yield to the Holy Spirit for this to happen. When this happens, we become one of God’s people, He becomes our God, and He dwells with (in) us. This is God’s goal of His Covenant relationship with man. He desires that all come to know Him while here on earth.

God loves man unconditionally in the aspect of being impartial. Being impartial means that God offers His love to all. This is not universalism. Not all will be saved, only those who believe (accept the grace of His Covenant). God does not force a positive response. The Bible states that those who believe in Jesus are not condemned, but those who do not believe are condemned already.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Just as God allowed Adam and Eve to choose to trust and obey, He has allowed each person since Adam to make the same choice. True faith involves repentance and obedience. James says that a live faith produces works. Elsewhere Jesus states that we are to love God with all our hearts, mind, and soul and if we love Him we will keep His commandments. Just like Adam and Eve were tested in the area of trusting and obeying God, so are we.

John 14:15 If ye love mekeep my commandments.

All of God’s covenant revelations starting with Adam can be viewed as cumulative into what we know as the “Everlasting Covenant” which is complete in Christ. Therefore each of the earlier Covenant revelations remains in effect and is accumulative in defining the Covenant. When God revealed His covenant revelation to Adam He said do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for if you do you will die. The New Testament states that the wages of sin (disobedience) is death.

In His covenant revelation to Eve (Satan and Adam) after the fall, God said a “Seed of Eve” would crush Satan’s head. God goes on to reveal to Adam and Eve additional covenant principles such as women will have pain in childbirth, men will toil by the sweat of the brow, and the earth will be cursed with thrones and thistles. All of these, both curses and promises are still in effect. We now know by future revelations that the promised “Seed” that crushes Satan’s head is Jesus Christ.

As we progress through the Bible we will see the seed of Eve, become the seed of Abraham, the seed of David eventually the seed of Mary and Joseph, the Christ!

God’s covenant revelation to Noah included a rainbow as a sign that God would not destroy the earth by water again. After the flood, God allowed men to eat animals for food and established capital punishment. All of these covenant revelations to Noah are still in effect. God’s revelations to Adam, Eve, and Noah contain both God’s law and His grace, both His mercy and justice.

The concepts of God’s Law and Grace are the foundation of our salvation. They also are the basis of the theological “Covenant of Redemption” which includes a “Covenant of Works” based on the concept that one tries to earn salvation by keeping the Law (works). It also includes a “Covenant of Grace” based on the concept that one must realize that he cannot keep the law and then relies on God’s work of grace through the cross. These theological covenant concepts are discussed more fully in appendix B.

During our study of God’s covenant revelation through Abraham we examine four elements; (1) God’s Call, (2) God’s promises, (3) Abraham’s Faith, and (4) Our Faith.

God’s Call

Twenty-five years after Abram had responded to God’s first call, God says I am almighty God. You are to serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you and I will make you into a mighty nation. Abram fell facedown before God. God said to him, this is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of many nations. You will no longer be called Abram, but now you will be called Abraham because you will be the father of many nations. I will give you this land of Canaan to you and your offspring forever. I will be their God. Their part of the agreement is to obey its terms.

God told Abraham that man’s part was obedience. True faith leads to obedience. Adam broke the covenant in an act of disobedience because of disbelief. God’s covenant requirement to Abraham was conditional, not on God’s part, but Abraham and his descendants. They were to “walk blameless” with a circumcised heart before God.

Both here and in Hebrews we find direct statements of God’s requirement upon Abraham for obedience to receive certain blessings of God’s promise. Just as the covenant revelation with Adam was conditional so was the one with Abraham. Also just like the “Seed promise to Eve” was unconditional, so was the “Seed promise to Abraham”. The Bible tells us that the “Seed promise to Abraham” was Christ

The Christian has responded to a call much like Abraham and is to be circumcised spiritually. The Bible says we are to be circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, that this is the putting off the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. A true Jew is not one outwardly; that one is physically circumcised in the flesh, but a true Jew is one inwardly that is circumcision of the heart.

Rom 2:29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise[fn] from God, not from people. (nlt)

God’s call requires that we obey in faith, then we can experience God’s promises. This is consistent with James’ statement that faith without works is dead.

God’s Promise

God’s Word says that God gave the promise to Abraham and his child (seed). Notice that it doesn’t say to his children (seeds), as many descendants, but to One (child -seed) and that is Christ.

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

This agreement was made with Abraham and was not canceled 430 years later when God gave the additional revelation of His covenant through the written law to Moses.

The requirements of the covenant revelation to Moses were added to the earlier covenant revelations to Adam, Eve, Noah, and Abraham, these revelations are cumulative. All of these Scriptures (covenant revelations) looked forward to the time when God would accept the Gentiles based on their faith. This was included in the good news to Abraham when God said to him that all nations would be blessed through him.

God was not speaking of nations as a whole being blessed, but individuals within “all nations” being blessed by faith in Christ. This was a glimpse of the church. God’s offer of salvation is available to all mankind, yet acceptance is conditional and must receive by faith. We must come to Him under His terms and accept His “robe of righteousness” (coat of skins) which is Christ.

Through the work of Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham. All Christians receive the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit through faith. God does not have two plans, one for the Jew and another for the Gentiles. In Romans 3:22 the Bible states” Even the righteousness of God [which is] by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” This “no difference” is referring to both the Jews and Gentiles.

God has the same plan for Jews and Gentiles. Jesus said that He was the way, the truth, and the life and that no man comes unto the Father, but by Him. We, the gentiles, are blessed with the same promise of Abraham. God told Abraham not seeds plural but singular; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.

Nothing is impossible with God. By faith, Abraham and Sarah believed that God could make life from the dead. They both considered their bodies dead of the ability to have children due to their age. Yet, they claimed the promise of God, and Isaac was born.

Abraham’s Faith

The Bible tells us that Abraham believed God and God declared him to be righteous. This was before he was circumcised. The circumcision ceremony was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous. His righteousness was not due to his efforts, but the efforts of God. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but has not been circumcised (believers). They are made right with God by faith.

Abraham is our spiritual father of faith. One becomes a child of God (true Jew) when he is “born again”. We are not a true Jew just because we are born of Jewish parents or because we have gone through the Jewish ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. True circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit.

Abraham was a man of faith. He had believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. The Bible says that by faith Abraham when called obeyed and sojourned looking for a city made by God, and through faith Abraham and Sarah conceived a son by believing God to be faithful to His promises. Abraham was convinced that God was able to do anything he promised. Abraham saw Jesus’ day and rejoiced. He was looking for a city whose foundations were laid by God. When Abraham was tested to offer Isaac, he believed that God could resurrect one from the dead and that God was going to supply “the Lamb”.

Do we have that kind of faith? Are we walking in obedience? God had told Abraham that in his Seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed because Abraham have obeyed. God’s call and promises are conditional, based upon faith (trust and obey). God told Abraham after the test to offer Issac because he had been obedient by faith and offered Isaac, that Abraham would receive the promises!

Our Faith

Are we children of Abraham? Have we responded to the call of God? If we have faith in Christ we are children of Abraham. Paul asked the question has God failed to fulfill his promise to the Jews? His answer was no, for not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew. Just because they are descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them Abraham’s children of faith.

Jesus said if we are Abraham’s children, we will do the works of Abraham. Let us strive to understand what God would have us do. Let us be like Paul and work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

In Romans, Paul tells us that another reason for right living is we know how late it is. Time is running out. We are to wake up, for the coming of our Christ is near. The night is almost gone and the day of Christ’s return will soon be here. Let us not live in darkness. Let us get rid of our evil deeds. Let us shed them like dirty clothes and let us clothe ourselves with the armor of right living.

Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Let us live as those who live in the light. Let us not participate in wild parties and getting drunk, in adultery and immoral living, or fighting and jealousy. But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of us, and not think of ways to indulge our evil desires. Let us be decent and true in everything we do so that everyone can approve of our behavior and give God the glory.

Therefore, since by faith we have been made right in God’s sight, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. He has paid the price for our sin debt.

When Abraham was being tested, Isaac asked him where is the lamb? Abraham replied GOD WILL PROVIDE THE LAMB! He did and that Lamb is Jesus. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!

Let us have the faith of Abraham. You have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Don’t reject His invitation. Accept His robe of righteousness by faith. When the Lord comes let us not be caught without His robe and be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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