Monday, August 18, 2014

Let's Talk About.. Covenants

Covenants. They are probably one of the most exciting things I studied while in seminary. They seriously fascinate me. It's like a moth to a flame kind o' thing. My last semester of school paired Old Testament and Marriage & Family. Let's just say it was a covenant kind of semester! I seriously used to be a "let's hold back from the OT" kind of person, but now I love it, especially after studying the covenants. Saturday night I convinced the fella (though let's be real, it didn't take much convincing) that we should talk about the covenants. And so we did!

There are several major covenants of the Bible, as follows. Read up on them!
Adamic - Genesis 2 (though not studied near as much as the others, yet key)
Abrahamic - Gen 12, 15, 17
Mosaic - (conditional) Exodus, just enjoy!
Davidic- 2 Samuel 7
New (Predicted/Fulfilled) - Jer. 31 is one of many.

Covenants are important because their purpose involves God revealing more of Himself to His people. It is His continuous revelation of Himself at key moments in redemptive history. Here are a few things:

  • Suzerain and vassal treaty - mirrored in the Mosaic covenant, which was conditional. If the people did this, God would bless them - going into Promised Land, defeat of enemies etc.. If they didn't do this, they would be cursed - banishment from Promised Land, exile etc. The Mosaic covenant is similar to a Suzerain and vassal treaty because with this type of treaty the king declared to his subjects what he had done for them and what he would continue to do to protect them. He is deserving of obedience because of all he has done. Let's just take a moment here. Our King is greater than anyone to rule after Moses. Our King is Jesus. I struggle forward each day to recognize all that Our King has done for us and praise Him for it. He simply asks for my obedience- In return, He has given me everything!
  • The Mosaic law was temporary nature. Apparently I am just stuck on Moses. The law held requirements to be met to go before God. We/The Israelites were not perfect to go before God, so they relied on the appointed, yet imperfect, Levitical priests to make atonement. The Mosaic law was meant to point to a greater One who would meet all the requirements for us. Jesus. Christ as fully God and fully man was able to come and meet those requirements on our behalf. He is not a Levitical priest but is from the order of Melchizedek. Read in Hebrews 7 this morning. It all tied into Sat night's discussion. Jesus was established as the high priest forever.. forever to go before God on our behalf. He was sworn in by oath, meaning that God swore on Himself that He would be our priest forever/permanently.  He is the "bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." (5:19).
  • The sign of the New Covenant is baptism. We must be judge for our sin. Baptism is a representation of passing through judgment. There is a literal dying that takes place when we go under the water because of our sin. However, when we emerge from the water, we are confident and assured that we have new life and are living to Christ. (Galatians 2:20) We are new.
I know that some of this may be a lot and confusing. And like where did that come from? But it's all there. If I can encourage in one thing, it's this. Live the life that has been proclaimed for you upon emerging from the waters. It's hard. I won't lie. The enemy loves to get someone down, or discouraged, or worried. Yet, in Him we have complete rest. Through belief, we have complete rest. We have a new life that will battle the flesh at every moment, but He promises to give grace that is sufficient. It is a reliance upon His grace that moves us forward to that which He has called us.

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