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Welcome to the World of Covenants

The Power of the Blood Covenant  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A Sermon Series Based on the Book by Malcolm Smith

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I Thee Wed

Story of getting married
Heidi and I made a covenant to each other that day—included words like “I Promise” and “As long as we both shall live”.
We entered into a covenant with each other—a marriage covenant.
In our society, we don’t understand much about covenants
We have contracts—verbal and written
We make pinky promises
But we don’t understand much about covenants
For that reason, marriages are in a sad state.
To many people, a marriage is not much more than a pinky promise “I promise as long as it’s convenient” or “I promise as long as it makes me feel good”
or, more significantly, “I promise as long as you promise”
In ancient times, and in many “Third World cultures” today a covenant was something else, something much, much deeper.
And I am becoming more convinced that unless we understand the significance of covenants, we are going to miss the deep message of the Bible.
In facet if you have read the Bible and got the feeling that the characters of the Bible understood something that you aren’t grasping, you are probably right
Reason: They understood covenants in a way that we don’t
The people of ancient times lived and breathed covenants as naturally as we breathe oxygen
Their whole existence was wrapped up in the knowledge and understanding of covenants.
The collection of writings that we call the Bible is divided into two sections: OT and NT
We are familiar with the word “testament”, but it has fallen out of common usage in our language
We have “Last will and testament”
We testify in court
These have legal ramifications, which is probably the right sense of the word as hopefully we shall see
We give a testimony which usually means we are telling about what God has done for us
As we look at our Bible, a more correct word to use, would be covenant.
We have the old and new covenants
The Old—made with Israel on Mt. Sinai through Moses, their representative.
Law, sacrificial system
The mark of the covenant—circumcision
The New—Called new because it is new. Not just a newer version of the old (example our mini-van)
This is a completely new covenant
Made through our representative—Jesus Christ
The mark—the Holy Spirit who writes God’s law on the hearts of people
Covenant—from the Latin convenire--”to come together or to agree”
Hebrew word—berith; literal meaning, “to bind or to fetter”
It is a binding obligation—as if shackling yourself to someone with chains or handcuffs and throwing away the key
It is the ultimate expression of love and trust and would define or confirm a relationship
This morning I just want to explore for a little bit this subject of covenants for us to get a better grasp on what they meant for the people of old and what they should mean for us today
THE REPRESENTATIVE
Did you notice that as we were talking about the old and new covenants that we mentioned a representative
If we break down this word, “represent”: It means to “re present or to “present again” the will of another.
The representative knows the will and the case of another and can speak for that person or for those people
In our modern legal system-a lawyer
Ancient times—group of people preparing to enter into a convenant with another, they would chose a representative
had to be of the same blood and family of those he represented
as a representative—he figuratively gathered the tribe or family into himself and became their guarantor.
Hard for us to understand because we are individualistic—everyone responsible for keeping their own covenants.
But we may be more familiar with it than you think
Story of David and Goliath
Read (ESV)
8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.”
To the Philistines, Goliath embodied them and their will
And to the Israelites, whomever accepted his challenge would embody them and their will
David wins and then the whole army takes off after the Philistines.
They shared in the victory of their representative-David
THE COVENANT OATH
THE COVENANT SEAL
THE COVENANT MEAL
THE COVENANT PLACE
LOVINGKINDNESS
Their whole existence was wrapped up in the knowledge and understanding of covenants.
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