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Covenant, Understanding Our Covenant

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I.             Introduction.

A.          It is outlined in my you will study the three major covenants of the Bible from the perspective of how they apply to the New Testament believer.  These covenants are: the Abrahamic; thou Law of Moses or Mosaic; the New Covenant.

B.          The goal of this outline is to give you understanding into New Covenant and how it affects your life.

C.          Listed below are basic definitions of keywords found in this outline.

1.           Covenant.

a)            The Hebrew word translated as covenant in the Old Testament is beriyth.  According to the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, this word means a league, compact or confederacy.

b)           The Greek word translated as covenant in the New Testament is diatheke.  In this tiny arm Hebrews on my bull scholar Kenneth S.  Wuest wrote, "The noun diatheke that 'disposition of property it will, a testament, a compact, a covenant, a disposition.'"

c)            A covenant is a contract signed in blood; an agreement between two parties.  It is like a natural will and testament in death must occur before it can be activated.

2.           Testament.

a)            This word is only found in the New Testament.  It is a translation from the Greek word diatheke.

3.           Testator.

a)            This word is translated from the Greek word diatithemai which literally means to place between two.  Kenneth S. Wuest also wrote, "The word in classical Greek it means 'to rearrange each into their several places, to distribute, to dispose of, arrange as one likes, to dispose of one's property, devise it by will, to make a will, to arrange or settle mutually.'"

b)           The testator is a person who made the testament or a will and is now dead.

4.           Mediator.

a)            A mediator is a person who intervenes between two people (or two parties) with a purpose of reconciling those people or forming a covenant.  This word is used in: Galatians 3:19, 20; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24.

5.           Bless, blessings, and blessed.

a)            In the New Testament scriptures which speak of the covenant blessings, the Greek words translated as bless, blessing, and blessed have the basic meaning of: speaking well of someone; to use fine speech about someone; to pronounce fortunate; to adore someone.

6.           Curse, Percy, cursed.

a)            In the New Testament scriptures which speak of the curses of the covenant, the Greek words translated as curse, cursed, and cursing mean: to declare to be evil or detestable; to denounce; to invoke evil on someone or something; to speak evil of someone or something.

D.          As you come to understand the New Covenant, you will be able to more fully understand how God views you and relates to you. God speaks to His covenant partners in covenant language; therefore, it is important to understand the New Covenant.

E.          To understand the Bible you must first realize that all of God's words are covenant language.

II.           The Abrahamic Covenant Galatians 3:6-9, 14-18.

A.          God's Covenant with Abraham Is a Covenant of Faith and Believe Galatians 3:6-8.

1.           Righteousness (right-standing with God) was accredited to Abraham because he believed God - verse 6.

a)            Abraham's righteousness was not earned through labor or works. Righteousness was credited to his account because he believed - Romans 4:3-8.

b)           Abraham believed God. Abraham was fully assured that God was able to fulfill His promise - Romans 4:20-25.

(1)          This is a description of faith.  Abraham had faith in God.

2.           The sons of Abraham are sons of faith, not natural descendants - Galatians 3:7; Matthew 3:9. This applies to both Jews and Gentiles.

3.           God purposed to justify the Gentiles by faith, making them sons of Abraham-Galatians 3:8.

B.          God's covenant with Abraham is a covenant of blessing Galatians 3:8, 9, 14.

1.           The blessings of the covenant are:

a)            You will be made a great nation; your name will be great; you shall be a blessing; those who bless you will be blessed; all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you - Genesis 12:2,3.

b)           God is your shield, your reward in God will be very great Genesis 15:1.

c)            Your descendents will be as numerous as the stars Genesis 15:5

d)           Your descendents have been given the promise land Genesis 15:18.

e)            God will multiply you exceedingly Genesis 17:2

f)             You shall be the father of a multitude of nations Genesis 17:4.

g)           You shall be exceedingly fruitful, King shall come forth from you Genesis 17:6.

h)           God will greatly multiply your descendants as the stars and the sand. Your (Abraham's) seed (Jesus) shall possess the gate of His enemies; in your seed (Jesus) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed - Genesis 22:17, 18.

2.           In the Abrahamic covenant, only blessings are spoken over those who are part of the covenant (Genesis 15 and 17).

3.           Only one curse was spoken in the establishing of this covenant. The curse applied to those who were not a part of Abraham's covenant. The curse was: those who curse or revile Abraham will be cursed or bound under a curse - Genesis 12:3.

4.           Galatians 3:8 refers to Genesis 12:3; 22:18 when stating that all the nations will be blessed in Abraham.

5.           People of faith, sons of Abraham, are blessed with Abraham Galatians 3:9.

C.          God's covenant with Abraham is a covenant based on the promise Galatians 3:14-18.

1.           A promise is different from a law.

a)            To receive the blessings and inheritance from a law, you must fulfill all the requirements of that law through works Galatians 3:10

b)           To receive blessings and inheritance from a promise, you must believe through faith Galatians 3:14.

2.           Abraham walked in the blessings and inheritance of the promise while he lived on earth Hebrews 11:8-11.

a)            He lived in the land of his inheritance verse 9.

b)           He received the promise child (Isaac) verse 11.

3.           Abraham also believe that he would receive the fulfillment of God's total promise Hebrews 11:12, 13

4.           The promises were spoken to Abraham and his seed, Jesus Christ's Galatians 3:16.

a)            This allowed Abraham, and all of the following generations until Christ, to receive the promised inheritance by believing God's word of promise.  They did not have to fulfill the law of Moses to receive blessings and inheritance in their lives.  Under Abraham's covenant, blessings were received by faith.

b)           Abraham and his descendents were able to receive their eternal inheritance by believing that the promised seed would come Galatians 3:16.

III.         The Mosaic covenant or the law of Moses Galatians 3:10-12, 15-24; 4:1-3.

A.          This covenant between Israel (the Jews) and God was written in the form of laws and decrees.

1.           Blessing was obtained by following every law perfectly Deuteronomy 28:1-14.

2.           Curses came upon those who do not follow the covenant perfectly Deuteronomy 20 8:15-68.

B.          Why the law was given Galatians 3:19-24.

1.           The law was given to reveal and a fine man's sin and wrong actions Galatians 3:19

a)            the law showed that all people were under sin Galatians 3:22; Romans 3:23.

b)           The sin of all was revealed so that all could receive mercy Romans 11:32; 5:20, 21.

2.           The law was given to show all people that they could not obtain righteousness through following the works of the Law Galatians 3:10-12, 21.

a)            The people found that they were under the curse of the law, not the blessings (Deuteronomy 20 7:26; 28:15), because no one was able to abide by all the things written in the law Galatians 3:10.

b)           Righteousness can only come through faith, not by works of the Law Galatians 3:11; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38; Habakkuk 2:4.

(1)          This is because the law is not based on faith but on practicing the laws and instructions found within it Galatians 3:12; Leviticus 18:4, 5; Romans 10:5.

3.           The law was a tutor until the seed of promise came Galatians 3:23, 24.

a)            The law kept the people in custody Galatians 3:23; Romans 11:32; Galatians 4:1-3.

b)           The law revealed sin, and then, like a guide, the law led the way to Christ who was the offering for sin Galatians 3:24.

C.          The relationship between the Abrahamic and the Mosaic covenants Galatians 3:15-18.

1.           A covenant is everlasting in nature unless one of two things happens.

a)            If all terms and conditions of the covenant are satisfied and fulfilled, then the covenant is no longer binding.

(1)          A modern example of this is a legal contract (covenant) between a potential buyer and a seller of land.  This is a contract stating that the buyers commitment to purchase the land and the sellers commitment to sell to that buyer for an agreed amount of money.  When the buyer pays the agreed amount of money to the seller and the seller gives the title deed to the buyer, the legal contract no longer exist because the conditions have been fulfilled and satisfied.

(2)          Note: some covenants are formed in such a way that the terms and conditions can never be fulfilled or completely satisfied.

b)           If one or both parties of a covenant cease to exist the covenant no longer is valid.

(1)          Under the provisions of Psalm covenants, the covenant is only valid for a single generation or for a specified number of generations.

(2)          In other cases it is possible for one or both parties to reach a place where no one remains from that party (original generation or errors) to enforce the covenant.

(a)          An example of this would be if two races of people cut a covenant and later all of the people of one or both of the races died.  The covenant would no longer exist because the two parties and their heirs would no longer exist.

2.           God's covenant with Abraham existed when the Mosaic covenant was cut.

a)            The conditions of the Abrahamic covenant had not yet been fulfilled because they had been given by promised to the seed of Abraham.  The seed was Christ Jesus and He had not yet come Galatians 3:16.  (Refer to III. C. 1. a.)

b)           The two parties, God and Abraham's descendents, still in exist at the time of the Mosaic covenant.  (Refer to III. C. 1. b)

(1)          According to the Bible, Abraham still lives Matthew 22:32.

(2)          Two types of Abraham's descendents still live: his spiritual seed (sons of Abraham) and his physical seed (the Jews and the Arabs).

(3)          God is eternal.  He has always and will always exist.

3.           The Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants coexisted Galatians 3:17, 18.

a)            The Abrahamic covenant existed for 430 years before the law of Moses.

b)           The law did not invalidate Abraham's covenant in any way verse 17.

c)            The law does not nullify the promise which had been given by God verse 17.

d)           The law did not grant the people he inheritance given to Abraham because that inheritance was given by promised, not by law (verse 18).

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