THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-23-04
LESSON TITLE: "IMPORTANT DOCTRINES OF GOD: THE DOCTRINE OF THE COVENANT"
"This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it," Psalms 118:24! Oh, how true these words should be to every follower of God! This is a great day! We should be rejoicing! We must be glad! WHY - We are blessed servants of God able to assemble before His throne on this, the Lord's Day!
I am glad you are with us this morning and thank God you have made the right decision to give this time to your Creator. I look forward to our time spent together today as we sing praises to the Almighty and as we study from His matchless Word! This Morning, I know we will all be edified through our time spent together. So let's all do our part to make this time profitable before God, and furthermore may we use it as a great encouragement one to another!
At this time, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:
Today we want to again take a moment to acknowledge one of the fine congregations which support this work of Christ. Let me encourage our viewers in the Ozark, Missouri area to visit with the Southside Church of Christ.
This congregation provides an opportunity, even this morning, to worship God. Today, their services will begin with Bible classes at 9:30. Immediately after class they will have a worship assembly at 10:30. These brethren also assemble for an evening worship at 6:00 o'clock. A mid-week service is also offered every Wednesday evening at 7:00 o'clock.
So we encourage you to visit with this congregation if you live in their area. If you need any further information about this body of Christ please contact them at (417)581-1047. Their ministers name is, Jerry Keene. We again thank these brethren for helping to make this work of our Lord possible.
Well, it is time to join in our first song of the morning. So, won't you participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "When We All Get To Heaven!"
(SONG # 1)
Consider if you will just how blessed the name of our God is! All the writers of the Bible certainly understood this. For example, in Nehemiah, 9:5, the Levites proclaimed, "Stand up and bless the LORD your God Forever and ever! Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!" Yes our God has a truly wondrous and glorious name, but why? Well, look at the next verse, there we read, "You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You." Brethren and friends I encourage us all to remember just how precious the name of our Creator is! Thus we must laud, worship and magnify His holy name!
Let me end these thoughts by reminding us why we need to understand the importance of the name of God. Well, in Acts 4:12, the Bible says, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." It is only by and through the precious name of God that we can be saved and have eternal life. So let me ask you, "just how important would you say the name of God is?"
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on, "Important Doctrines of God." Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "The Doctrine of the Covenant." So please stay with for this study from God's Word, and I will be leading our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now let's join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Have Thine Own Way Lord."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Since the beginning of time God has certainly made covenants with His people. In fact, if we go back to the very beginning, we find that even with Adam and Eve that God created them, He placed them in the garden and He made an agreement with them. In fact, the very word "covenant" is referred to in many different ways throughout the text. The idea of law. The idea of testament: the Old Testament, the New Testament. The idea of a contract, an agreement. All of these ideas present the same thing being emphasized this morning as the "Doctrine of the Covenant." God certainly did make a covenant with man. And what was that covenant? To who was that covenant? And do we find that at different times that God actually had different covenants for different individuals or different groups of people? I believe today in our study as we discuss the covenant of God, we certainly will understand that He has made an agreement, a law. He has made contracts with individuals in different ways throughout scripture. In fact, we might notice even in our day and time that even in our own lives we often make contracts. We make contracts for loans, or to borrow money. We make contracts or agreements with individuals as far as work, as far as maybe recreation or maybe what we might do, as far as what we might do with our children. We make agreements to help out with different things at the church that we attend. Certainly there are many agreements that we make. There are many things that we say, "Yes, we will do." There are many guidelines that we lay down, as well as that we know are laid down, that we agree to adhere to as if we sign the contract and the other party signs the contract.
Well as we go back to the beginning in Genesis chapter 1, we find this situation then transpiring that God placing them in the garden, creating them in verse 27 of chapter 1, that He then told them in verse 28, that is Adam and Eve, "He blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' And God said, 'See I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth and every tree whose fruit yields seed to you it shall be as food.'" And He goes on there to talk about the agreement that He makes, the things that He mentions to them.
In verse 8 there of chapter 2, He goes on to talk about how He planted the Garden of Eden, how He placed them there and even begins to lay out some information about trees that were in the garden in verse 9, The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that they were forbidden to eat of. You see a covenant? They could not eat. But then the Tree of Life is mentioned as well, that they were freely able to eat of in order that they might live forever. So we see a covenant being made not only with Adam and Eve, but if we continue to study, even with their sons, Cain and Abel. An agreement that had been made, that had been reached, that had been signed by the participants. In fact, we note this because Cain and Abel came before God and made sacrifices on an altar. Why did they do that? Were they making it up? Were they just trying to figure out something...? Certainly not! God had made an agreement with them. They were doing what they felt God had required of them.
We go on to Genesis chapter 6. We find a man named Noah who again did all as was commanded by God and was pleasing in the sight of God. He made an agreement, a covenant. And because of his righteousness, God saved him from the flood because he stood good on his end of the agreement, that is Noah. God stood good also on His end of the agreement. And so again we find a covenant being made. What about then with Abraham? Abraham was a righteous man, a faithful man, the father of faith. Certainly he had a covenant with God and certainly he demonstrated this often in the way that he worshipped God and the places that he would go, in the altars that he made, even when placing his son, Isaac. As the Bible says, "He went over yonder to worship." What was he doing? He was worshipping. Why was he worshipping? God had made an agreement, a covenant, had instructed him in some way and although we don't know a lot about the law at this time, the Patriarchal Laws it's often referred to, that period from Adam all the way to the time and through some of the life of Moses, we find that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and even Joseph worshipped God. They loved God and they gave homage and praise and glory to God. They did it because of the agreement that was made, that God said, "Thou shalt," and they said, "We will." They made the agreement. They signed the agreement. They there had not only agreed, but made contract according to the law and the testament of God, and they were found faithful. One of the key things that we should remember in relationship to a covenant that is proper.
Next we find though that there in the time of Moses that certainly Moses was called. IN the early part of the book of Exodus we find that this man was introduced to us as one who was born and chosen of God, once again, so that at 80 years old after fleeing Egypt and after living in Midian and finding a wife and having a family for about 40 years in Midian, that he then was chosen by God at the burning bush and sent by God to lead the people, that is God's people, Israel, out of bondage, out of the land of Egypt. Well it wasn't about a year or less than a year into the journey that they were making into Sinai, the Sinai Peninsula, after the plagues of Egypt and after Pharaoh had let them go that they there at Mount Sinai were given the law. In act, it is often referred to throughout the Old Testament as well as the New Testament as the Old Law, the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant which had been before. Certainly we find that Israel was bound to a covenant that was clarified well to us in books like Exodus, in books like Leviticus, in books like Deuteronomy. All of these books emphasize the fact that there was certainly a law that had been given. You and I, even in Exodus chapter 20, are reminded there of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were given by God to His people. The Commandments that the Bible tells us were given there at the Mount when the people were afraid and they said, "Moses, please go to God on our behalf and receive the commandments and then tell us." Yes, these commands were made with Israel.
In fact if you'll even look with me on to the book of Leviticus, we have this clarified very well in Leviticus chapter 27. In chapter 27 beginning in verse 34, the Bible there says, "These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai." For who? For you and I? No! The children of Israel. Today you and I might be a spiritual Israel as the Hebrew writer tells us, in a spiritual sense, but we are not literally the children of Israel. This law was given to the people of Israel.
God over to the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy helps us as well. In Deuteronomy beginning there in chapter 5 and verse 1 where Moses calls Israel together and he says, "Hear o Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak and you hear today that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The Lord, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb." Moses says to Israel, "With us He has made the covenant. The Lord did not make the covenant with our fathers, those behind us, but with us, those here today, all who be alive, God makes the covenant." He goes on there in verse 4, "And the Lord talked with you face to face from the mountain and has declared to you from the mountain His Will," and then he goes on to mention the Ten Commandments and even further the Law as is stated throughout the book of Deuteronomy. Who was the Old Law, the Old Covenant, the Old Agreement with? Israel, those who were there that day, their people, their generations.
Further with me if you'll notice in chapter 6, in verses 1 and 2, he reemphasizes the same thing to those people. "Now this is the commandment and this is the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God to keep all His statutes and all of His commandments which I command you, you and your sons and your grandsons all the days of your life and that your days may be prolonged." There we find that the Old Law was given to the Israelites, was given to a people at a certain time and brethren, scripture goes on to confirm that.
Isaiah there in chapter 2 helps us clearly with this thought in verses 2 and 3 where he says that a new day was coming, a new kingdom, a new house of God would be established with a New Law.
Well there Daniel talked about the same thing in Daniel chapter 2 and verse 44 where he said there that again "the law would be given, the kingdom would come and that all would be accomplished in new ways someday." But perhaps one of the best that help us with this, that is of the old, the old prophets, is that of what Jeremiah had to say, the account that he made in Jeremiah chapter 31. There beginning in verse 31, Jeremiah mentions what God had inspired him with. "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt and I put the law in the book and the commands and all that was given there at Mt. Sinai." He says that the day is coming when it will be different, when it will change. But there in verse 33 He says, "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, when I will put the laws in their minds, in their hearts, when I will forgive their sins fully." Well, what is He talking about there? What is He trying to help us understand? Again that we are not under the Old Law. We are under a better, a new covenant.
In fact again, if you'll look now to the New Testament, the New Covenant, the New Agreement, the New Contract that we have been called to keep with our God there in chapter 8, we find the same point, in fact, a quote from Jeremiah beginning in verse 7 of chapter 8 in the book of Hebrews. He states the very same things. Then in verse 13 of chapter 8, I want you to notice what He says. In that he says, "A new covenant...," again just stating what Jeremiah had said. "He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." What are we talking about? We're talking about something greater, something better. We're talking about a new covenant that no longer is written on stone, but written on the heart and mind that is sealed with something different, the very blood of Jesus Christ.
In chapter 9, verse 16, it says there, "Where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of a testator." Why? Because as the testator lives, the man Christ, there is no way the covenant can be put into affect. We move on down in that same passage, verse 28 says, "So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many and to bring in and usher in the new and more wondrous covenant."
You might also notice with me, the same writer there in chapter 12, Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 24, said, "To Jesus who is the mediator of a New Covenant which is sealed with His blood." Brethren, the Hebrew writer clearly helps us to understand that we have a better way now because of Christ. "It's not based on the blood of bulls and goats," as the Hebrew writer said, "but on the blood of Jesus." No doubt that is why in Hebrews 1 and verse 1, it says, "God who had at various times and in various ways had spoke to the fathers in times past, through the fathers. He says in verse 2, "Hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son who was appointed heir of all things through whom also He made the world." He goes on to say, "The one who has died for us and purged our sins with His blood," in verse 3, "and having there," in verse 4, "become much more than the angels. He has by inheritance obtained a much better name even than they." Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:12, as we mentioned earlier, is that verse that reminds us that there is no greater name. It is only through the name of Jesus that we can be saved. You see Jeremiah understood it. Isaiah, Daniel, everybody else understood that a New Covenant, a better covenant was coming that would be based on the Messiah, the Savior, the King that was coming. And when Jesus came, He said, "I'm bringing the kingdom," and He brought it and He died and shed His blood and there in Colossians 2:14 we learn that the Old Law was nailed to the cross because the shedding of blood instituted and brought in the New Agreement, the New Law, the New Covenant, the New Contract that we are to make with our Savior, Jesus Christ and that we today are able to base our faith on, our faith that is required in God, our faith that is so different and not only practiced but also attitude from even the faith that we find of bondage or under the Old Law.
So the thing that I encourage you to do today is to look to the Word of God, to study the covenants and to know that there was different ages and different periods: the old, the new and that today, we have been ushered in under a new, a greater, and better law through the Son Jesus Christ and that you can have eternal life because of what Jesus has done for you. Are you ready to obey?
(SONG # 3 - "Holy, Holy, Holy!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How thankful we should be that God has made a covenant with us, which was sealed with the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Have you submitted to this covenant of the almighty God?