The Covenant of Promise (Part 3) NY
25 Aug 2018
The difference between the Old Testament Abrahamic covenant and the new covenant of grace is that under the old covenant, no faith was needed to receive God’s promises. All that was necessary was to be a descendant of Abraham by blood. Under grace, belief in what Jesus did is the only requirement to receive the promises. This radically impacts every area of our lives. Under the old covenant, only certain people were eligible to be blessed; everyone else was excluded. Under grace, all who believe are blessed. Every division and limitation is erased in Christ, and we are equal in Him. The blood of Abraham is no longer necessary to inherit the blessings when we have the Spirit of Christ.
- Faith marks the difference between the covenant of the law and the covenant of grace.
- Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:11, 12).
- The Abrahamic covenant was unconditional and based on Abraham’s bloodline. The only thing necessary to qualify for God’s blessings was to be a descendent of Abraham.
- This covenant was a shadow of the new covenant of grace. Under grace, all we need to do to qualify for the blessings is to believe in Jesus.
- Under the new covenant, there is no “average” for born-again believers. We receive abundant blessings by our positive response to what Jesus did.
- As believers, we must be covenant-minded. If we are not aware of the present covenant in place, we have no hope.
- Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:13, 14).
- The promise was only made to Abraham and to Christ. To benefit from the promise, a person must either be in Abraham or in Christ.
- We cannot say that God blessed Abraham because Abraham kept the law, because the law came much later. Abraham was blessed because of his faith.
- 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. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe (Galatians 3:16-22).
- “The seed” is Jesus Christ.
- The cross removed the threat of punishment that was always present under the law. We now keep God’s laws not out of compulsion, but because we want to.
- The curses that were in effect under the law have been broken for born-again believers.
- How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed?... (Numbers 23:8).
- When someone tries to speak a curse against us, we do not have to accept it. When we hear something that contradicts what God promised, we must speak against it and condemn it.
- No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord (Isaiah 54:17).
- But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:23-29).
- In Christ, there are no divisions according to race, religion, social class, or gender.
- Believing God’s promises empowers us to succeed and prosper in everything we do.
- Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3).
- Under the old covenant, God told Abram that He would reveal to Abram where to go. Under the new covenant, we now have the Holy Spirit to show us the way.
- “Bless” in this context is to empower to succeed and prosper. “Curse” is to empower to fail.
- God wants the best for us; God’s best is to be blessed all the time. When we are blessed, we can be a blessing to others.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
- To be blessed means we are instruments of God’s favor.
- When we became born again, we became heirs to God’s blessings. This means we do not have to work to get Him to bless us because we are already blessed.
- The blessings have already been made available, but we must respond to them.
- The blessings are in Christ. Once we are in Him and He in us, then the blessings are also in us.
- They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield. The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth (Psalm 115:8-15).
- We can depend on God for our help and protection.
- Increase is a result of the blessing. To experience increase, we must first think it.
- We do not need to limit ourselves. Religion teaches that lack and insufficiency is humble; this is wrong-teaching. We must not be afraid to agree with the God of increase.
- Whenever Jesus showed up, He brought increase and multiplication.
- Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes (John 21:5, 6).
- And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten (John 6:11-13).
- And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine…Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim…When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now (John 2:3, 7, 9, 10).
- Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee (Matthew 17:27).
Ephesians 2:11, 12
Galatians 3:13, 14, 16-29
John 21:5, 6
John 2:3, 7, 9, 10