The Bible is a book of Covenants.
Two main covenants' or Testaments
Hebrew brit literally to cut a covenant.
Greek covenant, testament, testimony.
Covenant had responsibilities/terms, promises/blessings/privileges and consequences/curses.
The sign/token of the covenant
The covenant was ratified (confirmed, endorsed, brought into force) by a sign/token or a ratifying ceremony.
There were mediators, people who enforced the covenant.
Could be made between two equal parties or between two unequal parties (kings and subjects, etc.)
The God of the Bible is a God of covenant.
God is a covenant keeping God.
"Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
(See also Psalm 105:8)
My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.
God's Covenant to Noah and to the human race
Genesis 6:18, Genesis 9:9-17
The token : a rainbow - a token, a sign, a memorial of the covenant.
The most powerful 'kind" of covenant is the blood covenant. It is sealed with blood - meaning life for life.
The Abrahamic Covenant
Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 15:1-21
17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.
18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—
Circumcision - a sign of the covenant
7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
9 And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;
11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.
13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
"covenant of circumcision" (Genesis 17:13 NIV)
This covenant required that Abraham walked in obedience and faith.
God gave the promise and He also signed off on the promise as its Guarantor
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
14 saying, "SURELY BLESSING I WILL BLESS YOU, AND MULTIPLYING I WILL MULTIPLY YOU."
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,
18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
Blessings of the Abrahamic covenant
16 and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—
17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
I will bless you, I will make you a blessing,
Through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
I will give you this land.
You will have victory over your enemies.
Imputed Righteousness - a blessing of faith (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:1-9)
A friend of God (James 2:23)
The ultimate purpose of God's covenant with us is relationship - for us to believe Him and be His friends - as Abraham.
God's Revelation to Moses As Jehovah
3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My name LORD (Jehovah) I was not known to them.
4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers.
5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.
Jehovah or Yahweh, the Eternal, Self-existent One
The Covenant keeping God.
Through time God revealed Himself with many Covenant names, each revealing a little more of who He is:
Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Rapha, Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah-Rohi, Jeovah-Shalom, Jehovah-Tsidkenu, Jehovah-Shammah, Jehovah-Saboath and more.
The Old Covenant - The Law of Moses (Mosaic Covenant)
God gave Moses the Law and established is as a covenant.
7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient."
8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words."
(See also Exodus 34:28)
The law of Moses - ten commandments, the rituals, the priesthood, etc.
Moses and then the Aaronic priesthood became mediators of this covenant.
Blessings of the Mosaic covenant
Deuteronomy 28 Blessings and curse
What did the covenant mean to people
Who is this uncircumcised Philistine - David and Goliath
1 Samuel 17:26
Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
A daughter of Abraham
Satan violates our covenant with God, robbing us off the blessings God has promised us.
Healing is the children's bread
Matthew 15: 21-28
God's covenant promises destroys demonic works. This is received by faith.
Received by faith - The Roman Centurion versus the sons of Abraham
Problem with the Old Covenant (The Law)
Based on the Law (Acts 13:38-39)
Demanded righteousness (Luke 10:28)
Shows our imperfections (Hebrews 7:19)
Strength of sin (Galatians 3:19)
Made guilty, brought condemnation (2 Corinthians 3:9)
Brought death (2 Corinthians 3:7)
Powerless to save (Hebrews 9:9, 10:4)
Many ongoing sacrifices (Hebrews 9:12-13)
Based on animal sacrifices (Hebrews 9:12,16-22)
Sinful mediator (Galatians 3:19)
Remembrance of sins (Hebrews 10:3)
Could not redeem (Hebrews 10:4)
Could not justify (Galatians 2:16)
Could not give life (Galatians 3:21)
Brought curse (Galatians 3:10)
Yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1)
19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.
22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel had prophesied of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 34:24-25)
The New Covenant
Jesus completed the Old Covenant and came to establish a New Covenant.
Jesus Christ, who had been typified by these Old Testament mediators, is the Mediator of the covenant. He inaugurated, fulfilled, and permanently established the new covenant. He did this by becoming the High Priest who offered himself as the Passover Lamb.
A covenant of grace - I am not asking you to "do" things, I am inviting you to "receive" by faith.
Sealed with My own blood. It is my blood that is sprinkled before God and on you. There will be no more need of a sacrifice.
I will be the Mediator of this covenant. He is a great High Priest (Hebrew 7:24-28)
I will give you the free gift of righteousness - I will justify you and make you free from all guilt, shame and condemnation. This gift of righteousness qualifies you to reign in life.
The 'circumcision of the heart' a change of heart - the sign of the New covenant.
I will write my Word in your hearts and minds.
I will pour out My Spirit upon you who will empower you to walk in this New Covenant and also empower you to be ministers of this New Covenant.
Our blessings in the New Covenant
A more glorious covenant (2 Corinthians 3:9)
A better covenant based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6)
Healing and health (Exodus 15:26, 23:25)
Provision and wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Family and children (Psalm 128, Isaiah 54:13, 59:21)
Victory over enemies
Protection and preservation
Abraham's seed and heirs of the promise (Galatians 3:29)
Walking in our Covenant
The ultimate purpose of covenant is relationship, hence we call our relationship with God as a "Covenant Relationship".
We receive and walk in our covenant by grace, in obedience and faith.
We must fight for our covenant rights because there is an enemy who wants to rob us of it. Hence
Hebrews 12:24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel
Significance of the Lord's Table
1 Corinthians 11:23-27
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Describes our relationship with the Lord and with each other
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
By nature God is a covenant God. We are created in His image. It is in our nature to be people of covenant - to make, keep and expect others to keep promise, to live in covenant relationships with each other.