This Quarter, our Sabbath School lessons are about God’s Covenant with His people, starting with Adam and Eve. A covenant is a promise or promises, like a last will or a marriage. There is a relationship and obligations as in a marriage. In our study we are trying to learn the basics of the covenant and then studied the covenant with Noah, with Abram, Moses, and the New Covenant.
Soon after the world began, sin ruptured the relationship that our Creator had originally established. The Bible lets us know that God’s plan for His people is in place and through Him Salvation has been assured. His death paid the penalty for our sins and His life of complete obedience to God becomes our assurance of the eternal life he intended us to have. When we know Him as it is our privilege to know Him and accept His death in place of ours to pay the penalty for our sins, then our belief in this and acceptance of it becomes our righteousness by faith. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians. 3:29). This tells us that though we are not of the original race God chose as His people, when we become Christ’s, we become Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promise (the covenant).
“Augustine wrote of the human condition: ‘This life of ours—if a life so full of such great ills can properly be called a life—bears witness to the fact that, from its very start, the race of mortal men has been a race condemned. Think, first, of the dreadful abyss of ignorance from which all error flows and so engulfs the sons of Adam in a darksome pool that no one can escape without the toll of toils and tears and fears. Then, take our very love for all those things that prove so vain and poisonous and breed so many heartaches, troubles, griefs, and fears; and robbery, such perfidy and pride, envy and ambition, homicide and murder, cruelty and savagery, lawlessness and lust; all the shameless passions of the impure—fornication and adultery, incest and unnatural sins, rape and countless other uncleannesses too nasty to be mentioned; the sins against religion—sacrilege and heresy, blasphemy and perjury; the iniquities against our neighbors—calumnies and cheating, lies and false witness, violence to persons and property, the injustices of the courts and the innumerable other miseries and maladies that fill the world, yet escape attention.” – Augustine of Hippo, City of God (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1958), p. 519.
Augustine’s quote could apply to most modern cities today; yet he wrote it MORE THAN FIFTEEN HUNDRED YEARS AGO. (emphasis mine) Little about humanity has changed, which is why people want an escape.
Fortunately, however tough our situation now, the future is bright—but only because of what God did for us through the life, death, resurrection, and high-priestly ministry of Jesus Christ—the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant promise made to Abraham that, in his seed, all the families of earth will be blessed. Used by permission from Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide (ISSN 1096,7400) (Standard Edition). Published quarterly by Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1350 N. Kings Road, Nampa, ID 83687-3193, USA.