Pat’s Chat (October 14)


Lesson 3 The Everlasting Covenant

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 12:1–3, Rom. 4:1–5, Exod. 2:24, Deut. 5:1–21, Deut. 26:16–19, Deut. 8:5, Matt. 28:10. 

Memory Text: “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” (Genesis 17:7, NKJV). 

“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6, NKJV). Notice, “the everlasting gospel,” everlasting as in always existing, as in having always been there, as in having been promised to us in Christ Jesus “before time began” (Titus 1:2, NKJV). Hence, it’s no wonder that the Bible talks at other times about the “everlasting covenant” (Gen. 17:7, Isa. 24:5, Ezek. 16:60, Heb. 13:20), because the essence of the gospel is covenant, and the essence of the covenant is the gospel: God out of His saving grace and love offers you a salvation that you do not deserve and cannot possibly earn; and you, in response, love Him back “with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30, NKJV), a love that is made manifest by obedience to His law: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3, NKJV). This week we will look at the idea of the covenant as expressed in the book of Deuteronomy, where the covenant and all that it entails is made manifest.

Sunday The Covenant and the Gospel

All through the Bible, the covenant and the gospel appear together. Though the idea of covenant existed before the nation of Israel (for example, the Noahic covenant), and though the covenant promise was made before the nation of Israel existed, it was expressed prominently through God’s interaction with His people, starting with their fathers, the patriarchs. And even from the start, the central truth of the covenant was the gospel: salvation by faith alone. Read Genesis 12:1–3, Genesis 15:5–18, and Romans 4:1–5. What was the covenant promise made to Abram (later Abraham), and how is the gospel revealed in that covenant promise?

Abraham believed God, believed in God’s promises to him, and thus he was justified before God. This declaration, however, was not cheap grace: Abraham sought to uphold his end of the covenant by obedience, such as seen in Genesis 22, at Mount Moriah. All this, even though “his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5, NKJV). That’s why, centuries later, Paul would use Abraham as the exemplar of what it means to live by the covenant promises God had made with His people. This theme echoes throughout the Bible. Paul brought it up another time in Galatians 3:6, where he again quotes Genesis 15:6, about Abraham’s faith being “accounted… to him for righteousness” (NKJV), and he refers back to the promise first made to Abram about all nations being blessed in his seed (Gal. 3:8, 9). The covenant promises are made to all, Jew and Gentile, who “are of faith” (Gal. 3:7) and, thus, who are justified by faith without the deeds of the law—however much they are obligated, because of the covenant, to obey the law. Even when Jeremiah talks about the new covenant, he does so in the context of the law: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer. 31:33, NKJV), reflecting language that goes back to the book of Leviticus: “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Lev. 26:12, NKJV). How does the covenantal idea of the law and the gospel together fit so perfectly with the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, God’s final warning message to the world?

If this interests you and you would like to see the lessons for the other five days this week, just go to https://buckhannon.adventistchurch.org then click on Sabbath School Lesson for the other day’s studies.

Of course, the quarterly looks different and you will be given a quarterly if you come to our church for the 10:30 a.m. Sabbath School Study. If you cannot attend, you can get the lesson off the Facebook address given above and join some of us who go onto Zoom and use the ID  961 201 57208 # (use the hashtag if needed).  If you do not have Zoom, you can reach us by calling 1-201-715-8592#

MARANATHA!

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