Freedom Follows Following: Covenant Commitment, Cost, and Communion





Sermon Notes

Understanding the Covenants

  • parties to the Covenants 

  • the responsibility to deliver them

  • how they impact the Church of Jesus Christ

  • our appropriate response to God’s Covenant promises and blessings 

Two Types of Covenant

  • Conditional – “I will” and “if you will”

  • Unconditional – “I will”

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The Promised New Covenant 

Jeremiah 31:31-34
“The time is coming," declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.  This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord.  "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the Lord.  "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

The Practice of Covenant

  • Commitments made through swearing oaths

  • Berit – literally means “to cut” 

  • Blood sacrifices sealed the covenant

  • Commitment their lives

  • Required integrity

Contrasting Covenants and Contracts

  • Contracts have end dates, exit clauses, highly specified

  • Covenants don’t have end dates, no exit clauses, covers a persons life

Covenant as a Framework

  • Covenants frame God’s plan of salvation and His coming Kingdom

  • Like a builder’s framing a structure, a painter’s use of frames

Three Great Covenants of the Old Testament

Foundational Covenants

Abrahamic Covenant

  • Unconditional, eternal – God solely responsible

  • Key promises include the land, the “seed” and the blessing

  • Important then and still important today

Mosaic Covenant – the Law  

  • Conditional – both God and Israel are parties to the promises

  • Blessings for keeping it, curses for breaking it

  • Defined righteousness, the holiness of God, the sinful condition of humanity

The Law Convicts, Doesn’t Save

Romans 3:20
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” 

Galatians 3:10-11a
“All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law,”

Davidic Covenant

Unconditional, Eternal Covenant

2 Samuel 7:11-13,16
“The Lord declares to you that
the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever… Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever." 

Amplifies the Seed promise from the Abrahamic Covenant

The Promise of a New Covenant

  • Recipients are reunited Kingdom of Israel and Judah

  • Will replace the Mosaic Covenant

  • Unconditional and Eternal Covenant

  • New Mind and New Heart

  • New worship, New relationship

  • Forgiveness of sins and penalty

A Parallel Prophesy

Ezekiel 36:24-28
“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”

A Key Promise

  • Unconditional Covenant – 8 “I will” statements

  • Promise of the Holy Spirit to be within the recipients of the Covenant

  • It is to be received in Humility and Gratitude

New Covenant Inaugurated

Luke 22:20
This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

  • Eternal and Unconditional

  • Blood Covenant – His blood sealed it

  • Replaces the Mosaic Covenant

Romans 8:3
“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.”

God’s Covenant Plan of Salvation

Gentiles Become Recipients

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Galatians 3:7-9
“Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."  So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

Receiving the Promises

  • a new heart, 

  • a new mind,

  • a new Spirit, 

  • a new way of worshipping God, 

  • a new relationship with God, 

  • and the forgiveness of both the offense and penalty of our sins!

Receive the Unconditional, Eternal gifts of God  

Our Response: Communion

  • Intimate fellowship with Jesus

  • Spiritual Union with Jesus 

  • Come humbly with gratitude