God’s Covenant with Man (Discipleship Training)
God’s Covenant With Man: Even if Adam and Eve had never sinned, human beings would never have had the right to demand access to God unless he chose to grant us that access. The Bible teaches us that, by grace, God did choose to grant us that access. Moreover, the Bible reveals that God grants us access to him by way of a covenant.
The first covenant God made with Adam in the garden of Eden demanded perfect obedience, but promised eternal life if Adam would obey. When Adam disobeyed, he had no right to expect reconciliation to his relationship with God.
Again, though, by grace, God made another kind covenant: a covenant of grace. This time, the blessings of God’s promises would not depend upon our our obedience, but on God’s promises through Christ Jesus.
At the heart of our entire relationship with God, then, stands this concept of covenant. What, then, is a covenant? Why does God make covenants with us? How does the covenant relationship that God experienced with his people in the Old Testament relate to the covenant relationship that we experience in the New Testament?
To recognize the covenantal shape of our relationship with God, and his relationship with us.
Read and discuss:
- Genesis 2:16–17: The conditions of the first covenant of works: if you disobey, you will die
- Genesis 3:15: The promise of the second covenant of grace
- Hosea 6:7: Although not explicitly stated in Genesis, Adam transgressed a covenant
- Luke 17:10: Even perfect obedience earns us nothing from God; it is simply our duty before him
- Galatians 3:7–10: Blessings in the New Testament are the fulfillment of the covenant promises made to Abraham
- 1 Corinthians 10:1–4: In the Old Testament, they had a baptism and a Lord’s Supper
- Colossians 2:11–12 and 1 Corinthians 5:7: In the New Testament, we have a circumcision and a Passover
- 1 Corinthians 15:42–49: Adam’s natural condition of dust at creation, before the fall, was provisional and temporary; Christ’s glorified, spiritual condition after the resurrection was always the permanent, everlasting goal
Read and discuss:
- Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. 7
- Westminster Larger Catechism #30–35
- Westminster Shorter Catechism #20
- What is a covenant, and why are covenants so important?
- What is the covenant of works/life?
- What is the covenant of grace?
- What is the difference between God’s covenant with his people in the Old Testament and in the New Testament?
- Think about this quotation from Tim Keller: “The covenant is a stunning blend of law and love.” How is this true in the covenant of marriage? How is this true with God’s covenant with us?
- What is one area you might grow in in the way that you receive the administration of the covenant of grace (WCF 7.6; WLC 35)?
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