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Thread: covenant relationship

  1. #1
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    covenant relationship

    It appears to me that men of God, and God's nation, Israel, entered into a *covenant relationship* with God. What do I mean by this? These men, and this nation, actually walked with God, communicated with God, and visibly showed deference to the ways of God.

    In my view, this determines whether we have truly have saving faith or not. We can simply live by godly laws, and do right. But apart from this "covenant relationship" it will not be enough to be enrolled in "heaven." We need a *relationship* with God. And this comes by establishing a proper covenant relationship with God.

    Do you believe this is Scriptural? I believe it is true in both OT and NT Bibles.

    Josh 3.1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from ****tim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    It appears to me that men of God, and God's nation, Israel, entered into a *covenant relationship* with God. What do I mean by this? These men, and this nation, actually walked with God, communicated with God, and visibly showed deference to the ways of God.

    In my view, this determines whether we have truly have saving faith or not. We can simply live by godly laws, and do right. But apart from this "covenant relationship" it will not be enough to be enrolled in "heaven." We need a *relationship* with God. And this comes by establishing a proper covenant relationship with God.

    Do you believe this is Scriptural? I believe it is true in both OT and NT Bibles.

    Josh 3.1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from ****tim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”
    The covenant should be viewed like that of the contemporary suzerain-vassal covenant treaties.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

    John777 exists to me only in quoted form.



  3. #3
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by teddyv View Post
    The covenant should be viewed like that of the contemporary suzerain-vassal covenant treaties.
    That's part of it for sure. But also it is a marriage covenant as well. That is why God had to give them a certificate of divorce.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  4. #4

    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    It appears to me that men of God, and God's nation, Israel, entered into a *covenant relationship* with God. What do I mean by this? These men, and this nation, actually walked with God, communicated with God, and visibly showed deference to the ways of God.

    In my view, this determines whether we have truly have saving faith or not. We can simply live by godly laws, and do right. But apart from this "covenant relationship" it will not be enough to be enrolled in "heaven." We need a *relationship* with God. And this comes by establishing a proper covenant relationship with God.

    Do you believe this is Scriptural? I believe it is true in both OT and NT Bibles.

    Josh 3.1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from ****tim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

    God made a covenant with Abraham and it was an everlasting covenant. The covenant was also discussed by Apostle Paul. But if you notice, the covenant was with God, Abraham, and Abraham's seed (seed being one, "Christ Jesus"). The covenant says that within thy seed (Christ), all the nations of the earth should be blessed. He also said, "I will be their God". The token of this covenant was sealed in circumcision.

    Genesis 17:
    6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
    7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
    8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
    9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
    10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
    11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.


    We Christians are become the children of Abraham through adoption and not only children but heirs to the same promise. We are heirs with God and joint heirs with Christ.
    Romans 8:
    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


    By being a joint heir with Christ, we become a Jew inwardly and we keep the token of circumcision thru the circumcision of the heart.
    Romans 2:29
    "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    And this comes by establishing a proper covenant relationship with God.

    Do you believe this is Scriptural? I believe it is true in both OT and NT Bibles.
    I'd agree with the statement itself but not necessarily with the conclusions people might draw from it. A very important follow-up is how someone enters a saving covenant relationship with God. It's not by following the Law, but faith in Him.

    For it was not through the law that Abraham and his descendants were promised that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith (Romans 4)

    When God made His promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply your descendants.” (Hebrews 6)

    And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15)

    So God declares something, and we either believe Him or not. That's the basis of righteousness as it has always been since Genesis. Hopefully there's no disagreement here

  6. #6

    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I'd agree with the statement itself but not necessarily with the conclusions people might draw from it. A very important follow-up is how someone enters a saving covenant relationship with God. It's not by following the Law, but faith in Him.

    For it was not through the law that Abraham and his descendants were promised that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith (Romans 4)

    When God made His promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply your descendants.” (Hebrews 6)

    And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15)

    So God declares something, and we either believe Him or not. That's the basis of righteousness as it has always been since Genesis. Hopefully there's no disagreement here
    Amen 100%!

    It is also important to know, that this covenant of God transcends the law, meaning it is outside the scope and range of the Mosaic Law.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    That's part of it for sure. But also it is a marriage covenant as well. That is why God had to give them a certificate of divorce.
    I'd view that as more metaphorical language, but related for sure. The actual Sinai covenant is essentially a suzerain-vassal treaty.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

    John777 exists to me only in quoted form.



  8. #8
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by teddyv View Post
    The covenant should be viewed like that of the contemporary suzerain-vassal covenant treaties.
    Thank you. Locating God's sense of a "covenant relationship" would clearly relate to the cultural backdrop, or ancient Near East thinking.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    That's part of it for sure. But also it is a marriage covenant as well. That is why God had to give them a certificate of divorce.
    Bingo! I think from the creation of Man, male and female, this was God's projection of what He envisioned for Man's relationship with Himself, both individually and as a community.

  10. #10
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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by TMarcum View Post
    God made a covenant with Abraham and it was an everlasting covenant. The covenant was also discussed by Apostle Paul. But if you notice, the covenant was with God, Abraham, and Abraham's seed (seed being one, "Christ Jesus"). The covenant says that within thy seed (Christ), all the nations of the earth should be blessed. He also said, "I will be their God". The token of this covenant was sealed in circumcision.

    Genesis 17:
    6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
    7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
    8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
    9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
    10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
    11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.


    We Christians are become the children of Abraham through adoption and not only children but heirs to the same promise. We are heirs with God and joint heirs with Christ.
    Romans 8:
    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


    By being a joint heir with Christ, we become a Jew inwardly and we keep the token of circumcision thru the circumcision of the heart.
    Romans 2:29
    "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
    I find this an interesting subject, and I'm not sure. Was God's covenant only with Abraham and with Christ, and *not* with Abraham's descendants? If God meant "seed" to refer only to Christ, are all of Abraham's descendants excluded from this covenant?

    Perhaps Paul meant to say that the sum total of all of Abraham's *spiritual descendants* could be expressed as "Christ?" After all, all of God's people, OT and NT, are Christ's "body."

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    I'd agree with the statement itself but not necessarily with the conclusions people might draw from it. A very important follow-up is how someone enters a saving covenant relationship with God. It's not by following the Law, but faith in Him.

    For it was not through the law that Abraham and his descendants were promised that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith (Romans 4)
    So here we have Paul create a dichotomy between Law and Faith. Paul certainly did not mean to exclude Faith from the Law. But he seems to have been saying that there are 2 divergent paths which are mutually exclusive--an inheritance by Law and an inheritance by Faith.

    I would then assume that the Law can either be properly used or improperly used. If it is being used as a means of inheritance, exclusive of Faith, then it is an improper use. If, on the other hand, the Law is pursued as an inheritance through Faith, then how can the Law *not* be part of Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    When God made His promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply your descendants.” (Hebrews 6)

    And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15)

    So God declares something, and we either believe Him or not. That's the basis of righteousness as it has always been since Genesis. Hopefully there's no disagreement here
    I would never disagree with Scriptures. However, there was an aspect to following the Law that did involve Faith. I hope you see that?

    Let me put it like this. All Israel was given the promise of a land inheritance in Canaan, and this promise came through the Law. But not all Israel had Faith. Therefore, many were excluded from Canaan and did not obtain the greater inheritance of eternal life.

    Those in Israel who had Faith in the OT followed the Law properly, knowing that they could not achieve their land inheritance apart from God's mercy. By their Faith they also attain to the Faith that we have in Christ, so that Christ's atonement covers our sins, and we can obtain eternal life.

  12. #12

    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I find this an interesting subject, and I'm not sure. Was God's covenant only with Abraham and with Christ, and *not* with Abraham's descendants? If God meant "seed" to refer only to Christ, are all of Abraham's descendants excluded from this covenant?

    Perhaps Paul meant to say that the sum total of all of Abraham's *spiritual descendants* could be expressed as "Christ?" After all, all of God's people, OT and NT, are Christ's "body."
    His covenant was with Abraham, himself, and Jesus. But we are the heirs of the promise. Just look at it like this, we get everything. Just like when someone bequeaths us possessions at death. We are the recipients of the testament.

    Its a promise he made to Abraham and his seed, and he cannot lie. He swore by himself because he could sware by no greater than himself.


    Galatians 3:16
    Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

  13. #13

    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Let me put it like this. All Israel was given the promise of a land inheritance in Canaan, and this promise came through the Law. But not all Israel had Faith. Therefore, many were excluded from Canaan and did not obtain the greater inheritance of eternal life.

    Those in Israel who had Faith in the OT followed the Law properly, knowing that they could not achieve their land inheritance apart from God's mercy. By their Faith they also attain to the Faith that we have in Christ, so that Christ's atonement covers our sins, and we can obtain eternal life.

    If you do a deep dive, you will find that the land of Canaan was promised to Abrahams decedents, but that was not the land nor the city that Abraham was in search of. His heart was to find the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Abraham felt like a pilgrim and a stranger in a strange place. Buy faith, Abraham was wanting to go to his home in heaven to be with God.

    So Abraham was a man of great faith and is an example to all of us today.

    Hebrews 11
    8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
    9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
    10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
    15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
    16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    If, on the other hand, the Law is pursued as an inheritance through Faith, then how can the Law *not* be part of Faith?
    Abraham was declared righteous before the Law, and Romans 4 makes it clear that the promise was not contingent on keeping the law but on God's oath that He took upon Himself. I just have to take what it says at face value.

    Let me put it like this. All Israel was given the promise of a land inheritance in Canaan, and this promise came through the Law. But not all Israel had Faith. Therefore, many were excluded from Canaan and did not obtain the greater inheritance of eternal life.
    Israel (the country's) prosperity in the land was contingent on its law-keeping, but this had nothing to do with the salvation of individuals. All the spiritual blessings came through promise alone. IOW no one in ancient Israel had to take "extra steps" to be saved compared to us Gentiles today. This is how people in the OT were saved:

    Not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” So it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring. (Romans 9)

    Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited - for us who believe [....] Through the righteousness that comes by faith ... Not through the law ... (Romans 4)

    We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile ‘sinners’ know that a man is not justified by works of the Law ... by works of the Law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2)

    Those in Israel who had Faith in the OT followed the Law properly, knowing that they could not achieve their land inheritance apart from God's mercy. By their Faith they also attain to the Faith that we have in Christ, so that Christ's atonement covers our sins, and we can obtain eternal life.
    I'd agree with this. Upholding God's word is fruit of having been justified by faith in Him.
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


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    Re: covenant relationship

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Abraham was declared righteous before the Law, and Romans 4 makes it clear that the promise was not contingent on keeping the law but on God's oath that He took upon Himself. I just have to take what it says at face value.
    Yes, but we have to understand what Paul is talking about. If you say that obtaining promises are contingent upon us keeping *the whole Law,* then obviously we fail. The Law was designed to show us that apart form Christ we are sinners and can do no better than Adam and Eve in obtaining eternal life.

    But serving the Law was also an expression of faith and in hope of Christ's mercy. To say that salvation completely excluded the Law is, I think, completely naïve. It was an avenue of faith in the sense that it expressed belief in both righteousness and the need for Christ to deal with our sins. Without any righteousness at all, the mercy of Christ would be meaningless. Faith in the OT had to have an expression of righteousness. And that was the Law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    Israel (the country's) prosperity in the land was contingent on its law-keeping, but this had nothing to do with the salvation of individuals. All the spiritual blessings came through promise alone. IOW no one in ancient Israel had to take "extra steps" to be saved compared to us Gentiles today. This is how people in the OT were saved:

    Not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” So it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring. (Romans 9)

    Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited - for us who believe [....] Through the righteousness that comes by faith ... Not through the law ... (Romans 4)

    We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile ‘sinners’ know that a man is not justified by works of the Law ... by works of the Law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2)
    I don't agree because obtaining eternal life through the "promise alone" excludes righteousness. And faith, to be real, requires righteous living. (see 1 John 1.6) So in the OT the Law was an honest expression of faith. And in the NT accepting Christ as a form of righteousness is also an expression of faith. It is just that Christ completes righteousness by disposing of all our flaws, OT and NT.

    Nor do I agree that Israel's observance of the Law for national prosperity had nothing to do with saving individuals. It *all* had to do with saving individuals! The Law could not save people for eternity due to the sin nature. But it was an expression of faith that relied on Christ's salvation, who dealt with our flaws.

    Inheriting Canaan was a partial success because by observing the Law Israel did inherit Canaan. But it could never be a lasting possession under the Law due to the sin nature. Israel was doomed to failure.

    And so, the inheritance of Canaan was just the 1st step in Israel's eternal inheritance. It had everything to do with individual and national salvation. They were to know that their inheritance of the land could not last without Christ because sin would infect the nation. But those individuals within the nation could be reconsolidated under a remnant of faith, and thus provide a way for the nation to be saved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah
    I'd agree with this. Upholding God's word is fruit of having been justified by faith in Him.
    I don't know why there is such an aversion to following law among Christians? It is simply that law must be followed with attention to God's mercy in covering our flaws. The laws of God are to be viewed no longer in a preChristian way, showing the need for mercy by temple rituals. Rather, we observe God's laws today by emulating Christ's righteousness, and by acknowledging that his mercy is based not on flawed human rituals, but rather, on Christ's atonement alone. That is, observing God's laws require that we recognize righteousness cannot be completed without atonement from above. We must join our righteousness with God above in order to complete our salvation. At least, that's how I see it.

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