The Covenant Family (01) - Covenantal Concepts
Ephesians 2:12–22 NRSV - Remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ . . . that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace . . . So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
What is your family heritage? What do you want it to be in the future? In this series we will see how God has fulfilled His word in which He promised to undo the fall of Adam by making a new Adam (a new man or a new humanity) in Christ. We will see how this affects your family and community life.
What is a covenant? Yahweh, the Covenant Lord is a God of promises. Promises imply relationship and responsibility. The Covenant is the historical expression of the union of love within the Triune God. The Trinitarian God has been revealing His promise-keeping character in the pattern of promise and obligation in the unfolding story of redemption. The “eternal covenant” (Heb. 13:20) manifests the nature of the the Father, Son, and Spirit. The pentatonic structure of the covenant is: SALVO - Sovereignty, Authority, Law, Vows, Opportunity. (This 5 point model was first observed by Meredith G. Kline in Treaty of the Great King, following George Mendenhall; popularized in Bishop Ray Sutton’s, That You May Prosper).
What are the covenants of the promise? This one redemptive Oath guiding cosmic history (Eph. 3:10-11) has been administered through the biblical “covenants of promise” (Eph. 2:12): Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and supremely and finally declared in the New Covenant and fulfilled through the One Mediator, Jesus. The covenants made under Abraham, Moses, David, the new covenant are successive developments of the one divine covenant intention of redemption. “The covenant” or “the covenants of the promise” are to be livingly embraced in the present tense: “The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today” (Dt. 5:3).
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more