PULPIT: God's Two Covenants With Man Part I
[EDITORIAL NOTE. During the early history of the old South Lancaster Academy in New England, strong emphasis was placed on preparing evangelistic workers who knew our message thoroughly. Those were the days of attack and debate, when students had to be made aware of logical argument on the two covenants. Recently Dr. Alexander Mar tin, of Los Angeles, California, one of our aged and successful lay workers, passed on to us a lengthy outline on this subject. This outline was used at the academy in the 90's while Elder Mattison taught there. We have divided part of this outline into a series of three studies to run consecutively in THE MINISTRY. We know these studies, based mainly on Galatians, will greatly interest our experienced ministers and Bible instructors; and they will also be a valuable guide to our younger workers in their study. We believe it behooves all of us, as opportunity presents itself, to salvage those ideas and methods that made our skilled forerunners such informed students of the Book. L. c. K,]
I. LESSON'S FROM GALATIANS.
A. Allegorical Lessons Pertaining to the Covenants.
1. To what were the Galatian believers turning as a means of salvation? Gal. 4:10; 5:2. To forms and works rather than faith in Christ.
2. By what experience of Abraham are the right and wrong way of serving God illustrated? Gal. 4:21, 22.
3. In verse 21 what law is referred to, which they desired still to be under? Ceremonial.
4. What lesson of character contrast is introduced by the two sons of Abraham? Gal. 4:23.
5. What doctrine is illustrated by these two sons? Verse 24. Two covenants, two Jerusalems. The Sinai covenant a covenant of works.
6. What made Abraham take Hagar to be mother to an heir? Gen. 16:1-4; Gal. 4:23.
7. Before this time what promise had God made? Gen. 15:5.
8. How did Abraham and Sarah reason about this promise? Abraham was eighty-five years old. and Sarah was seventy-five. Gen. 16:16; 17:17. Human reasoning conflicted with God's plans.
9. It confused God's plan for Abraham's posterity. Gen. 16:5-9, 12.
10. In what way did this bondwoman and her son illustrate the covenant made at Sinai? Ex. 24: 3-8. Israel promised to keep God's word by their own efforts. They overlooked the need of divine help. They multiplied laws and ceremonies.
11. What resulted to the nation and the service that centered at Jerusalem? Gal. 4:25.
12. What did Jesus say about Jerusalem? Luke 13:34.
13. What complaint did these religious leaders make against Jesus? Mark 7:2-5. How did Jesus reply? Mark 7:7-9, 13.
B. The Covenant of Promise.
1. At what age was Isaac born to Abraham? Gen. 21:1, 3-5; Rom. 4:19.
2. As age came on, did Abraham's faith in the word of God waver? Rom. 4:20, 21.
3. Why did God wait until it was a human impossibility before granting the word of promise to be fulfilled? Rom. 4:16, 17. To illustrate the infallibility of God's word and the fallibility of human reasoning and human practice.
4. In what way do Sarah and Isaac represent spiritual truths? Sarah represents the New Jerusalem, the city of promise. Isaac represents Christ and the believers who depend upon the words of God for victory.
C. The Two Types.
1. How did Ishmael treat Isaac? Gen. 21:8, 9.
2. What was the attitude of Jerusalem toward Christ and His followers? Acts 2:22, 23; 8:1.
3. What was being done to the Gentile churches raised up by Paul? Gal. 4:16, 17.
4. Will religious leaders who persecute those who believe God's Word share in the reward of promise? Gal. 4:30.
5. In the final struggle of the church, what will those who follow the traditions of men do to those who follow the Word of God? Rev. 13: 15-17.
6. What will be the outcome of this struggle? Isa. 66:5.
7. In the long wait for all the promises of God to be fulfilled, what characteristics will be developed in every true believer? Rev. 14:12; James 5:7, 8.
II. GOD'S EVERLASTING COVENANT.
A. God's Covenant in Christ.
1. What idea does the word "everlasting" convey to our minds? Greek dictionary: "time out of mind, either past or future." Webster's dictionary: "lasting."
2. What is a covenant? An agreement between two or more parties.
3. Whose blood ratifies the everlasting covenant? Heb. 13:20, 21.
4. What did Jesus say about His blood and the covenant? Matt. 26:28.
5. What is the relationship between the everlasting covenant and the new covenant? These two names are applied to the same covenant.
6. When did Christ agree to give His life (blood) for sinners? Rev. 13:8. From the foundation of-the world. 1 Peter 1:18-20. Before the foundation of the world.
7. Was this a voluntary act on Christ's part? Eph. 5:2. He gave Himself.
8. With whom was the agreement or covenant made that Christ would give His blood for sinners? Eph. 3:11. With God the Father.
9. Why should Christ and God then covenant together to save sinners of this world? Isa. 46:9, 10.
10. Did any other being in the universe know of this agreement involving the sacrifice of Christ? 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:26.
11. On the day that Adam fell, what promise did God make? Gen. 3:15.
12. No deliverer during 1655 years. The Flood destroyed all but eight souls. With whom was now God's covenant renewed? Gen. 6:18; 9:16.
13. After 451 years with whom was it again renewed? Gen. 17:5-7.
14. After Abraham, 854 years later, with whom was this covenant then renewed? Ps. 89:3, 4, 34-36.
15. All the tribes of Israel were in captivity and Jerusalem destroyed 450 years after this promise to David, yet how sure was the promise to David? Jer. 33:19-26.
16. Some four thousand years after the covenant of promise was given to Adam, how xvas the word to David fulfilled? Rom. 1:3.
17. What place in the everlasting covenant does this Seed of David now take? Isa. 42:6; 49:8.
18. As the representative of the people in the everlasting covenant, how did Christ relate Himself to the law of God? Ps. 40:8. Christ's own testimony: John 6:38; 8:29; 15:10. Peter's testimony: 1 Peter 2:22.
19. How did Jesus succeed? At Sinai the people promised to keep God's law but failed. Ex. 24:3, 7; John 8:29.
20. What did it mean for Jesus as a man to be sinless where Adam, Abraham, Jacob, David, and all sinners had failed? Heb. 4:15.
B. The Everlasting Covenant Ratified.
1. After a life of perfect obedience, how did Jesus confirm, ratify, establish the everlasting covenant? Matt. 26:28.
2. Who, then, could rightfully become the Mediator between God and sinners? Heb. 8:1, 6.
3. What must be accomplished by this covenant?
a. Adam must see the serpent destroyed by the Seed of the woman.
b. Abraham must see all nations blessed through his Seed, which is Christ,
c. David must see his Seed an eternal king upon the throne.
d. Believers must be saved from their sins. Matt. 1:21.
e. All those washed in His blood must be made perfect. Heb. 13:20, 21.
(To be continued)
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