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Systematics for Saplings - Week 6: Covenant

Week 6 Doctrine: Covenant

Day 1 - What is a Covenant?

Scripture - Genesis 15

Devotional - A covenant is a word that means serious agreement or pact. It is more than a simple pinky-promise and can only be broken if one of the people that made the agreement dies. The story that we just read about Abram (who is later renamed Abraham) illustrates how God makes a covenant. Every covenant has blessings and curses. If we keep the covenant, the blessings follow. If we break the agreement of the covenant, curses are sure to follow. When God told Abram to make two lines of animals by cutting them in half, we might feel bad for the animals. However, what God is commanding Abram to do is very exciting. He was making a covenant with Abram. Every covenant has a covenant sign or picture. The animals are just that, a picture for us to understand what the covenant means. In most covenant agreements both members of the covenant would walk between the pieces of dead animals. If either of the covenant members were to break the covenant, they agreed to be put to death, just like the animals were. When God makes His covenant with Abram, Abram never walked through the pieces, only God did. This meant that if the covenant was broken by either Abram or God, only God would face the curse. Abram would only receive the blessing whether He kept the covenant or not. God agrees to face the curse of death from Abram's broken covenant.

Questions -

1. What is a covenant?

2. How does a covenant end?

3. Who walked through the pieces of animals, accepting the curse of the covenant?

Day 2 - Covenant of Redemption

Scripture - Genesis 3:15, Ephesians 1:3-11, & 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Devotional - The covenant of redemption is a covenant made between the three persons of the Trinity. Before God created the world, He made a plan to one day save and rescue His chosen people from their sin. By doing this, His people would be redeemed and He would receive glory. God the Father made the rescue plan, the Son executed the rescue plan, and the Holy Spirit empowered the Son to do His work. In Genesis 3:15 we read that God already knew Adam and Eve would sin against Him. The plan to save humanity had already been made. The promise of Jesus, who would crush the head of our enemy, Satan, was made. Nothing could stop God from keeping the covenant of Redemption.

Questions -

1. What plan was made in the covenant of redemption?

2. Did God know that Adam and Eve would sin before He created them?

3. Could anything stop God's rescue plan?

Day 3 - Covenant of Works Scripture - Genesis 1:28, 2:16-17, Hosea 6:7, & Isaiah 24:5-6

Devotional - Every covenant has blessings and curses. The blessing of the Covenant of Works was eternal life for Adam and all of His kids. The perfect life and fellowship Adam had with God would last forever. When God gave Adam the one rule, “Do not eat of the tree”, He warned of the curse of the covenant...death! The agreement that Adam had with God is called the Covenant of Works. The “works” that God wanted from Adam was perfect obedience. Sadly, we know that Adam did not fulfill the Covenant of Works. Now, God required Adam to die in payment for the broken covenant. Because the blessing of the covenant included Adam's kids, the curse also fell on Adam’s kids. Thank God for the Covenant of Redemption that the Triune God had already made. Remember, God already had a plan to rescue Adam and his kids from the curse of the Covenant of Works.

Questions -

1. What is the Covenant of Works?

2. What “work” did God require from Adam?

3. What were the blessings and curses of the Covenant of Works?

Day 4 - Covenant of Grace

Scripture - Genesis 3:15, Gen 12, Hebrews 12:17 & 39-40

Devotional - After humanity fell into sin, the relationship they had with God was shattered and broken. Thank God for the covenant of Redemption! The great rescue plan was already in place. Because of the Covenant of Redemption, the Covenant of Grace was now possible. The Covenant of Grace was an agreement that God made with His covenant people/elect after they had sinned. God’s faithfulness, the forgiveness of sin, justification, and eternal life was now graciously gifted to His people through the Covenant of Grace. Although Jesus had not been born, died or raised from the dead for the salvation of His people, the Covenant of Grace allowed God to still see His sinful people as friends. He knew that their salvation was sure in Christ. It was by faith that Adam, Abraham, Noah, and David were saved and shown Grace. We are saved by faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Likewise, our forefathers were saved by faith in the promise that Jesus would fulfill the Covenant Of Works on their behalf.

Questions -

1. What is the Covenant of Grace?

2. How does the Promise of Jesus make the Covenant of Grace possible?

3. How were people in the Old Testament saved?

Day 5 - God is a Covenant Keeping God Scripture- Deuteronomy 7:9, & Hebrew 13:20-21

Devotional - Every covenant that God makes with His people is established and upheld because of God's faithfulness, not our own. We have failed to perfectly honor God and our covenants with Him. When we fail, God always creates a way for us to remain in fellowship with Him; even at the cost of His own Son's life. All the covenants are accomplished by the finished work of Christ Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the Covenant of Redemption by His finished work on the cross; buying back what was lost in the fall of mankind. The Covenant of Grace allows God the Father to deal graciously with His people; even while He waited for Jesus’ final redemption for sin. Adam and Eve sinned and broke the Covenant of Works, but Jesus fulfilled the Covenant by perfectly obeying the Father. In Jesus’ resurrection, we are restored, given hope of our own resurrection, and gifted eternal life. Fellowship between God and mankind is restored because God keeps His covenant with His people.

Questions -

1. Does God always fulfill His Covenant?

2. How many Covenants did Jesus fulfill?

3. How does Jesus fulfill all the Covenants?