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The Strait Gate: Entrance to life
GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
God’s mercies brought us everlasting freedom. The Christian is liberated from the bondage of sin and eternal torment. Salvation which was earnestly expected by the prophets finally came the day Christ Jesus was born. God gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins. If not of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, mankind would remain in bondage of sin forever. Our heavenly father by His infinite mercies intervened through Christ.
Salvation of the Christian is about eternal life in Chris Jesus. God started this work of salvation in the life of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who later became the nation Israel. After the resurrection of Christ Jesus it was extended to all human races.
Looking at God’s covenant to Abraham carefully, I could see salvation and mercy from God towards all of mankind. Sin which started with Adam was the problem of man for a very long period of time, and God allowed man to struggle with sin and conscience because Adam disobeyed Him and was not remorseful. After the fall; man still possess that moral sense that would enable him differentiate good and evil but was not able to overcome sin and satisfy conscience. The human race was left to struggle with sin and conscience for a very long time until the coming of the messiah.
God’s covenant to Abraham is an everlasting covenant of mercy and salvation from the Almighty God. God played major role in the covenant making process by making all the promises leaving Abraham with little role to play. Abraham’s part in the covenant making was only the circumcision of the flesh which he and his offspring from generation to generation must observe till the coming of the Messiah. According to scripture, this circumcision was to serve as an outward sign of the inward dedication to God.
The Abrahamic covenant was an unconditional covenant of grace and salvation from God. It was completely different from the conditional covenant of works God established with Israel of Moses days.
God’s covenant to Abraham was without any binding agreement and was carried out only by God. Israel of Moses days had an agreement with God, and it was a binding agreement. God’s covenant with the ancient Israel was not just a promise from God; it was a written agreement between Him and the people. The Almighty entered into an agreement with the Israelites. Unlike the Abrahamic covenant which was promise from God alone, the Jews had an agreement with Yahweh. God gave the people law and they promised to keep the ordinances of the Almighty. Though, God kept His own promises, but the people were not able to fulfill and keep their own part.
Exodus 24:7-8 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people and they said, all that the Lord had said we will do and be obedient. And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord had made with you concerning all these words.
At first, Moses read the testament before them and they all agreed to keep God’s command. However, God kept His own promises but the people wouldn’t keep their own and it attracted severe punishments and hostilities.
Jeremiah 34:18-20 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof, the Princes of Judah and the Princes of Jerusalem, the Eunuchs, and the Priests, and all the people which passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of them that seek their lives and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth.
God’s unconditional covenant to Abraham reveals His immeasurable mercies and goodness. Through His conditional covenant to Israel of Moses days He demonstrated His righteousness and justice. His mercies endure forever though righteousness and justice is the foundation of His throne.
I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Psalm 89:3-4
But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever. 2 Samuel 7:15-16
The above scriptures were promises God made to David; it was not an agreement between Him and David, but an unconditional covenant of mercy and salvation just like the Abrahamic covenant.
Jeremiah 31:31-32 Behold, the days come saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by hand and bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 31:31-32 is fulfilled the day Christ Jesus was born. As stated earlier, God started this work of salvation in the life of Abraham until He finally reached out to the whole world by giving His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the Christian is liberated from the bondage of sin by faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit renders help to true converts every day, and they experience daily progressive sanctifications as long as they continue in faith, abiding by truth with Heaven at heart.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away behold all things are become new. 2Corinthians 5:17
Because of this progressive sanctification and help from the Holy Spirit, the Christian does not struggle with conscience anymore. The Christian depends on Christ’s mercies and grace, His love and faithfulness through the fear of the Lord and a humble heart, in sobriety and by consistent gratitude towards God.
1 John 3: 19-21 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him. For if our heart condemn us God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
Christ Jesus lay down His life for our sins and He is alive forever interceding for the church. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is our forerunner, redeemer and mediator of the new covenant. He took our place and died for our sins and wouldn’t allow us to struggle with sin as long as we continue in faith looking up to Him as our helper by conforming to His basic doctrine. In the other words, if we forsake the pride of this life and submit to yearnings of the Spirit every day, we would receive grace that enables us keep going on daily basis and our salvation is sure. If we forsake His doctrines we are not looking up to Christ.
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