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GO TO PART 2a-covenant-with-god

I. Introduction

a. Following the Noahic Covenant, the next Covenant God makes is the Abrahamic Covenant.

b. Be conscious of one’s hermeneutics

i.      The same principles (hermeneutics) in interpreting the Noahic Covenant will be employed here as well.

ii.      Beware of sudden shifts in heremenutical principles when we move away to other Covenants after the Noahic.

iii.      Be aware of hermeneutical consistencies, beware of hermeneutical inconsistencies.

II. Setting of passages on the Abrahamic Covenant

Explanation:

a. Abram’s call out of his country (Genesis 12:1-3)

b.Abram after parting of ways with Lot (Genesis 13:14-17)

c. Actual Land Grant Covenant (Genesis 15:18-21)

d. Covenant ceremony (Genesis 17:1-27)

III. Recipients

a. Abram

i.      Genesis 12:1

ii.      Genesis 13:14

b. Nations

i.      “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse…” (Genesis 12:3a-b)

IV. Promise

a. Blessing to Abraham

i.      Genesis 12:2b

ii.      Genesis 17:2b

b. Abraham’s name will be great (Genesis 12:2c)

c. A great nation from Abraham’s line (Genesis 12:2a)

d. All the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3c)

e. Promise Land forever to Abraham’s descendants

i.      Genesis 13:14-15, 17

ii.      Genesis 15:18-21

iii.      Genesis 17:8

f. Numerous descendants (Genesis 13:16)

g. Multitude of nations from Abraham (Genesis 17:4-6)

h. Child of the Covenant promised: Issac (Genesis 17:19, 21)

V. Requirement

a. Nation’s relationship will be reciprocated: “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse…” (Genesis 12:3a-b)

b. Renaming of Abram and Sarai (Genesis 17:5, 15)

c. Circumcision (Sign)

i.      Of Descendants (Genesis 17:9-10)

ii.      Of Slaves and servants (Genesis 17:12-13)

iii.      Punishment if not circumcised (Genesis 17:14)

iv.      This is a sign: “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.” (Genesis 17:11)

VI. Is the Abrahamic Covenant forever?

a. The Conditions of the Covenant explicitly states the case

i.      Genesis 17:7 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.”

ii.      Other passages: Genesis 13:15, Genesis 17:13, Genesis 17:19

b. Other Old Testament indications

i.      1st Chronicles 16:16-17

ii.      Psalm 105:8-11

“He has remembered His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.
Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To
Israel as an everlasting covenant,
Saying, “To you I will give the
land of Canaan
As
the portion of your inheritance,”

c. New Testament indications

i.      Hebrews 6:13-14, 17-18

If God can make a promise that still stand in effect in the New Testament era, how much more will God’s Covenant stand?

ii.      Galatians 3:15-18

1. Covenants are forms of promises (cf. v.17)

2. Covenants can not be set aside or nullify (v.15, 17)

3. God made a covenantal promise to Abraham (v.16)

4. Therefore the Covenant to Abraham stands (v.18)

GO TO PART 4

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a-covenant-with-god

I. Definition

a. A Near Eastern form of literature that offers “a binding agreement between two parties…”[1]

b. “Covenant in the OT essentially incorporates a legally binding obligation.”[2]

II. Two forms of Covenants

a. Note: Covenants appear throughout the Ancient Near East during the era of the Old Testament.  It seems that the Old Testament intentionally structure the format that appear around them.[3]

b. Voluntary partnership

i.      Both parties enter into the covenant voluntarily.

ii.      The terms of the covenant is agreed upon bilaterally.

iii.      Examples include Jacob and Laban (Genesis 31:54) and David with Jonathan (1st Samuel 18:3-4).

c. Imposed by a superior on a subordinate

i.      “It usually designates an agreement made to or for, not with, the subordinate, depicting a legally binding promise which one party makes toward another.”[4]

ii.      The terms of the covenant is agreed upon unilaterally.

iii.      Examples include Noahic, Abrahamic and Davidic Covenant.

III. Elements of a Covenant

a. Pledges or gifts

b. Signs

i.      “Though similar to a pledge or gift, which was given when enacting a human covenant, the sign of a divine covenant was generally a repeatable memorial.”[5]

ii.      Examples include: Circumcision and the Rainbow.

c. Witnesses

Can be others or God

d. Consequences

i.      Blessings

1. Obedience to the covenant bring forth good fruits.

2. Positive consequences.

ii.      Curses

1. Disobedience to the covenant bring forth severe punishments.

2. Negative consequences.

e. Promises

i.      Covenants are forms of promises.

ii.      Covenants with God depends on God to fulfill it.

f. Conditionality

i.      This is only for covenants that are of voluntary partnership.

ii.      Not the case for covenants that are unilateral.

IV. Identifying Biblical Covenants in the Bible

a. By Biblical covenants, this syllabus is referring to covenants that include God as a party.

b. We can only know the covenants that God made from what He has revealed to us in His Word.

c. Given the above, there is no room for any man-made ideas of covenants that are the result of speculations.

d. Therefore, Biblical covenants are identified by what the Scripture explicitly identify as covenants.

i.      While covenants are promises, not every promise is a covenant.

ii.      As a result, covenant can only be identified when it is called a covenant.

V. Importance of Covenants in Hermeneutics

a. It is a frequent theme found in the Scriptures

i.      “The covenant idea itself, first mentioned in Genesis 6 during the days of Noah, is intricately woven into the fabric of the biblical account all the way through to Revelation 11 where the “ark of His covenant” reappears in the temple. The word itself occurs in 27 of 39 OT books and in 11 of 27 NT books.”[6]

ii.      Given how frequently it is mentioned, it is important to understand the Covenants that appear in the Bible.

b.      It is God’s promise found in the Scriptures

i.      Covenants are the thread that goes through the entire Bible.

ii.      The Bible is about God as the Hero: He is the one who will keep His promises.

iii.      “For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute.  In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold ofthe hope set before us.”  (Hebrews 6:16-18)

 


[1] Bill T. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer, Readings From the Ancient Near East, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic), 96.

[2] Irvin Busenitz, “Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: The Noahic Covenant and the Priestly Covenant”, The Master’s Seminary Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 1999), 173.

[3] Bill T. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer, Readings From the Ancient Near East, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic), 96.

[4] Irvin Busenitz, “Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: The Noahic Covenant and the Priestly Covenant”, The Master’s Seminary Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 1999), 176.

[5] Ibid, 178.

[6] Irvin Busenitz, “Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: The Noahic Covenant and the Priestly Covenant”, The Master’s Seminary Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Fall 1999), 173.

 

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Bible 2

 

Ideally in a perfect world, I would love to develop and teach a four level hermeneutics course and lecture series.  Level One would be Introduction to heremeneutics.  Level two on the Literary Forms/Genres found in the Bible.  Level three would be on the covenants of the Bible and it’s hermeneutical implications.  Finally level four would be a course on Logic.  Then there’s other hermeneutical topic that deserve to be taught in it’s own right as well (perhaps as an elective?): how does the NT uses the OT, and Finding Christ in the Scriptures, etc.

I have made Level one and two available online.

Beginning next Saturday, Lord willing we will feature outlines as teaching aides going over the covenants that are explicitly found in the BIble that has hermeneutical implications.

It will be a short series.

Stay tune!

And pray!

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