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OTC Old Testament Challenge - Message 3 - Covenants
Mr. Cal Rychener, Senior Pastor Northwoods Community Church ^ | 9/19/2007 | Mr. Cal Rychener, Senior Pastor Northwoods Community Church

Posted on 02/10/2008 7:10:27 AM PST by Forgiven_Sinner

Old Testament Challenge 3 – Covenants

From a book By John Ortberg with Kevin & Sherry Harney

On line links: Northwoods Community Church

Willow Creek Church

Genesis 12 Abram begins a covenant with God. There are a variety of covenants in the Bible. There is a bilateral covenant; that is one made between equals. An example is between David and Jonathan. There are marriage covenants. There are unilateral covenants. These are made between unequal parties, between a king and his subjects. Covenants occur 285 times in the Old Testament.

Genesis 15:18 The Lord cut a covenant. When people made covenants, they would cut animals in half to mark a covenant. People would walk between the pieces. The meaning of this ceremony was if we break the covenant may we be cut in two pieces like this animal. God passed between the animals.

This was very serious.

Jeremiah 34: 18 The men who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces.

This was a unilateral covenant—Abram does not walk between the pieces. What does God covenant with Abram? Believe me! Without obedience, there is no faith.

Genesis 17 God gives Abram the sign of the covenant—circumcision. This reminds them of the covenant in each sexual act.

The new covenant is in the blood of Jesus Christ. Matthew 26:27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

There are six phases of faith.

1. The Dream phase – Genesis 12:1-3 God’s desire is to bless the world. He did it through Israel. Abram was 75 years old and he had to leave his home. He left Haran without knowing where to go. God rarely reveals the whole plan at once.

2. The Decision phase – Abram must decide whether to obey. Genesis 12:4, Hebrews 11:8. Northwoods Community Church started as a church plant in 1990 with no knowledge of Peoria by Cal and his wife Susan, nor with knowledge of where they would meet. Faith involves risk. We must step out on faith.

3. The Delay phase – a time gap. Faith is tested. Genesis 13 Abram and Lot separated. Abram rescues Lot from invaders. Verses 18-20 Abram gives one tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek. Tithing is a test of faith. Genesis 15 A son will come and become many nations. Genesis 15:6 Abram is called righteous by faith. Genesis 16:1 There were 11 years of delay by the time Sarah decided to give Abram her servant Hagar. Beware of taking things into our own hand, like Sarah did. But God was still faithful, despite Abram’s sins.

4. The Difficulty phase - Twenty four years later, Abram was 99. Genesis 17:1-17—Abram means “exalted father”. Abraham is his new name. It means “father of many”. It was embarrassing when he was 99 without a son. God calls things before they are.

5. Dead end phase – Genesis 22:1 God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son—for whom he waited 25 years. When you feel helpless—you’re in this stage. Hebrews 11:19 Abraham reasoned God could raise him from the dead.

6. The Deliverance phase – Jehovah Jireh – God will provide. God provided Isaac after 25 years of waiting, when Sarah was barren and post menopausal. "Isaac" means "laughter". God provided a ram in place of Isaac for Abraham to sacrifice. We go through these six steps of faith many times in our lives. Hebrews 10:35-36 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: abraham; covenants; genesis
Here's the third installment of this series.
1 posted on 02/10/2008 7:10:30 AM PST by Forgiven_Sinner
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To: LiteKeeper; WileyPink

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2 posted on 02/10/2008 7:12:01 AM PST by Forgiven_Sinner (For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not die)
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