God’s Plan for Salvation: The Covenant
From the beginning, God has described His relationship to man in terms of a covenant. The basic covenant has remained essentially the same. “I will be your God, and you shall be My people” (Heb. 8:10). The Hebrew word for covenant is related to a word meaning “to eat.” Early covenants in the ancient near east were traditionally ratified with a meal, and God’s was as well (Ex. 24:11, Matt. 26:27-29)
God’s first covenant was broken by the Israelites. Though He was faithful, they were not (Jer. 7:23-24). God still desires a people that He can have a covenant relationship with. He has now offered a new covenant with better promises than the old covenant for all those that would seek Him (Heb. 8:6).
God made a covenant with the nation of Israel. Exodus 6:3-7
- God laid out the terms. (Ex. 19:1-6)
- Israel agreed to the terms. (Ex. 19:7-8)
God and Israel officially ratified the covenant. Exodus 24:1-11
- By officially declaring agreement. (3, 7)
- By the offering of sacrifices. (5)
- By the blood of the covenant. (6, 8)
- By a fellowship meal with God. (9-11)
God’s purpose behind the covenant was to make men holy. Leviticus 19:1-2
- The book of Leviticus states, “I am the Lord your God,” over and over.
- Their obedience was to be prompted by the holy nature of God.
God’s covenant was broken by Israel. Jeremiah 7:23-24; 11:10
God promised he would make a new covenant. Jeremiah 31:31-34
- God said of Israel, “You are not My people, and I am not your God.” (Hos. 1:9)
- He promised a day when this would no longer be the case. (Hos. 1:10-11)
- Ezekiel prophesied of this same day. (Eze. 37:11-14)
God has established a new covenant through Christ. Hebrews 8; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
- We have a better sacrifice. (Heb. 10:4-10)
- We have access to better cleansing blood. (Heb. 9:11-14)
- We partake of a “fellowship meal” with God. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)