Why does God make covenants?

Watch the complete sermon here: https://www.bridges.church/messages/the-veil-is-taken-away-2-corinthians-3-7-18-4-3-7/

Friends. This week’s question has to do with why does God make covenants with people? I shared this last Sunday that God is a God who not only makes covenants with people, he enters into covenant relationship with them, but he’s a God who you can only relate to through a covenant relationship. That idea of a covenant is something that we often don’t think about a lot because it’s just a word that typically doesn’t come up in our normal conversations. Probably the classic picture, humanly speaking, of a covenant relationship would be that of what God designed marriage to be.

A covenant is simply a promise, a promise made between two or more people in the form of sort of a partnership, where one party is saying, I’m going to do this, and then the other is promising, I’m going to do this. It’s a promise is really what it is. Both parties are coming together in order to accomplish a common goal. And so that is what God designed marriage to be. But God.

Throughout scripture we see as a God who makes covenants with people. And in fact, in the Old Testament, there are four times that God initiates a covenant with people. He initiates a covenant with Noah. As soon as Noah gets off the ark, God initiates a covenant with Abraham in Genesis twelve, and he renews that covenant multiple times. God makes a covenant with the nation of Israel after they’ve left Egypt and are at Mount Sinai in the form of the ten Commandments and the law.

God is making a covenant with the entire nation of Israel. And then God also in two, Samuel seven, makes a covenant with King David. Each of these covenants are the ways in which God is going to work to create a covenant. People have a covenant relationship with people through whom other people will eventually, in fact, all people will be invited to eventually participate. But again, we come back to, so why does God deal with covenant?

And again, because it’s such an unfamiliar term, we can sort of lose the meaning of it. But it’s a really beautiful picture. I always loved how Tim Keller would talk about the idea of a covenant. A covenant is a relationship that, on the one hand is far more personal and intimate and loving than just simply a relationship based on a legal contract. But at the same time, it’s also a relationship that is made more durable and more enduring and more serious than just simply a relationship that is based on personal affection or feelings, which we know can kind of come and go right in almost any relationship.

So it’s, it is the stunning blend God’s covenants with his people. It is a stunning blend of law and love. It’s a relationship that God is initiating with us and inviting us into that is made more personal and more intimate and more compassionate and loving because it is so binding. He is making a promise to us, and God always upholds his end of the covenant relationship. Now, if you read scripture, you don’t have to get too far to see that we very often break our end of that covenant relationship.

But God created a new covenant relationship with us through which Jesus again took the curse of the law upon himself, took our place on the cross, endured the wrath of God on our behalf. But it doesn’t mean that in the new covenant that there’s not law. The new covenant has law in it, just like the old covenant does, this binding agreement. But there’s also love in it, because love is in this covenant relationship. Again, it’s this blend of law and love.

And perhaps one of the reasons why God makes covenants with us, if you begin to sort of ruminate on it a bit, is that God is not a one dimensional, sort of cardboard God, as many people tend to suppose him. For instance. There are many people you ask about their conception of God, and they think of God’s moral absolutes. He is the lawgiver. He lays down the law, and when anybody goes outside the law and disobeys it, he smites you.

And that, that is one picture of many people’s conceptions of God. Another popular conception of God is, I believe in a God of love who accepts you no matter what you’ve done or no matter who you are, because he just loves you. And so in both of these polarities, and people tend to fall in one or two of those camps there, you’re missing the other piece that goes along with this. God is a God of law and of justice and of moral exactness and a strict standard to which he calls us. And at the same time, he’s also this stunning, again, God of love.

He is as much of law as he is of love. He’s as much of love as he is law. He is not one dimensional. It’s not like, well, you have to pick. God is either a God of love or a God of law.

No, he is both at the same time. And so why does God make covenant with us? Because he wants us to trust him. He wants us to trust him and to be in relationship with him, to experience the fullness of his love. And that doesn’t mean that we can ignore his law, but we see how God gave himself for us by sending his son Jesus here to the earth to atone for our sins and to make us capable of being in a right relationship with God.

And we’re so thankful for that. Well, I’ve enjoyed thinking about this question. I hope that it’s been helpful to you. Thanks so much for joining us today. As we think today about Covenant,