This quarter, entitled The Promise: God’s Everlasting Covenant, will look more closely at what God’s covenant is, what it offers, and even at what it demands. Though drawn from many sources, the lessons rely heavily on work of the late Dr. Gerhard F. Hasel.
God’s covenant is motivated by love, His love for the fallen race, a love that led Him to the Cross. It is because of what Christ has done for us that we love God back, and we surrender our sinful ways to Him as well as our fears. We do this because we have been given the best that God can give—Jesus Christ and the redemption found only in Him.
How does it all work? It is as simple as an exchange: Christ takes our sins and gives us His righteousness so that, through Him, we are accounted as righteous as God Himself. In this way, sin is no longer attributed to us; it no longer has to keep us separated from Him. And this wonderful gift, this accounting of righteousness, comes to us by faith, and faith alone. Hence the phrase, “righteousness by faith.”
But it does not end there, either. Sinners can, through Jesus, enter into a relationship with God, because Jesus’ blood brings not only forgiveness but cleaning, healing, and restoration. We are, through Christ, born again, and through this experience God writes His holy law upon our hearts. Thus sinners no longer do the things they used to do. From and by this inward law, all of life is shaped for the believer. These people desire to work out what God puts within them, and that desire is matched with the promise of Divine power. Here is the essence of what it means to live in covenant relationship with God that we will study this quarter.