August 19

“Be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it…Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:7-11)

When his family left the ark, Father Noah was given a mission within a covenant: This week we will explore our mission within families within the covenant of Christ. Toward the end of the week, I will write offer the idea of a family covenant to help unite your family members in your role as God’s family. The first covenant that the Lord made with humanity, called the Covenant of Works, was instituted at the time of man’s creation. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17) “In this covenant of works, sometimes called the covenant of creation or covenant of life, God forbade Adam and Eve from eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Perfect obedience to this covenant would have confirmed Adam and Eve in life; they would have been reckoned as righteous before the Lord and would have inherited eternal life. We know this from both the warning of death attached to breaking this covenant as well as from Romans 5:12–21. In the Romans passage, Paul draws a parallel between the first Adam and the last Adam, who is Jesus Christ. He tells us that Christ’s obedience brings justification (the declaration of righteousness) and eternal life for those who are in Him (those who believe in Jesus).”

As believers we have a responsibility to teach our children about God’s covenants of works so, among other things, they will gain a broad understanding of and appreciation for the New Covenant of grace in Jesus Christ. Do your children know what a biblical covenant is, and the purpose of the covenant of works? Do they know why the Law of God is important, and how God uses it to expose our sinfulness and need for Christ? Do they know that obedience is required of them even under the New Covenant of grace? How will you begin to teach your children about biblical covenants and the mission we have in Jesus Christ? Will you start with the content of your church’s worship sermon today as a springboard for this discussion?  “The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25)

* Ligonier Ministries, “God’s First Covenant With Mankind,” https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/gods-first-covenant-mankind/

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