First things first. What is the chief and highest
end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster
catechism give the answer. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify
(worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to
glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire
exercise ought to be "absolutely genuine emanating right from the
innermost core of one’s being (read spirit)". This would lead to the
next question, how could the process of glorifying the Almighty
originate right from the depths of one's heart? It is only possible,
when a person is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember,
worshipping God for what He is, is the highest
form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of
worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for
the blessings, He showers upon us. While on the subject, at this stage,
it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word "Glorify",
which is "Magnify". When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one
keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were,
the "spiritual explorer" (if you permit me to use this expression) in
you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty,
which would at once evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous,
heart-felt worship and praise.
At a time, people of Israel were pressing the Lord for perishable items like food Moses sought the best from Him. He wanted to see the "Glory of the Lord". How did the good Lord respond? He said, He would make "all His goodness" pass before Moses (Exodus 33:18-19). In other words, His Glory is the sum total of all His good and unique qualities and attributes. In this message Yours Truly aims to focus upon one attribute of His Heavenly Father (inspired also recently by touching sermons on the related subject by a UK based itinerant preacher namely David Pawson). That our Lord God Almighty is a Covenant making and a Covenant keeping God! Study of the Scriptures would reveal, how many Covenants are there in them and how the good Lord had always kept His side of the same faithfully (Joshua 21:45).
Before focusing on different types of Covenant in the Bible, it would serve us well to understand meaning of the word Covenant (in Hebrew Berith and in Greek Diatheke) by clearly distinguishing between the terms a Contract and a Covenant, which have been mistaken by many to be synonyms, when in fact they are not . While both of have conditions to be fulfilled between those who are party to it, the word Contract is usually used to typify an agreement between two parties of same stature (eg...a building contract between the Landowner and a Building contractor) whereas Covenant signifies a binding agreement between two parties, one of whom is surely greater than the other…a Marriage or a Will left behind by a father can be best examples of a Covenant in the earthly realm. In the Biblical realm, the Covenant inevitably brings into the picture the Greater-than-anyone God Almighty, as one of the parties to it...
In this Series of 6 parts on the Biblical covenants, we would mostly go in the chronological order barring in the case of Mosaic and Davidic Covenants for reasons I would explain along the way...hmmm...it may surprise some, when I say at this stage that three out of the five covenants, which appear in the Old Testament section of the Bible are still in vogue. Far from adopting a dismissive attitude--propensity of some younger Christians not properly guided by the senior generation--towards Old Testament section of the Bible, it would serve us all of us well to adopt an attitude of reverence to the whole of Sacred Canon, rather than being reverential to only one part of it.
Prayer: Father, we know that ALL of Scripture is inspired by Thee. Enable us to relish ALL of it and in awesome wonder of ALL the Covenants, You placed in them, worship You wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "Of Covenant and the Pentacost" mini-series, please click here.)