Lesson 4: A Humanitarian by Making a Wonderful Covenant

Go Deeper

Study Guide Pages 27-33

More Key Bible Verses

Read Genesis 15.

Genesis chapter 15 recounts the story of God making a covenant with Abram (Abraham). Take note of the visual way in which God says, “I will do this for you; you can count on me.”

Read Jeremiah 31:31-34.

God introduces the most significant of all unilateral covenants.

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Read and study the following quotes from “A Humanitarian By Making a Wonderful Covenant” chapter 4 of God—The Ultimate Humanitarian.

Recipients of a one-sided covenant’s benefits shift their trust from self and performance to the provider and thankfulness for the blessings bestowed.

Abraham was righteous in the same way Noah was. Not by his own works but by trusting in God’s promises to him. Trust is what faith is all about. Knowing something is true and trusting it are two completely different things. I might know the tightrope walker can carry me on his back as he walks the wire, but climbing on his back as he does so is something entirely different. Saving faith is abandoning all faith in my works and trusting only in Jesus’ perfect work for me.

God—The Ultimate Humanitarian, 27-28

In the Lord’s Supper, sometimes referred to as his “Last Will and Testament,” Jesus provides his disciples and all believers with the benefits of his one-sided covenant of love and forgiveness.

The night before his crucifixion, Jesus connected the new covenant with his last supper. “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:20). This is one of the most profound statements ever spoken. And one of the most comforting. Jesus knows how we often struggle to be assured we are forgiven. Therefore in his supper he intimately, personally, and miraculously delivers his covenant, the forgiveness of sins. What he does for us in his supper is even more breathtaking than what he did for Abram.

God—The Ultimate Humanitarian, 32

More Questions to Consider

  1. In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God introduced the most significant of all unilateral covenants—a covenant that promised the forgiveness of sins. Why is it so meaningful and comforting that this is a unilateral (one-sided) covenant?
  2. Faith always needs an object; it rests on something. What is the proper object of saving faith? What isn’t it? Why does it matter so much? (Look back at the tightrope walker illustration)
  3. Sometimes, we tend to place our faith in our faith rather than in Jesus. What happens when we do this?
  4. In what ways is the Lord’s Supper another unilateral (one-side) covenant of God? What is the purpose of this covenant? What are we saying to God when we receive the Lord’s Supper? What is God saying to us when he gives us Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper?

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