Volume. XXIII, No. 31
Sunday, 25 January 2009


Building A Covenant Home (Deuteronomy 6) - Part 2


THIRD, YOU MUST KNOW THE CONDITIONS OF THE COVENANT (6:7-16)!

Why are there conditions to the covenant? We are saved by grace and one does not and cannot contribute a stitch to our garment of salvation as Luther said. But whether if God would bless His people or not is conditional, that condition is called Obedience . Deuteronomy 11:26-28 says, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” AGAIN, though a Christian once saved cannot be unsaved because HIS PROMISE rests on the Promise of God, this does not mean that God would not chastise His disobedient child. Hebrews 12:8 says, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards [il-legitimate children], and not sons.” Now, Deuteronomy 11:26-28 used the word ‘curse’ which needs explanation. A ‘curse’ could be physical death or evil or unfortunate event in the life that befalls a disobedient Christian. Deuteronomy 30:15 says, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” which is a parallel to the blessing and curse. Then, what are the conditions to the covenant?

First, you are required to saturate your household with the commandments and statutes of God (6:7-9)

We all remember that prophet Jonah spoke to Nineveh, and the entire city repented by putting ashes and sackcloth in repentance. For everyone from young to old turned to the LORD. But unfortunately, 150 years later, we found the same city had degenerated and backslided to their original, if not even more sinful, and wicked state. The city was filled with bloodshed, cruelty, spiritual and physical fornications when prophet Nahum spoke against Nineveh, which was eventually destroyed. Now, why did the Ninevites backslide? Obviously they had forgotten about JEHOVAH GOD! God’s people have become worldly, secular, unsanctified and complacent because the worldly influence has overtaken the godly influence in the home, in the family, in the nation! They have put aside the covenant that God made with them and ignore the commandments, statues and judgment of GOD! Therefore, as a covenant HOME, you must educate your children about GOD so that the generations to come will not forget GOD! But, how shall we educate them?

Verse 7 gives us the some clues. There are two action verbs used in this verse: ‘TEACH’ AND ‘TALK.’ Do you teach and talk to your children about GOD? TEACH diligently: means “to repeat, iterate, or do a thing again and again; hence to whet or sharpen any instrument,” (don’t stop just because they already know) TALK of them when thou sittest in thine house: it means talk to your children either at the time of meals, or at leisure hours. My wife and I have long started to read God’s Word and Pray with our daughter Elizabeth ever she was born. I thank God for Susan, that she reads Bible stories to her and prays with her during the day when I am in the church office. And I would pray with them before I go off to church and before we sleep. In order to build a covenant HOME, it requires you as parents to Teach diligently (or by repetition) and Talk to your children about GOD so that GOD’S WORD may Saturate them! What else can you do to saturate them with God’s Word? Verses 8,9 gives us excellent suggestions: The Jewish people based the practice of wearing phylacteries on this passage. Phylacteries are small boxes holding parchment with scriptures on them, held to the forehead or hand with leather straps. Today, you may not literally make those small boxes and wear them, but it is good to display a verse or a passage in the home, on the door or at gate, or teach your children memorize scriptures as they grow up. DO NOT let your children to be saturated with the language and philosophy of TV programs, movies, secular magazines, newspaper, secular music, but SATURATE THEM with the commandments and statutes of GOD! Remember, GOD said, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). And not train up a child in the way he wants to go. Would you TEACH diligently and find time to TALK with them as a FAMILY about God and TRAIN them in the way they should go?

Second, you are required to understand the nature of the covenant (6:10,11)

Verse 10 says that “God sware the land unto their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and thou buildest not”. Note the two key phrases: God “sware unto” means that this covenant is based on God’s promise upon HIS grace, and “buildest not” because it is NOT based on their works and merits! In the similar way, we ARE SAVED because of God’s promise and it is based on GOD’S GRACE through FAITH we HAVE IN JESUS CHRIST! So the nature of the covenant is that it is a covenant of grace and because it is grace and not because of our merits or works. The second nature of the covenant is that this is a covenant that is full of blessings. Verse 11 describes the many “blessings” or “good things” the Israelites inherited when they entered the promised land. In the same way, we, as God’s people inherit the richness of Christ Jesus which is indeed, “houses full of all good things”. Thus, the nature of the covenant that GOD made with HIS PEOPLE is entirely based on GRACE, not of works and FULL OF SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS AND RICHESSNESS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!

Third, you are required to serve and worship the LORD only because it is the LORD who brought you out of bondage (6:12-14)

We WERE ‘ONCE’ in BONDAGE of sin and MISERY under the dominion of Satan. For Egypt is a picture of bondage under Sin and Satan, and Canaan is the picture of the state of salvation in Christ Jesus! Now, we have been redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ! Thus, as a covenant HOME, you are to SERVE HIM ONLY for this is the condition of the COVENANT for this is “a reasonable service” as Paul said in Romans 12:1!

For the same cause, verse 13 says, “thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, …swear by his name.” Christians are not to swear flippantly or casually. But swearing or talking an oath is acceptable only when it is honorable to God! As a covenant HOME, you ARE REQUIRED to pledge YOUR allegiance to Jesus Christ as Saviour who saved you from darkness and the damnation of sin! In verse 14, God’s people are commanded to have undivided loyalty before Jehovah God, but in verses 15, 16, the LORD also tells His people of the consequence and severity of breaking the covenant, so the Fourth condition of the covenant is:

Fourth, you are required to know the consequences for breaking the covenant (6:15,16)

Verse 15. The way that God’s people can break the covenant is by worshipping other gods or idols, even the idols in their hearts. When God’s people commit such wicked sin, God’s anger would be kindled (v.15b) and the consequence can be disastrous because HE is a jealous GOD who required our FULL LOYALTY TO HIM! Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, especially after the split of Solomon’s kingdom, the sin of idolatry had been common and regular and never really totally eradicated. Finally, God judged both northern and southern kingdoms in 722 BC and 586 BC respectively. Therefore, as a covenant home, we should learn from history and not kindle God’s anger by replacing God’s place in our hearts with an idol! Verse 16. We see God warned His people not to tempt HIM as were in Massah. But you say, “how can man tempt the LORD?” The word ‘tempt’ means ‘to test’. This is the foolish thing that a finite man can do to challenge the almighty God! Just right before Israelites crossed the Jordan river, ready to enter the promised land for the first time, they sent 10 spies over to spy the land. Ten spies came back murmuring and complaining but only two, Joshua and Caleb were faithful enough to trust the LORD. The LORD then said to them in Numbers 14:22-23, “Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.” In other words. tempting or testing the LORD means to act in blatant distrust and faithlessness! It is a direct PROVOCATION AGAINST THE ALMIGHTY GOD THEIR COVENANT LORD! As a head of a Covenant HOME member, you should walk in FAITH, and LEAD in FAITH.

God desires you to know that the purpose of the covenant is for God’s people to be a blessing and to be blessed. You also see that GOD WANTS you know that the three premises of the covenant are: 1) FIRST, THAT GOD IS ONE LORD; 2) SECOND. THAT GOD DEMANDS US TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL AND MIGHT!; 3) THIRD, THAT THE COVENANT IS MADE IN YOUR HEART! You also learned that there are certain conditions that come with the covenant: 1) FIRST, GOD wants you TO SATURATE YOUR HOUSEHOLD WITH THE COMMANDMENTS AND STATUTES OF THE LORD; 2) SECOND, TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE COVENANT; 3) THIRD, TO SERVE AND WORSHIP THE LORD ONLY; TO KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES FOR BREAKING THE COVENANT.

To be continued…


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements:

Kitchen Rosters - Team Leader: Sis Bernadette Ng

Helpers needed to wash up dishes & to clean dining area/kitchen after fellowship lunch

There is NO Sunday School Teachers’ Training Session this evening.

Please note that as this is the last Lord’s Day of the month, there is only “ Coffee & Cookies” after Worship Service

Helpers needed to form a Camp Committee. If you can assist please see Dn Edwin D’Mello now. .

Looking Ahead:

Family Bible Conference at Easter, 10-13 April 2009.

Praise & Thanksgiving:

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements,Missions - Cambodia: (Bro Suresh Dharmalingam & family and ministry in Strung Steng), Pastors & believers in Laos, Pakistan & India; Kuching Ministry (Teo family).

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

Pastor Ki: future ministry & his family. His ministry in New Life BPC, London, in February.

Journey Mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore/London); Ps David Weng & family (S’pore/Adl); Bro Simon & Sis Demelza Ting & Hannah; Bros Yick Ho Lam & You Wen Yeap; Sisters Clara Sim, Sally Teng & family, & Piah Buey Yeo (Adl); & others who are travelling.

Pastor Weng: ministry & family in Hope BPC

Outreach to Mandarin speakers in Adelaide.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah & Judy Li.

BPCWA (Perth) - God’s guidance & wisdom.

Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe (Perth) -Drought in Australia: more rain.

Bro Pee Yau & Sis Kim Tan as they return to Melbourne for good. God’s guidance & direction.

Bro Barry Palm & Sis Juanita Tong as they prepare for their wedding in March.

Prayer Items:

Journey mercies: Pastor Weng & family (Indonesia); Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo & family (Adl); Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam; Bro Joseph & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam & family (KL, Adl); Bro Simon & Sis Demelza Ting & Hannah (Gold Coast); Sisters Sheila George & Shilsha Ninian (Adl); Sum Chai (KL/Ipoh) & Ethel Chung (HK) &Church activities: E-Ministry; Confessions & Creeds Class; Sunday School Teachers’ Training; Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Video Evening.

Fellowship Meeting of Hopefuls & friends in Singapore on Thurs, 22 Jan. Attendance: 20.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063