For God So Loved the World…

That He Made a Promise to Us

Probably the most well known Bible verse ever is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

Eternal life sounds like a good deal, and all we have to do is believe.

Believing is a little more difficult than it appears at first. True believing requires action. It means you believe what Jesus said. This means believing what the Bible says and living your life accordingly.

It’s no good if you just say you believe.

God’s promise to us is a covenant. The word covenant is commonly used in legal, social (marriage), and religious conversations.

The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. It is used in various in biblical contexts. In political situations, it can be translated treaty; in a social setting, it means a lifelong friendship agreement; or it can refer to a marriage.

A covenant is a binding promise of far-reaching importance in the relations between individuals, groups, and nations. It has social, legal, religious, and other aspects. 

God made a covenant with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but Adam and Eve didn’t keep their part of the covenant.

God made a covenant with Noah, but the people didn’t keep it. God made a covenant with Abraham, and once again…the people didn’t hold up their end of the agreement.

As humans, we struggle to do our part in the covenants that we have made with God. That’s why He sent His Son.

As we come to the end of the Roots: Advent study we look at the last part of Jesus’ family story.

Jesus is the final covenant.

If we don’t follow through on this agreement, we will get no more second chances.

We are living in the “Already, but not yet”. This statement summarizes the past, present, and future of the Bible.

We live now in the light of what God did in the past through Christ, but also looking to the future when Christ will come again.

We live between the already—what Christ has done—looking forward to the not yet—what He is still to do.

Christ became incarnate, lived, and died, and rose again. He ascended, and is now reigning, still the same incarnate Savior. But He has not yet brought about the consummation that will occur when He returns in majesty and glory.

We need to learn from our past, look to the future, and live in the present.

This Christmas season remember how much God loves us and the price Christ paid for this final covenant. Don’t let that payment be wasted.