Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

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Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:45 am

This month's issue of Zion's Fire features the four covenants: Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New Covenant. I've subscribed to this magazine for about 6 yrs. or so.

I was following along pretty well until this:

God alone passed between the slain and severed sacrifice while Abraham was in a deep sleep. This made the covenant a unilateral (singular) as opposed to a bilateral (dual) covenant that neither the patriarch nor his descendants had to do anything to keep it in effect and binding upon God. Since it was unilateral, it was therefore unconditional.

BUT....(here's the part I don't understand....)

It is, however, critical to note that faith in the covenant was the requisite for participation in the promised blessing of the covenant. Lineal descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not, in and of itself, bring blessing. The worshipper had to exhibit faith in the provision of God's covenant.

My question is...Aren't the two statements in red contradictory?
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby mark s on Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:22 pm

IMO yes they are.

God's promise is God's promise, He will keep it.

However, maybe Abraham would not have ended up being called the father of the faithful had he not believed.
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:49 pm

mark s wrote:IMO yes they are.

God's promise is God's promise, He will keep it.

However, maybe Abraham would not have ended up being called the father of the faithful had he not believed.


From my comment above....

The worshipper had to exhibit faith in the provision of God's covenant.

So are we using the words covenant and promise interchangeably? Because after God made the covenant or promise to Abraham, He, in essence, required him to exhibit his faith by sacrificing his son, Isaac (Gen.22:2). Hebrews confirms the act of faith in God's "covenant/promise"...

 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, "IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED."  He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.Heb 11:17-19  (Caps NASB)

It seems that action or works follow beliefs. Not so much that actions or works are required or commanded, but that they flow naturally from faith.

Right?

But then, to further complicate (imo) things, God was pleased "because you (Abraham) have obeyed My voice." Gen. 22:18

So now we are equating
    unconditional with conditional
    faith and belief with action
    action with obedience

Applying these principles to the New Covenant, while the gift of salvation is free, it follows an action of faith and/or belief to be the recipient of it's provisions.

Wow....I wouldn't present the gospel this way to an unbeliever I don't think. Way to complicated. :bag:
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Sonbeam on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:06 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:



My question is...Aren't the two statements in red contradictory?


I've been checking in on the forum almost daily and have really wanted to join in some of the conversations but
my health has kept me from it. However, I thought I'd comment on this topic though I might not be able
to continue in the discussion, but I'll try.

My answer to your question Abiding is:

Yes. The comments are contradictory like Mark said.

The New Covenant, under whose provision/requirement of faith not only Abraham, but Abel, Enoch, Noah and who knows how many other saints before him were saved, is a conditional covenant.

Faith, the condition of the covenant, is not an action. The action comes from God when He seals that faith unto salvation, i.e., births the believer of His Spirit.

Once God has done that, whether a child of God, acts on that faith or not is unnecessary since works are not a requirement under the New Covenant.

As for the "promise" to Abraham, I have a slightly different perspective than most, but I'll comment on that later.

Blessings,

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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:25 pm

Sonbeam wrote:I've been checking in on the forum almost daily and have really wanted to join in some of the conversations but
my health has kept me from it. However, I thought I'd comment on this topic though I might not be able
to continue in the discussion, but I'll try.


I'm sorry you're not feeling well, Sonbeam. Sending you a virtual hug and prayer said for you as well.

The New Covenant, under whose provision/requirement of faith not only Abraham, but Abel, Enoch, Noah and who knows how many other saints before him were saved, is a conditional covenant.


Would you post scripture as evidence that the New Covenant is conditional? I ask because I understand conditional to mean we must do something...i.e. "if you....than He will...."

But if that's true, then salvation is not a free gift of grace. Right? In other words, we can't do anything to earn it. That makes the New Covenant unconditional I think. We just accept the free gift.

If you're not feeling well enough to answer, don't worry. Perhaps someone else will contribute their understanding. Again, I am sorry you're not feeling well.
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:33 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:That makes the New Covenant unconditional I think. We just accept the free gift.


Or is "accepting the free gift" the action that makes it conditional?

Can you see my confusion? :cheeky:
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Jay Ross on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:23 pm

In Genesis 15 why did God feel it was necessary for Him to make a solemn covenant/promise to Abram? The answer is in the Chapter, which must be read as a whole, to see it.

Genesis 15: -

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."

But Abram said, "Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!"

And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Then He said to him, "I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land/{earth} to inherit it."

And he said, "Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?"

So He said to him, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also, the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

And it came to pass, when the sun went down, and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:

"To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates — the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."


In Genesis 15 we see that Abram doubted God twice.

First off Abram doubted that his reward would be great since he was fatherless and that the heir would not be of his own flesh and blood. But when God told Abram that his descendants would be of such number that it would be impossible to count them like the stars in Heaven, Abram Believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness.

In the second instance, Abram doubted that he would inherit the Earth as God promised him.
(Aside: - In verse 7 the word translated as land is the same Hebrew word found in Genesis 1:1: - “First God created the heavens and the earth.” The tradition has been that this Hebrew word is translated as “land”, probably because of the land promise at the end of the chapter, but this is inconsistent with other passages in the Bible, such as: -
Daniel 7:27a: - “Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.


Daniel 7:27a suggests that the Saints, Abraham’s descendants, the righteous of God, will be given dominion over the whole earth.

God’s response to Abram’s doubt was to enter into a solemn “sign” covenant, such that when Abram’s descendants understood that God had given them the land promised in Genesis 15:17-21 that they would then also know that God’s promise to Abram that he and his descendants would also inherit the whole earth will also come to pass.

Sadly, because of the fixation on the “land,” we have lost sight of god’s promise to Abram that the Saints {i.e. all the judged righteous descendants of Abraham} will, at the end of the Age of the Ages, inherit the whole earth.

Now Abiding, the first red highlighted sentence is true. God’s solemn sign covenant of Genesis 15 is unconditional. When Abraham descendants realise that God has indeed fulfilled His solemn sign covenant, that they would know that their inheritance is indeed the whole earth, not just a tiny part of it if they are truly righteous descendants of Abraham, i.e. the natural and the grafted vines.

However, your second red highlighted sentence does not ring true to me. It seems to be based on a wrong premise. In the parable of the Judgement/separation of the Sheep from the Goats, Matthew 25:31-46, both the Sheep and the Goats knew of the promised inheritance for God’s Saints. Both the sheep and the goats called Jesus, Lord, Lord but only the Sheep were judged as being righteous and entered in to receive the promised inheritance.

It seems to me, from the little you have presented, that the writer does not have this understanding.

Shalom
Last edited by Jay Ross on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:44 am

Jay Ross wrote:"To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates — the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."


Sadly, because of the fixation on the “land,” we have lost sight of god’s promise to Abram that the Saints {i.e. all the judged righteous descendants of Abraham} will, at the end of the Age of the Ages, inherit the whole earth.


Hi Jay,

I only have a few minutes right now, but wanted to say that I disagree with your understanding that "land" means "whole earth" as an inheritance for the descendants of Abraham.

Genesis 13:14-15..." The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever."

John Gill's Commentary:

northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; the north of the land of Canaan was Mount Lebanon, the south of it Edom or Idumea, the east the plain and river of Jordan, the west the Mediterranean sea; and the word for "westward" here is "to the sea" (c); northward of it was Babylon, southward Egypt, eastward Arabia, and westward the Mediterranean sea

And in Genesis 13:17, we are given an almost literal description of the survey of the land promised to Abraham. He is told to walk/define the length and breath of the area which John Gill's Commentary says:

in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; the extent of it is variously settled by geographers; some giving it no more than about one hundred and seventy or eighty miles in length, from north to south, and about one hundred and forty in breadth from east to west, where broadest, as it is towards the south, and but about seventy where narrowest, as it is towards the north: but it is observed (d) from the latest and most accurate maps, that it appears to extend near two hundred miles in length, and about eighty in breadth about the middle, and ten or fifteen more or less where it widens or shrinks:

for I will give it unto thee; that is, to his seed, the whole of it, in its utmost extent, as to length and breadth; which if he pleased for his own satisfaction he might take a tour through, whereby he would be a judge what was bestowed on him and his(d) Vid. Universal History, vol. 2. p. 385.


It seems clear that the promised land is that of Canaan as opposed to the entire world/earth.
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Jay Ross on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:23 am

Hi Abiding,

I can only assume that you have discounted the Daniel 7:27a passage as not being true.
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Sonbeam on Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:43 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:
Sonbeam wrote:I've been checking in on the forum almost daily and have really wanted to join in some of the conversations but
my health has kept me from it. However, I thought I'd comment on this topic though I might not be able
to continue in the discussion, but I'll try.


I'm sorry you're not feeling well, Sonbeam. Sending you a virtual hug and prayer said for you as well.

The New Covenant, under whose provision/requirement of faith not only Abraham, but Abel, Enoch, Noah and who knows how many other saints before him were saved, is a conditional covenant.


Would you post scripture as evidence that the New Covenant is conditional? I ask because I understand conditional to mean we must do something...i.e. "if you....than He will...."



I really appreciate your kind words and your prayers Abiding. I really need them.

Here are some scriptures that show that the condition for the gift of eternal life is only belief.

John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:36
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

John 6:28 -29Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

:blessyou:

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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Sonbeam on Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:52 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:
Abiding in His Word wrote:That makes the New Covenant unconditional I think. We just accept the free gift.


Or is "accepting the free gift" the action that makes it conditional?

Can you see my confusion? :cheeky:


Very understandable I think. Because the words “accept,” or “receive” the gift (of the Holy Spirit and eternal life) and also the phrase “make a decision” are generally used when giving the “Gospel.”

This gives the impression that “belief” is an act of the will. And it is not. We cannot choose to believe. IMO

I see belief in the Gospel as an involuntary agreement to its truth that rises in our mind/brain, gut if you will, when we hear it. But then again this is a gift from God, isn't it.

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Blessings

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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:02 pm

Sonbeam wrote:Very understandable I think. Because the words “accept,” or “receive” the gift (of the Holy Spirit and eternal life) and also the phrase “make a decision” are generally used when giving the “Gospel.”

This gives the impression that “belief” is an act of the will. And it is not. We cannot choose to believe. IMO


hmmm.... I remember hearing this explanation many years ago.

If someone comes to your home and brings a gift for you, it's not yours until you receive that gift.

That would make the gospel conditional, but only upon the act of receiving the free gift offered us. Right?

I see belief in the Gospel as an involuntary agreement to its truth that rises in our mind/brain, gut if you will, when we hear it. But then again this is a gift from God, isn't it.

I've posted this previously, but I wasn't even sure I believed in God, but figured it was worth a try? :bag:

I wanted, really wanted to believe so I read a prayer in a book in my living room and went to bed.

I hesitate to say there's a "one-size fits all" way to present or receive the free gift of the New Covenant. If one is open to believing, God honors that condition of the heart.

So in essence, the condition of one's heart makes the New Covenant conditional.

I think we're on the same page....just using different words perhaps. :wink:
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Re: Unconditional or Conditional Covenant

Postby mark s on Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:43 pm

In that God has reconciled the world to Himself (II Cor 5), His offer of Grace stands.

In that I am urged to be reconciled to God, it depends on me.

So then God has declared Himself. All who come are received. End of story. The world is reconciled to Him.

Now will we declare ourselves? Will we come?

On His part, unconditional. On my part, conditional, but only in that sense.

That's how I think of this.

Much love,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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