Covenant and Discipleship

A 10.16.2022 self-study about 'Covenant and Discipleship'

Covenant and Discipleship


Genesis 1:28 NIV - God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 6:17 NIV - I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.

Genesis 8:20-9:9 NIV - Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.


“As long as the earth endures,

seedtime and harvest,

cold and heat,

summer and winter,

day and night

will never cease.”

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

“Whoever sheds human blood,

    by humans shall their blood be shed;

for in the image of God

    has God made mankind.

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you

Genesis 12:1-3 NIV - The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,

    and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

    and you will be a blessing.[a]

I will bless those who bless you,

    and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

    will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 15:4-5 NIV - Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[a] be.

Genesis 17:1 NIV - When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.

Genesis 17:6-9 NIV - I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

Genesis 17:18 NIV - And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

God is King. When we accept the kingdom of God and come under His kingship, we receive the blessings associated with the kingdom. Our relationship with Him is governed by a covenant that defines the role of God as King and the responsibilities of its Citizens.

The covenant tells us how our relationship with Him can be taken to a higher level.

Lafe is a process that teaches us how to deepen our relationship with God and help realize is purpose for this world. Jesus is central to establishing and developing a relationship with God. Covenant development in the Bible is a process pointing us to Jesus.


History begins with Adam existing in a perfect relationship with God. It was a covenant relationship that we can call the covenant of life." Adam had the right to be in the Garden of Eden, with access all its blessings. Included in Adam's covenant relationship was the command to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The covenant was Specific about the punishment for disobedience death. Adam's covenant required him to recognize God as the One who makes moral decisions about right and wrong. Adam was forbidden to assume that authority for himself. The covenant relationship was broken when Eve disobeyed God. Adam and Eve were denied access to the Garden and the Tree of Life. Man continued to worship God, however. An example of this relationship is Enoch, who walked with God and was taken to heaven without having to die. Noah also lived prior to the Flood. As a righteous man, he enjoyed a close relationship with God.


The first step in the new covenant relationship between God and man is God's promise to Adam after the initial relationship was broken by sin. The promise was to provide an heir--a seed or offspring--who would strike the head of the serpent. That offspring, a son of Adam, would defeat Satan, mankind's enemy, and restore the relationship lost through sin. Adam and Eve lived by faith in the promised victory


Relationships between God and man deteriorated until God brought judgment to the earth with a flood. After the Flood, God reestablished a relationship with the earth and mankind through Noah's covenant. This covenant provided for blessings of fruitfulness for the three sons of Noah.

As the seed of these three families multiplied, they became the 70 nations of Genesis 10. However, they lost their covenant blessings when Ring Nimrod conquered them. This Babylonian kingdom was established by the people of Babel who made a name for [them]selves (v. 4), an authority that came from Satan (see Isaiah 14).


After the loss of their covenant relationship through rebellion, God established a new covenant relationship through Abraham. The first step in the development of this relationship was the call of Abraham to leave Ur, separate himself completely from that system, and begin a pilgrimage to the Promised Land.

God and Abraham entered a special relationship that was elevated to a covenant. It included the promise of an heir and provided for an inheritance--the first identification of the people who would be known as the "kingdom of God." The descendants of Abraham became a goy--the Hebrew word we translate as "nation" or "people."


Over the years Israel grew, but instead of occupying the land God had promised to Abraham, they found themselves enslaved to the pagan Egyptian kingdom. Under Moses' leadership, God delivered them from bondage and brought them out of Egypt.

To this point Israel functioned as a tribal community first as slaves in Egypt, then as migrant herdsmen in Sinai. The Law provided an authority system that enabled them to emerge as a nation-state with a superior government. Their code of ethics, system of land ownership, and just treatment for offenders was superior to the existing political systems.

Israel's covenant relationship made them a leader in the community of nations. Their transition from migrant people to a settled nation with cities was complex and difficult, but keeping the covenant provided laws and made them successful.


Israel decided that leadership by judges needed to be replaced with a king and a kingdom. God conceded to their demands and gave them a king. Under David, a man after God's own heart, God established another covenant. This lifted their status from a nation-state to a kingdom. The Davidic covenant provided a king, and this evolved into the concept of a messianic king.


The kingdom system was a disaster. It provided territory, economic wealth, military power and prestige, but as a religious people, their downward spiral continued with only a few periods of temporary renewal. Finally, God decided enough was enough. He sent His judgment on the system, and dispersed the people into captivity.

God promised them anew covenant and a new identity. Unable to depend on the Temple system that supported their previous identity, they established a synagogue system built around the study of the Scriptures. Based on the scribe, the Rabi or teacher, their identity as the people of God, or Jews, was focused on a religious community that was centered in the Word.


The church Jesus promised to build was established on the Day of Pentecost with a new covenant. Jesus crushed the head of the Serpent at the Cross. As a son of Abraham, He was the promised blessing through whom the nations would be blessed: He was a prophet l9ioike Moses, and He is the Son of David with a kingdom that has no end.

Jesus will return to establish the messianic kingdom on earth. This will be the ultimate stage of development in human history, before we will move to another level. Each stage has been marked by the introduction of a new covenant.


1. What is the first promise made in Scripture?

2. The Bible tells of restoring covenant relationships. How was the first covenant relationship broken?

3. What brought about the Flood?

4. What level of civilization did the Israelites have in the wilderness?

5. What kind of leadership replaced that of the judges?

6. What system replaced the kingdom following Israel's captivity?

7. What replaced the synagogue under the new covenant?

8. What system will replace the church at the end of this present era of history?