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  • Trinity Christian Centre

The Covenant Fulfilled

At Watchnight Service 2023, Lead Pastor Gerald Tan shared a powerful message on the God of Covenant from Genesis 17:1-22.



By Pastor Edward Lim





1 Now when Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,

“I am God Almighty;

Walk before Me, and be blameless.

I will make My covenant between Me and you,

And I will multiply you exceedingly.”


I sense the Lord saying to us as a church that He is the God of Covenant, and He is renewing His covenant in our lives and for us as a church.

Covenants Versus Contracts


The word “covenant” comes from the Hebrew word berîyth. It refers to a sacred kinship bond between two persons or parties, ratified by the swearing of an oath.


Covenants in the Bible comprise two elements:

  1. The legal obligations of the parties involved – the promises and responsibilities established in the covenant; and

  2. The permanent relationship that is established through the covenant.



Covenants are based on an oath, a commitment; it is always about lives. Covenants are not based on the protection of our interests but based on sacrificial love. And covenants are permanent.

I sense the Lord saying to us as a church that He is the God of Covenant, and He is renewing His covenant in our lives and for us as a church.

The Covenant with God releases several things in our lives.


1. The Covenant of Increase

"I will make My covenant between Me and you,

and I will multiply you exceedingly.”

Genesis 17:2


 


Throughout 2023, Trinity has experienced the unprecedented increase that God has given us. But the increase of God doesn’t end simply because 2023 is over.

God will multiply us exceedingly…

 

- In our lives

- In our influence and impact

- In our capacity for more of Him

- In the positioning of God in our lives

- In the ability of our lives to experience the greatness and the fulfillment of the things He brings

- In the blessedness of life



2. The Covenant of Destiny

"No longer shall you be named Abram,

but your name shall be Abraham

for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

Genesis 17:5




Abram’s name was changed from “exalted father” to Abraham (“father of a multitude”). Through his obedience in following God out of his homeland (Genesis 12) and through this encounter with God, Abraham experienced that shift from self into destiny.

 

Our lives are not a mistake and we do not just exist. God is here to give us a life of destiny, a life of purpose, and a life that overflows with His goodness.



3. The Covenant of Fruitfulness

"I will make you exceedingly fruitful,

and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.”

Genesis 17:6




Instead of finding ourselves in lack, in debt, or in trouble, God wants us to experience fruitfulness in every dimension of our lives – our careers, studies, relationships, and families in the children and grandchildren God will give to us.

 

As we sow the Word of God and preach the Gospel, we will also see the fruitfulness of salvation. Lives and souls will be blessed,  and people will be brought into the kingdom of God.



4. The Covenant of Legacy

"I will make you exceedingly fruitful,

and I will make nations of you,

and kings will come from you.

Genesis 17:6




Whether spiritually or biologically, God will cause the works of our hands to leave a lasting and godly impact beyond our lifetime.

 

I know the God of legacy is at work in our church. We have seen it over the years through Pastor Dowdy and Pastor Dominic. Let’s continue to carry the legacy of God in our lives and in and through Trinity.



5. The Covenant of Intimacy

"And I will give to you and to your descendants after you

the land where you live as a stranger,

all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession;

and I will be their God.

Genesis 17:8




Even after the covenant was made, Abraham had to go through trials and challenges. The fulfillment of the inheritance of the Promised Land was centuries away, yet in this journey, God said to Abraham, “I will be their God.”

 

This covenant of intimacy we have is with God always – every day in our lives and in every moment. He is our God who never fails. He will continue to lead us always.



Our Responsibility


Through the God of Covenant, Abraham was promised the covenants of increase, destiny, fruitfulness legacy, and intimacy.

 

But for Abraham to experience these things, he was to


  1. Walk before God and be blameless (v1). This is a personal commitment. Our pursuit of the holiness of God is what keeps us in the centre of God’s will and covenant for us.

  2. Keep the covenant of circumcision (v9-14)



A life of commitment

In Abraham’s time, the physical act of circumcision was a commitment – a permanent procedure that is done as an act of obedience to the Lord.

 

Today, as we walk in the covenant of God, we must remember that God calls us into a life of commitment to Him. That means obedience, surrender and keeping God before us always.



Being set apart externally and internally

Externally, the physical act of circumcision is seen in flesh for all the men.

 

Internally, the Bible talks about not just the circumcision of the flesh but also the heart. Not only are we to keep and obey the law that has been given to us, but the law must be written in our hearts (Hebrews 8:10). The way we live our lives must point to having God as the Master of our lives.



Being identified as his people

When Abraham and his descendants were living in the Promised Land, what set them apart as the people of God was their physical circumcision – it was a national identity.

 

In the same way, the covenant of circumcision keeps us identified as the people of God. We are not afraid to say we are Christians. That is our responsibility.






The Covenant Fulfilled


"But I will establish My covenant with Isaac,

whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year. 

Genesis 17:21


In verses 15-21, we read of the covenant fulfilled. We read about the birth of Isaac – the son of promise. The covenant God made with Abraham was fulfilled through the birth of this boy.

 

We will rejoice in the fulfillment of God's covenant in our lives and in our church.

This is an important word for the church. In 2024, we will receive the fulfillment of God’s promise. We will receive spiritually that Isaac that God will birth in us, in our lives, and in our families. The name Isaac means “he will laugh” or “he will rejoice”. Trinitarians, in 2024, we will rejoice in the fulfillment of God’s covenant in our lives and in our church.



Listen to the two-part sermon series: “A New Covenant”


 

About the Author

A donkey for Christ, Pastor Edward Lim is driven by a love for God and His people. He has served in various capacities since he stepped into Trinity as a teenager. He is also a public relations professional with a deep passion for technology.

 



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