Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth : Covenants Lesson #1
In this part of our study on rightly dividing the word of Truth we are going to be looking at the covenants found in the word of God. In the previous study we clearly showed that the word of God has different divisions. Now with in some of these divisions we can find a covenant or an agreement that God makes with man in regards to what he requires of him. In this series we will study 8 of these covenants.
It is important to note two types of covenants, conditional and unconditional, and these will become very clear when we actually start studying the covenants individually. When we say that a covenant is conditional we mean that it may change based on what man does with the agreement that God has made with him. When we say the covenant is unconditional we mean that the things established in the covenant will not change or are still in effect today. Once again this will become clearer as we study these covenants.
The First Covenant : (Genesis 1:28-30 & 2:8-17)
This covenant is found during the first division that we study called Innocence. This is where Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden and it is before they sinned.
What is found in the Covenant :
1) Adam and Eve were told to multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 1:28)
- Adam and Eve were created sinless and they were told to replenish the earth.
2) Adam was told to Subdue the earth (Gen 1:28)
- Subdue means to conquer by force or the exertion of superior power, and bring into permanent subjection.
- Adam was to be the King of this recreated earth.
3) Adam was told to have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28)
- Notice that Adam was to have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
- Sounds like a pretty good deal for Adam.
4) Adam and Eve were to eat vegetables and fruit (Gen 1:29)
- In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were given every herb bearing seed, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed for meat.
- Notice also that this is true for the animals (verse 30). This will happen again during the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 11:6-8)
5) Adam was told to dress and keep the Garden (Gen. 2:15)
- This was probably an easy job considering there were no thorns and thistles and the ground was not yet cursed.
6) Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil
- This is the main part of the covenant and Adam was told in the day that he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge he would die.
We know that Adam and Eve ate of the tree and that as a result of this they died spiritually they were also removed from the Garden. Therefore this covenant would be said to be conditional because things change as a result of Adam and Eve breaking this covenant.
The Second Covenant : (Genesis 3:14-19)
As just stated this covenant is a result of Adam and Eve eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This covenant deals with the results of this sin.
What is found in the Covenant :
1) The serpent is cursed (Gen. 3:14)
- The serpent is cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field. He is to eat dust all the days of his life.
- This can have an application to Satan who devours us (1 Peter 5:8) and Adam was made out of dust.
2) There would be enmity between the woman and Satan (Gen. 3:15)
- Most women are afraid of snakes or at least want nothing to do with them.
3) There would be enmity between the woman’s seed and the serpents seed (Gen. 3:15)
- This is the promise of the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ because naturally the woman has no seed; the seed belongs to the man.
- Note also that the seed of the serpent would bruise the seed of the woman’s heel but the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent’s seed. This will take place at the 2nd Advent where the Lord Jesus Christ destroys the anti-christ.
4) The woman sorrow and conception is multiplied and she will bring forth children in sorrow
- The sorrow in child birth is not hard to figure out. There is sorrowing in birthing children and there is also sorrow in raising them.
- The multiplied conception is probably referring to a woman being able to get pregnant once a month. Before they sinned it is likely that a woman might have only been able to get pregnant once or twice a year as some animals. This makes since because they would have lived forever if they had not sinned. But now that they are dying they would need to reproduce much faster.
5) The woman’s desire shall be to her husband and he shall rule over her (Gen. 3:16)
- The biblical set up for marriage is the husband is the head of the house he is in charge (1 Corinthians 11:3 ; Ephesians 5:21-25).
- Jesus and the Church are the proper example for marriage (Ephesians 5:21-33).
6) The ground is cursed for Adam’s sake and he shall eat of it in sorrow (Gen. 3:17)
- Anyone who has ever tried to grow anything can see that there is something wrong with the ground.
7) Thorns and thistles are now present (Gen. 3:18)
- Every time we get tangled in thorns or have to weed the garden or the flower bed it is a direct result of Adam’s sin and the ground being cursed.
8) Man will now sweat to eat (Gen. 3:19)
- Work will now be hard and a man is supposed to work if he is to eat (2 Thess. 3:10).
- Now we are not talking about those who physically cannot work God made provisions for them we are talking about able body people who just simply refuse to work.
9) Man will now physically die (Gen. 3:19)
- One of the main results of sin is death (James 1:14-15 ; Romans 5:12). In the end it is sin that causes death and this is a result of Adam’s sin.
This covenant would be called unconditional because every one of these conditions is still present today. Man has tried very hard to get around the results of the first sin through technology and modern medicine but in the end the ground is still cursed and man still dies no matter what we do to try and stop them.
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth : Covenants Lesson #1 Handout
1) What are the two types of covenants and give a definition for each?
2) What is the name of the 1st Covenant and where is it found in the word of God?
3) What type of Covenant is it?
4) What are the conditions for this Covenant?
5) What is the name of the 2nd Covenant and where is it found in the word of God?
6) What type of Covenant is it?
7) What are the conditions for this Covenant?