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2021 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Why Is Obedience Difficult?

Rabbi Schneider - Why Is Obedience Difficult?


Rabbi Schneider - Why Is Obedience Difficult?
Rabbi Schneider - Why Is Obedience Difficult?
TOPICS: The Covenants of Scripture, Obedience

We're in a study today, this is now the second part of the series, that I'm calling The Covenants of Scripture. This is a very important study for those of you that are interested in understanding how the whole Bible fits together. There are many covenants, beloved ones, in Scripture, but there are three primary covenants in the Word of God. These three primary covenants, I'm in review right now, are the Abrahamic Covenant, number one; the Mosaic Covenant, number two; and the New Covenant, number three. We're looking at these three covenants, looking at the individual pieces to these covenants, and then we're looking as to how they all fit together.

Now last week I began, church, on the Abrahamic Covenant. What I said was that the Abrahamic Covenant was based on three things. Number one it was based simply on faith. We read in Genesis, 15, that Abraham heard God's voice and simply because he believed and his belief translated into action, because when you really believe something you take action on it. His belief, beloved, was counted to him, listen now, as righteousness. Listen as I read, Genesis, chapter number 15. I'm gonna begin there in verse number 5: And He, referring to God, took him, speaking of Abraham, outside and said, Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your descendants be. Then he, referring back to Abraham, believed in the LORD; and He, the Lord, reckoned it to him, to Abraham, as righteousness.

So notice what's going on here, church, nothing about the law here. Abraham simply believed God's voice. And because he believed in the Lord, God counted Abraham as right before him. The Lord told us in the New Testament, God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son, get it, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved. So what we're seeing here is that the Abrahamic Covenant is the foundational covenant in Scripture because the covenant that we enter into with the Lord now through Jesus had its origin in this Abrahamic Covenant because we're gonna see as we go to Genesis, 22, now that this covenant that was based on faith was a pre-covenant to Jesus's coming because God said to Abraham in Genesis, 22, Abraham, in your seed, referring to Jesus, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Let's go now to Genesis, 22, and see that. We see right now the Abrahamic Covenant was based on faith. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. Paul repeats that same word for us. He quotes the Scripture I just read in Genesis, 15, in the Book of Galatians. Now we're in Genesis, chapter number 22. I want to show you that this covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, the foundational covenant of Scripture was also based, listen now, on a promise. So I'm gonna begin reading here in verse number 1, of chapter number 22. I'm gonna read 1 and 2, then I'm gonna continue on in verse 9-18: Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham. And he said, Here I am. And He said, Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.

Notice once again, Abraham hears God's voice. He believes. He believes that he's hearing God's voice. He believes that God's a good God. He believes that God is God. And he believes that God loves him. And because he believes, beloved, he takes action, because true faith results in action. So Abraham hears God's voice. Abraham, take your son and go offer him to me on the mount of Moriah. Again, there's no law yet. This is just Abraham hearing God's voice and believing and obeying. Now let's continue on: Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him upon the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, Here I am. He said, Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me. Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh, or The LORD Will Provide.

And by the way, that's where we get the phrase, Jehovah-Jirah, the LORD our Provider. It's actually pronounced something closer to Yahweh-Yireh. But that's where that covenant name of God is revealed, when the Lord gave Abraham the sacrifice in place of his son; the Lord Will Provide, Yahweh-Yireh, Jehovah-Jirah, the LORD our Provider. Let's continue on: Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it will be provided. Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.

So I want to point out some other principles associated with the Abrahamic Covenant from this portion of Scripture that we just read. Notice here, beloved ones, that the Abrahamic Covenant, when the Lord said to Abraham, in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Notice that this is, get is now, an unconditional covenant. There's no other conditions that need to be met for God to do what he said he was gonna do. Now the reason that I'm point this out to you, beloved children of God, is because in just a second we're gonna look at the Mosaic Covenant. And what you're gonna see about the Mosaic Covenant is that the Mosaic Covenant is conditional.

And this is why Paul was constantly coming against in the New Testament what we refer to theologically as Judaizers; those that are following Jesus that are also trying to make people keep the law. Because the point is, is that no man can keep the law. And this is the reason that the Scripture says that Jesus redeemed people that put their trust in him from the curse of the law; because the law is conditional. We're gonna see the Mosaic Covenant is conditional. In order to be blessed through the Mosaic Covenant, you have to keep the conditions. But in the Abrahamic Covenant, there are no conditions. God said, I myself have sworn, the Lord said, I'm gonna do this thing. It's unconditional. So listen what the Lord says here concerning what he's gonna do in the 16th verse. I'm gonna do this thing by myself. I have sworn. This is unconditional. God says, I'm gonna do it. There's no other action that is required by anybody else. I'm gonna do it. It's unconditional.

So the Abrahamic Covenant, church, in review, is based, number one, on simple faith. What type of faith are we talking about? The type of faith that has a witness from God of his voice, like Abraham did, and we believe it. And because we believe it, we respond to it. That's true faith. The New Testament is built on this. So the Abrahamic Covenant was based on faith. It came before there was ever a law, only faith. Secondly, the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional. God said, I'm gonna do it, nothing more required. Thirdly, I want you to hear, church, that the Abrahamic Covenant, listen, is built on a promise. God said once again, by myself I have sworn, declares the Lord. It's a promise that God is making. Now why is this important, church, for you and I today? Because these three characteristics that we see are the bedrock of the Abrahamic Covenant are immediately, get it now, transferable to the New Covenant which is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.

n other words, the New Covenant is built on these same foundations. It's built on faith. By grace through faith are we saved, right, the Book of Ephesians. It's built on faith. Number two, it's unconditional. God loves us. That's unconditional love. It's unconditional. And number three, beloved, we have promises in the Word. God says, I am gonna complete the work I started in you. I'm going to return. It's not an if. It's not a maybe. Jesus is coming back. His people are going to heaven. It's built on, get it now, the promises of God. So hear me now, the Abrahamic Covenant... I know I'm doing a lot of review and repetition, but I really want you to get this. The Abrahamic Covenant, built on the three principles of, get it now, simple faith, believing in such a way that it translates into action. Abraham believed God. As a result of his faith, he walked and followed God.

Number one, simple faith; no law just faith. Number two, unconditional; the covenant that God made with Abraham, nothing more that needs to happen for God to fulfill what he said he's gonna do. And number three, it is built on promises. God said, I'm gonna do this thing. I swear it, says the Lord. Same thing now transferred to the New Testament. The Bible tells us in the Book of Galatians, listen, very, very important, very important, that the blessing of Abraham, that the, that the covenant that God made with Abraham, get it now, has come upon you and I, the church, through our relationship to God in Jesus. In other words, those things that are in the Abrahamic Covenant, Paul tells us in Galatians, have come upon you and I now as believers today. The blessing of Abraham has come upon you. Abrahamic Covenant, foundational covenant, the Word of God is built on the Abrahamic Covenant. It's still in place. It's fulfilled in Jesus.

Now let's relate the Abrahamic Covenant to the next primary covenant in Scripture, which is called the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant is very different from the Abrahamic Covenant, because the Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional whereas the Mosaic Covenant, get it church, is conditional. The, the Abrahamic Covenant, listen now, promised a blessing that's unconditional, whereas, get it now, the Mosaic Covenant is related to in such a way that you can only be blessed by it, get it, if you fulfill the conditions of it. It's conditional.

So let's go now to the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter number 28. I want to illustrate this for you. We're going to the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter number 28. I want to show you the nature of the Mosaic Covenant which is, once again, conditional. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God abides forever. Deuteronomy, 28, I'm gonna read verses number 1-4, and then I'm gonna go to verses 15-19. We're gonna see that the blessings are conditional. And likewise if an individual that is trying to relate to God through the Mosaic Covenant does not fulfill the requirement, not only will they not be blessed, but what will happen is that they'll end up being cursed; vastly different from the Abrahamic Covenant.

Let's listen: Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. Notice here it's based on conditions. If you do everything that I'm commanding you, it's all conditions. There's laws in place. There's statutes in place. In order to be blessed you have to do them.

Let's continue on: All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, and the offspring of your beast, and the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. The LORD will cause all your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. It's all based though, listen now, upon obedience, get it, to the covenants and the commandment, not the covenants but to the commandments and the statutes that God gave Moses when Moses was on top of Mount Sinai.

Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the law of God. He had the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments written by the finger of God. And he had also all the other commandments in the Hebrew Bible which the Rabbis today counted, 613. In order for all these blessings, church, to come upon Israel that I just read, in order for these blessings to come upon them, they had to observe all the commandments and all the statutes. Listen what the Lord said in the Mosaic Covenant would happen if they didn't obey. I'm continuing Deuteronomy, 28, picking up in verse number 15. Hear the Word of God.

The grass withers and the flowers fade but the Word of God abides forever. But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe and do all His commandments, and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, and the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. And the Lord just continues here.

And so the Mosaic Covenant was conditional. In order to receive the blessing you have to fulfill your end of the bargain. You had to keep all the commandments and the statutes. The Mosaic Covenant, listen now, very important, the Mosaic Covenant, listen, was designed to be a temporary, administrative covenant which held the Abrahamic Covenant in place until the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant could be fulfilled. And that fulfillment is Jesus, of whom the Lord was referring to when he said to Abraham, through your seed, Abraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. And the seed that the Lord was referring to is Jesus. The Abrahamic Covenant is permanent, unconditional, based on faith, and a promise. The Mosaic Covenant is temporary, administrative, and conditional.

Now let's look at the origin of the Mosaic Covenant. The origin of the Mosaic Covenant is when Moses went on top of Mount Sinai in the wilderness. He received from the Lord all these commandments and statutes. He came down from the mountain and he read all the commandments and all the statutes to Israel. And when he did that, Israel responded and said, all that the Lord has commanded we will do. But of course, they failed. And so what ended up happening is the Mosaic Covenant, which promised a blessing if it could be adhered to, ended up becoming a curse to them because they couldn't fulfill their part of the covenant. The question becomes, why? Why did God give the Mosaic Covenant if he knew that Israel could never fulfill it? Paul tells us about this in the Book of Galatians. And we're gonna go to the Book of Galatians, church, next week.

In the Book of Galatians, Paul tells us that the Mosaic Covenant was added to the Abrahamic Covenant in order that mankind would become aware of their lack of power to fully obey God. The Mosaic Covenant was given, Paul teaches, in order that man could be exposed; that man's pride could be revealed; that his inability in the flesh to fully obey God would come to the surface. The result of all that being, that mankind would be in a position to receive his Savior. You see, the Bible tells us, church, hallelujah, the Bible tells us these words: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? It means to recognize that we have no hope other than God. We're not like the Pharisee that beats our hand against our chest and says, Lord, thank you that I'm not a sinner. But rather we're like that sinner that stood next to the Pharisee and said, Lord, forgive me a sinner. Jesus said it was that sinner that was aware of his own unrighteousness that went home justified. God loves you. Will you let Jesus into your heart at the deepest level?
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