Covenant & Kingdom

Part One      Part Two      Part Three      Part Four     

The Bible is much more than the sum of its parts. It is a unique book woven together across several millennia, comprising thousands of stories by multiple authors. Yet it presents an overarching story that is cohesive and compelling from beginning to end.

Two key threads running through the whole Bible are “Covenant” and “Kingdom.” The Covenant is about relationship, about two becoming one. It’s the story of God and you and it’s about establishing your identity in Him. The Kingdom is about responsibility, what it is that God wants you to do on his behalf. 


Part One

Covenant is the primary way that the Bible describes and defines relationships. First and foremost it describes our relationship with God, and from there our relationship with everyone else. The covenant relationship with God comes from us knowing and accepting that He is our heavenly Father, and in Him we gain our identity. Out of our identity in God, He calls us to obedience. As we read through the Biblical narrative from the Old to the New Testament, we can see this covenant relationship continually being played out.

Discover

Read Genesis 15:9-12, 17-21. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. What are some of the covenants that we may engage in today?

2. How do you feel personally about the idea of a covenant between you and God?

3. What are the major Biblical covenants in the Old and New Testaments? What is unique about each covenant? What are some of the symbolisms represented in each of these covenants?

4. What was the significance of the New Testament Covenant through Jesus that surpassed the covenants in the Old Testament?

5. Read Matthew 3:13-17. How does this event relate to covenant? What lessons can we learn from this? How does this event represent relationship, identity and obedience?

Respond

God invites us all to connect with Him in a covenant relationship through Jesus. This is not a commitment that we make lightly, yet it is open to all. Take a moment to reflect upon your relationship with Jesus. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus? Can you describe your identity in Him? How does this covenant between you and God impact your obedience to Him?

 


Part Two

God’s covenant with David allowed David to move forward in a genuine relationship with God. David had experienced many incredibly hard seasons in his life and yet he knew that God loved him no matter what and would walk with him through every situation that he found himself in. He had proved God’s trustworthiness. He knew Him as his loving Father and he therefore trusted God with his dreams and aspirations. He trusted Him enough to let God say no to his dreams.

Discover

Read 2 Samuel 7:18-29. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. Pastor Dale spoke about the desires or aspirations which God places on our hearts. Can you identify one of your personal aspirations?

2. We looked at David’s aspiration of building a house for God, where did that desire come from?

3. Nathan the prophet heard God’s specific direction as to King David’s aspiration, which was different to what he had already said to David. What did Nathan do about God’s intervention?

4. How did David cope with God saying no to his dream? Have you experienced God saying no to something that you really wanted to do?

5. Pastor Dale suggested we hold all of our aspirations with open hands. What does that look like in real life?

6. David’s response to God’s plan was one of humility, submission and worship. How do we develop hearts that respond this way?

Respond

God places desires and dreams in our heart. When God is guiding us and showing us His plans, we must maintain a teachable, sincere heart towards Him. We need to learn to come to Him in submission, in humility and in worship. What is God saying to you today regarding your dreams and your future? Are there things or people that you need to release to Him today?

 


Part Three

“A covenant is a relationship which is more loving and intimate than a legal relationship yet more binding, enduring and accountable than a personal relationship. It is a stunning blend of law and love.” – Tim Keller

Discover

Read Jeremiah 31:31-33. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. Read Jeremiah 31:33. What did God mean by this for the people of Israel? How does this apply to us today?

2. What is the difference between a consumer relationship, a legal relationship and a loving relationship?

3. Can you describe the relationship which God offers us as the bringing together of love and law? Does it actually matter how we live if God always forgives us?

4. Read Ezekiel 36:26-27. What do you understand by these verses?

5. We find identity and freedom based on the new covenant which God has made with us. How does this affect the way you experience life and the way you experience God?

5. Read Luke 22:20 and Galatians 3:13. What new insights or understanding do you have after looking at the covenantal symbolism of what Jesus did for us on Calvary?

Respond

When we realise the extent and the magnitude of the covenant God made with Abraham we understand His willingness to pay the consequences of our failure and sin. We also understand in a new way how He wants us to approach Him even when we’ve been hard-hearted. Take time to pray. Spend a few minutes thanking God that you are in covenant with Him. Reflect on the commitment He has made to you. Then spend time in confession. Finish your time thanking God again for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

 


Part Four

Like His first disciples, Jesus calls us to follow Him. It’s a call into a relationship where we do what we were created for. It’s where we experience the invitation into covenant relationship with our heavenly Father and we embrace the challenge to represent our Father – who is the King – in the lives of other people.

Discover

Read Mark 1:14-18. To help get a good understanding of the passage, try to describe what is happening or being said in your own words. Take a moment to reflect and note down what stands out as important, significant or meaningful to you. What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about people? How does this passage change how we live?

Discuss

1. What is your understanding of the biblical themes of Covenant and Kingdom? Explain each one in your own words?

2. Jesus said, in Mark 1:15, ‘The kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news.’ What did He mean by this phrase? 

3. Read Matthew 13:13-17, 24. What is the invitation that Jesus gives His disciples by revealing His identity to them? What is the challenge He presents to them in light of this invitation? How do you feel about this challenge?

4. We are called to live in community with each other as believers. What responsibilities does this bring with it?

5. What does “being fishers of people” mean for us today?

6. When Jesus invites us into relationship with Him, He does it so that we can represent God to others. What representation of God do you bring to your family, work, study environments?

Respond

The question isn’t where you are on some continuum of spiritual maturity. The question is, Are you following Jesus? That doesn’t always mean radical change all at once. It usually means taking a next step. Whatever your next step is – take it. Whatever your point of challenge right now, that’s where God wants to work in your life. So based on where you are right now, what is your next step in following Jesus? What support do you need?

 



Watch full sermons – Covenant & Kingdom

 


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